Activities for kids: September 20–26

Monday

     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.

    

 

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.

 

Friday

      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.

 

 

     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.

 

 

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.

 

 

     Join experts from the Alley Pond Environmental Center for an exploration of Uptown nature.

     Through an interactive forest activity in Highbridge Park, students will learn about the layers of deciduous forest and the animals that inhabit each layer. The program includes a visit from live forest animals.

     For ages 4 and up. Space is limited and registration is required. Wear bug spray, sunscreen, and closed-toe shoes.

     Free. Saturday afternoon at 1 at the Water Tower in Lower WaHi.

 

     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.

 

 

     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.

 

 

     A whimsical shadow-play performance inspired by classic children’s stories from Sweden and the U.S. uses dancers behind screens to share the fables.

     Light Tales is presented by Shadow Dance and is perfect for young kids to enjoy.

     Free. Saturday evening at 5 in the auditorium of Good Shepherd Church in Inwood at 620 Isham Street.

 

 

 

     Discover the original meaning of night life in New York.    

     Spend the night in a tent in Manhattan’s only untouched forest. You’ll create lasting memories, connect with the natural world, and bond with your family. The Urban Park Rangers will introduce you to the tradition of camping as they guide you through setting up a tent, lighting a campfire, and cooking outdoors. 

     Space is limited and families are chosen by lottery. To enter your family in the lottery, visit Urban Park Rangers Registration Page.

     Free. Saturday night at 6 through Sunday morning  in Inwood Hill Park.

 

 

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.

 

     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. Tuesday evenings, starting September 28, from 5:30 to 7:30 at the Cornerstone Center Library in Hudson Heights at 178 Bennett Avenue. Throuhg December 7.

 

 

     Lace up your Converse and join Osaliki for a free dance class on the stone patio outside of Morris-Jumel Mansion.

     This introductory step-by-step dance class focuses on teaching fundamental movements of Bachata, including basic body isolations, party dances, freestyling, and learning choreography.

     Wear joggers, a T-shirt, socks, and dance sneakers (Converse or indoor sneakers).

     Masks and social distancing are required outside on the patio due to location near the museum entrance.

     Free. Thursday evening, September 30, from 5:30 to 6:45 at the Morris-Jumel Mansion on Jumel Terrace in Roger Morris Park.

 

 

     Ever been to a silent dance party? No? Here’s your chance.

     Put on your outdoor dancing shoes for a family-friendly silent disco, featuring hip-hop, 80s hits, and top dance songs. You’ll listen on headphones available at the party.

     Sign up here to be sure you get a set.

     Free. Thursday night, September 30, from 6:30 to 8 Cloisters Lawn in Fort Tryon Park.

 

    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, October 9, 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 offer family activities every month.

     Saturday afternoon, October 9, at 1 at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Lower WaHi in Roger Morris Park.

 

 

 

 

     Mark the conclusion of Hispanic Heritage Month with some creativity.

     A print-making activity related to Hispanic artwork engages kids of all ages. Follow the step-by-step instructions in a how-to video from the Hispanic Society to create your own print of something that inspires you.

     Free. Tuesday, October 12, at a time and online location to be shared later.

 

 

     What’s an arthropod? What’s the difference between an insect and an arachnid? What are spinnerets and who uses them?

     This exciting lesson teaches you to distinguish between insects and arachnids based on their physical characteristics, learn what arachnids have in common and see a live tarantula up close.

     Led by experts from the Alley Pond Environmental Center, so you don’t have to worry about wayward eight-legged creatures.

     For ages 4 and up. Space is limited and registration is required.

     Free. Saturday afternoon, October 16, at 1 in Fort Tryon Park at a location shared with the participants.

 

 

      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.

     Fridays and Saturdays, October 29 and 30 and November 5 and 6, with curtain times and location yet to be decided.

 

 

     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 is 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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