Activities for kids: October 18–24

Monday

     Whether you’re a returning student or new to Uptown Stories workshops, Once Upon Un Tiempo is the perfect combination of art and words. The best picture books transcend age and time, such as My Hair is a Garden or Where the Wild Things Are. 

     Teaching artist Dorkys Ramos will inspire you to create your own story and art—and if you need another reason to register, just check out the instant classic, Wait, Hibiscus! 

     Open to all students ages 8 to 11; register now at UptownStories.org.
     This bilingual class is being held in partnership with
Word Up Community Bookshop.

     $25. Mondays from 4:30 to 6:30 at Recirculation, at 876 Riverside Drive at 160th Street. Through November 29.

 

 

     If you can’t wait to turn the page, the writer succeeded in telling 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 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 kids 8 to 12. Register here. Please note this workshop meets in person, and before it begins guardians will be asked to fill out additional paperwork related to Covid-19 protocols.

     $600 or pay what you can. Monday evenings from 4:30 to 6:30 at the Cornerstone Center Library in Hudson Heights at 178 Bennett Avenue. Through November 20.

    

 

     The difference between a good writer and a great writer is stepping outside your comfort zone; this workshop will push you toward greatness.

     Your preferred genre doesn’t matter—all are welcome—because the group has two goals: improving your writing and supporting each other.

     The workshop starts with advanced craft exercises, playing with voice, point-of-view, challenging word counts, and unreliable narrators. You’ll also bulk up your toolkit by analyzing excerpts from George Saunders, Flannery O’Connor, Roxanne Gay, and Pete Wells.

     Then, you’re free. Take everything you’ve learned and apply it to a single writing project of your choice. Expect to write at least two pages a week on your own time, and share your work with the group every other week.

     For writers 13 to 18. To sign up for this workshop, you must have either already participated in an Uptown Stories class or get the instructor’s permission. Contact Kate at kate@UptownStories.org for more info.

     Please note this workshop meets in person, and before it begins guardians will be asked to fill out additional paperwork related to Covid-19 protocols.

     $600 or pay what you can. Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7:30 at the Cornerstone Center Library in Hudson Heights at 178 Bennett Avenue. Throuhg December 7.

 

 

Wednesday

     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.

 

     Girls, the world is about to be yours.

     With all its beauty and all its shortcomings, you’re going to be faced with more choices than your mothers and grandmothers could have ever imagined. Your voice will have as much power as any other woman’s has had in human history, and countering that will be generations-old ingrained bias and inequality.

     This is the workshop where we rise to the challenge our predecessors laid before us. In it, you will take an in-depth look at current events, expectations and trends that are directly affecting you and your fellow women warriors. The writing projects will pour from our hearts and heads, addressing our own experiences and those of others who self-identify as girls and women. We won’t be afraid of the truth, nor will we shy away from possibility.

     For girls ages 12 through 16. Register here. All who self-identify as girls, women, trans, or gender nonconforming are welcome—just bring the bravest and most honest you.

     $600 or pay what you can. Wednesday afternoons from 4 to 6, on Zoom. Through December 1.

 

 

     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 stories worldwide.

     In this workshop for 11- to 14-year-olds, you’ll research a multitude of different dragon species, behaviors and stories to inform our own writing. Not only will your build on dragon lore, you’ll also take what you learn and create your own dragons, characters and myths that will be told for centuries to come.

     Register here.

     $600 or pay what you can. Wednesday afternoons from 4 to 6, online. No meeting on November 24. Through December 1.

 

 

Thursday

     Tired of being inside? Want to break out of the limitations that are always being set?

     Poetry is the answer.

     Put on your mask, meet at the P.S. 187 school yard and go on a poet's adventure.

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

     For ages 8 to 13. Register here. This workshop meets in person, and before it begins guardians will be asked to fill out additional paperwork related to Covid-19 protocols.

     $600 or pay what you can. Thursday afternoons from 3:30 to 5:30. Meet at the Hudson Cliffs School in Hudson Heights on Cabrini Boulevard before heading to Fort Tryon Park. The class does not meet on Thanksgiving. Through December 9.

 

 

     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—and 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, 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.

Any and all kinds of writing are welcome, from real-life to poems to fiction. You just need bring the unique girl you are. All awesome girls (and those who self-identify as a girls, women, trans, or gender nonconforming) need to apply soon because space is limited, unlike your potential.

