Events great for kids, January 20–26

Monday

     Join NYC Parks Stewardship to celebrate the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

     MLK Day is observed across the country as a day of service for people together to volunteer to improve their communities. Here in Uptown, you can help make parks greener, cleaner, and healthier environments. Volunteers will learn how to identify and safely remove invasive plants to improve the ecosystem.

     Arrive dressed in clothes that can get dirty, warm layers, durable boots or sneakers, and take a water bottle.

     Space is limited and online registration is required. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a chaperone.

     Free. Monday morning from 9 to noon in Inwood Hill Park; meet at Payson House near Dyckman and Henshaw Streets.

 

 

     Get your teens involved in a program promoting health & wellness, education, employment readiness, and creativity.

     Once you’ve signed them up, your kids can attend Uptown Hub programs at the Y. For those 14–24 years old who live, work, or go to school in Washington Heights or Inwood.

     Not sure if it’s for your family? Visit during program hours to learn more, or to contact Karina with questions at kmunoz@ywashhts.org or (212) 569-6200, x239.

     Free. Monday through Thursday nights through June from 6 to 9 at the YM & YWHA in Fort George at 54 Nagle Avenue.

 

 

Friday

     Pre-school kids and their parents or caregivers can enjoy interactive stories, action songs, fingerplays and spend time with other growing kids in the neighborhood at the branch library.

     This month, the children’s musican Ian Hayes leads the group with seasonal favorites.

     For children 3 to 5 years old.

     Free. Story time Friday morning at 10:30 at the Fort Washington branch of the public library in Fort George on 179th Street at St. Nicholas Avenue.

 

 

Saturday

     Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you can’t be active. New York Road Runners hosts a weekly race open to all participants. The finish line is open until the last person is done, on a course of about 2.5 miles.  

     Arrive 15 minutes before the start of the run and to leave their valuables at home – bag check is not provided. No need to do anything before the run, just show up. Open to all ages, experience levels, walkers, strollers, dogs.

     Free. Saturday mornings at 9 in Inwood Hill Park at the intersection of Isham Streat and Seaman Avenue.

 

 

     La experiencia medieval: Talleres bilingües y educativos para la familia.

     Join in guided tours and art activities led in Spanish and English. For families with children ages 311.

     Free with museum admission. Saturday afternoon at 1 at The Met Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park.

 

 

     Get your kids out of the house and into hands-on nature crafting. They can create and decorate their own wind chimes in the shape of leaves of trees native to the area.

     When it’s done you can hang it indoors or out.

     For kids ages 6 to 12. Space is limited and registration is required.

     Free. Saturday afternoon at 2 at a space in Fort Tryon Park that will be shared with participants.

 

 

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Planning ahead

     Does your child love books? Enjoy creative writing? Have an unlimited imagination?

     Uptown Stories offers workshops led by professional writers and master teachers. Students ages 8 to 16 learn the craft of writing, engage their imaginations and join an exciting, supportive community.

     Workshops meet for ten weeks and conclude with a celebratory reading open to family and friends. A list is here.

     Pay-what-you-can tuition. On various days and times at Our Saviour’s Atonement Lutheran Church in Hudson Heights on Bennett Avenue at 189th Street.

 

 

     Row New York’s Row Program is a nine-month-long adventure that teaches students in 7th through 12th grades to be dynamic rowers, entrepreneurs, and community members.

     The idea is to use the skills that rowing instills—discipline and teamwork—to build strength and confidence. The curriculum pairs rowing with an entrepreneurship program which will culminate in participants’ developing an actionable business plan, which they will present in a Shark Tank-style competition.

     Row New York will deliver a rigorous and engaging learning experience, both from a fitness as well as an academic perspective. It meets three times per week for a total of nine hours: two days of rowing and workshops/speakers (an hour and a half each), and one full day of entrepreneurship training (3 hours).

     The program resumed in September and meets three days a week through June. More information is available from Denise Aquino at daquino@rownewyork.org.

    

 

     Take your kids to a community book shop to hear their favorite stories read out loud by experienced, trained readers. Just like their teachers in the classroom, but with new faces and new friends.

     Free. Saturday mornings at 11 at the Word Up Community Book Shop/Librería Comunitaria, in Lower WaHi on Amsterdam Avenue at 165th Street.

 

 

    

     Literacy Inc. holds its regular bilingual story time, with a crafts activity relating to the book. Co-sponsored by the New York Public Library.

     Free. Typically on a Wednesday afternoon at 3 at the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum in Inwood on Broadway at 204th Street.

 

 

 

     Give your pre-schooler a chance to learn and play with neighborhood friends.

     The library’s pre-literacy program is geared for children 3 to 5 years old.

     Free. Monday mornings at 11 at the Fort Washington branch of the public library in Fort George on 179th Street at St. Nicholas Avenue. The library will be closed on MLK Day.

 

 

     What happens when we throw something "away"?

     Join the Urban Park Rangers for a discussion about the fascinating history of New York City's trash system.

     Following the talk, the Rangers will lead a hike to learn how trash impacts the parks and the steps you can take to reduce your waste.

     Free. Saturday morning, February 1, at 11 in the Payson Park House in Inwood Hill Park at Dyckman Street and Payson Avenue.

