Activities for kids: November 22–28

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, in Lower WaHi at 876 Riverside Drive at 160th Street. Through November 29.

 

 

     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. Through 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.

 

 

Thursday

     Get outta the house while your bird is cooking, and make room for pie at the same time.

     The Inwood Hill Turkey Trot returns after its successful debut last year, welcoming runners and walkers to its 5 kilometer course (that’s 3.1 miles) through the park. Register here.

     $41; kids, $10.25. Thanksgiving morning at 8 at the 218th Street entrance in Inwood Hill Park.

 

     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

     Still stuffed?

     Work off your Thanksgiving feast while enjoying the great outdoors.

     Join the Urban Park Rangers for a one-hour hike through the hills of Fort Tryon and Inwood Hill Parks. Comfortable walking footwear is highly recommended, and take along some water and, if you didn’t eat too mech pie, a snack.

     Free. Friday morning at 10; meet at the entrance to Fort Tryon Park at Margaret Corbin Circle in Hudson Heights.

 

 

     Life on the farm was no game—even when the farm was in New York City.

     Today we encourage children to play, but that was not always the case in the past. Still, kids in the Dyckman family enjoyed a few games in their free time.

     Built in 1784, the Dyckmans’ farmhouse saw children as young as 5 doing chores. It wasn’t until the 1800s that childhood was seen as a distinct phase in life, and children were permitted time for play to learn social skills, follow rules, and improve physical abilities.

     This exhibit at the farmhouse shows the types of manufactured toys some families purchased, as well as homemade games, and depiction of outdoor play, the kind that requires no toy, that kids entertained themselves with.

     The museum recommends advance tickets to ensure space for you.

     $3 adults, Inwood residents free. Thursdays through Saturdays at the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum in Inwood on Broadway at 204th Street. Through autumn.

 

 

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.

 

 

     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.

 

 

Sunday

     Trees have a special place in Manhattan’s only untouched forest.
     Join the Urban Park Rangers for a hike through Inwood Hill Park in search of different species and learn some ways to identify these trees during the changing season.
     Wear comfortable shoes and take some water.
     Free. Sunday morning at 11 at the Payson Park House near Dyckman Street and Payson Avenue.
 
 
     Join the young artists of Cornerstone Studios on  for Calling All Kids, a one-day-only, pop-up art show featuring work by Uptown children.
     Would your young artist like to join the show? Here’s how. Take one work per artist to the Cornerstone Studios with your artist’s name and email or phone number on the back, along with a price, if for sale.
     The exhibition will be on December 4 from 3 to 5 p.m.
     Free. Drop off the art on Sunday afternoon at the studios in residence at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church of the Atonement in Hudson Heights at 178 Bennett Avenue (south door).
 

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.

 

     Get your nerd on with Fandom Debates, a new program series from the Inwood Library.

     Today’s topic is the Mary Sue. According to Fanlore.org, a Mary Sue “is an original character in fanfiction, usually but not always female, who for one reason or another is deemed undesirable by fan critics.”

     Do Mary Sues get a bad rap? Is “Mary Sue” a derogatory term? Or are Mary Sues real, and do they ruin everything? Also, do Mary Sues only exist in fanfiction, or can they be canon, too? Let’s debate!

     For teenagers only.

     You must register with your email address to receive the link to participate. The link will be sent to you by email about a day before the discussion. You will need a device with audio and/or video and an internet connection to join.

     Free. Tuesday afternoon, November 30, from 4 to 4:45 online.

 

 

     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.

 

 

     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.

 

     It’s getting cold on the water, but you can still keep in shape and ham it up for the holidays with Row New York’s Jingle Mingle.

     The rowing club has its headquarters in Sherman Creek, but you can still home and workout online with your friends at this celebration. Or trek over to the Upper East Side to meet up at Dream at 1991 Second Avenue.

     Don’t forget your ugly sweater! There’s a contest for the worst.

     Register here.

     Saturday morning, December 4, at 10 online (and on the Upper East Side).

 

     Uptown Stories will gather around the fire pit, pouring hot cider, designing their own lighthouses, and singing festive songs to help get  friends and neighbors into the spirt of the season. There will even be Christmas trees for sale to benefit Cornerstone.

