Springtime means tossing off your heavy winter coat for the warmer temps. And the same goes for sheep. At this time each year, local zoos and farms hold their annual sheep-shearing festivals. Your kids will love it. Besides witnessing a massive wooly sheep being transformed into a skinny little thing, your family can make a day of it at these fests, which usually include fun arts and crafts and live demos and performances. Here are RedRover’s top sheep shearing festivals that ewe’ll (groan) love!
In Boston, head out to Gore Place in Waltham for its Sheepshearing Festival on April 26. In addition to seeing sheep get their haircuts, families can watch farming demonstrations, such as herding dogs and loom-weaving, take a bumpy wagon ride, and see a live musical performance. Although the American Textile History Museum isn’t shaving any sheep, it is celebrating the Year of the Sheep and examining the animal’s fur at Wonder of Wool: Ancient Fiber to Modern Marvel (May 20-Dec. 15). Learn everything about the tools of the trades and this amazing textile. Later in the month, Wool Days at Old Sturbridge Village will transport you back to the 1800s (May 23-25). You’ll see farmers shear the sheep, and costumed historians will demonstrate the entire wool textile process. You and the kids can even try hand-carding the wool, which involves combing the wool back and forth on large brushes.
While you may not associate farm animals with Manhattan, city dwellers can still venture out to the outer boroughs to see the sheep-shearing ritual. At the Queens Zoo’s Sheepshearing Weekend, families can watch the shaggy go to well-shorn as well as feed the farm animals and make fun arts and crafts (May 2-3). On the same weekend, stop by Queens County Farm Museum for its Spring Sheep Shearing Fest (May 3). Kids can watch sheep-shearing and spinning demos, learn about composting, and take a farm tour. At Brooklyn Prospect Zoo, get wooly with it at Fleece Festival (May 16-17). A master sheep shearer will help the sheep lose their winter coats in preparation for summer, and then families can check out wool working demonstrations, crafts, music, and…sheep!
Celebrate spring and sheep at Spring Fling at Slide Ranch (April 25). Kids can milk goats, feed chickens, tour the organic garden, watch sheep-shearing, learn about nature crafts, and go on a coastal hike. The next day, keep the country vibe going at Ardenwood Farm Sheep Shearing Day (April 26). Watch the farm’s sheep get sheared and then try your hand at wool carding and see the transformation from fiber to yarn at the spinning wheel. Kids can also listen to stories about sheep and make their own wooly lamb to take home.
It’s the only one we got, so we better take care of it. Earth Day is a great opportunity to teach your kids about respecting the planet and protecting the environment. Plus, it’s an excellent excuse to get outside and get dirty (especially after this brutal winter). Over the next two weekends, cities and organizations are rolling out the green carpet to honor Earth Day. Here are RedRover’s 34 ways to celebrate Earth Day.
Photo: Queens Museum
Add some color to your Earth Day at Holi & Earth Day Celebration at Queens Museum. Holi is an Indian Festival that celebrates the end of winter. Families and friends gather and throw multicolored powders on each other to “awaken” themselves from winter. Queens Museum is combining this holiday with Earth Day as an extra (and super fun) bonus to welcome the spring. (April 18)
Recycle, Re-Paint, and Re-plant at the Museum of the City of New York. Bring an empty plastic bottle to create a recycled planter. After decorating it, kids can start their very own urban garden with soil and plants provided by the museum. (April 19)
Unite with other tree huggers at Union Square’s Earth Day Celebration. This day-long, free event has a special kid-zone and live musical performances as well as lots of information booths on ways to go green. (April 19)
Make the planet just a little bit greener at Green Garden, Green Planet at Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary and Victorian Garden. Families can make a recycled bird feeder and learn how to grow herbs and create a compost. (April 19)
Stroll through a garden and make an Earth Day craft at the Queens Botanical Garden. (April 22)
Learn to fish, meet and greet birds of prey, and make instruments for a “Bash the Trash” performance at Earth Day Celebration at Prospect Park. (April 25)
We like to consider ourselves a supporter of the arts or maybe even a patron. But there’s nothing sweeter to our ears than the word “free,” especially when it comes to museum admission. Thankfully, many of RedRover’s partners swing open their doors on a monthly or even a weekly basis and don’t charge a cent (or they require a minimal pay-what-you-can fee). Here are RedRover’s top 33 free museum days. Enjoy!
Photo: American Museum of Natural History
American Museum of Natural History. The museum has a suggested donation (operative word “suggested”) of $22, so don’t feel shy about paying less, especially on those days when the kids are cranky and you know that you won’t be staying long.
Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Every Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m., admission is free. On every third Thursday, the freebie deal extends to 7 p.m. Be sure to check out the museum’s latest kid-favorite exhibit From Here to There.
