Activities for kids: January 18–24

• Free meals are still available at NYC School Meal Hubs.

• The Dyckman Farmhouse Museum posted a long list of activities for education and entertainment.

• The The bike trails in Highbridge Park are open. Be sure to stay in very small groups.

• Kids can use the NYPL’s free online tutoring and anyone can visit the NYPL’s online collection.

• Children are known to be susceptible to Pediatric Multi-Symptom Inflammatory Syndrome. To protect your child. Learn more:

   Se sabe que los niños son susceptibles al Síndrome Inflamatorio de Síntomas Múltiples Pediátricos. Para proteger a tu hijo. Aprende más:


Check organizers’ latest schedules before leaving home


     At a time when we may miss traveling to see family, the Y in Fort George bring pages alive this year with Sharing Our Stories, a series of intergenerational events that build bonds and foster community around Jewish holidays and family narratives.

     This month is the Y’s annual service project. Pack bags for seniors with needed supplies, food, and personal care products. This session draws inspiration from the PJ Library book, Say Hello, Lily, about how children can bring cheer to elders in the community or nursing homes.

     Best for chldren up to age 8. To join, contact Mara Bragg at

     Monday online.



     If you can’t wait to turn the page, the writer has succeeded in telling you a great story. What does it take to develop characters, settings, dialogue, and plot elements that have you on the edge of your seat?

     This workshop from Uptown Stories answers those questions and more! You’ll break down the parts of fiction writing each week and test out what you’ve learned with some on-the-spot writing.

     You’ll work with your peers, too – giving advice and feedback, while hearing what they have to say about your work.

     For ages 8 through 12.

     $600 or pay what you can. Monday evenings from 4:30 to 6:30 from Monday through March 22.



     Learn the basics of dance or improve your skills with classes in ballet/ tap and modern.

     The Dance Project of Washington Heights opens its winter schedule for students every day of the week. The classes are taught online during the pandemic from the group’s Lower WaHi studio.

     Prices and times vary depending on the class. For more information click here.




     Memory is one of the most powerful tools you have as a writers. It is a launching pad and raw material for the imagination, putting the reader in your shoes.

     In this workshop from Uptown Stories, you’ll take your memories beyond the boundaries of the written page, creating a story quilt using fabric, needle and thread.

     Cozbi Cabrera, an author, quilter, doll maker, and new Uptown Stories teacher, will first help you focus in on a moment, a feeling or an event—any experience that is personal and unique to you. You’ll put your story down on paper, then start piecing together the visual that goes along with it, cutting out shapes, arranging and sewing a representation of your story.

     This workshop is perfect for those who have been missing a concrete, tactile art experience! Sewing skills are not necessary to participate. Each participant will receive a packet of fabric, including needles, thread, scissors, ruler and pencil. For ages 11 to 15.

     $600 or pay what you can. Tuesday afternoons from 4 to 6 through March 23.



      City College continues its after-school program for high school students looking to improve ther math and science skills.

     Part of the STEM Institute, it was launched specifically to meet the needs of students who either live or attend school in Upper Manhattan.

     The program offers sessions Tuesdays through Fridays and on Saturdays too.

     Find out more here.



    Youngsters who are interested in literature, visual arts, movement, and music can join a group to enjoy visits from artists, writers, and musicians from all over the world.

     Hosted by Word Up, the winter workshop offers each participant a free copy of Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, by Kevin Noble Maillard; Day You Begin, by Jacqueline Woodson; and Dragons Love Tacos, by Adam Rubin.

     For first and second graders.

     Tuesday evenings from 5 to 6 through March on Zoom.



     The difference between a good writer and a great writer is the willingness to step outside your comfort zone. This workshop from Uptown Writing will push you toward greatness.

     Regardless of your preferred writing genre—all are welcome —the group has two goals in mind: improving your writing and supporting each other. In short, you’re here to work.

    You’ll bulk up your toolkit by reading and analyzing excerpts from George Saunders, Flannery O’Connor, Roxanne Gay, and Pete Wells. Then you’ll take everything you’ve learned and apply it to a single writing project of your choice.