     The holiday celebration will include live music, arts & crafts, and writing shenanigans. It’s also a great way to find out more about the Uptown Stories program for young writers.

     Free. Saturday, December 4, from 10 to 3 at the Cornerstone Center in Hudson Heights on Bennett Avenue at 189th Street.

 

 

     Share ideas and enjoy hands-on gallery activities that bring medieval works of art to life in a tour for families of the Metropolitan Museum’s Uptown galleries.

     Recommended for families with children ages 3 to 11 years. Note: Space is limited; first come, first served.

     Free with Museum admission; admission is free for children under 12 with an adult. Saturday afternoon, December 4, at 2 at The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park.

 

 

     Join the young artists of Cornerstone Studios on  for Calling All Kids, a one-day-only, pop-up art show featuring work by Uptown children.

     The young artists’ exhibition includes objets d’art for sale.
     Free. Drop off the art on Saturday afternoon, December 4, from 3 to 5 at the studios in residence at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church of the Atonement in Hudson Heights at 178 Bennett Avenue (south door).
 
 
 

     Celebrate the season in Uptown’s public-private garden.

     Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand to say hello and help light the RING Garden’s Christmas tree on the eve of second week of Advent.

     It’s also the seventh night of Channukah, so you can watch the gardeners light menorah.

     Enjoy a mug of hot cocoa or a cup of tea along with other light refreshments, then join in songs of the season.

    Free. Saturday afternoon, December 4, at 4 at the Riverside-Inwood Neighborhood Garden at the confluence of Broadway, Riverside Drive, and Dyckman Street. Rain date: Sunday.

 

 

    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, December 11, 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 kids will make holiday decorations from the eighteenth century. No blinking lights!

     Sunday afternoon, December 12, from 1 to 3 at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Lower WaHi in Roger Morris Park.

 

 

     Get your nerd on with Fandom Debates, a new program series from the Inwood Library.

     Most video games let you select a difficulty level, usually ranging from something like easier than easy mode to legendary difficulty. What difficulty level do you play on? Why? Does difficulty level say anything about you as a gamer? Why do difficulty levels even exist, and should they? Let’s discuss.

     For teenagers.

     You must register with your email address to receive the link to participate. The link will be sent to you by email approximately one day before the discussion. You will need a device with audio and/or video and an internet connection to join.

     Free. Tuesday afternoon, December 14, from 4 to 4:45 online.

 

 

     Welcome to Frightening, Fantastic, and Far-Out, a writing group for teens who are interested in genre fiction, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, thriller, supernatural, and paranormal.

     The group meets every other week to discuss the elements of craft and work on our writing together. Whether you’ve been writing for years or you’re just now thinking about taking up the pen, anyone ages 13 to 18 is welcome to join.

     Free. Tuesday afternoon, December 21, from 4 to 5 at the Inwood Public Library on Broadway between Academy and 204th Streets. Meets every other week.

 

 

     Start the Christmas season with a hands-on art-making activity, a bilingual family tour in English and Spanish, and a Storytime reading in English as we explore the interfaith communities of the Spanish Middle Ages.

     For families with children ages 3–11 years. Note: Space is limited; first come, first served.

     Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Spain, 1000–1200: Art at the Frontiers of Faith.

     Free with Museum admission; admission is free for children under 12 with an adult. Sunday afternoon, December 26, at 1 at The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park.

 

 

     Some books are best read in fall over a cup of tea or coffee, or even hot chocolate. Pour your favorite seasonal hot drink and join Inwood’s Young Adult Librarian to discuss your favorite fall reads in this month’s BYOT: Bring Your Own Tea Open Book Discussion.

     You must register with your email address to receive the link to participate, which will be emailed to you a day before the program. This event will take place via Google Meet, and you will need a device with audio or video and an internet connection to join.

     Free. Tuesday afternoon, December 28, at 4 online.

 

    

     Get an early start on your track talents at the Marine Corps Invitational. Open to high school students and clubs, the two-day meet features dozens of races, relays, and field events including shot put and pole vault.

     Register here.

     $7.25 per athlete and $20 per relay team. Spectators: $23.56 and $34.03. Tuesday and Wednesday, December 28 and 29, at the Armory in Lower WaHi on Fort Washington Avenue at 168th Street.

 

 

     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 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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