The Scholastic Store meshes storytime and playtime, sneaking play spaces and interactive kiosks in between stacks of popular children's titles. In Clifford the Big Red Dog's comfy doghouse, parents and kids equipped with toys, books, and pretend play items act out classic Clifford tales, such as Clifford Goes to Law School, before skipping off hand in hand with a Clifford audio book ($9.95). Burgeoning bookworms can schedule bookstore visits to coincide with in-store events to take advantage of free author readings and thrice-weekly storytimes.
Named as one of six great museums in NYC for kids by CBS New York, Children's Museum of the Arts has nurtured the artistic talents of youngsters since 1988. Tucked amid one of the city's most culture-rich neighborhoods, the SoHo facility's 10,000 square feet of galleries host three annual exhibitions by established and emerging contemporary artists, as well as children's work from the museum's permanent collection.
Beyond reverence for the arts, each showing is designed to inspire kids to create their own work through the museum's nonprofit hands-on art program which hosts kids who range from 10 months to 15 years old. At the Fine Art Studio, for instance, teaching artists help students make their own paintings and drawings, while visitors to the Clay Bar sculpt creatures out of colorful clay. The complementary WEE Arts Studio also hosts age-appropriate workshops for kids ages 5 and younger, who can experiment with painting, drawing, drumming, story telling, and music. Elsewhere, kids can experiment with voiceover and music production in the Sound Booth or direct their own stop-motion shorts in the Media Lab. Along with its general hours workshops, the museum offers summer and school break camps and after-school classes in a wide variety of disciplines, as well as school group visits and partnerships and free community programs.
With an arsenal of informative magazines, elegant photographs, and illuminating documentaries, National Geographic has inspired planetary responsibility and natural wonderment for more than 120 years. Their latest filmed adventure, The Last Lions, ushers viewers into the wetlands of Botswana's Okavango Delta, where a lioness named Ma di Tau and her cubs fight for their survival. From fleeing raging fires and cub-killing rival prides to wading through crocodile-infested rivers and the supermarket at rush hour, this family suffers perils that leave audiences touched and awestruck. Crafted by award-winning filmmakers, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, and narrated by Jeremy Irons, The Last Lions aims to raise awareness of dwindling big-cat populations while sharing a compelling story of hope. The film is rated PG for depictions of the food-chain cycle without the accompaniment of an Elton John song.
The Merchant's House Museum transports visitors to 19th century New York with a full schedule of guided and self-guided tours through the home of the Tredwells, an upper-class merchant family who resided there for nearly a century. Built in 1832—when Andrew Jackson was president and Rockefeller was a mature -7—and a recipient of National Historic Landmark status, the house maintains cultural and architectural importance as it connects modern-day guests to domestic life in New York City in 1835–1865. Tucked neatly inside the three floors open to the public, more than 3,000 items volunteer an intimate tour of the past, including decorative arts, clothing, and photographs. Original furnishings and personal possessions pepper the Greek Revival interiors, which compose dated rooms such as servant quarters and formal parlors where the family gathered to play knee football. Ongoing structural restorations, meanwhile, ensure the house will continue to be a thriving historical spring for future generations.
Sound Excursions describes their carefully curated group experiences as "field trips for adults." It's easy to see why: every outing takes groups to a new realm of Washington, whether it's the frothy shores of Puget Sound, inland forests and mountains, or tables at Seattle's thriving restaurants. The events held at these diverse locations range from culinary workshops on topics such as sushi-making and moonshine-tasting, to adventurous excursions with whitewater rafting or kayaking, to laid-back themed party cruises. For many outings, luxury transportation is provided.