Activities for kids: May 10–16

     With kids spending free time at home instead of with friends, 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.



Check organizers’ latest schedules before leaving home


     Build new worlds, brick by brick. 

     In this workshop for 11- to 14-year-olds, you’ll be the mastermind of your imagined world’s past, present and future, setting up the foundation of your story.

     Since this fantastical new landscape will play a major role in your storyline, you’ll start by drawing detailed maps, giving it features like water, mountains, borders and weather.

     Then you’ll go even further, using Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky as our inspiration. You’ll invent inhabitants for your world, giving them robust backstories through letter-writing, journals and social media. Maybe you’ll put robots in charge, or create a secret language only spoken in your world!

     You are the keeper of this world, and what you say goes!

     Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 to 5 on Zoom. Through June 23.



     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 for 8- to 12-year-olds answers those questions and more.

     You’ll learn to 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.

     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.

     Monday afternoons from 4:30 to 6:30 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Hudson Heights 178 Bennett Avenue. Through June 25.




     Do you know why May 5th is celebrated in Mexico? What happened that date? 
     Find out in
this video by the Mexican artist Felipe “Feggo” Galindo, who will explain the history of Cinco de Mayo in Mexico and why we celebrate it in the United States. 

     To take part, get together household items for a project: paper plates, eraser, ruler, markers, pencil colors and watercolors (if you’re in the mood to paint).

     Get out your easel for a watercolor painting workshop in partnership with Seeds of the League. 

     The artist Sonomi Kobayashi will teach you how to draw and paint using nature as your inspiration. Learn about light, color, and design while making art en plein air. All levels from beginners to advanced are welcome.

      Sonomi is from Japan and lives in New York. She is interested in science, nature, and spirituality, and studied sculpture and printmaking at the Art Students League of New York, receiving her painting certificate and Will Barnet Grant for printmaking. She works out of her Bushwick studio.

     Take a mat, blanket, or folding chair to sit on, and take your own watercolors, paper, water, and brushes. Limited supplies will be provided.

     Please register at The class size is limited to 25 and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Families are welcome.

     Tuesday from noon to 2 at 218th Street and Indian Road at Inwood Hill Park.



     The difference between a good writer and a great writer is the willingness to step outside your comfort zone.

     This workshop will push you toward greatness.

     Regardless of your preferred writing genre — the groups welcomes them all — you’ll gather with two goals in mind: improving our own writing and supporting each other.

     You’ll be challenged with advanced craft exercises, playing with voice, point-of-view, challenging word counts, and unreliable narrators, among others. For the second half of the workshop, we’ll set you free. Expect to write at least two pages a week on your own time, and share your work with the group every other week.

     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. At St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Hudson Heights 178 Bennett Avenue. Through June 22.



      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.




     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 recorded.

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



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

     With Josh Bayer as our brave leader, we’ll be creating, writing, and illustrating comics featuring our very 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? NYC? Are they on a quest?

     Maybe your hero will have extraordinary powers, like controlling gravity or talking to animals. Or maybe they’ll have a sidekick. Anything is possible in this Hero's Journey!

     For writers aged 10 to 14. Previous comics experience is not required for this workshop, nor are capes or X-ray vision.

     $600 or pay what you can. Wednesday and Saturday afternoons from 4 to 5 online. Through June 26.



     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 writing 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 girl) need to apply soon because space is limited, unlike your potential.

     $600 or pay what you can. Wednesday afternoons at 4:30 on Zoom. Through June 23.




     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. 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 your resilient neighborhood.

     Explore the wilds of language out in the world (safely!), allowing a stream of poetry to flow from the river of possibility.

     Thursday afternoons at 3 in Hudson Heights. Through June 24.



     Have a drama queen or king who needs a bigger stage?

     A Very Grimm Festival presents short plays for 6-to 13-year-old actors, directed by Yvonne Anderson-Bill, with the support of Maggie Attaway and the Actors’ Society of Pied Piper Children’s Theatre.

     The original plays are based on fairy tales chosen by the cast. Rehearsals will be held in a local park when weather permits and on Zoom when it doesn’t. All Covid safety protocols to be followed.

     Children will learn staging and acting through drama games as well as through traditional staging techniques culminating in a final outdoor performance in June.    

