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Weekend Events: WILLiFEST & BAM Block Parties, Book Festival and Loads More!

September 20, 2012

We know how to throw a block party in Brooklyn and WILLiFEST Blockbuster Block Party and BAM Fisher Block Party will not only feature fabulous local musicians but bring the community together with films, workshops and performances.  The Brooklyn Book Festival is taking over downtown this Sunday, but don’t miss some of the “Bookend” events they have going on beforehand. Our guide to the kids’ events for the festival is here. Our museums are having some fun events too: the Brooklyn Children’s Museum is re-opening with Suzi Shelton and Friends and The Wyckoff Farm Museum is having their old fashioned Breukelen Country Fair with bluegrass music and fireside cooking.  As always, don’t forget to visit our events calendar and music listings for more inside. Have a great weekend!


Through Sunday, September 30th
Yayoi Kusama at The Whitney Museum of American Art

Well known for her use of dense patterns of polka dots and nets, as well as her intense, large-scale environments, Yayoi Kusama works in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, film, performance, and immersive installation. Born in Japan in 1929, Kusama came to the United States in 1957 and quickly found herself at the epicenter of the New York avant-garde. After achieving fame through groundbreaking exhibitions and art “happenings,” she returned to her native country in 1973 and is now one of Japan’s most prominent contemporary artists. This retrospective features works spanning Kusama’s career. The AMAZING  Fireflies on the Water is being shown in the Museum’s Lobby Gallery in conjunction with the Yayoi Kusama retrospective. Timed tickets are required to view Fireflies on the Water and can only be reserved on the day of your visit at the admission desk. The show is being billed as “all ages”- if you are concerned, see photos of the exhibit here before going.
Details: 945 Madison Ave (at 75th St)  (212) 570-3600

Through November 5th: various times
Century of the Child: Growing By Design Exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art
Taking place in The Joan and Preston Robert Tisch Exhibition Gallery, sixth floor. MoMA’s survey of 20th century design for children. The exhibition will bring together areas underrepresented in design history and often considered separately, including school architecture, clothing, playgrounds, toys and games, children’s hospitals and safety equipment, nurseries, furniture, and books.
Details: 11 West 53 Street, NYC. All are welcomed. FREE with museum admission. Contact: (212) 708-9400. Visit the website for more information.

Through November 17th
Smorgasburg Williamsburg
For gourmands everywhere, Smorgasburg in Williamsburg has become a destination to taste artisan foods and snatch up unique housewares.  Every Saturday at the East River, thousands come to see and taste the vendors’ wares and chow with their friends.
Details: Saturday, 11am-6pm, Rain or Shine  East River Waterfront (btw. North 6 + 7 St.)

Through November 17th
Smorgasburg DUMBO
Smorgasburg happens every Sunday on the DUMBO waterfront at the historic Tobacco Warehouse, from 11am to 6pm. Packaged and prepared foods, purveyors from New York City and across the region, and other food-related vendors (kitchen utensils, housewares, etc.), for a total of 75-100 vendors. Click here to apply as a vendor. Runs until November 18th.
Details: Sunday (Starting Sept. 9), 11am-6pm, Rain or Shine | The Flea’s Giant All-Food Market Tobacco Warehouse (30 Water St.)

Through November 18th
Williamsburg Flea
The Williamsburg Flea is a Sunday ritual for our family: with super finds and delicious food vendors, you can spend a whole day just noshing and looking. Located between North 6th and North 7th Streets just south of East River State Park, the Flea is a must-see destination when you get off the ferry. Take a moment to take in the fabulous skyline as well.
Details: Sunday, 10am-5pm, Rain or Shine East River Waterfront (btw. North 6 + 7 St.)

Food’s up

One of the best changes to Brooklyn Bridge Park last year was the addition of great food vendors. What is still missing: shade! A lot of the vendors will be opening this weekend so it’s a perfect time to head to the park, or hop on the ferry or just chill and score a great lunch. I will be heading to my favorites Bark Hot Dogs and Ditch Plains and summer wouldn’t be complete without an ice cream from Uncle Louie G or Blue Marble. The full list of park vendors and their operating hours is here.

Ongoing Saturdays and Sundays from 10am — 6pm
Field Station: Dinosaurs
9 minutes from Manhattan and 90 million years back in time… That’s what Field Station: Dinosaurs is! My son and I had the opportunity to visit this outdoor attraction a few weeks ago and we absolutely loved it! Field Station: Dinosaurs is a world-class family attraction that combines cutting-edge science with the creative minds of great artists and teachers to create a one-of-kind experience that’s thrilling, educational and fun. There are over thirty life-sized, realistic dinosaurs (including the ninety foot long Argentinosaurus, the largest animatronic dinosaur ever made) that come to life. It’s like a museum, outdoors. And it’s totally cool!
Details: Secaucus, NJ. Cost: $20/adults; $17.50/children 3-12; FREE/children 2 and under. Visit the website for more information.

