January: About Town NYC

I really hope your 2010 is wonderful, rewarding, safe and healthy. Now lets find some fun things to do:

Friday, January 1 (New Years Day!)

*Museum of Modern Art - free admission 4 - 8pm. 11 W 53rd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-708-9400, moma.org). Subway: B, D, F, V to 47–50th Sts–Rockefeller Ctr; E, V to Fifth Ave–53rd St. Check out the Tim Burton exhibit!

*Coney Island Polar Bear Club New Year’s Swim
1pm. Coney Island Boardwalk, at the intersection of Surf and Stillwell Aves, Coney Island, Brooklyn (917-533-3568, polarbearclub.org). Subway: D, F, N, Q to Coney Island–Stillwell Ave.
You’d have to be crazy to dive into the Atlantic Ocean at this time of year—but it’s fun, and significantly saner, to watch others dunking themselves into Coney Island’s rigid waves, as members of the Polar Bear Club have been doing since 1903. Dress warmly and bring a nice big Thermos of hot chocolate—to share. All ages.

*City Harvest Gingerbread House
All day. Le Parker Meridien Hotel, 119 W 56th St at Sixth Ave (212-245-5000, parkermeridien.com). Subway: F to 57th St.
At this sweet display in the Parker Meridien’s atrium, top New York bakeries (including Magnolia, Buttercup, Cupcake Café and Billy’s) have whipped up dazzling gumdrop-and-icing-festooned masterpieces. Just check out this slide show. A $1 donation buys you the chance to vote on the top edifice, with proceeds going to City Harvest. One tip: Make sure the kids touch with their eyes, not their paws. All ages.

Saturday, January 2

*First Saturdays for Families at the New Museum
10am–noon. New Museum, 235 Bowery between Prince and Spring Sts (212-219-1222, newmuseum.org). Subway: J to Bowery, 6 to Spring St. Free for children under 18 and adults with children ages 5–15. No strollers.
Docents lead a family-friendly tour through current exhibit "Nikhil Chopra: Drawing Memories," a collection of large-scale drawings that form a panoramic view of New York. Tykes are invited to visit the seventh-floor Sky Room’s 360-degree view of lower Manhattan and sketch their own oversize vision of the city. While you’re in the museum, blow your kids minds with a gander at the ongoing Urs Fischer exhibit, which includes a melted piano, an amble through dozens of reflective chrome boxes, and a wax tongue that darts out and "licks" museumgoers. Ages 5 and up.

*Sesame Street: A Celebration of 40 Years of Life on the Street
10am–6pm. Brooklyn Public Library’s Central branch, Grand Army Plaza at Flatbush Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-230-2100, brooklynpubliclibrary.org). Subway: Q to Seventh Ave; 2, 3 to Grand Army Plaza.
Whether or not it’s a sunny day, you can chase the clouds away at the BPL’s Sesame Street exhibit, which marks all four decades of the beloved edutainment series. Highlights include original book art from the publishing archive; photos, scripts, show props, animation cels and sheet music (we miss you, Joe Raposo!); and a variety of stories. Now that’s how you get to Sesame Street. All ages.

*Grand Central Holiday Train Show
10am–6pm. New York City Transit Museum Annex in Grand Central Terminal, 42nd St between Vanderbilt and Lexington Aves (212-878-0106, mta.info). Subway: 42nd St S, 4, 5, 6, 7 to 42nd St–Grand Central.
The New York City Transit Museum hosts its free seasonal train show. Stroll through the shuttle passageway and follow the train’s magical journey from a living room through the streets of the Big Apple, out to the burbs and farmlands, before reaching the North Pole. All ages.

*Flaubert Frog at Le Carrousel
1pm. Bryant Park, 40th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (bryantpark.org). Subway: D, F to 42nd St–Bryant Park; 7 to Fifth Ave.
Flaubert Frog (better known as NYC storyteller Dan Kitrosser) brings his adorably manic demeanor and interactive tales to the park’s merry-go-round. This week, he recites a story about (what else?) New Year's resolutions. Afterward be sure to check out the Pond at Bryant Park, NYC's only free ice-skating rink. All ages.

