The coming of spring isn't the only thing to look forward to in March. This month New York City is blooming with awesome family events, and we've filled our latest GoList with the top picks. In addition to annual favorites such as family-friendly St. Patrick's Day celebrations, Easter egg hunts and the Easter Bonnet Parade, city Purim carnivals and the FREE Macy's Flower Show, we're also highlighting some brand-new experiences such as the Tilt Kids Festival, museum exhibits the Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems and Dinosaurs Among Us and a few exceptional family theater shows, including a glow-in-the-dark space odyssey. Did we mention Luna Park opens for the season this month?
As always, if an event piques your interest, be sure to click through to our listing for all the details, including addresses and times. And keep in mind: In NYC, really cool things to do with kids often get booked up quickly, so buy your tickets ASAP or, in the case of FREE events, arrive as early as possible to try to beat the crowds.
Now get your calendars ready! Here are the top 15 things to do with kids in New York City this March.
Easter Egg Hunt at The First Presbyterian Church of New York. Photo courtesy of the church.
Easter Egg Hunts — Citywide
Throughout the month
Hunting for Easter Eggs is a beloved family event. Whether you want to search for plastic candy-stuffed eggs or the real hard-boiled kind, there are dozens of places to usher in the season with a sweet spring hunt. Check our NYC Easter Egg Hunt roundup for one in your neighborhood. Some of our favorites include the Barnyard Egg Hunt on the grounds of the bucolic Queens County Farm Museum and the Children's Museum of Manhattan where kids search for egg icons through the galleries scavenger hunt-style.
Tilt Kids Festival — Multiple locations
Friday, March 4-Sunday, April 3
The French Institute Alliance Française and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy are co-hosting this inaugural family art festival, featuring a range of performances, interactive exhibits and concerts—some of which are FREE. Highlights include Cabaret de Magie Nouvelle, a mash-up of shadow puppetry, circus arts and magic; Anima an artistic interactive installation that lets visitors explore a virtual forest and archeological dig inspired by Mayan culture; and L'immédiata wacky, wordless acrobatic spectacle for older kids. Kids can make their own animal creatures during a pair of hands-on art workshops at FIAF or participate in the Carousel of Ideas at the French Embassy. Events will be in English.
Da Vinci Day: Leonardo da Vinci’s Workshop Unlocked — Upper East Side
Sunday, March 6
The big family attraction during the 92nd Street Y's 7 Days of Genius event enables families to step inside the modern-day workshop of one of the great inventors, Leonardo da Vinci, and participate in a host of hands-on activities. See creations made into working models. Kids can watch as da Vinci's drawings are printed in 3D and challenge themselves to think like da Vinci and solve today's problems through design. Take the mirror writing challenge—the artist wrote his private notes backward, making it harder for people to read—and listen to live period music. Plus, register for one of the flight-themed workshops for a more in-depth experience. The exhibit is FREE; workshop fees vary.
Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat — Tribeca
Saturday, March 12
The award-winning theater troupe Childsplay hits Tribeca's Performing Arts Center during its national tour with a lively, page-to-stage adaptation of Dr. Seuss' beloved The Cat in the Hat. Like the original story, you never know what mischief is in store when the iconic feline appears at your door. Fans are sure to love this hysterical, high-energy performance, featuring the cat, Thing 1 and Thing 2, Sally and her brother.
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A snow day pushed the maker-spectacle Beam Center's Inventgenuity Festival into March. Photo by Zena Pesta/courtesy of the festival.
Beam Center's Inventgenuity Festival — Carroll Gardens
Saturday, March 12-Sunday March 13
This event was canceled in January due to severe weather, so we're excited organizers were able to reschedule it for this month. We've raved about Beam Center's annual maker fest since we discovered it back in 2011. The 2016 edition boasts a new location, Brooklyn's MS 442. As in years past, the Inventgenuity Fest is a great way to get a sense of all Beam Center has to offer kids, including collaborative and individual low- and high-tech projects. All are overseen by professional educators, artists and partner organizations such as Raspberry Pi, Nerdy Derby and DBA Arcade Cabinets. Interested in going? Register for FREE ASAP. You must sign up for workshops in advance even if you were registered in January.Drop-ins most likely won't be accommodated. FREE admission but nominal materials fees for workshops apply.
