Metro Mama & Metro Baby

By Kim Taylor

City outings for children are often just as fun for adults as they are for kids. Case in point: these two offerings, which will transfix and fascinate people of all ages (but especially your children).

Every fall The Big Apple Circus comes to Manhattan, complete with ponies, white stallions, goats, dogs, acrobats, slapstick, clowns, jugglers, contortionists and the heart-stopping high wire flyer. Lincoln Center is ideally suited as host to this big tent spectacular with its dramatic fountain and gorgeous architecture. The circus arena is small enough to feel intimate and keep children engaged, yet roomy enough to seem spacious. Audience members are given a clown’s nose upon entrance, and the show lasts two dazzling hours. An intermission breaks up the hours, and there’s not a bored expression or sleeping child in the entire audience. In fact, audience members are drawn into the show at times, and become entertainers themselves. Don’t miss this! http://www.bigapplecircus.com

A trip to the Liberty Science Center is part of the great adventure, since a trolley shuttles you to the museum’s entrance in a manner that seems delightfully quaint and old-fashioned. Whether you visit for a Liberty Science Center birthday party, or a spellbinding Imax movie, or to see one of the many themed floor displays, you will never leave disappointed. In fact, the experience and the myriad things you learn will remain with you for years to come (and may even enhance your child’s science grades).

Hands-on exhibits are what render this museum so extraordinary – that phrase is so exciting to children since “Please touch!” seems like a child’s dream come true. The three themed floors at the Liberty Science Center encompass Invention, Environment and Health. In the Health section, children can operate on a banana with a staple in its body in full scrubs with the “operation” televised for onlookers. They can work in a lab on an assigned experiment with some preliminary tutoring, or view the Imax Hubble spacecraft documentary – or see Sea Rex in 3D. The cafeteria is loaded with healthy, affordable food, and the gift shop has something in all price ranges for every taste. Visit http://www.lsc.org for more information and directions. This is truly one of the places that make New York City great.

Originally published November 2010
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