     For ages 13 to 17. To sign up for this workshop, you must have either already participated in an Uptown Stories class or get permission from the instructor. Please contact Kate at for more information.

     $600 or pay what you can. Tuesday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30 through March 23.




     Part Coney Island, part corny, and all fun, it’s an online magic show for everyone.

     Magic with Gary Dreifus of Magic at Coney has become a staple of entertainment in the self-quarantining age.

     Register here. Sponsored by the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood.

     Wednesday mornings at 10:30. Through February 3.




     Join Fort Washington Library’s staff for a virtual read aloud and book chat of two or three of the librarians’ favorite picture books. 

     The program is geared toward children from infants to 5 years old. Both the parent or caregiver and child must be present during the program. 

     Register here.

     Free. Wednesday mornings at 11:30 online.



     Look, listen, sing, and have fun with storytime from home.     

     Join the Cloisters every week for a picture-book reading and an activity connected to The Met collection.

     Recommended for families with children ages 18 months to 6 years. This program is prerecorded.

     Wednesdays at noon on Facebook and YouTube. No login required.



     They are some of the most terrifying and mystical creatures in folklore worldwide. We’re obsessed with their beauty, power and abilities. No matter what you call them – quetzlcoatl (MesoAmerica), ninki nanka (The Gambia), shenlong (China), akhekh (Kemit/Egypt), or vritra (India) – dragons are a major character in our collective story.

     In this workshop from Uptown Writing, participants will research dragons from around the world: different species, behaviors and stories that will inform your  writing. Not only will you build on existing dragon lore, but you’ll take what you’ve learned and create our own dragons, characters and myths that will be told for centuries to come.

     For ages 8 through 12.

     $600 or pay what you can. Wednesday afternoons from 4 to 6 from through March 24.



     Girls, it's time. Time to be smart, time to be creative, time to let your voice be heard!

     Every girl has a story that she needs to shout from the mountain tops—that includes you. Come write, discuss, and revel in what you love, in what inspires you, and discover how you're going to change in the world.

     During this girls-only workshop from Uptown Stories, you'll get energized by a few lady rebels from history, and be surrounded by girls who are ready to take on the world, just like you.

     For ages 11 to 15.

     $600 or pay waht you can. Wednesday evenings from 4:30 to 6:30 starting and continuing through March 24.




     Tired of being inside? Do you want to be wild and break out of the limitations that are always being set?

     Poetry is the answer.

     A group of writers from Uptown Stories is putting on its masks, meeting at the P.S. 187 school yard and going on a poet's adventure.

     Poetry is a way of seeing things outside the boxes they are always being put in. We'll be rejuvenated by the nature of Fort Tryon Park and emboldened by our resilient neighborhood.     

     For ages 10 through 14. Before this workshop begins guardians will be asked to fill out a form  related to COVID-19 protocols. In the event of rain or snow, class will take place via Zoom.

     $600 or pay what you can. Thursday afternoons from 3 to 5 in Hudson Heights starting and continuing through March 25.




     Poems are like miniature worlds, inviting us to think about the familiar in a new way.

     This workshop from Uptown Stories meets safely in person, outdoors in the schoolyard of P.S. 187, and from there goes to Fort Tryon Park for a poetry adventure. 

     The young poets will use scavenger hunts and hands-on building activities to create avatars and dioramas out of natural objects that spark imagination and inspire poetry.

     For ages 8 to 15. Before this workshop begins guardians will be asked to fill out a form related to COVID-19 protocols. In the event of rain or snow, class will be held via Zoom.

     $600 or pay what you can. Friday afternoons from 3:30 to 5:30 in Hudson Heights starting on January 15 and continuing through March 26.




     Teens who like to draw or doodle or who just enjoy art are invited to join the Met Cloisters online for Saturday Sketching.

     Artistically minded illustrators ages 13 through 18 can join the group on Instagram to get inspired by works of art from The Met collection and experiment with different drawing approaches.

     Tag your sketch @metteens to be featured on the Met Teens Instagram account.

     Free. Saturday afternoon, January 23, at 1. On the second and fourth Saturdays of the month through June.