Brooklyn Museum. The Brooklyn Museum’s admission is always on a pay-what-you-wish basis, but if you’re feeling guilty, visit the museum on its Target First Saturdays (the first Saturday of every month) from 5 to 11 p.m. and waltz right in worry-free. The museum’s current hot ticket is the exhibit Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic.
DiMenna Children’s Museum at N-Y Historical Society. Every Friday, gather up the kiddies and head to the Upper West Side from 6 to 8 p.m. for the museum’s special pay-what-you-wish admission. We recommend its Audubon’s Aviary: The Final Flight.
El Museo del Barrio. Every third Saturday of the month, the museum is free. And on top of that, this Latino cultural institution offers a daily pay-what-you-wish option. Best part: the museum’s monthly Super Sabado event falls on the third (free) Saturday of each month.
Photo: Guggenheim Museum
Easter, Passover, Spring Break… you have a lot of open days coming up, and you need to keep rambunctious kids and visiting relatives all happy. What to do? It’s simple: Just use the RedRover app and make this the best weekend and spring break ever.
If you don’t already have the RedRover app, first download it for your iPhone, iPad, or Android. After you sign in and select your city, open the menu on the left side and select “Events.” You’ll see a number of categories, such as “All,” “Workshops & Drop-in Classes,” “Holiday,” and “Exhibits.” If you’re looking for a holiday event this weekend, tap the “Holiday” category. Immediately, you’ll see a curated listing of the best holiday events going on around the city, such as the Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival in NYC or the Gorilla Egg Hunt in Atlanta. Unleash the fun and explore all your options.
There’s a ton of cool stuff to do, but here’s just a sampling of some of RedRover’s favorite upcoming events for the weekend and upcoming weeks. (For our top Easter goings-on, check out our post on eggs hunts and Easter Bunny sightings.)
The hunt is on – for the best ways for kids to celebrate Easter. Besides Easter egg hunts (what’s more adorable than the kiddos racing around to grab those not-so-well-hidden plastic eggs?), we found plenty of parades, egg-decorating workshops, and Easter Bunny photo ops. Here are 36 events for a hopping fun Easter.
Photo: Michael Fleshman
• Start the Easter season off at the majestic 133-year-old Cathedral of St. John the Divine. At its Easter Eggstravaganza Children’s Art Workshop, kids will decorate hard-boiled eggs and build a nest for their masterpieces. (March 28)
• Give a big, toothy smile for your photo with the Easter Bunny at the Easter Egg Hunt at Bartow-Pell Mansion. Kids will also search for eggs around the gorgeous grounds as well as design their own holiday decorations. (This event is currently filled to capacity, but contact the museum to check for openings.) (March 28)
• Explore the world of Egg-citing Eggs at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Kids will learn about animals that come from eggs, examine a bird’s nest from the museum’s collection, and make their own nest to take home. (April 4 & 5)
• Join other little animals at the Bronx Zoo’s Eggstravaganza Egg Scavenger Hunt. Families can go on a self-guided scavenger hunt through the zoo, make crafts with the Children’s Museum of the Arts staff, and participate in a wildlife hat parade. (April 4 & 5)
•Parade your style at the Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival. Get creative and wear your finest or silliest lid along the Fifth Ave. route from 49th to 55th Sts. (April 5)
Show of hands, please. Who’s ready for spring? After months of vicious weather, we’re done with winter and can’t wait to get outside and let the kids burn off all that cooped-up energy. So take a deep breath of crisp, fresh air and read on to find out our 19 spring activities to celebrate nature and the great outdoors.
• Immerse yourself in all things floral at The Orchid Show: Chandeliers at the New York Botanical Garden. The conservatory has been transformed into lush rainforest, filled with tens of thousands of blossoming orchids from all over the world. Be sure to have your kids tilt their heads and look up (this year’s theme is chandeliers) at the profusion of dangling, hanging gorgeous orchids. (Now to April 19)
• Give your nose a treat at the Macy’s Flower Show at the flagship store at Herald Square. Called “Art in Bloom,” this year’s feast for the eyes is inspired by great works of art. The fun part of this exhibit is that kids can smell and breathe in the wild, sweet smell of all the blooms that fill the main floor. (March 22 to April 4)
• Welcome our feathered friends back and help visiting artist Matt Bua build a gigantic bird’s nest at Family Art Project: A Nest for Song Birds at Wave Hill. Kids will collect sticks, leaves, grasses, and found feathers for this community birds’ home. (April 11-12)
• Roll up your sleeves and become one with the earth at the Children’s Garden Spring Session at the Queens Botanical Garden. At this weekly get-together, kids plant and harvest their own vegetables, herbs, and flowers while learning about the natural world in a beautiful environment. (April 11-June 20)
• Go on an adventure and get a taste of the Adirondacks – right here in the city! At Woodlands Discovery Club: The North Woods, families meet weekly in Central Park’s North Woods, one of the park’s most secluded and peaceful areas, to explore and learn about nature through hands-on science activities. Hosted by Central Park Conservancy, this five-week session will leave kids with a greater appreciation and ownership of everyone’s favorite backyard – Central Park. (Session 1: April 18-May 16; Session 2: May 30-June 27)
• Pretend you’re in Japan at Sakura Matsuri, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival. You’ll love meditating on the soft pink blossoms, while your kids will dig the Taiko drumming demonstrations, samurai sword fighting, and Bonsai kids’ workshops. (April 25-26)
Get ready for a fun weekend! Whether your kids will be draped in green for St. Patrick’s Day, spinning in circles in honor of Pi Day on 3/14/15, unleashing their inner artist, or exploring nature and enjoying warmer temps, RedRover has the event for you. Check out our top picks for the best weekend ever.