     For girls ages 8 to 11. Register here. Please note this workshop meets in person, and before it begins guardians will be asked to fill out additional paperwork related to Covid-19 protocols.

     $600 or pay what you can. Thursday evenings from 4:30 to 6:30, at the Cornerstone Center Library in Hudson Heights at 178 Bennett Avenue. The class does not meet on Thanksgiving. Through December 9.

 

     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.

 

 

Friday

     Teens 16 years and older will learn how to properly use weight machines to build muscle and increase their strength. Billiards are part of the optional cool-down.

     To participate, you must have an NYC Parks Recreation Center membership. Become a member today.

     Registration for the weight training is required separately.

     Free. Friday afternoons from 3:30 to 4:30 at the recreation center in J. Hood Wright Park in Lower WaHi on Fort Washington Avenue at 175th Street. Through December 17.

 

 

     Put yourself in a Halloween mood by exploring a Colonial mansion after dark—by candlelight.

     Each explorer will receive an electric candle to illuminate the house as a guide explains the property’s history and the spirits who may still inhabit the space. 

     The event is limited to those 14 years of age and over; minors must be accompanied by an adult. Register here.

     $32.68. Friday night at 7 at the Morris-Jumel Mansion on Jumel Terrace.

 

 

Saturday

     Everybody loves the rise of a hero. But what about those who go the other way?

     Why do Lord Voldemort, Darth Vader, the Wicked Witch and Loki all choose a darker path?

     Books, movies, and TV are full of fascinating villains and foes, all with their own backstories—and here’s where your adventure begins!

     In this workshop, you’ll turn the accepted hero vs. villain storyline on its head. Writing from your favorite anarchist’s prospective, you’ll dive into who this person is and explain to the world how and why he or she prefers to sow chaos and fear while battling the forces of good.

     There’s limited space for being part of your favorite villain’s history. Register here.

     For kids ages 8 to 11. Please note this workshop meets in person, and before it begins guardians will be asked to fill out additional paperwork related to Covid-19 protocols.

     $600 or pay what you can. Saturday mornings from 10 to noon at the Cornerstone Center Library in Hudson Heights at 178 Bennett Avenue. The class does not meet on November 27. Through December 4.

 

 

     Welcome to Snobby Poetry, should you be up for the challenge.

     It’s a self-motivated, uber-supportive band of misfits who read, write, and share poems. We love words, rhyme (only when used sparely, thank you), observation, and Walt Whitman (obviously.)

     Poetry is an illogical measuring device, filled with seemingly impossible comparisons and instructions; that is why poets are called to write it. Join the liars who tell the truth.

     If this sounds like you, or if you’ve already taken a class with Jane LeCroy and want more, Snobby Poetry is the workshop for you.

     For ages 14 to 16. Register here.

     Please note this workshop meets in person, and before it begins guardians will be asked to fill out additional paperwork related to Covid-19 protocols.

     $600 or pay what you can. Saturday afternoons from 1 to 3 at the Cornerstone Center Library in Hudson Heights at 178 Bennett Avenue. The class does not meet on November 27. Through December 4.

 

 

 

     Along with artists from the Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders, join a workshop to decorate and paint clay sculptures and pendants.

     The workshop is open to the whole family.

     Free. Saturday afternoon from 3 to 5 at the Hispanic Society on Audubon Terrace on Broadway at 155th Street.

 

 

 

     Grab your pens and your moral compass because you’re going on an epic journey!

     With Josh Bayer as your brave leader, you’ll create, write, and illustrate comics featuring your own heroes, from origin story to the victorious last battle.

     Who is your hero? An ordinary human? Space Cat? Robot? And where do they come from? Earth? A distant planet? Down the street?

     Superpowers too? Anything is possible in a Hero's Journey!

     Previous comics experience is not required for this workshop, nor are capes or X-ray vision. If this workshop is your true destiny, don’t hesitate to register now. For ages 9 to 14.

     Please note this workshop meets in person, and before it begins guardians will be asked to fill out additional paperwork related to Covid-19 protocols.

     $600 or pay what you can. Saturday afternoons from 3 to 5 at the Cornerstone Center Library in Hudson Heights at 178 Bennett Avenue. The class does not meet on November 27. Through December 4.