     Pow! Boom! Smash!

     Your stories and illustrations are the next must-read issue. Uptown Stories is going deep into the art of making comic books, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artisan.

     You’ll learn all the steps to comics illustration and development, including pin-ups, single-frame and multi-frame pages, using any pencils, pens, paints, crayons, or other art materials you have at home.

     For ages 10 to 14. Space in this workshop will go faster than a speeding bullet — register now!

     $600 or pay what you can. Saturday afternoons from 2 to 3:30 continuing through April 10.



On-line tutoring

     With kids at home all the time, Patience and Fortitude will get parents only so far!

     The New York Public Library offers ways to keep your family occupied and engaged no matter their age.

     Pre-school: Ideas for playing at home, from music shakers to no-mess finger painting.

     Pre-teens: A range of chapter books that meet the requirement for 30-minute independing reading.

     High school: Books and videos chosen for teens who want more than just an assignment to fulfill.

     The full list of resources is here.



     The NYPL offers free online homework help from one-on-one tutors, daily from 2 to 11 p.m. through a partnership with Brainfuse.
     Available in English and Spanish, for early elementary through high school students, in core subject areas. Explore more from the Library's academic resources 24/7, including
its wide array of online learning aids for all ages and teaching resources for educators.



Virtual learning

     Join Cassie Xu, Director of the Office of Education and Outreach at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, as she builds the simple paper diorama of the Thwaites Glacier.

     Get your colored pencils, scissors, and tape or glue ready and follow along. Share your final creation with on social media (#LDEOtoGO) or email it to

     Download the PDFs of the diorama in color or in black and white to print at home. 



     Ever wanted to create elephant toothpaste? 
     So maybe not. What about lip balm and ice cream? You can do all those on Science Saturdays with Kaitlyn Miller, the science intern at the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum in Inwood, when she leads experiments you can do at home.
     Saturday on Dyckman at Home.
     ¡La pasante científica de DFM, Kaitlyn Miller, liderará experimentos científicos que puedes hacer en casa! A partir del 11 de julio, tendrás la oportunidad de crear pasta de dientes de elefante, bálsamo labial y helado. Asegúrese de sintonizar en nuestros canales de redes sociales y en Dyckman en Casa.

     So you’re stuck doing chares at home when you’d rather be playing in the park.

     How about a little experiment?

     Turn an egg into a rubber ball … make nectar for hummingbirds … maybe figure out how focus binoculars.

     They’re all here, courtesy of the Greenbelt Conservancy, our friends in Staten Island who take care of the parks and open spaces on Richmond.



Uptown activities

     Where are you going?

     Use a compass rose to help you get there. A video from the Hispanic Society will show you how to make one with a potato, some paint and a few more household objects.

     You’ll also learn a bit about maps through the centuries and how explorers used them to travel to places they’d never seen.




     Here’s a way to make your next outing with the kids a little different.

     Print out a family scavenger hunt booklet and take a walk through Fort Tryon Park’s historic estate remnants.

     Find, draw, and map natural marvels and constructed treasures while you explore the path network that leads from Billings Lawn to the Palisades Overlook.

     The booklet is provided by the Fort Tryon Park Trust.

Fort Tryon Park Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger Hunt 2020 Fort Tryon Park.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [5.6 MB]

     Drawing a building is easy when you break it up into shapes.

     See for yourself with some help from the Center For Architecture, which created an instructional lesson and video on how to draw Manhattan’s oldest house, the Morris-Jumel Mansion. The site of a famous meeting held by George Washington, the Jumel Terrace landmark is said to be haunted.

Draw the Morris-Junel Mansion
Adobe Acrobat document [386.3 KB]

     Need something new for the kids to do?

     The Hispanic Society of America offers several coloring pages, each based on one of the most famous paintings in the museum’s collection. Recognize the Duchess of Alba? Download the pdf below.

      And here’s a recap of the Society’s summer camp for kids.

      For adults, the society has posted several lectures here.

