It's hard to believe March has arrived, bringing with it signs of spring all around New York City, from melting snowbanks to outdoor play. One thing that doesn't change with the season is our overflowing events calendar, but we're making it easy for you to hit all the fun, spring-inspired events, including the Macy's Flower Show, Purim fests, and of course St. Patrick's Day parades and children's activities as the city turns green March 17.
We've rounded up 14 must-hit happenings in our GoList. Beyond the holidays, it's a huge month for the performing arts. We've got details on the innovative Tilt Festival, plus a pair of huge, new, kid-friendly Broadway debuts with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Anastasia. Brooklyn's BAM is staging a fun-for-the-whole family Peter Pan-inspired show and tween favorite The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is debuting a brand-new Off-Broadway production. Looking for a little-kid friendly theater experience? You're in luck as Paw Patrol Live makes a stop here, too.
We're also highlighting a music fest in Brooklyn, a monthlong pop-up art studio for kids in Queens, a FREE STEAM festival in the Meatpacking District, and mummies arriving at the American Museum of Natural History.
Now get your calendars ready! Here are the top things to do with kids in New York City this March.
As always, if an event piques your interest, 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 book up quickly, so buy your tickets ASAP or, in the case of FREE events, arrive as early as possible to beat the crowds.
The brand-new ARTech maker fest is bringing FREE fun for kids, including the return of the CMA ball pit. Photo by Junenoire Mitchell/courtesy of CMA.
ARTech: Adventures in Art + Technology – Meatpacking District
Wednesday, March 1-Sunday, April 30
Imagine the fun you'd have if the Children's Museum of the Arts (CMA) and the New York Hall of Science joined forces to offer two months worth of innovative, family-friendly, STEAM-inspired programming? In a seeming dream come true, add to this combination that all of such programming is FREE. These two venerable kids institutions are joining forces with the Meatpacking Business Improvement District to offer a unique, limited run of programming in a vacant storefront on 14th Street. Activities include a blow-up planetarium, a GIF-making station, a rigamajig-building station, the return of the popular CMA ball pit, and much more. Reservations are required and can be booked online now. FREE
Pop-up Printmaking Workshop – Atlas Park, Queens
Friday, March 3-Friday, March 31
Queens popup shop Little Pulp opens its doors to creativity for an entire month of collaborative art making. Weekend work centers around a new, large-scale, community piece of art each week. All artists take home a print created with the in-house printing press, which kids can operate themselves. Attendees are encouraged to bring personal mementos such as photos, clippings from magazines, or sketches they have made in the past to contribute to the collaborative effort. Since some kids are more interested in large-scale work than others, there are plenty of stations to keep kids busy, from a giant sketchbook for doodling to a box cityscape to decorate. There's also a chalkboard wall and a large train table for the littlest artists. Weekdays offer open studio time for preschoolers to explore supplies and mediums.
RELATED: Day Trips Guide and Weekend Getaways for NYC Families
The 7 Fingers' acrobatic performance is among the French-infused Tilt Festival highlights. Photo by Alexandre Galliez/courtesy of Tilt festival.
Tilt Festival – Citywide
Saturday, March 4-Wednesday, April 16
Returning for a second year, this French cultural and art festival puts kids entertainment center stage and encourages families to "discover, play, imagine, think, and create," by experiencing a range of performance art, from theater to dance, music, interactive installations, and more. We're especially excited for La Cordonnerie: Snow White or the Fall of the Berlin Wall, which retells the classic fairytale set in 1989 Berlin.
Brooklyn Kids Rock — Gowanus
Sunday, March 5
This annual music fest is like Lollapalooza for the preschool set. The 2017 edition promises out-of-this-world fun with a space-themed show featuring the likes of M.A.K.U. Soundsystem, Pete Sinjin, Parkington Sisters, Rock Rage, Matt and Melissa Singer and Baby Loves Jazz. In addition to a rocking stage show, enjoy arts and crafts, face painting, a "touch-an-instrument" booth, and tasty treats. You'll help a worthy cause as all proceeds benefit Brooklyn's Maple Street School.
Upside Down Purim Carnival — Upper East Side
Sunday, March 12
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, and saved her people. Although there are plenty of festive Purim parties around town, the 92nd Street Y's annual bash is one of our favorites. Jump into a life-sized game of Candy Land or checkers, get artsy, and make the holiday's traditional pastry, hamentashen. There is plenty of fun in the gym studio and cotton candy for all to enjoy. Don't forget your costumes.
