It’s officially October, which means, Halloween will be here before you know it! Head to Sunnyside Gardens Park in Queens for the 6th annual Oktoberfest and Pumpkin Patch. Or, head uptown to Central Park to spend an afternoon learning about the real vampires of New York City — blood sucking animals! If you’re not quite ready for Halloween, though, this weekend still offers plenty of fun for the whole family. Start your little one on the path to bilingualism with Bilingual Birdies at the Ottendorfer Library. Be amazed by Mario the Magician or concert hop in Tribeca and Chelsea: Randy Kaplan will perform his clever, not-just-for-kids tunes and your infants and toddlers are sure to get a kick out of the Rock-A-Baby concert. Harness your kids’ energy into supporting a good cause at the Fit For all 5K Run/Walk or indulge your culinary artists in some butter making at the New York Hall of Science.
Enter the scintillating world of Spanish language through this program at the Ottendorfer Library. The bilingual musicians will teach through live music, movement, puppetry and games. Each session ends with a lively bubble dance party! Children learn basic vocabulary and short phrases while playing with instruments and fun props. Accompany your newborn or child up to five years and your whole family can be on its way to fluency in Español. Saturday. 11:30 am. East Village. Free. 0 to 5 years. Event details.
Mario the Magician
Join Mario the Magician for an uplifting, inventive, and highly interactive magical performance for the young and young-at-heart! Part retro, part rock and roll, Mario is an artist and inventor who creates his own props. Mario’s old world looks and physical comedy style are reminiscent of his heroes, Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, but he puts a thoroughly modern spin on everything he does. Sunday. 2:30 pm. Tribeca. $10/child and $20/adult. Ages 3 to 11. Event details.
Kindie Concert: Randy Kaplan
Kaplan is an old soul, a troubadour from another time and place who just happens to grace our 21st century world. His not-just-for-kid’s music is cleverly laced with references to the likes of Sigmund Freud and Ezra Jack Keats, and his Randy-ized versions of familiar songs from the cannon of popular music (Dylan’s “Forever Young”) and show tunes (“Over the Rainbow”, “Tomorrow”) have made him a bona fide kindie star. On his latest album, Mr. Diddie Wah Diddie, Kaplan transports us to a more cheery, depression-era America as he runs country blues and ragtime standards from Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, and Bessie Smith through his magical song interpretation machine. Sunday. 11:00 am. Tribeca. $15/person. All ages. Event details.
Rock-a-Baby introduces music to infants and toddlers in fun and exciting new ways! With interactive play, children have a unique opportunity to be “in the band” and engage in a stimulating and educational musical experience. Ranging from classical to jazz, and traditional children’s songs to rock-n-roll, Rock-a-Baby is an experience that everyone can enjoy! Space is limited, so register in advance! Sunday. 4:00-5:00 pm. Chelsea. $20 per child, $25 at the door. All ages. Event details.
Fit For All 5K Run/Walk
The event is a 5K fundraiser supporting childhood obesity prevention. Obesity among children has become an immense problem, bordering on epidemic. The West Side Y is putting together this run to raise funds for education and fitness programs. These initiatives will be available to families that are facing this issue, especially in low-income areas, where this problem seems more prevalent. One of the Y’s missions is to teach healthy lifestyles through proper education where it is needed. Sunday. 8:00 am – 1:00 pm. Upper West Side. $30-$30. All ages. Event details.
A Clearing in the Forest: Wildlife
Get the kiddos Halloween-ready by spending an afternoon learning about the real vampires of New York City – blood sucking animals! Biologist Bill Schutt will regale you with facts about these creatures and critters at Central Park’s natural playground, the Peter J. Sharp Children’s Glade. This eco-educational and fun event will be a hit with your burgeoning wildlife experts! In case of inclement weather, this program will be canceled. Please call 212-860-1370 for day-of weather-related changes and more information about this program. Sunday. 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. Upper West Side. Free. All ages. Event details.
Oktoberfest and Pumpkin Patch
Enjoy a family day in Sunnyside Gardens Park. Pick pumpkins with your children and decorate with paints, paper & sparkles. Your artist in the family can enter the Chalk Art competition. Throughout the day, live musical performances will keep the atmosphere festive. We are featuring Richard Younger, a local favorite especially among the younger set. Classic German style foods will be served in the park’s woodlands complete with grills and picnic tables along with a full menu of German beers. The Arts & Crafts show hosts some of our finest local artists. Enter in our raffles for amazing prizes donated by local generous businesses. Saturday. 12:00 pm – 6:30 pm. Sunnyside. Free. All ages. Event details.
Little Makers: Butter Basics
Invent your own flavor as you shake up a batch of homemade butter. Sometimes creativity can get messy, so dress your little maker (and yourself) in old clothing that can be splattered with things like paint, ink and oobleck. $8 per family, plus NYSCI admission ($5 per family for members). Preregistration is recommended. Sunday. 10:30-12:30 pm. Corona. $8 per family (plus NYSCI admission. Or $5 per family for museum members). All ages. Event details.
— Aya Takemoto
Photo courtesy of Randy Kaplan