The Boy at the Edge of Everything — Lincoln Square
Saturday, March 12-Sunday, March 20, see event listing for specific schedule
This trippy, thought-provoking new show created by NYC's own cutting-edge Trusty Sidekick Theater Company makes its NYC debut as part of Lincoln Center Kids. Can two isolated, inquisitive and oddball 12-year-old boys reach each other across the abyss? After all, one lives on Earth, while the other resides at the end of the universe, watching over, well, everything. Like most Trusty shows, it's a little hard to describe. But don't worry that it's too heady: We hear there are plenty of lowbrow gags, too.
The popular and ever quirky Paper Bag Players put on a hilarious sketch for grade-schoolers this month. Photo courtesy of the museum.
Paper Bag Players: Pop-Pop Popcorn and Theater & Art Workshop — Upper East Side
Sunday, March 13
We're longtime fans of the Paper Bag Players, the half-century-old, NYC-based children's theater troupe that crafts costumes, sets and props out of cardboard and paper. The company's latest revue, Pop-Pop Popcorn, mixes new material and classic sketches in an hourlong music- and dance-filled production. Catch the show at the Jewish Museum on Sunday, March 13 and children ages 6-10 can enjoy a creative theater and art workshop with the troupe before the performance.
Brooklyn Kids Rock — Gowanus
Sunday, March 13
This annual music fest is like Lollapalooza for the preschool set, especially now that Kindiefest is no more. The 2016 concert is a glow-in-the-dark extravaganza at the Bell House. The lineup includes local favorites Mil’s Trills, Lloyd H. Miller, Rock Rage and The Uniques and the Dad Beats, along with dance performances, a photo booth, face painting, temporary tattoos and neighborhood eats. Proceeds benefit Brooklyn's Maple Street School.
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The offbeat St. Patrick's For All Parade in Queens is just one of the many Irish fests. Photo by Josef Piniac via Flickr.
St Patrick's Day — Citywide
Thursday, March 17
Everyone feels a bit Irish around St. Patrick's Day. While Manhattan's iconic parade will march up Fifth Avenue on St. Pat's proper—Thursday, March 17—there are many parades and celebrations throughout the month. A family-friendly favorite is the Irish Arts Center's FREE St. Patrick's Day Open House on Sunday, March 13 with Gaelic football skills workshops, music making with Stomp and Shout New York and cultural demonstrations, where kids can learn to play the tin whistle or speak the language. Another popular choice is the Craic Fest: Kids Film Fleadh, the film fest's annual family day Saturday, March 5, where you can enjoy screenings of award-winning short films, learn Irish step-dancing and listen to storytelling.
The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems — Upper West Side
Friday, March 18-Sunday, September 25
This is one of our top picks for the entire year, so to say we are excited is an understatement. The New-York Historical Society's new exhibit offers an up-close look into the imaginative world of beloved kid-lit author and illustrator Mo Willems. See original sketches, drawings and an insider’s peek at the author and illustrator's creative process. The exhibit kicks off with a family weekend on Friday, March 18 that includes ;a reading and signing by the man himself. Tickets to the reading/signing are free with paid admission but reserving in advance is a must. The weekend will also include extra activities for kids like an NYC-themed sketching session, wire sculpture crafting, storytimes and photo ops with Elephant and Piggie.
Luna Park Opening Day — Coney Island
Sunday, March 20
Don't miss opening day at Luna Park. While the beach won't open until Memorial Day, ring in spring with a family outing to NYC's largest amusement park. All the park's established rides and attractions, both thrilling and tame, will be open—even the water rides. Unfortunately, thrill-seekers will have to wait until later in the season to get their adrenaline pumping on the Endeavour, Luna Park's new high-thrill attraction. BONUS: By tradition, the first 100 visitors score a FREE ride on the Cyclone.