*Super Hero Day at The Scholastic Store

3pm The Scholastic Store 557 Broadway between Prince & Spring St.s (212) 343-6166
“WORD UP”! There will be new words to learn when WordGirl visits The Scholastic Store with her new book, Robot Rampage in hand. Kids get to make their own their own superhero capes and choose their own superhero powers with Chicken Socks' Superhero Kits. Ages 4 and up.

Sunday, January 3

*New York Hall of Science
10–11am. New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th St at 47th Ave, Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens (718-699-0005, nyscience.org). Subway: 7 to 111th St.
Entry to this educational institution is free for the first hour on Sunday mornings. Check out ongoing exhibits on molecules, shadows and steam engines—plus the giant Crystal Winter snow globe, which you can step inside (perfect for family snapshots), and the wintery preschool puppet show "Hey Snow, Where Do You Go?" Ages 2 and up.

*A Closer Look for Kids at Museum of Modern Art
10:20am–11:30am 11 W 53rd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, Midtown West (212-708-9805)
This weekend activity gives youngsters a tour of MoMA’s permanent collections and temporary exhibits. Little ones are encouraged to voice their opinions about what they dig (Mom and Dad can, too). Tickets will be distributed on the day of the program, beginning at 10am, at the Information Desk in the museum’s main lobby. Ages 5 to 10.

Family Mornings at Baco Café
11:30am 71 Jay St, between Front and Water Sts, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn (718-694-2226)
Kids and parents will enjoy themed songs, book readings, prizes and games, plus a full menu of tasty treats. Ages 1 to 8.

*Magic Show at Abracadabra Superstore
3 pm 19 W 21st St (between Fifth and Sixth Aves) Chelsea 212-627-7523 Subway: F, V, R, W to 23rd St.
Harry Potter costumes aren’t the only thing you can find at this Halloween emporium: A free magic show catering to kids casts its spell every Sunday afternoon. Dumbledore doesn’t make an appearance, but the store’s magician performs a pretty cool disappearing trick. All ages.

Friday, January 8

New York City National Comedy Theatre
7:30pm, 9:45pm 347 W 36th St (between Eighth and Ninth Aves) Midtown West 212-629-5202 Subway: A, C, E to 42nd St–Port Authority
Two teams of professional comics compete against each other based solely on audience suggestions. Tickets: $15, students $12 Ages 10 and up.

Saturday, January 9

Beatles Skate at Kate Wollman Rink
10am–1pm Prospect Park (enter at Lincoln Rd and Ocean Ave) Prospect Park, Brooklyn 718-287-6431 Subway: B, Q, Franklin Ave S to Prospect Park
Regardless of your little one’s ice-skating skills, she’s bound to have a good time gliding on the ice while listening to hits by the Fab Four. Children attending on their birthdays are treated to free admission, hot chocolate and popcorn. Tickets: $5, seniors and children under 15 $3, skate rental $6.50 All ages.

Camels and Kings Workshop: A Celebration of Gift Giving
10am–noon Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine 1047 Amsterdam Ave (at 112th St) Upper West Side 212-316-7540 Subway: 1 to 110th St–Cathedral Pkwy
Even if your family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, your tots may enjoy hearing about the three wise men’s journey to visit the newborn Jesus. After listening to the tale, children will get to make gift boxes, costumes and sparkling crowns fit for a king or queen. Tickets: $8 per child, with accompanying adult Ages 4 and up.

Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny

11am, 2pm Symphony Space 2537 Broadway (at 95th St)Upper West Side Subway: 1, 2, 3 to 96th St
Your little ones won’t fall asleep at this show as they usually do when they hear their favorite bedtime classics. The Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia uses quirky puppets, dreamlike imagery and original music to transform these stories into living, breathing works of art. Tickets: Advance tickets $25, children under 12 $15; day of show $27, children under 12 $17 Ages 2 and up.

*Tales from the Hans Christian Andersen Storytellers
11am Scandinavia House 58 Park Ave (between 37th and 38th Sts) Midtown East 212-879-9779 Subway: 6 to 33rd St.
This Saturday, kids can gather at Scandinavia House to hear stories from Sweden, about adventurers and mythical creatures as told by seasoned raconteur, Ron Sopyla. Ages 5 and up.