     $300. Thursday and Sunday afternoons from 3:30 to 6 through June 17.


     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 at 7 on Zoom. Also on June 10.




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

     Here’s a workshop for 8- to 15-year-olds that meets safely in person, outdoors in Fort Tryon Park together 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 to spark imagination and inspire poetry about whatever your want.

     Using poetry to imagine the fantastic out of the ordinary, you can make new sense out of the old chaos that confronts us every day.

     Friday afternoons at 3:30. Meet in the school yard of P.S. 187 in Hudson Heights. Through June 25.




     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.




     Kids who want to be sluggers can get their start Uptown.

     The Hudson Cliffs Baseball League is open to children of all ability levels from age 5 to 10, with the goal of developing young peoples’ baseball skills. The coaches foster a love for the game in a fun, positive, and inclusive environment.

     Sponsored by the YM & YWHA of WaHi in Fort George, the co-ed league is made possible by parent volunteers.

     Register here.

     $250, Y members, $230. Sunday mornings starting at the Dyckman Fields at the west end of Dyckman Street in Inwood Hill Park. Through June 13 (with June 20 as a rain date).


     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 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 the results of our year-long inter-generational relational work.

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

     Sunday online.



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 chores 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.



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     Join Word Up Books’ resident story-teller, Mariel Escalante, for a bilingual storytime for kids of all ages via Zoom.

     Únase con nuestra narradora residente Mariel Escalante para disfrutar de una hora de cuentos bilingüe para niños de todas las edades a través de Zoom.

     Free. Saturday afternoon, May 15, at 4:30 online. Also on June 19.



     The Lo’Mas Lit Book Club is a reading group, a book club, a discussion zone, and a quarantine-era hangout time for anyone from 13 to 20.

    The group started last summer and brings together teens from across  Uptown Manhattan and followers from across the country. Join every other Friday, with a new book each month this spring.
     May Almost American Girl, by Robin Ha
Undocumented, by Dan-el Padilla-Peralta

     Sign up here.

     Free. Friday evening, May 21, at 5 online. On the first and third Fridays this spring.



     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, May 22, at 1. On the second and fourth Saturdays of the month through June.



     I Wish You Knew / Ojalá Supieras explores the aftermath of deportation, divided families, and the importance of community in the midst of uncertainty.

     The story engages kids on their level with issues they identify with, those that feel separate from their own lives, and others they hear about in the news and are surrounded by at school. 

     Join the virtual launch for I Wish You Knew and the Spanish edition, Ojalá supieras, by Jackie Azúa Kramer and illustrated by Magdalena Mora. Both will be in conversation with NoNieqa Ramos, author of The Truth Is.

    Hosted by Word Up Community Bookshop. Register here.

    Free. Tuesday afternoon, May 25, at 4:30 online.



     New York City’s iconography is full of beavers. Two tiny beavers adorn the city seal. At the Astor Place station on the 6 line, dozens of beavers can be seen carved into the walls. City College’s mascot is Bennie the Beaver.

     Once common in the city, ther were nearly wiped out until one was spotted in the Bronx River in 2007. Ten years later, one started making a home in Swindler Cove and was soon named Bernie, at right.

     An uncoming virtual talk from Untapped New York, with the author Thomas Hynes, reveals the history of the rise, fall, and ultimate comeback of the New York City beaver.

     Register here.

     $11. Tuesday night, May 25, at 7 online.



     Like chocolate? You’re not the first.
     The earliest archeological record of cacao dates back to 3,000 BCE in South America. Learn more about the origins of this sacred food and its use by the elite indigenous people of Mesoamerica, where cacao was an exotic and expensive food, and considered a commodity in the colonial global food trade and food staple in Dutch households like the Dyckman Farmhouse.
     Come ready to make three cacao-based snacks with an unusual secret ingredient —Maca (optional!). The Peruvian root is known to be an adaptogen; it helps with stress and raising energy levels. These easy-and-quick to make energy booster snacks will leave you satisfied and ready to tackle anything thrown at you.
     Free. Friday evening, May 28, at 6 online.

     Are you ready for the invasion of Brood X? Sounds like a scary movie but it’s just a bunch of bugs.