Purim Carnival: Upside Down Jamboree — Upper East Side
Sunday, March 20
You don't have to be Jewish to celebrate Purim. The holiday is inspired by the biblical story of Queen Esther, who stood up to her husband's evil adviser, Haman, to save her people. Although there are plenty of festive Purim parties around town, the 92nd Street Y's annual bash is one of our favorites. Enjoy carnival games, puppet making, community service and more. Plus, kids can make the holiday's traditional pastry, hamentashen, and create mishloach manot (treat-filled Purim baskets). Don't forget your costumes.
The FREE Macy's Flower Show is a great way to welcome spring. Photo by Anders Carlsson via Flickr.
Macy's Flower Show: America the Beautiful — Midtown West
Sunday, March 20-Sunday, April 3
Every year, Macy's over-the-top installation of colorful blooms ushers in spring in the city. For 2016, the megastore is mounting a multidimensional display, featuring flowers and plants from various American landscapes. Traditionally, Macy's hosts a slew of FREE events in conjunction with its Flower Show, but details are not yet finalized. We'll be sure to update this post and our event listing once info is available. FREE
Check out Oviraptor fossils at the about to open Dinosaurs Among Us exhibit. Photo by R. Mickens/courtesy American Museum of Natural History.
Dinosaurs Among Us — Upper West Side
Monday, March 21–Monday, January 2, 2017
Another top pick for 2016. The American Museum of Natural History continues its yearlong celebration of dinosaurs with a brand-new exhibit. Dinosaurs Among Us explores the connections between the prehistoric monsters and our feathered friends through hands-on stations and rare fossil displays. You'll see a tiny dinosaur model whose sleeping posture mimics that of a modern bird, a nest with newly hatched dinosaurs; a feathered 23-foot-long tyrannosaur; and a winged dromaeosaur. Be sure to check out the just added 122-foot-long titanosaur (like you could miss it)!
Strike a pose at the Easter Bonnet Festival down Fifth Avenue. Photo by Raven Snook.
Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival — Midtown East
Sunday, March 27
This is one of our favorite celebrations of the whole year. Fifth Avenue between 49th and 57th streets closes to traffic and opens to revelers in beautiful bonnets, snappy hats and jaw-dropping headdresses. Show off your craziest hat or just come and take photos. Check out the slide show we did a few years back. Truly a must-do event—in fact, it's No. 27 on our list of 100 things to do with your kids in NYC. FREE
And don't forget about our February GoList pick, the New York International Children's Film Festival, which runs through Sunday, March 20.
NYC has so many amazing things going on, it's often difficult to choose. Here are a few more cool events worth considering for your March calendar. Be sure to sign up for our free newsletters to get weekly picks in your inbox.
Watch kid-made shorts inspired by Newberry Award-winning books in this funky film fest on Saturday, March 5. FREE but advanced reservation required.
Enjoy FREE cooking demos, live music and activities at the annual Kids Food Fest Saturday, March 5 and Sunday, March 6. FREE
Kids get into the act with the science comedy show with Doktor Kaboom. Photo courtesy of the venue.
Laugh at the antics of Doktor Kaboom in a new electricity-themed science comedy show at the Skirball Center on Saturday, March 5.
Tuck into a complimentary short stack on Tuesday, March 8 at all NYC IHOP locations in honor of National Pancake Day and ring in spring with a FREE water ice at Rita's only NYC location on Sunday, March 20. FREE
Celebrate Pi (3.14159) Day at MoMath with a hula hoop contest and collaborative sculpture making on Sunday, March 13 or the New York Hall of Science on Monday, March 14 with special activities in the World of Numbers Exhibit.
See Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey Saturday, March 19 when the always inventive Lightwire Theater brings this eye-popping, glow-in-the-dark show to the Upper West Side's Symphony Space.
Visit the Met Breuer during the new contemporary and modern art outpost of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's opening weekend family day on Sunday, March 20.
Rock out with Lard Dog and the Band of Shy, the funky retro-modern family rock and roll show as the band celebrates the release of their first album on Sunday, March 20.
Marvel at the over-the-top spectacle UniverSoul Circus as it kicks off its NYC tour in the Bronx on Wednesday, March 30.
And remember to check our Event Calendar as we're always adding new listings!