Spring Activities

6 Cool Exhibits for Kids in New York City: Culture Guide Spring 2011

Last week we told you about 11 great stage shows for families. Today, our spring culture roundup continues with six new exhibits that kids will love. (In a couple of cases, they may actually beg you to bring them!) 

From Harry Potter relics to an in-depth look at how Dinosaurs lived to ancient brain teasers from China, these half dozen museum shows will educate and entertain your family.

11 Great Shows for Kids in New York City: Culture Guide Spring 2011

It’s not just gardens that are blooming this season. NYC’s family theater scene is bursting with new, colorful stage productions. As a total theater geek who grew up going to Broadway spectacles (back when regular folk could afford to do that on a regular basis), I love taking my daughter to shows. Luckily in this town, the Great White Way isn’t the only option. There’s a ton of amazing Off-Off Broadway offerings for young audiences—and you don’t have to be a millionaire to afford the tickets.

While some shows play for a while, there are lots of worthwhile one-offs that come into town to play for a day, and then move on to another city. So be sure to look carefully at the dates when checking our recommendations.

From fractured fairy tales to page-to-stage adaptations of classic kid-lit to circus feats to cool original musicals, here are 11 shows to take your kids to this spring.

What's Blooming in NYC this Spring: Macy's Flower Show, Cherry Blossoms, Tulips and Daffodils

Last week we told you how to get your city kids into growing and gardening. But we realize that some people don't have a green thumb. Families that prefer to watch Mother Nature do all the work can visit New York City's gorgeous gardens, green spaces and other fantastic flora-filled spots.

From the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Cherry Blossom Festival in late April to the New York Botanical Garden's current Orchid Show to Macy's Flower Show, which debuts this Sunday, to less well-known buds and blooms, we've got the scoop on where to get your flower fix in the city this Spring.

Meet the New Baby Goats at the Central Park Zoo

Now that the weather's so lovely (most of the time, anyway), there are so many things to do, including trips to the Central Park Zoo. My toddler loves looking at all the animals, especially the babies. Even though it was cold and rainy when we visited on Monday, we were still thrilled to meet the Zoo's latest additions, four baby mini-Nubian goats that just made their debut at the Children's Zoo!

There's Cole, a spunky one-month-old, plus three other as-yet-unnamed babies: caramel-colored, two-week-old twins and another kid. Get ready to coo at the adorable photos (which were taken last week on a warm and sunny day), and find out more about these babes.

Japanese Culture in NYC Spring 2011: JapanNYC & Sakura Matsuri

New York City is a great town for exposing your kids to different cultures. You can eat at Indian restaurants, celebrate Mexican Dia de los Meurtos and enjoy lots of other activities. This Spring, the city's hosting two fantastic Japanese events. The first is JapanNYC, a citywide cultural festival, which we originally told you about back in December, and Hanami, the cherry blossom viewing season.

The recent earthquake and subsequent tsunami that ravaged Japan on March 11 will certainly affect these upcoming celebrations, but that makes it an even more significant time to learn about the country's traditions and arts.

If you'd like to make a monetary donation toward the disaster relief effort, we've rounded up reputable and super-easy ways to contribute. Every little bit helps. So as we celebrate Japanese culture here in NYC, please don't forget the disaster that has forever changed that country and its people.

Growing in the City: Gardening Classes, Events, Farms and Community Gardens for NYC Kids & Families

You can't blame New York City kids for thinking that vegetables magically appear at the grocery store enclosed in plastic bags (or arrive at the door in a cardboard box), or that flowers sprout from the concrete every Spring. But it's not hard to teach them the real facts of nature. There are so many places for families to learn about and even grow their own bounty in this concrete jungle, from classes at the big gardens to working on plots in a community green space to visiting a working farm...within the city limits!

Here's how to get your kids growing this Spring.

Spring Fling! Early Spring Activities in NJ

It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain

Oh Mark, you were so wise. Spring is trailing your hand along the baby grass, breathing in that intoxicating smell of possibility, of ditching coats for sundresses, leaving slush behind for the kick-up of magnolia blossoms on the walk to school. It's its own thing, spring, and it needs celebrating. Our Garden State has a slew of great activities from cherry blossom madness to a bluebird meet and greet. Dig in, fellow mothers. We've earned it this year.

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