 

 

     The spirits of a deceased couple are harassed by an unbearable family who moves into their home, and hire a malicious spirit to drive them out. Starring Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, Alex Baldwin, and Dick Cavet, Beeteljuice is rated PG.

    Wear your best costume for a chance to win a spook-tacular prize.

    Grab a blanket and take in a movie under the stars.  Seating is limited but reservations are not taken, so arrive in plenty of time.

     Free. Saturday evening with activities starting at 5 and the film at around 6:30 on the Dongan Lawn in Fort Tryon Park.

 

     Want to see a meteor?

     Let the Urban Park Rangers help you in a survey of the October night sky. Rangers will provide an overview of the science, history, and folklore of astronomy and our universe, followed by guided observations through telescopes and binoculars.

     With any luck you’ll get to see one of the twenty meteors of the Orionid Meteor Shower.

     Take your own observation tools or use the Rangers’ telescope.

     Free. Saturday night from 6 to 9 at the Payson Park House in Inwood Hill Park near the intersection of Dyckman Street and Payson Avenue.

 

 

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
Drawing-Buildings-Activity-Final-2020-2.[...]
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
hsml-kids-coloringbook-final.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [717.7 KB]

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     The Anne Loftus Playground will be closed for a year to get a complete overhaul.

     The playground received $4.2 million in capital reconstruction funding to overhaul the water feature and spray shower, provide ADA upgrades, install new play and exercise equipment and add plantings. A new half basketball court and new climbing equipment will also be added to the playground.

     Closed until August 2022.

 

      Elementary, or not?

      The Pied Piper Children’s Theatre presents its autumn production, Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars.

      The troupe has its home in Inwood and casts Uptown kids for all its parts. They’re pretty good, too: Its spring play, Robin Hood, was made into a film, which has been accepted for the Kids First Film Festival.

      Free. Friday evenings at 6 and Saturdays at 2 and 6 on October 29 and 30 and November 5 and 6 on the plaza of Audubon Terrace, on Bradway at 165th Street.

 

 

     Celebrate Halloween with the Morris-Jumel Mansion by joining us for a unique tour of the house by candlelight.

     Each guest will receive a candle (don’t worry, it’s fake) to guide them through the house while learning about its history and hearing spooky stories of the spirits who may still inhabit the house. Participants may also make their own paper lantern craft on the exterior of the house (in the event of rain, supplies for this activity will be distributed as a take-home project). 

     For kids 8 and older. Costumes are permitted but there is no trick-or-treating. See the registration page for vaccine requirements.

     $11.64 for up to five family members. All Hallow’s Eve at 4 and 4:30 at the mansion in Lower WaHi on Jumel Terrace.

 

 

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

 

 

     Discover how families lived in New York when it was British, and instead of a president New Yorkers had a king.

     The Morris-Jumel Mansion is Manhattan’s oldest house. It offers family activities every month.

     This month celebrates the day of the dead with a special craft activity for kids.

     Saturday afternoon, November 13, from 1 to 3 at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Lower WaHi in Roger Morris Park.

 

 

     This year marks the 245th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Washington, a key event during the Revolutionary War.

     Be transported back in time and celebrate local history. Come to watch a blacksmith demonstration, listen to live 18th-century music, make arts and crafts, and play games from the revolutionary period.

     Tour the battle scene with heroine Margaret Corbin, depicted in the painting above after her husband had been killed in the battle and she took his position to fire the cannon.

     Prizes will be offered for the most authentic costumes. Pack a picnic lunch for the afternoon.

     Free. Sunday, November 14, from noon to 3 on the café lawn in Fort Tryon Park (even though Fort Washington was in Bennett Park).

 

 

     Discover how families lived in New York when it was British, and instead of a president New Yorkers had a king.

     The Morris-Jumel Mansion is Manhattan’s oldest house. It offers family activities every month.

     This month kids will make holiday decorations from the eighteenth century. No blinking lights!

     Saturday afternoon, December 11, from 1 to 3 at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Lower WaHi in Roger Morris Park.

 

 

     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 early June in Inwood Hill Park at Indian Road and 218th Street.

 

 

    The festival was canceled again this year.

    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.

     The city is not permitting events as large as the festival, which brings tens of thousands of people.

     Free. Sunday, October 2, 2022, in Fort Tryon Park.

  

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