     To be specific: millions of red-eyed cicadas will emerge from their seventeen-year gestation in a few months, once the ground reaches 64 degrees.

     They’re harmless to humans. Their noise, on the other hand, can be obnoxious. It come from the males vibrate membranes on their abdomens.

     In a park near you!



     From satisfying the sweet tooth of our first Commander in Chief to its role during Prohibition, ice cream and America go hand-in-cone — especially when it comes to New York City.

     Are you ready for the inside scoop on one of America's favorite desserts, and how it took the country — and New York City — for a churn? You’re living in the home of the first American ice cream parlor and the place that commercialized the summer treat.

     Here’s a recipe you can try as you watch the demonstration.

     Thursday evening, June 3, at 5:30 online.



     Art exhibits, dance, mask making, music, face painting, storytelling, and children’s workshops are all part of Festival del Boulevard

     The cultural event started in 2003 and has supported local arts and artists as well as a range of civic groups.

     The multi-ethnic festival attracts 5,000 to 7,000 people, primarily families with children.

     Free. Saturday, June 5, from 11 to 6 on Juan Pablo Duarte Boulevard in Fort George, between 181st and 187th streets on St. Nicholas Avenue.



     Hike the Heights  is an annual community hike and celebration in northern Manhattan parks that promotes the use of the Giraffe Path, an urban trail that connects the Cloisters to Central Park. This family-friendly event is in its seventeenth year.

     This year’s theme is Hike Your Heights, so you’re encouraging to design and organize your own hike with friends and neighbors. Trek through a place that brings you joy and end at your favorite park for a celebration.

     Free. Saturday, June 5, from Fort Tryon Park to Central Park.


     Take a trip to the plains with Rogers & Hamerstein’s Oklahoma!

     Performed by kids and teens from Uptown, the production will be held outdoors from Audubon Park to Inwood.

     Saturdays, June 5, 12, and 19, at 11 and 3 on the Audubon Terrace, Broadway at 155th Street.

courtesy of the
    Sunday afternoon, June 6, at 3 on the Center Lawn of J. Hood Wright Park.

     Sunday afternoon, June 13, at 3 on Dongan Lawn of Fort Tryon Park.

     Sunday afternoon, June 20, at 3, on Pat’s Lawn of Inwood Hill 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”).

     Honored this year will be poet laureate Joy Harjo and guest Mohawk Elder Tom Porter. The featured performers include the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers.

     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. Sunday, June 6,
from 11 to 6 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 Wednesday, June 11, at the Tribeca Festival and on Friday online.



    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, June 12, 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.




     Find out how kids and their families lived in New York when it was an oupost of the British Empire. In those days we were still colonists drinking tea and owing allegiance to King George III.

      The Morris-Jumel Mansion hosts family day, an afternoon with stories and activities.

      Saturday afternoon, June 12, at 1 at the mansion on Jumel Terrace in Lower WaHi.



     Hey, Palooza fans!

     You didn’t think a little thing like a worldwide pandemic would keep this group away, did you?!?

     Think again. School-A-Palooza is back. Food-A-Rama starts at 4:30, rockin’ show at 6.

     Saturday, June 19, in the PS/IS 187 schoolyard in Hudson Heights on Cabrini Boulevard.

     In a fun twist on Tot Shabbat, gather outdoors to sing, tell stories, light “candles” and enjoy challah together.

     And don’t forget the live ukulele music, from the YM & YWHA’s own Rabbi Ezra Weinberg, and joined by Todah, our amazing Sloth (you have to meet Todah!).

     Come meet each other, too, the families of the Y across the neighborhood. 

     Free. Friday morning, June 25, at a time and in a park to be disclosed later.


     City College’s STEM Institute Summer Programs offers incoming 9th graders and high school students an intensive and enriching six-week curriculum in college-level study.

     All courses offer elective credits, with CCNY College NOW Credit offerings for qualified 10th and 11th graders in calculus & game design.  

     The program runs in partnership with District Middle Schools, for all students coming from  underrepresented backgrounds to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math, and help them build the educational pipeline for a smooth transition to high school, college, and careers.

     The programs run from July 1 through August 12, Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Priority seating will be given to students who either live or attend school in the Northern Manhattan Region/Community District 6 schools.



    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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