7 Things to Do With Your Kids in N.Y.C. This Weekend

Our guide to cultural events in New York City for children and teenagers happening this weekend and in the week ahead.

CLIMATE SPEAKS 2019 at the Apollo Theater (June 14, 7 p.m.). Expect lots of thunder and lightning at this event, regardless of the weather. The young people onstage, finalists in the first Climate Speaks competition, plan to electrify the audience with their own urgent statements about environmental crisis. Sponsored by the Climate Museum and the New York City Department of Education, with assistance from Urban Word NYC, the contest program offered high school students free workshops to learn about climate change and develop their poetry skills. Each participant could then submit an original work to a panel of judges, who chose a smaller group to continue working and rehearsing with professionals. Selected through auditions in May, the finalists delivering poems and raps on Friday evening will compete not only for prizes, but also for the attention of a generation with the power to make future policy.

FLAG DAY PARADE, CELEBRATION AND OPEN HOUSE at the Fraunces Tavern Museum (June 14, noon-5 p.m.). Families can honor Flag Day at a place that helped give birth to the republic the flag represents: the Fraunces Tavern Museum, which in its days as a colonial inn helped shelter many an early patriot. Presented by Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York, the program will begin with a free parade that starts at City Hall and proceeds through Lower Manhattan to the steps of the museum. There, student winners of an essay contest on the meaning of the flag will read their work, and schoolchildren will perform patriotic songs. Home to swashbuckling shows like “Confidential: The American Revolution’s Agents of Espionage,” the museum will be open the rest of the day for a fee that the famously thrifty Benjamin Franklin might have approved of: $1.
212-425-1778, frauncestavernmuseum.org

NATIONAL DANCE INSTITUTE’S 2019 EVENT OF THE YEAR: ‘VOICES OF CHANGE’ at N.Y.U. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (June 15, 5 p.m.; June 16, 2 and 5 p.m.; June 17, 6:30 p.m.). Sometimes movement can convey a message as effectively as words. In these shows, the National Dance Institute, a nonprofit that brings free arts programs to public schools, will present more than 200 talented students performing original choreography about activism and change. (The Monday show is a benefit that includes an after-party.) Directed by Jennifer Aks-Neuman and featuring live music, the dances will explore social reforms and the galvanizing work of leaders like Susan B. Anthony, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani Nobel laureate who risked her life to promote education for girls.
212-226-0083, nationaldance.org

NEW PLAYS FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES: ‘ITZEL: THE PIRATE QUEEN’ at Provincetown Playhouse (June 15, 7:30 p.m.; June 16, 3 p.m.). Pirate stories tend to be filled with macho flourishes, but this one, recommended for those 10 and older, features a high-seas treasure seeker who happens to be female. Itzel, the Mayan heroine, becomes a buccaneer herself after being captured by the fictional Captain Blood while she is on a mission to save her little brother, Dacey, from Spanish kidnappers. The siblings do not see each other for many years until Dacey, now fighting for Spain, defeats Itzel, whom he has long forgotten. Can she make her brother see who she really is? Presented as part of an annual series of plays in development from the educational theater program of the Steinhardt School at N.Y.U., José Cruz González’s “Itzel” will be performed in free staged readings that will give audiences insights into how shows evolve.
212-998-5869, events.nyu.edu

[Read about the events that our other critics have chosen for the week ahead.]

NYC KIDSFEST at Morningside Park (June 15, 2-7 p.m.) and Jackie Robinson Park (June 16, 2-7 p.m.). You could think of this as an annual Woodstock for the under-12 set, with free admission and much more than music. And this year the festival has something important to celebrate: It has expanded to two days in two Manhattan parks. (The rain date for both programs is June 22.) Offering workshops as well as performances, NYC Kidsfest will provide opportunities to practice acting with the Classical Theater of Harlem, movement with the Uptown Dance Academy and art with the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling. A variety of acts will also take the stage, including, on both days, the high-energy magician the Amazing Max and Galli Theater New York, which will present its interactive production of “The Three Little Pigs.” The festival’s bands should delight even adults, with Saturday sets by Uptown Social Club and the New York Arabic Orchestra.

POLLINATORS WEEKEND at Wave Hill (June 15-16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.). We often think of summer insects as pests, but many qualify for a far more flattering term: pollinators. This Bronx public garden will focus on that important role this weekend as it invites children to do science as well as art. On both days, young people can take part in the Empire State Native Pollinator Survey, a community research project to observe and record bees and other pollinators. Additional highlights will include viewing (from a safe distance) an open apiary; building take-home housing for local bees; going on guided garden walks to spy on pollinators at work; participating in a family art workshop to make lanterns filled with models of flowers and creatures like butterflies, hummingbirds or bats; and, on Saturday, hearing about bee biology from Louise Lynch-O’Brien, an entomologist. (A detailed schedule is on the website.)
718-549-3200, wavehill.org

SUPERPOWER DOGS DAY at the New York Hall of Science (June 15, noon-3 p.m.). The canine rescuers that this Queens museum will celebrate can’t scale skyscrapers, shift shapes or leap tall buildings. Their expert skills, however, can save human lives, so it’s easy to see why the documentary “Superpower Dogs 3D” compares its subjects to superheroes. The Hall of Science, which will show the film through May 2020, is honoring the project’s New York premiere with appearances by Halo, a Dutch shepherd whose disaster-response training the movie chronicles, and her handler, Capt. Kristian Labrada (known as Cat) of the Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue Department. Labrada and Halo will introduce the film’s screenings at noon (for museum members only) and 2 p.m. (for all visitors), as well as greet fans afterward. Molly, a Dalmatian cast member who is also the Keep Kids Fire Safe Foundation mascot, will raise a paw to induct children as junior firefighters at a 1 p.m. safety demonstration in which she will show off her talents. Representatives of PupScouts, a service organization for dogs and their owners, will also attend the furry festivities.
718-699-0005, nysci.org

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