¿Necesita algo nuevo para que hagan los niños?
      La Hispanic Society of America ofrece varias páginas para colorear, cada una basada en una de las pinturas más famosas de la colección del museo. ¿Reconoces a la duquesa de Alba? Descargue el pdf a continuación.
       Para los adultos, la sociedad ha publicado varias conferencias aquí.

Color Your Day with Hispanic Society Kids
Adobe Acrobat document [717.7 KB]

     Have someone at home who needs a bigger stage?

     The Pied Piper Children’s Theatre offers a 35-minute musical theater introductory class to take kids through a typical vocal warm-up, stretches, dance warm-up, and even some funny tongue twisters and other facial and speech exercises. The troupe’s artistic director, Colleen Hawks-Pierce, leads, with guest appearances by Uptown teens.

     Free. Watch it here.



     With miles of trails and the best vistas in Manhattan, Uptown is lucky to have amazing parks. Getting out in one can help you relax and excercise at the same time.

     Just be sure to follow these common-sense guidelines:

  • Go out in small groups no bigger than three, making sure that everyone remains at least 6 feet from each other at all times. 
  • If you go out at night, stay near the street, and go with a friend — and maintain that distance of at least 6 feet. 
  • Bike or stroll  on the Greenway along the Hudson or Harlem Rivers. 
  • Do not engage in team sports or other group games. 
  • Use playgrounds at your own risk. Although playground bathrooms remain open and are disinfected daily, the playground equipment is not disinfected. Avoid using playground equipment, but you do, take wipes to sanitize anything you or your child may touch and play on equipment only if you can remain at least 6 feet apart from anyone not in your household.

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      A play that explores the archetype of the Trickster in folk tales and poems from around the world is perfromed by neighborhood children.

     Children ages 5 to 13 became Play Makers, collaborating to create a performance of Trickster Tales.

     The performers also created their own costumes, props, and backdrops to use in the sessions hosted by Pied Piper.

     The performance was postponed to January on a date to be announced.






     The autumn performance from Pied Piper’s merry band of troupers was Robin Hood.

     Uptown kids take all the roles in the timeless tale of taking from the rich and giving to the poor.

     The play takes the virtual stage for opening night in February, with streaming details to follow.






Apothecary Cabinet, 1617–18, Nicolaus Kolb, Germany


     Drop in any time for a virtual session of the popular art-making series and experience The Met collection through creative challenges.

     This week, assemble a collection of personal curiosities inspired by an apothecary cabinet. Check out the inspiration image here, grab a variety of precious finds and everyday objects, and get started whenever you're ready. A spice rack or shoebox can serve as your cabinet. 

     Please note: This event is prerecorded. Be sure to share your drawing on social media using the hashtag #MetSketch.

     Watch on YouTube or Facebook. No login required.

     Free. Sunday morning, January 31, at 10 online.


     Kiara and The Virus / Kiara y el virus engages young readers as it explores being isolated at home  during the pandemic.

     With everyday routines disrupted, Kiara and her pet parrot Lulu discover new ways to support others. In making the best of a challenging situation, Kiara learns that each of us is a hero and that we all can develop empathy for others.

     Jon the release party for the book by Kianny Antigua, whose first book, Greña / Crazy Hair, won first place in the Most Inspirational Children’s Picture Book category of the Latino Book Awards in 2018.

     Register here. Hosted by Word Up.

     Free. Thursday afternoon, February 4, at 4:30 on Zoom.



     The Washington Heights Music Fest in collaboration with Washington Heights Artists’ Movement hosts a monthly open mic for artists, poets, singers, writers and performers. Refreshments will be provided.

     All ages are welcome, so the acts should be appropriate for everyone. Hosted by Lethy Liriano.

     Friday evening, February 5, starting at 6 on the Zoom page of Word Up Community Book Shop in Lower WaHi on Amsterdam Avenue at 165th Street. Typically on the first Friday of the month.



     Gather your family and friends to learn how the flying and fuzzy creatures of Fort Tryon Park survive the colder months.

     The Fort Tryon Park Trust presents this workshop led by Leslie Day, a naturalist and the author of several field guides to nature in New York City. You’ll find out about the park's abundant fauna, including bird species, butterflies, moths, and bees, as well as our four-legged park residents.