 

 

     Let your children discover a museum on their own terms. Short frequent visits make more of an impression than a ground tour.

     In this event, curators prepare special offerings for kids ages 3 to 11 to enjoy themselves while learning about medieval art.

     Free with museum admission. Sunday afternoon, February 2, at 1 at The Met Clositers in Fort Tryon Park. Also on February 15: animated animals.

 

 

     The Washington Heights Music Fest in collaboration with W.H.A.M. 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. 

     The first monthly musical open mic will be followed by session on the first Friday of the month. Hosted by Jason Rosario.

     $10. Friday night, February 7, from 6 to 9 at the Word Up Community Book Shop in Lower WaHi on Amsterdam Avenue at 165th Street. On the first Friday of the month.

 

 

     Volunteer with NYC Parks and Natural Areas Conservancy to care for the White and Orange Trails at Inwood Hill Park.

     Join the effort to make the 4.2-mile trails of Inwood Hill Park safer, more accessible, and sustainable through trailblazing, corridor clearing, and debris removal.

     Please note: Space is limited and registration is required. Volunteers under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

     Free. Saturday morning, February 8, from 9 to noon, meeting at Payson Park House in the park near Dyckman Street and Payson Avenue.

 

 

     Life for kids was different before the American Revolution, and there’s a hands-on way they can find out what it was like.

     It’s part of the month family program in the museum’s Colonial Kitchen.

     Saturday, February 8, at noon at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Lower WaHi on Jumel Terrace.

 Monthly on the second Saturday.

 

 

     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, a 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.

     Free. Sunday, February 9, 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 Sunday.

 

 

     Be inspired by artists and original works of art when you experience The Met Cloisters collection through creative drawing in the galleries.

     Open to visitors of all ages. Artist-led demonstrations repeat every 30 min. Ask at the admission desk for location.

     Take your own supplies.

     Free with museum admission. Saturday, February 22, from noon to 2 at the Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park.

 

 

     Music is the theme of the Washington Heights Salsa, Blues and Shamrocks 5K.
     The route is Fort Washington Avenue from Lower WaHi to the Cloisters and back, so prepare for a busy street. In 2015 more than 6,000 runners finished the 3.2-mile race. It’s one that qualifies for entry in the New York City Marathon, in November.
     Fee varies by age and classification. Usually the first Sunday morning in March, starting at J. Hood Wright Park in Lower WaHi.

 

 

     Make plans to watch the student entries in the fifth annual Inwood Film Festival, whose entrants are filmmakers who reside in and around Upper Manhattan.

     The films take place in Uptown and the Bronx, so you’re going to see your home in any of the screenings.

     Thursday through Saturday, March 12 through 14, with locations and times to be announced later.

 

 

 

     Will the princess notice the pea?

     Find out in Pied Piper’s production of Once Upon a Matress, staged by Uptown kids. 

      $20; students and seniors, $10. Friday night, March 27, at 7, Saturday, March 28, at 3 and 7, and Sunday afternoon, March 29, at 3 at the YM & YWHA in Fort George at 54 Nagle Avenue. Also on April 3–5.

 

 

     Kids who want a taste of dancing on stage are invited to audition for The 12 Deancing Princesses. The summer performance by Pie Piper is adapted for stage and directed by Colleen Hawks-Pierce.

     Chilren ages 6 to 13 should have a dance prepared. You need to attend only one audition night.
     Monday nights, March 30 and April 6, from 5:30 to 8 at the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood in Fort George at 54 Nagle Avenue.

 

 

     Life’s not always a whirl of fun for The Twelve Dancing Princesses.

     Staged by Uptown kids, the play is presented by the Pied Piper Children’s Theatre and is adapted for the stage and directed by
Colleen Hawks-Pierce.

           $20; students and seniors, $10. Saturday, May 9, at 3 and 7, and Sunday afternoon, May 10, at 3 at the YM & YWHA in Fort George at 54 Nagle Avenue. Also on May 16 and 17.
 

 

     Give your children the chance to explore yoga outdoors.

     Parent & Me is open to any caregiver and their child, led by  Christina Shablak, a certified children’s instructor. All children are welcome with a parent or caregiver.

     Please arrive early, and bring a towel or yoga mat, and note that the ground is sloped with uneven spots. Rain or wet ground cancels. Register here.

     Free. Saturday mornings starting May 30 on Abby’s Lawn in Fort Tryon Park. Through September 26.

 

 

     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 of the 181st Street subway stop in Fort George, where a kaleidoscope of dreams rallies our 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 26, at screens across the city.

 

 

     Columbia Athletics hosts Little Lions Camp, a kid-centered, fun-based day camp that keeps kids physically and creatively active.

     Programming features an ever changing combination of classic PE games, backyard favorites, sports, arts and crafts, and special surprises to keep kids happy, active, and engaged.

     A highly trained, eclectic staff includes physical education teachers, athletes, camp veterans, creative types and child care specialists who ensures that games are always changing and that counselors can tailor programming to fit children’s needs and likes. Registration required.

     Two sessions: Mondays through Fridays, August 3 through 7 and 10 through 14 at the Baker Athletic Complex on 218th Street in Inwood.

 

 

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 from 11:30 to 6 in Fort Tryon Park.   

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