Through December 30
A Classic Thrill
What better organization to bring Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to life for kids than Literally Alive, the theater that fosters a love of literature through the performing arts? This Michael Sgouros and Brenda Bell adaptation is heartwarming and festive, and perfectly timed at just an hour long. Little drama buffs will love the pre-show workshop, also an hour, which includes a discussion of how the theater converted the story of Ebenezer Scrooge from book to show, as well as an art project for a souvenir.
Free for babies under 2 sitting in laps, children and adults $25; dates and times vary. Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal Street, 212-475-1237, literallyalive.com
Through December 30
Wonder From Down Under
Australia’s eccentric Circus Oz, returning to The New Victory on its From the Ground Up tour, is no ordinary troupe. With a rock ‘n’ roll sensibility and a wicked sense of humor, the Holiday Show’s juggling, trapezing, and acrobatting embody a lesson that kids already know well—to laugh and not to take yourself too seriously. From swinging drums to a wheeling human pyramid, you’ll have to see this zany, thrilling spectacle to believe it.
From $17; dates and times vary. The New Victory Theater, 209 West 42nd Street, 646-223-301, newvictory.org
Through December 30
Have Yourself A Beary Christmas
The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre gets multicultural—and multi-animal—with “The Three Bears Holiday Bash,” which mixes song, dance, and puppetry. An interactive “12 Days of Christmas” sing-a-long invites humans to join in on the ursine adventure, inspired by stories from Hanukkah and Kwanzaa as well as Christmas. As things go awry after Baby Bear enlists Santa to join Mama and Papa Bear’s holiday show, the audience will find something for every faith in this beary funny production.
Children under 12 $5, adults $8; dates and times vary. Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre, enter at 81st Street and Central Park West, 212-988-9093, cityparksfoundation.org
Through January 13
The Holiday Train Show is back at the New York Botanical Garden, this year with a delicious gingerbread theme. The typical replicas of landmarks like Yankee Stadium and the Brooklyn Bridge aside, kids will love decorating gingersnap cookies and admiring local bakery creations in a real-life gingerbread playhouse. Other specials include “The Little Engine That Could” puppet show, documentary screenings about how the Show is created, and, in January, Thomas and Friends performances.
Free for babies under 2, children 2-12 $10, students and seniors $18, adults $20; 10am-5pm Tuesday through Sunday. New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, 718-817-8700, nybg.org
Your Eyes On The Stars And Your Feet On The Ground
Our 26th President (and NYC native) had been a naturalist since childhood, and the American Museum of Natural History’s newly reopened Theodore Roosevelt Memorial is all about his conservationist interests. Keep an eye out for the 18 animals in the Central Park West building façade, Teddy’s famous quotes in the rotunda, and, on the 8th, the related Sketching Safari workshop where kids will learn commander-level skills of observation and drawing.
Children $14.50, students and seniors $19, adults $25; 10am-5:45pm daily. American Museum of Natural History, 200 Central Park West, 212-769-5199, amnh.org
December 2, 8, 14 & 17
92Y is once again kicking off their Hanukkah celebrations with a festival of dreidel decorating, candle making, and olive oil producing alongside a bevy of bilingual performances. As the month continues, the Hanukkah Lighting ceremony brings singing, dancing and chocolate gelt candies to the lobby, then a dinner with Karina Zilberman serves up latkes, challah, menorah, and Shabbat candles. Last but not least is the December Dilemma discussion for parents, all about navigating interfaith holidays.
Dates, times, and prices vary. 92Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, 212-415-5500, 92y.org
December 7-9, 15, 16 & 22
A Twinkle Toe Holiday
Nothing conjures the magic of the season like a stunning rendition of “The Nutcracker.” Always a family favorite, The New York Theatre Ballet condenses the enchanted adventure into an hour-long, kid-friendly affair complete with energetic choreography and resplendent Met Opera-grade costumes. Parents, rest assured: Even if this is the only version of the classic ballet that you catch this season, its Art Nouveau set and world-class dancers create a sophisticated enough show to please any grown-up enthusiast.
From $35 (under 12) and $40 (adults); 11am, 1pm, and 3:30pm. Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street, 212-679-0401, nytb.org
December 8, 9, 14, 15, 16
Who’s Afraid Of The Big, Bad Wolf?
At the Guggenheim Museum, the children’s classic “Peter & The Wolf” gets a fresh thrill every year with a mesmerizing related artwork. This winter, artist Will Cotton will introduce a scrumptious-looking gingerbread chalet cradling characters from Sergei Prokofiev’s classic story. The 30-minute performance itself will once again be narrated by fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi, in sync with live music by the illustrious Julliard Ensemble with George Manahan at its helm—an iconic group befitting an iconic venue.
$35; 2:30pm and 4pm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, 212-423-3587, guggenheim.org
Chanukah On Ice
Those who celebrate the holiday—or who simply love the ice with an appreciation for culture—are invited to light a six-foot-tall hand-carved ice menorah at Wollman Rink during Chabad’s Chanukah On Ice skating party. On the first night of the Festival of Lights, enjoy kosher bites, Yeshiva Maccabeats tunes, crafts, and more, all rolled up into one great night of frosty fun.
Free for babies under 3, children 13 and under $18, adults $22; 6-9pm. 830 Fifth Avenue, 212-864-5010, chanukahonicenyc.com
I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll
Music is the best when you can enjoy it uninhibited, and Uncle Rock’s folksy jams allow kids to do just that. Children who love to be treated like adults will appreciate this accidental family musician’s mix of upbeat tunes and real-life issues–his great hits touch upon everything from consumption (“Too Many Presents”) to endangered animals (“Polar Bear Over There”). Rock it out with him at Symphony Space for an offbeat, down-to-earth holiday season for the books.
Children $13, adults $20; 11am. Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, 212-864-5400, symphonyspace.org