You’re looking to spend some time with junior while he’s out of school. If you didn’t go the route of the mini-camp, there’s tons you can do to make your child’s time off worthwhile. Here are our suggestions.
Celebrate Black History Month
There are a number of kid-friendly activities still going on this month. Pair the activity with a book or web research and make a project of it. LIC Library has been hosting the I Have a Dream Wall all month. Anyone can express their dreams on this wall. The dreams will then be displayed. The wall is available Monday to Saturday at 1PM in February except President’s Day.
On Thursday, February 23 at 4PM, you and your little one (6 to 12) can attend A Tribute to Black Astronauts at the Langston Hughes Library. Your child will learn about astronauts that have African-American roots and the planets. They’ll also leave with a poster for their room.
Also at Langston Hughes, attend a book talk (for ages 6 to 12) with Muriel Weinstein who wrote a book about the young Louis Armstrong called “Play, Louis, Play!” on Friday, February 24 at 2:30 PM.
For your history or music buff, a trip to the Louis Armstrong House Museum might just be the thing! Take a tour of the house which has been preserved for decades—the house and its furnishing remain as they were when Satchmo was alive.
Visit the New York Hall of Science
In addition to their normally amazing and interactive exhibitions, the Hall is hosting a number of extra special events. Try their flight simulator, Barnstormers, for ages 4+. Watch one of two 3D Documentaries with your child 6 years and older. Participate in Engineering Day on February 20 with hands-on activities for your budding scientist. Or be a part of the Electric Company—meet Shock and participate in interactive activities and receive free gifts. There’s something different to do every day.
Where: 47-01 111 Street, Queens, NY; 718-699-0005
When: Special Break Museum Hours: 9:30 AM-5PM
Cost: Adults $11 and Children $8; many special exhibits require additional fees
Do a Good Deed
It’s always time to give back to your community. The break might be a good time to start a long term project or you might just do a one time thing. Check out NYCService.org for opportunities around the city. You can also create your own opportunity. Contact your local hospital, community center, park, church, etc. to set something up. If you didn’t get time off from work during junior’s break, you could also take him or her along to work and call it an internship. Make sure there’s something for the little one to do and space for him or her to work. This way you can keep an eye on him or her.
Get down and dirty with the red wiggler worm which is used for indoor composting. This hands-on workshop has kids making heart-shaped cookies for their plants. Be ready to get dirty!
Where: Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, 718-539-5296; email@example.com
Visit with Animals
Several libraries are hosting a hands-on activity with animals called “One World, Many Animals.” Kids will have the chance to meet animals from around the world such as hedgehogs, bugs, frogs, bunnies, guinea pigs, and more. On Tuesday, February 21, see it at Middle Village. See it on Thursday, February 23 at Forest Hills, and on Friday, February 24 see it in Flushing.
Of course, the Queens Zoo is also open during the break. Visit to feed the animals at the petting zoo or too watch the zookeepers feed the sea lions. During school holidays, visit their Discovery Center for animal-themed storybooks and fun art projects.
Go to College
It’s never too early to look into the future. NYC has many colleges, several of which are in Queens. This week is a great chance to visit a college or two. Most colleges are closed on President’s Day, but they’re open the rest of the week. Call the admissions office for regular tour times or to set up a personal tour. Watch a college game. Or have your tween or teen shadow a current college student. Check out York College, Queens College, Queensborough Community College, LaGuardia Community College, Vaughn College, and St. John’s University.
Put on a show
Several libraries are hosting opportunities for little guys to strut their stuff. Alternatively, if your child is not ready to perform, it ought to be fun to watch! Pomonok library is hosting their first Annual Talent Show on Thursday, February23 at 6PM for all kids from pre-K to 12th Grade. They’ve put out a call for performing artists and visual artists. Each artist will receive a prize. Preregister with a librarian at the branch.
On the same evening, East Elmhurst Library is hosting their monthly Open Mic. Performers can share their talents in a 5-minute presentation. They welcome poets, writers, musicians, comedians, spoken word artists, and more.
Also on the same day but at 4:30, the Corona branch is hosting a Spelling Bee for grades 1 to 6.
Created for the 1964 World’s Fair, Queens Museum of Art’s panorama is a treat. This 9,335 square foot model includes every single building constructed before 1992 in all five boroughs. You and the little gal or guy can spend some time looking for your favorite spots including your home. Look for the airplanes landing and taking off. If you feel inspired, you can even adopt a building for as little as $50. While you’re there, visit their adorable gift shop for everything New York and Queens inspired.
Where: New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park; 718-592-9700
When: Wednesday-Sunday from 12 to 6PM
Cost: (Suggested) Adults $5 and Children(5+) $2.50
Dabble in the Arts
Woodhaven library is hosting a 3-day basic guitar class for ages 6 to 12. Kids will learn chords, strumming, and some songs. Preregistration is required and no guitar is necessary. The class will take place on February 21-23 at 2PM.
The Flushing Library is hosting an event called “Poetry and Loving the World” on Thursday, February 23 at 2:30PM for ages 6 to 12. Young ones will have an opportunity to explore poems and discover their beauty and power.
South Ozone Park library is hosting a Tween and Teen Sewing Group for four days, February 21-24 at 2PM. Students will learn the basics of sewing and make several projects. Materials will be supplied but are limited.
Make Your Own Movie
The Museum of the Moving Image is one of the several hands-on museums we’ve got in Queens. In addition to their typical exhibits, they will have several special events during the break. On Monday-Wednesday, at 2PM and 3:30PM, your 10+ child can make his own stop-motion video. You only have to pay $5 for materials.
Check out their Frankenfoam Workshop which will take place on the 23rd and 24th at 2:30PM. Participants (ages 8+) in this workshop will have the opportunity to make their own puppets using foam and household items and then to make a film with the puppet. Tickets cost $16 including materials fee. Red Carpet Kids members will only have to pay a $5 materials fee.
Where: 36-01 35 Avenue, Astoria, NY 11106; 718-777-6888
By: Sandy Jimenez