     Register here to reserve your spot and receive Zoom login details.

     Free. Sunday afternoon, February 7, at 4 online.



     Instilling values in your children at an early age is important to help build character.

     Join Rabbi Ari Perten and the Y in Fort George to learn practical steps in fostering moral beliefs and positive behavior based on values like kindness, gratitude, justice, and dignity.

     Register here. Hosted by the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood.

     Tuesday night, February 9, at 8 on Zoom. Monthly on the second Tuesday through April.



     What are you reading these days?

     The NYPL is hosting another Graphic Novel Book Discussion It’s a casual session that will focus on what you’re currently reading. Meeting online with other kids from around town, you can discover and learn our interests, favorite books, and new titles.

     For teens. Registration required; the link will be sent to your via email approximately one day before the session.

     Free. Thursday afternoon, February 11, at 3 online.



     Bubbie’s Kitchen is a place where universal Jewish values are shared, holidays are experienced, foods are tasted, and we learn how mitzvot (good deeds) make our world a better place.

     The kitchen is a welcoming place, and there's room for all at Bubbie’s table for children and their families.

     Traditionally, older generations transmit a cultural narrative to younger ones. Children today, however, are less likely to live with, or near, extended relatives. The program replicates a Jewish grandmother’s (Bubbie’s) kitchen where language, recipes, music, stories, and activities can be preserved and passed on to the next generation.

     Register to bake here, where you can also get your ingredients ready from the list of recipes.

     Thursday night, February 11, at 7 on Zoom. Monthly on the second Thursday through June except in April, when it’s on Tuesday the sixth.



     Students interested in music can get a taste of the Jazz Power Initiative’s multidisciplinary approach to jazz education through singing, dancing, acting and jazz cultural immersion.

     Students from Uptown Manhattan and the Bronx who successfully complete at least one Open Studio Class are eligilble to apply for a full scholarship for 12-week Jazz Power Youth training program, which runs April through June. More information on JPI Youth Training here.

     Free. Thursday evening, February 11, from 4:30 to 7 online. Another session is on March 11.


    Do some digging, then get in some riding with your BMX buds.

      Meet up for a day of work and play in the woods and learn what it takes to build, maintain, and ride the most progressive urban bike park in America, with the help of the New York City Mountain Bike Association.

     There will be light trail maintenance tasks for all ages in the morning. Every volunteer receives a free 20-minute clinic and, in the afternoon, a guided ride throughout the trails from 12:30 to 3. Even better, bikes and helmets are provided, so you don’t need your own.  

     Uptown is the home of the city's first mountain biking course, 3 miles of trails of varying difficulty and a free-ride trail that includes drops, steeps, and berms. The park also features a dirt jump park and pump track, making it a good place to develop different skills at all levels.

     Updates on trail work posted are on the New York chapter’s web site.

     Free. Saturday, February 13, from 10 to 3 in Fort George at the BMX trailhead in Highbridge Park, on Fort George Avenue, just northwest of the Buxzek Ballfield. Monthly on the second Saturday.



     Discover the Colonial and early American past of Upper Manhattan when you visit the house where Gen. George Washington slept.

     The Morris-Jumel Mansion hosts a family day activity so kids can get their hands in New York history.

     This week’s topic hasn’t been announced yet.

     Saturday afternoon, February 13, at 1 either at the house on Jumel Tarrace in Lower WaHi or online. Monthly on the second Saturday.



     Day off from school?

     Join the Metropolitan Museum online and create works of art with the curators.

     For families with children ages 3–11.

     The list of suggested materials will be available February 12.

     Free. Monday, February 17, from 10 to 5 online.



     Uncover the world of art at the Cloisters and The Met!

     Jump into stories, mythology, and folklore from around the globe during this interactive program just for kids.

     This is a virtual program. Classes are limited to 25 children and registration is required.

     $200; members, $175. Scholarships are available. Friday afternoons from 3 to 4 starting February 26; through May 7 (no class April 2).


     Mix your own paints and learn various techniques used in works of art in the Cloisters and The Met collections, from ancient panel painting through Pop Art.