For Lads & Lassies on St. Patrick’s Day. The big blowout parade isn’t until next Tuesday, but your little leprechauns can get their green on at the Irish Dancing Workshop at the Children’s Museum of the Arts or the Annual St. Patrick’s Open Day at the Irish Arts Center. (See our St. Patty’s Day post for more Irish-eyes-are-smiling fun this weekend.)
For Pie-Eyed Pi Fans. Spend Pi Day (3/14/15) at New York Hall of Science and help museum staff make its Mathematica exhibit more interactive or head over to the Museum of Math and enjoy a full day of special Pi-related activities.
For Mini Matisses. Kids can make their (painterly) mark at the Museum of Modern Art’s family arts workshop, create their own painted prayer wheel at the Rubin Museum, or immerse themselves in all things arty at the Artopia festival.
For Young Naturalists. Teach your kids the importance of tending to and taking care of the planet at Keeping It Green sponsored by the Central Park Conservancy, or plant seeds and learn about gardening at the Children’s Garden Family Day at the Queens Botanical Garden.
Sit Back and Enjoy the Show. Put on your dancing duds for Garifuna Drumming and Arts at Brooklyn Children’s Museum, get wowed by the Martha Graham Dance Company at the 92nd Y, hear Ethel and Friends’ classical music among classical works of arts at the Museum of Metropolitan Art, or giggle and sing along with The Paper Bag Players at the Jewish Museum.
Shake off those heavy drab winter coats! It’s time to lighten up and go green. Even if you don’t have a single drop of Irish blood carousing through your veins, you and the kiddos can still have a blast on St. Patrick’s Day. Kids love watching parades, painting shamrocks on their cheeks, noshing on green bagels, and hearing about naughty leprechauns. So get those Irish (and everyone else’s) eyes a-smiling, and check out RedRover’s 25 ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
• Set the mood and take in some Irish flicks at Kids Film Fleadh at the Craicfest. Watch a fun program of award-winning shorts by Irish directors and then enjoy some Irish step dancing and storytelling. (March 7)
• Go ghost-hunting at “Spirit of the Irish” Candlelight Ghost Tour at the Merchant’s House Museum. It may be a lot of blarney, but many believe that this landmark is haunted by the Irish servants who once worked for the Tredwell family. (March 13)
The Siberian Express has buried most of us, but that’s no reason to seal up your front door and hibernate the rest of the winter away. Instead of developing a highly contagious bout of cabin fever, escape to one of the city’s museums with your kids and soak up some invigorating art and culture. So pull on your boots, find your kids’ missing mittens, and check out one of RedRover’s 17 best winter museum exhibits for kids.
• Yes, you are seeing spots – lots of ‘em. Spots, dots, fragments, and pixels are rearranged, built up, and broken down in Pixelated: Sum of Its Pieces at the Children’s Museum of Art. Kids will learn that one small speck when multiplied and colored can create a rich, deep work of art. Best for kids age 4 and up. Now to May 3.
• Kids get to lift, launch and levitate at From Here to There at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Kids can experiment with hands-on exhibits that make learning about gravity, friction, and the laws of motion fun. All ages but best for your littlest scientists. Now to May 10.
Lemon yellow lion dancers, shiny red envelopes filled with crisp dollar bills, sugary intense sweets… what’s not to love about the Chinese Lunar New Year? Kids adore all the fun festivities that go along with the holiday, and we’ve culled together the best ones. Here are 18 ways to celebrate the Lunar New Year and the year of the sheep/goat.
• Go bang-bang at the Lunar New Year Firecracker Ceremony & Cultural Festival. Held at the Sara D. Roosevelt Park, this event guarantees lots of snap, crackle, and pop – along with your fair share of treats and trinkets (Feb. 19).
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