Winter break is just around the corner and we found some fun ways to get the fun started. First, treat yourself to a date night – the kids will be in good hands as they dance, sing and act the evening away at TADA! Theater’s Parents Night Out. If you’re in the mood to see a performance, The Not-Its! will be rocking out at Symphony Space, African Dancers will be showing off their skills at BAX and a dozen sword dancing teams will be wowing audiences at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Other weekend fun includes a kid-friendly Mardi Gras party at CMA and a big red birthday party for Clifford at the Scholastic Store.


The Not-Its! at Symphony Space
With an out-of-this-world sound evoking both The Go-Go’s and 90s power-punk, Seattle’s The Not-Its! mix crunchy guitars and smooth, four-part harmonies, for a show full of perfectly crafted pop gems about every-day kid stuff from the first day of school to taking a bath. This concert celebrates the release of their latest CD, KidQuake! Sat., 11:00 am – 12:00 pm. UWS. $13-$20. All agesEvent details.


TADA! Theater’s Parents Night Out
A night of theatrical fun for your kid can mean a date night for you with this brilliantly timed Friday night TADA! musical theater workshop. Your child will spend the evening singing, dancing, acting and meeting new friends. Pizza will be served, games will be played and they’ll get to see a performance of the TADA!’s original family musicalThe Little Moon TheaterFri., 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Chelsea. $60. Ages 6 to 12Event details.


Happy Birthday Clifford
Celebrate Clifford the Big Red Dog’s 50th birthday at the Scholastic Store. His big day is going to be a big party and tons of fun. There will be face painting, cupcakes, dancing and of course, an appearance by Clifford! Kids will even get to craft a party hat and wear it in a photo with the big red birthday boy. Sat., 3:00 pm. Soho. Free. All ages. Event details.

ARTY Gras at CMA
While a trip to the New Orleans Mardi Gras Festival might not be so kid-appropriate, the third annual Arty Gras Festival and Parade presented by CMA and Two Boots is rated G. Kids will make masks, craft noisemakers and dress up in costume for a special parade led by the Red Hook Ramblers. And you guessed it, there will be pizza from Two Boots for snacking. Sat., 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. West Village. Free with museum admission. All ages. Event details.


Winter Sword Dance Festival
Have you ever seen the ancient winter celebration of ceremonial sword dancing? It’s a spectacle not to be missed. Traditionally, sword dancing was practiced in farming and coal-mining regions of northern England and visits of the dancers to village homes was thought to bring good luck for the year. This show is put on by Half Moon Sword, an all women’s sword team that has a reputation in England for their precision and interpretation of traditional sword dances. Aside from Half Moon Sword, you will see teams from around the country at this special performance at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Sun., 2:30 pm. Prospect Heights. Free. All agesEvent details.

Jumpin’ Juniper African Dance
The energetic Jumpin’ Juniper presents an interactive hour of African dance and music from the Congo. Kids will learn how modern dance styles like Samba, Hip Hop, Jazz and more got their basis throughout African Dispora in South America and the Caribbean. Funmilayo Chesney and the F.U.S.H.A.Dance Company along with Cumbe: Center for African and Dispora Dance will be showing off their amazing skills in a performance. Sun., 11:00 am. Park Slope. $8, children under 2 free. All ages. Event details.

What fun activity will your family be doing this weekend?

— Julie Seguss

Image courtesy of CMA