     Use a variety of media, including watercolor, acrylic, and tempera to build your own painting portfolio.

     For ages 5 through 8. This is a virtual program. Classes are limited to 25 children and registration is required.

     $200; members $170. Monday afternoons from 4 to 5 from March 1 through April 26 (no class March 29).



     Mix your own paints and learn various techniques used in works of art in the Cloisters and The Met collections, from ancient panel painting through Pop Art.

     Use a variety of media, including watercolor, acrylic, and tempera to build your own painting portfolio.

     For ages 9 through 12. This is a virtual program. Classes are limited to 25 children and registration is required.

     $200; members $170. Tuesday afternoons from 4 to 5 from March 2 through April 27 (no class March 30).



     Dive into stories, songs, and art activities, connecting with the collections of the Cloisters and the rest of The Met — and the world around you.

     Children and their grown-ups explore art making in their own homes and discover new ways to create together.

     This is a virtual program. One adult is required for every child. Class size is limited to 25 children and registration is required.

     $345; members $300. Thursday mornings from 11 to 11:45. March 4 through April 29 (no class April 1).



     At a time when we may miss traveling to see family, the Y in Fort George bring pages alive this year with Sharing Our Stories, a series of intergenerational events that build bonds and foster community around Jewish holidays and family narratives.

     Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup is about a Jewish-Chinese girl who blends the culinary cuisines of the different cultures of her two grandmothers, The event will feature a hands-on, sensory exploration of Passover foods, including charoset recipes from around the world, acknowledging the diversity of heritages among families.

     Best for chldren up to age 8. To join, contact Mara Bragg at

     Sunday, March 21, online.



     Day off from school?

     Join the Cloisters and The Met online and create works of art from their collections.

     For families with children ages 3–11.

     The list of suggested materials will be available March 26.

     Free. Wednesday, March 31, from 10 to 5 online.



     At a time when we may miss traveling to see family, the Y in Fort George bring pages alive this year with Sharing Our Stories, a series of intergenerational events that build bonds and foster community around Jewish holidays and family narratives.

     Inspired by the PJ Library book, Estie the Mensch, this year-end community gathering and celebration will feature ice cream -- related to the menschiness in the book, and Shavuot -- games and music. Families may also share their storybooks and related results of our year-long inter-generational relational work.

     Best for chldren up to age 8. To join, contact Mara Bragg at

     Sunday, May 16, online.



     The annual Drums Along the Hudson began in 2002 as a traditional Pow Wow to celebrate Native American heritage and culture, and also to commemorate the Lenape people who first inhabited Inwood Hill Park, or Shorakapok (“edge of the water”).

     The event features dancers and drummers from around the world, combining Native American heritage, culture and art with the diversity of New York City. Activities include a Tree of Peace planting, international cuisine, Native American storytelling, a Pow Wow and crafts.
     The event has attracted a growing audience, numbering from 400 in the first year to over 8,000 in recent years.
     Free. A Sunday in June
in Inwood Hill Park at Indian Road and 218th Street.



     The creator of Hamilton and the director of Crazy Rich Asians invite you to the event of the summer, where the streets are made of music and little dreams become big … In the Heights.

     Lights up on Washington Heights. The scent of a cafecito caliente hangs in the air just outside the 181st Street subway stop in Fort George, where a kaleidoscope of dreams rallies a vibrant and tight-knit community. At the intersection of it all is the likeable, magnetic bodega owner Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), who saves every penny from his daily grind as he hopes, imagines, and sings about a better life.

     Filmed in WaHi, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s kinetic tale debuts on Friday, June 18, online.


    The Medieval Festival is the most famous event in the Heights, drawing tens of thousands of visitors to the neighborhood.

     Lords, ladies, knights and commoners bring to life the customs and spirit of the middle ages, transforming a slice of Upper Manhattan into a medieval market town decorated with bright banners and processional flags. Visitors are greeted by period music, dance, magic, and minstrels, as well as jugglers and jesters. The day concludes with a joust among four knights on horseback.

     Free. A Sunday in late September or early October in Fort Tryon Park. 



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