St. Patrick's Day — Citywide
Friday, March 17
Everyone feels a bit Irish around St. Patrick's Day. While Manhattan's iconic parade marches up Fifth Avenue on St. Pat's proper—Friday, 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 12, where you can sample classes, pick up some Irish words, or learn a new dance step. Another popular choice is the Craic Fest: Kids Film Fleadh, the film fest's annual family day Saturday, March 4, where you can enjoy screenings of award-winning short films, learn Irish step-dancing, and listen to storytelling.
The Peter Pan Experience – Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Saturday, March 18-Sunday, March 26
Tweens and older kids will love this Dutch theater show at BAM, which follows five adults who rediscover the joy of childhood with the help of Peter Pan's magic. This show's not just for the kids—adults will sympathize with the message, too.
RELATED: NYC Museum and Art Guide for Kids
Discover the Gilded Lady at AMNH's new exhibit Mummies: New Secrets from the Tomb. Photo by John Weinstein/courtesy of AMNH.
Mummies: New Secrets from the Tomb – Upper West Side
Opens Monday, March 20
One of the largest collections of mummies in North America arrives at the American Museum of Natural History this month. You'll see mummies from ancient Egypt as well as Peru. New technology allows researchers to take a respectful peek inside the mummies, and there are plenty of artifacts to see as well as interactive touch tables to explore.
Anastasia – Midtown West
Opens Thursday, March 23
We've been anticipating the arrival of this Broadway show for months. Based on the 1997 film of the same name, the play follows the story of Anya, a young amnesiac who seeks to find out whether she's a commoner or an heir to the fortune of Czar Nicholas II. There are some mature themes, and the show, which runs 2½ hours, is really best for kids older than 7. Those younger than 4 won't be allowed in the theater.
The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical – Greenwich Village
Thursday, March 23-Saturday, May 6
Fans of the Rick Riordan books see their favorite story brought to life on stage. Originally presented as a Theatreworks USA production in 2014, this iteration has been re-tooled. An expanded script includes a full second act, and a live band accompanies the production, which also saw its score updated. Based on its first go-round, our guess is you won't have had to read the book to follow the story.
Paw Patrol Live! – Midtown West
Thursday, March 23-Sunday, March 26
Little kids will be big fans of this cartoon-to-stage adaptation. The Bunraku-style puppet pups work together to solve the mystery of the missing mayor. There is plenty of singing and dancing to keep kids engaged and entertained.
Macy's Flower Show — Midtown West
Sunday, March 26-Sunday, April 9
Every year, Macy's over-the-top installation of colorful blooms ushers in spring in the city. Traditionally, Macy's hosts a slew of FREE events in conjunction with its Flower Show, but details are not yet finalized. We'll update this post and our event listing once info is available. FREE
We expect Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will be a delectable addition to Broadway. Photo courtesy of the theater.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Midtown West
Opens Tuesday, March 28
It's not every day we're excited for two kid-friendly Broadway debuts, so March really delivers with this pair. Willy Wonka takes center stage in this retooled version of the popular London stage show, starring Tony-winning Christian Borle as the candy man himself. The classic "Pure Imagination" from the 1971 Gene Wilder flick is worked into the show, which features new tunes by Tony-winning Hairspray songwriters Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Concert – Midtown West
Friday, March 31-Saturday, April 1
Harry Potter fans rejoice. You can relive the magic of the first film at iconic Radio City Music Hall. Catch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in HD on a huge, 40-foot screen. As the movie plays, sit back and enjoy as John Williams' score is played live on stage by on the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.
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.
Head to the New Victory Theater, which debuts a trio of shows this month: The Aging Magician, March 3-12; X, Or, Betty Shabazz vs The Nation, March 17-25; and Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, March 19-26.
Rock out to a lively rendition of a favorite fairy tale when Wonderland: Alice's Rock and Roll Adventure takes the stage at the Linda Gross Theater each weekend from March 4 to 26.
Dig into a complimentary short stack on Tuesday, March 7 at all NYC IHOP locations in honor of National Pancake Day.
Watch kid-made shorts inspired by Newberry Award-winning books in this funky film fest on Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12. FREE, but advanced reservations are required.
Check out the Big Apple Comic Con to get a taste of comic book culture on Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12.
Celebrate Nowruz, or Persian New Year, by taking in a shadow-puppet performance of Zahhak, The Legend of the Serpent King on Sunday, March 19. After the show, which runs just 15 minutes, enjoy a puppet-making workshop inspired by the performance.
Head to East Harlem's Museum of the City of New York to celebrate women's history with its Herstory Day family program, which includes quilting, bookmaking, and performances celebrating important women in our city's history.
And remember to check our Event Calendar as we're always adding new listings.