Our guide to cultural events in New York City for families with children and teenagers.
‘ALLIGATOR PIE’ at the Pershing Square Signature Center (July 16, 2:30 p.m.; July 28, 7 p.m.; July 29, 1:30 p.m.). It may not sound like anything you’d want for dessert, but children have been enjoying it for decades — at least on paper. “Alligator Pie” is the title poem of a rollicking verse collection for young people by the Canadian author Dennis Lee (he contributed lyrics to many songs on the Muppet television show “Fraggle Rock”), and now Soulpepper, a Toronto theater company, has adapted his work for the stage. The troupe’s 65-minute production combines lively music, whimsical found-object props and comic invention to bring the book to life. A special bonus after this Sunday’s show: Mr. Lee himself will give a free reading at 4 p.m.
‘CELEBRATE BASTILLE DAY’ at Children’s Museum of the Arts (July 14, noon to 6 p.m.). There will be liberté, égalité, and lots and lots of fraternité at this freewheeling festival in honor of Bastille Day, the holiday commemorating the start of the French Revolution. In this Manhattan museum’s Fine Arts Studio, young visitors will learn about Blek le Rat, a Parisian pioneer in stenciled graffiti, and make their own street-style stenciled art. At the Media Lab Gallery, they can create animated scenes of Bastille Day festivities, using cutouts and French urban backdrops. Or, for a more pastoral tribute to France, they can turn to the Clay Bar to sculpt Giverny-like landscapes reminiscent of Monet’s work. And what would Bastille Day be without song? At 2:30 p.m., children from the French-focused day camp Bleu Blanc Rouge will offer a vocal fest.
CITY OF WATER DAY at Governors Island and other sites (July 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Rivers, streams, ponds, ocean — New York has them all, and at this 10th annual free festival, the Waterfront Alliance will celebrate them in dozens of locations, not only throughout the five boroughs but also in Yonkers and New Jersey. The focus is on education as well as entertainment, as programs emphasize the ecological importance of water and the need to conserve it. At festival headquarters, on Governors Island, the fun will include boat tours, kayaking lessons, art and science activities, the signature cardboard kayak race (teams actually build and sail cardboard vessels) and a special performance for children: “The Rejuvenary River Circus,” a mask-and-puppet production from Arm-of-the-Sea Theater.
‘50 YEARS OF MIXED-UP FILES’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (July 15, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Claudia Kincaid, the 11-year-old heroine of E. L. Konigsburg’s 1967 novel, “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” doesn’t want to run away to anything as tawdry and clichéd as a circus. She wants to run away to the elegant Metropolitan Museum — and on Saturday, that museum invites real children to do the same. In the book, Claudia and her brother Jamie hide out for a week at the Met, which is honoring the novel’s 50th anniversary with Art Treks (at 11 and 2). Participants will see a Roman marble sarcophagus like the one inside which Claudia conceals her violin case; a carved 18th-century bed reminiscent of where the runaways sleep; and “Young Archer,” a statue attributed to Michelangelo, similar to the one central to the novel’s mystery. A scavenger hunt is to involve galleries the siblings investigate, like the Egyptian Wing, and a photo station will let visitors portray themselves as Claudia and Jamie on the book’s cover, poised for adventure.
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