Tinkerbell Theatre
10:30am, 11:45am West End Theatre in the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew 263 W 86th St (between Broadway and West End Ave, second floor) Upper West Side 212-868-4444 Subway: 1 to 86th St
The Frog & Peach Theatre Company presents two shows this holiday: 10:30am showtimes (program A) offer up “Cinderella”, based on the Brothers Grimm popular tale, while the 11:45am showtimes (program B) host “The Tenderbox” by Hans Christian Andersen. Tickets: $8 in advance, $10 at the door. All ages.

Striking Viking Story Pirates
2pm Drama Book Shop 250 W 40th St (between Seventh and Eighth Aves) Midtown West 310-880-4725 Subway: A, C, E to 42nd St–Port Authority
Endorsed by cool celebs like Jon Stewart (yup, of The Daily Show), this troupe of local actors transforms kids’ stories into original musical comedies. A different script is enacted each week. (Children can submit stories for consideration at the group’s website.) The hilarity concludes with complimentary ice cream and cookies for all. Tickets: $15 online, $20 at box office, elementary school principals and teachers free. Ages 2 and up.

Baby Loves Salsa
12pm Highline Ballroom 431 W 16th St (between Ninth and Tenth Aves) Chelsea 866-468-7619 Subway: A, C, E to 14th St; L to Eighth Ave
The bilingual Jose Conde Band claims its tunes have the power to make anyone groove, so grab the kids and put that promise to the test. Spanish and English ditties like “Bailar Rápido” (“Dance Fast”) and “Mi Familia es la Música” will make believers out of your entire clan. Time Out Kids is a media partner for this event. Tickets: In advance $10; pack of 4 tickets $30. Ages 6 months to 6 years.

Sunday, January 1o

Wiseacre Farm
12pm 13th Street Repertory Company 50 W 13th St (between Fifth and Sixth Aves) West Village 212-675-6677 Subway: F, V to 14th St; L to Sixth Ave
In this long-running children’s musical, tots in the audience get to climb onstage to help save Cliffie the Pig’s birthday cake from a fox. Tickets: $10 Ages 3 to 10.

Alexander Hamilton’s Birthday
11am–4pm Morris-Jumel Mansion Morris Park, 65 Jumel Terr (at 160th St) Harlem 212-923-8008 Subway: C to 163rd St–Amsterdam Ave
Costumed characters and colonial music enliven a presentation about Hamilton’s influence on the formation of present-day democracy. Ages 7 and up.

Asylum Street Spankers
11am 92YTribeca 200 Hudson St (between Watts and Desbrosses Sts) Tribeca 212-601-1000 Subway: A, C, E, 1 to Canal St
Hailing from Austin, Texas, this underground country-tinged blues band will perform original tunes from their first family-focused album, 2007’s Mommy Says No. Tickets: $15 All ages.

Jazz for Kids
2pm–3pm Jazz Standard 116 E 27th St (between Park Ave South and Lexington Ave) Midtown East 212-576-2232 Subway: 6 to 28th St
Jazz is a quintessentially New York art form, which means that taking in a concert is a veritable rite of passage. With an eye (or rather, ear) toward educating young people about the genre early on, the Blue Smoke Jazz Standard holds a weekly program aimed at school-age kids. The Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra, a group of talented instrumentalists, provides the music. Doors open at 1pm. Tickets: $5 donation will benefit the Jazz Standard Discovery Program for kids All ages.

1 pm Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre Central Park at 79th Street and the West Drive, just south of the Delacorte Theater Subway: B or C train to 81st St & Central Park West or 6 train to 77th St & Lexington Avenue, entering the park at Fifth Avenue and heading west. 212-988-9093
City Parks Foundation is proud to announce the launch of Three, an adventurous mash-up of the classic fairy tales “The Three Little Pigs,” “Three Billy Goats Gruff,” and “The Three Bears,” at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre in Central Park. In this story, the central character, the “Big Bad Wolf,” is given a mission by the “Three Blind Fairy God Mice” to travel into these stories to go from the big bad villain to the “Big Good Wolf.” Reservations required. Tickets are $8/adults, $5/children. All ages.

(more coming.... my internet is bugging out today, sorry!)

*as always, starred entries are free or free with admission...
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