Now that the holidays are over and our wallets are a little lighter, here are some great, FREE activities you can do with your kids this month!! Check out your neighborhood library, try out a trial class, or take advantage of free admission days at several museums. Whatever your child’s interest, you will have no trouble finding something to do with them without going broke!
What: Baby and Me
When: January 23 and 30 at 10:30
Where: Bayside Library – 214-20 Northern Boulevard, Bayside
With all of the expensive baby and me classes out there, it’s great to find one that’s fun and free. Join your 7-18 month old baby for finger play, nursery rhymes, story time and free play. This is a recurring class, but contact the library directly for future dates.
What: Chinese Cuddle-Up Story time
When: January 23 and 30 at 10:30
Where: Forest Hills Library 108-19 71 Avenue, Forest Hills
You and your little one can enjoy stories, sing-alongs, finger plays and movement activities in Mandarin, and everyone is encouraged to participate! This is a wonderful early literacy program for children 4-36 months.
What: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
When: January 14, 11:30-2:30
Where: Central Branch, 89-11 Merrick Blvd at 165th St, Jamaica, (718) 990-0700
To honor the work of Dr. King, the Queens Library is having several activities to help children (ages 6-11) learn about his vision and the sacrifice of others during the Civil Rights Movement. The schedule for the day is:
11:30: Stories and Songs of FreedomChildren can hear a first-hand account of the Civil Rights movementfrom storyteller Joy Kelly. She will share her personal stories about her role in the movement, which includes being the first African American to integrate her school. She also had the honor of meeting Dr. King, Coretta Scott King and Rosa Parks. In addition, Ms. Kelly will lead a sing-along of popular civil rights songs.
12:30: Dear Dr. King ReceptionThe Library encouraged children and teens to write letters to Dr. King for their “Dear Dr. King” Writing Project. These children will be honored during this reception, which includes refreshments. The project is co-sponsored by Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall.
1:30: A Man and His DreamThis powerful documentary will help children visualize this period in our country’s history. It will show them more about the life of Dr. King and the events surrounding the civil rights movement.
Museums, Free Trial Classes and More!
What: New York Hall of Science
When: Fridays 2:00-5:00 and Sundays 10:00-11:00
Where: 47-01 111th Street, Corona, (718) 699-0005
The New York Hall of Science treats the public to free admission two days a week. They offer wonderful exhibits that allow children to explore using all of their senses. Two notable traveling exhibits:
Charlie and Kiwi’s Evolutionary Adventure
This is a bilingual exhibit (English and Spanish) that follows a boy named Charlie as he tries to complete a book report about the flightless Kiwi bird of New Zealand. He and your children will learn about evolution through Charlie’s search for the ancestors of the kiwi, which of course leads him back to the dinosaurs. Children can also observe live birds as part of their research!
Wild Minds: What Animals Really Think
How many times have you wondered what your favorite pet is thinking? Do animals have the ability to think like we do? This exhibit will help explain how the brains of certain animals work, and perhaps you will discover that some animals can solve problems, use tools, and do many other things we might not think they can do. You will also learn how an animal’s environment shapes their cognitive ability.
When: January 17th, 10:30-5:00
Where: 3601 35th Ave., Astoria, (718) 777-6888
The Museum of the Moving Image is having a FREE Family Day. They are hosting many wonderful exhibits, including the Jim Henson’s Fantastic World. Your children will enjoy seeing some of their favorite muppets in person, and you will love reliving your memories of Jim Henson’s earlier work. The museum also offers interactive exhibits, such as making a flip book of your own movements and creating stop motion animations. On an on-going basis, the museum offers free admission on Fridays from 4:00-8:00
When: Thursday-Monday, 12:00-5:00
Where: 38-27 30th Street Long Island City, (718) 937-0727
This off the beaten path museum is always free! Currently they are featuring the work of Donald Baechler, who is both a sculptor and a painter. You can check out some of his work on their website, but nothing beats seeing it in person.
What: Moon Soup
When: Various Days
Where: Gym-Azing 27-14 23rd Ave., Astoria, (347) 455-3661
Moon Soup offers a wide variety of classes for kids from birth through five years old. Children learn basic motor skills, play with musical instruments, sing songs and create art work (when they are old enough). Moon Soup also offers a preschool alternative program. Because there are so many wonderful classes, it’s hard to choose, so check out a class you are interested in for free! If you do decide to sign up, you can take advantage of free open play at their beautiful Midtown East location and a variety of free programs including child CPR and baby massage.
When: Tuesdays, 10:00 and 11:00
Where: Queensview Apartments – 21-66 33rd Rd., Long Island City
(Community room 7 – across the management office)(646) 434-1419
ABC Do-Re-Me also offers a free trial class, and what makes them different from other music classes is that you don’t have to join for a certain number of classes. You can buy a single drop-in class, a class card for a certain number of classes or an unlimited membership package. You can be as committed to the class as you want to be!
In the Musical Playdate class, children and parents dance and sing along with their guitar-playing teacher. The songs are fun and catchy, and the kids love to ask for their favorites. They also get to play instruments, and what would a music class be without some bubbles! This is a 45 minute drop-in class, and registration is required for each class.
For the free trial: Call or email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can preview their classes year round, but you must register first. Preview classes are subject to availability.
What: Fit Kids Nutrition and Exercise Program
When: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; 4:30
Where: The New York Hospital of Queens, 17403 Horace Harding Expy,
Childhood obesity has become a concern for many parents in our area. To help our children, The New York Hospital of Queens is offering kids a 12-week comprehensive nutrition and exercise program for children ages 5-22. In this intense program, children will exercise and learn to make healthy choices when it comes to food and cooking. The groups meet three times a week at 4:30 in the hospital’s Cardiac Health Center.
New 12 week sessions begin weekly and are open to any children and teens in need of nutritional and fitness guidance. To become a candidate for the program, children must be evaluated by a doctor, which includes an EKG to make sure they can participate in exercises and a blood screening. For more information, please contact Linda at (718) 661-7687.
What: Free Story time
When: Mondays, 11:00
Where: Barnes and Noble, Bay Terrace S.C., 23-80 Bell Blvd. Bayside; (718) 224-1083
Chase away the Mondays with story time at Barnes and Noble! On January 9th there will be a special story time focusing on winter and what makes it fun. Kids will listen to stories about building snowmen and other wintery activities.
By: Megan Ross