As a stay-at-home mom raising a daughter, I'd like to think that we celebrate and (in our own small way) add to women's history every single day. But since March is officially Women's History Month, I've been searching for meaningful ways we can celebrate the achievements of our gender together.
Like February's Black History Month, pretty much every New York City institution plans some kind of event in honor of Women's History Month. We've picked the ones we think will really speak to and inspire kids—not just little girls, but little boys, too. From activism to art, science to suffrage, sports to politics and beyond, we ladies have done lots of awesome things. That's why we've rounded up awesome ways for families to celebrate Women's History Month with kids in New York City.
My daughter has learned everything she knows about female pioneers from The Deedle Deedle Dees. The Brooklyn kiddie rockers are serious history buffs who've penned many tunes about legendary ladies. In honor of Women's History Month, the band's two concerts this weekend will honor Harriet Tubman, Marie Curie, Nellie Bly and many other important women. Find out the performance details in our best winter concerts for kids post. Of course, if you're busy this weekend, you can always pick up a copy of the group's latest CD Strange Dees Indeed. With songs about Sojourner Truth, Sacagawea and other great women, it's sure to spark your kids' curiosity.
The DiMenna Children's History Museum is always a great place to learn about NYC history. But on Sunday, March 25 at 11:30am, the women in your family can share their personal stories by recording their own Family Histories Through Video Storytelling. Although the museum's weekly Sunday Story Hour celebrates women throughout the month, the session that sounds particularly special is on March 18, when Tonya Bolden reads from her book Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl, the real-life tale of an African-American girl who lived in NYC. Both events are free with admission: $15 for adults, $5 for children ages 7-13, free for kids under 7.
Got a Girl Scout or aspiring Brownie? Hit the Scholastic Store this Saturday, March 3 to hear Shana Corey read from Here Come the Girl Scouts!, a biography of the organization's founder Juliette Gordon Low. Kids will also be able to snack on complimentary Girl Scout cookies in honor of the org's 100th birthday. This event is FREE.
Take your kids to the local library to get them interested in women's history. The New York Public Library compiled a special Women's History Month book list for children. If you're looking for a more interactive experience, the central branch of the Brooklyn Public Library is hosting a few cool events. This Saturday, March 3, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music sponsors a Just Girls concert. The all-female band will inspire girls to play "boy" instruments such like drums, bass and tuba. On Saturday, March 10, BPL honors the mother of modern dance, Isadora Duncan, with the teen troupe The Beliloveables performing dances in her style. And on Thursday, March 6, the Battery Park branch of the NYPL welcomes Olympic figure skater and mom Kristi Yamaguchi, who'll share her new children's book It's a Big World, Little Pig!.
Throughout the month, the Intrepid Museum Salutes Women. There are a bunch of cool kids' activities, like the Science & Engineering Weekend on March 3 and 4, Meet the (female) Aviators and Girl Scout Day, both on March 24 and the Women in Aviation: World War II exhibit, which is on view through July 8. All programs are free with admission: $24 for adults, $19 for children ages 7-17, $12 for ages 3-6, free for kids under 3. If you really want to go all out, there are also a pair of girls-only sleepovers in March for $120 a person.
Bring tweens and teens to the Brooklyn Museum's Target First Saturdays on March 3 for its celebration of Fierce, Phenomenal Women. In addition to funky live musical performances and feminist readings like Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution, families can contribute photos of the important women in their lives to community-curated heritage artworks, or create newspaper illustrations. FREE
Got a theater obsessed teen? Then check out the Women Center Stage Festival, 30 days of new plays by women. Subject matter, cost, dates and times all vary. Vibesolos, a collection of short solo pieces by local teenage girls, sounds like a good bet for adolescents.
Finally, a fun and FREE way to celebrate Women's History Month is to visit parks and monuments that honor women. The Parks Department's website has lists of spots in every borough, with info on each namesake. The tributes range from historical greats like a South Bronx playground named for Cleopatra to less well known heroes like 19th-century community activist and Queens grandma Mary Whalen, who has a playground in her honor. It's the perfect way to remind your kids that female icons aren't necessarily household names, they're all around us all the time.
Photo of suffrage parade, New York City, May 6, 1912. Copyright by American Press Association, courtesy of Library of Congress.