December 2, 2013

10 Great Events For December 2013


Pirate School, “A Christmas Story,” “Peter & the Wolf,” and much more family fun.

By Samantha Varner


Kwanzaa Celebration at the American Museum of Natural History; photo by AMNH

Kwanzaa Celebration at the American Museum of Natural History; photo by AMNH

Sour Scrooge
Through December 30
[All Ages]
Let the holiday spirit prevail! Come see Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future in Literally Alive’s musical adaptation of the classic Dickens tale, “A Christmas Carol.” Literally Alive has been bringing—you’ve guessed it—literature to life for children for 14 years, and this engaging performance, like many before it, will inspire plenty of creativity and expression. $25-45; various show times between 11am and 7pm. 115 MacDougal Street, 212-475-1237, literallyalive.com

A Big Apple Adventure
Through January 4
[Ages 5 & Up]
Friends Always Creating Theatre is putting a modern day spin on a fairytale classic in “A Hansel & Gretel Christmas” at the Roy Arias Stage II. Join Hansel and Gretel on their adventure in the big city after being separated from their evil stepmother. A Macy’s elf, a gingerbread lady, and a policeman befriend the siblings as they navigate the crowds of holiday shoppers. Children $24, Adults $32; Saturdays at 1pm. 300 West 43rd Street, 866-811-4111. facttheatre.org

Little Orphan Annie
Through January 5
[Ages 4 & Up]
Last chance to see New York’s favorite orphan belt out unforgettable classics like “It’s a Hard Knock Life” and “Tomorrow!” Annie has been stealing the hearts of audience members for over 30 years, and the musical is now in its final weeks on Broadway at the Palace Theatre. For the most immersive experience, check out the student enrichment guide on the show’s site for hands-on activities. From $57.75; show times from 1pm to 8pm. 1564 Broadway, 877-250-2929, anniethemusical.com

The Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden; photo by Talisman Brolin

The Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden; photo by Talisman Brolin

Train Show Tradition
Through January 12
[All Ages]
The Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Gardens is one of the city’s biggest holiday traditions. Model trains wind through thick forests and alongside flowing creeks. More than 140 landmark replicas line the quarter-mile track, including the original Penn Station and Radio City Music Hall. Check the website for special related events like hands-on activities in the Children’s Garden, train-themed poetry readings, and “Thomas & Friends” performances. Children $10, adults $20; 10am-6pm (7pm weekends). 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, 718-817-8700, nybg.org

African Artistry
December 6 through January 5
[Ages 5 & Up]
Feel the infectious energy of the Tanzania-based dance company Circus Der Shine in “Mother Africa.” Afro-beats, rhythmic dancing, and traditional masks and fabrics blend with acrobatic circus art to create an exuberant performance that embodies African culture at The New Victory Theater. As if that weren’t enough, the show will feature stilt walkers, jugglers, and a contortionist. From $17; various show times from 12pm to 7pm. 209 West 42nd Street, 646-223-3010, newvictory.org

Understanding the Orchestra
December 7, 8, 13, 14 & 15
[All Ages]
Works & Process presents a rendition of “Peter & the Wolf,” a symphony for youngsters, which was originally composed to help children cultivate an understanding of the orchestra at an early age. In addition to the music, this 30-minute performance at the Guggenheim is narrated and choreographed to provide a comprehensive sensory experience for the audience. $35; 2:30pm &  4pm. 1071 Fifth Avenue, 212-423-3597. guggenheim.org

Pirate School at Symphony Space; photo courtesy of Symphony Space

Pirate School at Symphony Space; photo courtesy of Symphony Space

Christmas Cult Classic
December 11 through December 29
[Ages 8 & Up]
Every kid can relate to that pre-holiday anticipation for the perfect present. Bring your kids to join Ralphie on his mission to ensure that he finds what he wants under his tree this year: a Red Ryder BB Gun. “A Christmas Story: The Musical” is returning to Broadway for its second year at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. $49-$199; various show times from 11am to 7:30pm. 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, 212-465-6741, theateratmsg.com

A Fairytale Favorite
December 14, 15 & 22
[Ages 2 & Up]
Experience the magic of “The Nutcracker” brought to you by the New York Theatre Ballet, a special company dedicated to producing a full season of ballet shows for young audience (in addition to adult performances). This enchanting adaptation of the holiday classic at Florence Gould Hall is part of the group’s signature family series, which features kid-friendly, hour-long shows with the same quality and pizzazz as original ballets. $39; 11am, 1pm & 3:30pm. 55 East 59th Street, 212-355-6160, nytb.org

Ahoy, Matey!
December 28
[Ages 2 & Up]
Clown around with comedian and actor David Engel at his energetic one-man show full of magic, slapstick, puppetry, and madcap music. “Pirate School!” is part of the weekly series, Just Kidding, hosted by Symphony Space. This interactive performance has been providing lively family fun for almost two decades, so don’t miss out! Children $15, adults $20; 11am. 2537 Broadway Avenue, 212-864-5400, symphonyspace.org

Mother Africa at The New Victory Theater

Mother Africa at The New Victory Theater

A Kwanzaa Celebration
December 28
[All Ages]
For an extra dose of culture this holiday season, celebrate Kwanzaa at the American Museum of Natural History. Beyond perusing an international marketplace for special gifts and participating in activities just for kids, families will also get to enjoy a variety of energetic performances by New York-based groups. Be it a funky mix of African and jazz dances or a film narrated by Maya Angelou, all will present the African American experience in the most celebratory and accessible ways. Free with museum admission; 12-5pm. Central Park West at 79th Street, 212-769-5100, amnh.org

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