It’s a conundrum heard around the world, especially among parents during the weekend: What to do with the kids when these days offer oh-so-many hours of daylight during which kids are expecting a brass band and army of clowns to court and entertain them.
If you are one of those parents who finds yourself uttering statements like: “No we cannot go to the movies again for the third time this week because I can’t drop a cool $100 on popcorn, soda and three tickets.” Or, “No we can’t go back to that insane money pit of an amusement park where I spend a mortgage payment on funnel cakes and fries in a six-hour window.”
Well rest assured, you are not alone! Living in New York City, in the midst of this less-than-pleasant economic slump, where prices on everything from gas to those tiny junior cups of ice cream steadily have increased, is not engendering me with good-old summertime footloose and fancy-free feelings. In fact, I honestly can’t remember the last time I spent $10 on three minuscule cups of water ice from that local truck that is clearly my nemesis, with its siren song calling out to my kids, who can hear it from miles away. Clearly, the water ice truck person is on a mission to bilk me of my very last dollar. So if you’re intent on finding freebies that include more than going to your local park and descending down a slide whose metallic surface, on a hot day, could literally burn the flesh right off your tot’s lil’ bum, keep reading for three gloriously free activities that you and your kids can indulge in.
Check out Staten Island OutLOUD's candlelight conversation on “Mockingbird” and its fictional town of Maycomb. They’ll compare Maycomb with Tottenville’s history, people & special character.
Was there a Boo Radley of Tottenville? Were there others in Tottenville who recalled some of the colorful characters in Harper Lee's beloved novel? Many people don't know that Truman Capote has a Tottenville connection. Many people know that Capote inspired the character of Dill in “To Kill a Mockingbird” – he and Harper Lee were childhood friends, a friendship that continued into adulthood as each writer's career ascended. But few people know that he spent time in Tottenville when his mother lived on Staten Island. She had a reputation as a charming neighbor, as a recluse, and as a tarantula. It's an amazing story that also includes a noted Staten Island painter. As for Boo Radley, there is a tragic Staten Island story that we'll share about a kind man who, like Boo, was “different”. He tried in his way to be part of his community, but there were some who reviled him, like Boo. You'll hear his story at Staten Island OutLOUD‘s candlelight conversation.
Sat, Nov 15, at 7:00pm at the historic Conference House, 7455 Hylan Blvd, SINY 10307 FREE!
Check out The Staten Island's Conference House Tours
Come to the Conference House in Tottenville for guided tours through an historic house where Benjamin Franklin, Edward Rutledge, John Adams, and Lord Howe met in an attempt to end the Revolutionary War. After taking a guided tour, experience the rich views of nature at Conference House Park, as well as stopping by the Visitor’s Center to view their rotating exhibits! November 15 and 16th @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm nominal fee of $4.
Get your Craft on at the Staten Island Children's Museum Art Studio
The museum provides materials, you provide the imagination!
Weekends 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm SI Children's Museum, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301 FREE with museum admission
Get out in Nature and EXPLORE at the Blue Heron Nature Center! Explorers of the Wild – The Science and Art of Fish!
Participants will learn about the external anatomy of fish while making goyataku – fish prints.
The anatomy and adaptations of the jawless fish, the bony fish and sharks will be compared and living specimens will be observed.
November 16th 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm Blue Heron Nature Center, 222 Poillon Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10312 Free
Noble Maritime Collection Sea Shanty Sessions Musicians, singers, and the listening public are cordially invited to participate in a continuing tradition of songs, stories, random history, and lore of ports and places, near and far. November 16 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm Noble Maritime Collection, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301 6pm Free
Autumn’s Evenings at the Blue Heron Nature Center: Enjoy an evening walk through the dark corners of Blue Heron Park with Cliff Hagen as he searches out the denizens of the night. When the sun sets the silhouettes of bats and birds migrate by while you spy the the owls of autumn. November 16 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm Blue Heron Nature Center, 222 Poillon Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10312
Family Art Project: Dances with Leaves Youngsters turn into woodland sprites as they fashion—and then sport—crowns and costumes made from the garden's autumn foliage. Got a kid who's not into dress-up? Invite him to jump and run through piles of crunchy leaves and make collages and rubbings… Sat Nov 15 – Sun Nov 16 Wave Hill W 249th St, (at Independence Ave), Bronx, 10471 Free with garden admission
Get your FREE weekend matinee on at the Museum of the Moving Image Check out matinee screenings of cartoons in honor of their new exhibition “What’s Up Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones,” kids and their parents who LOVE animation can check indulge their inner cartoon junkie!
A select number of the screenings will be accompanied by personal appearances of Jones' collaborators and top creative figures in animation. Each screening is shown in 35mm and 16mm prints and will take place every Saturday and Sunday (first come, first served) throughout the exhibition. All Ages. Museum of the Moving Image 36-01 35th Ave, at 37th St, 11106 Sat Nov 15 – Sun Jan 18
Groove to family concerts at the Jewish Museum :Little ones are invited to a fall family concert series, a special two-show day featuring silly songs from the Funkey Monkeys (11/16), an interactive, artsy WeBop! Family Jazz Party in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center (11/23), hybrid kindie music from Josh & The Jamtones (12/7), Hot Peas ‘N Butter's multicultural tunes (12/21) and another two-show concert and party, Oran Etkin's Timbalooloo, on the day when many other kid-friendly institutions are closed (12/25).
Ages 3 to 8. The Jewish Museum 1109 Fifth Ave, at 92nd St, 10128 Sun Nov 16 – Thu Dec 25
Gawk at cool structures for a great cause at Canstruction: Sat Nov 15 – Thu Nov 20 Families are invited to gaze at towering structures built from cans of food by leading architecture and engineering pros, who compete for such titles as Best Meal and Best Use of Labels. Once the winner is decided at the end of the contest, all cans are donated to City Harvest to benefit hungry New Yorkers.
Families can be a part of the action by bringing their own canned goods to the exhibition space. Last year, nearly 100,000 cans of food were constructed into pop art masterpieces, featuring favorites like Despicable Me and Batman. Ages 2 and up. Brookfield Place Winter Garden 220 Vesey St, at West St, 10281 FREE!
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation. See how these larger than life Balloons come to fruition at the Macy’s Parade Balloon Inflation. Families can Head to Central Park West and Columbus Ave between 77th and 81st Streets on Thanksgiving Eve to watch as the balloons for the big parade and magically brought to life. All ages. FREE!