Open ended
The Berenstain Bears LIVE!
We are so excited about the “beary” good show that will be held at the Marjorie S. Dean Little Theatre! In The Berenstain Bears LIVE! in Family Matters, our favorite Bear Country citizens come to life on the Off-Broadway stage. In addition to teaching life lessons during the show, there will be a mini dance party and face painting afterwards. It’s going to be “bear”mazing! We have all seen it a couple of times and it’s super cute for the kids.
Details: Marjorie S. Dean Little Theatre. 10 West 64th Street and Central Park West. Tickets start at $34.95. 866.811.4111.

Through November 2012
Gazillion Bubble Show at New World Stages Theater
You’ve seen how your kids react to bubbles. Now, imagine how they would react to seeing people inside bubbles, or lasers shooting through bubbles, or bubbles within bubbles?!  They will be enthralled…and so will you. The Gazillion Bubble Show in Manhattan, is all about bubble magic and everyone from David Letterman to Oprah thinks the show is pretty fantastic.
Details: 340 West 50th Street, NYC. All ages welcomed. Cost: $44.50 -$89.50 (VIP package). Purchase tickets: Telecharge at 212.239.6200 or at www.telecharge.com. Visit the website for more information.

Through December 2nd: various times
Spiders Alive! at The American Museum of Natural History
Among the live spiders visitors will encounter are the goliath bird eater; the western black widow; and species from other arachnid orders, including African whip spiders. Spiders Alive! will explore spiders’ silk, venom, and little-known defensive mechanisms such as mimicry. The exhibition will include larger-than-life models, videos, interactive exhibits, and fossils.
Details: Central Park West at 79th Street, NYC. All ages welcomed. Cost: Ticket includes museum admission and Spiders Alive exhibit: $25 adults; $14.50 children; $19 seniors/students. Contact: 212-769-5100. Visit the website for more information.

Through January 2013 from 10:30am — 4:30pm (every hour on the half hour)
IMAX: Flying Monsters at The American Museum of Natural History
Let Sir David Attenborough be your guide as you fly alongside reptiles with 40-foot-wing spans and find out how pterosaurs took to the skies in the Age of Dinosaurs.
Details: Central Park West at 79th Street. All are welcomed. Cost: $25/adults; $19/students, seniors; $14.50/children ages 2-12. Visit the website for more information.


Friday, September 21st from 10am — 11:30am and 1pm — 3pm
Brooklyn Public Library: Kids Mobile at Prospect Park Children’s Corner
Brooklyn Public Library’s colorful Kidsmobile, a children’s library on wheels, is busy at schools, daycare centers, Headstart and after school programs and community events. Head on over for fun, free, and educational activities!
Details: Flatbush Avenue and Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn. Across from the carousel. All ages welcomed. FREE for all. Contact: 718-253-4948. Visit the website for more information.

Friday, September 21st from 11:30am — 12:00pm
Story Time with Jordan at powerHouse Arena
Join in the fun on Fridays as powerHouse Children’s Book Specialist Jordan Nielsen reads from some of our favorite kids books. It’s a perfect pre-nap activity, if you ask me. Please note: RSVP is highly recommended.
Details: 37 Main Street, Brooklyn. Recommended for ages 2-6. FREE for all. Contact: 718.666.3049 or email kids@powerHouseArena.com. Visit the website for more information.

Friday, September 21st from 2:00pm — 3:00pm
Baby Boogie at the Prospect Park YMCA
Are you a new parent?! Then this class may just be perfect for you. Listen closely and you’ll hear the class calling your name. Not only will you have time to meet other parents here, but the class also includes games for babies, singing, and dancing. Jackpot!
Details: 357 Ninth Street. Ideal for parents with babies up to 13 months. $12/visit. Telephone: 718.768.7100. Visit the website for more information.

Friday, September 21st from 3:30pm — 5:30pm
Basketball at Nelson A. Rockefeller Park
Basketball with adjustable height hoops for kids of all sizes, plus fun drills to improve your skills. Closed-toed shoes required.
Ages 5 and 6: Fridays, June 1-Oct. 26 (except 5/25, 8/31, 10/5), 3:30-4:30pm
Ages 7 and up: Fridays, June 1-Oct. 26 (except 5/25, 8/31, 10/5), 4:30-5:30pm
Details: North end of Battery Park City, west of River Terrace, NYC. Two sessions: 5-6 or 7 and up. FREE for all. Contact: 212.267.9700. Visit the website for more information.

Friday, September 21st at 4pm
Magic Show at Carroll Gardens Library
Get ready to say “abracadabra!” All participants will be entertained when Amore the magician delights the audience with his magic show, full of side-splitting comedy and audience participation! Join us for a delightful afternoon.
Details: 396 Clinton Street, Brooklyn. All are welcomed.

Friday, September 21st from 4:30pm — 5:30pm
Animal Haven’s Caring Kids Program
Where are our animal lovers? Or parents of animal-loving children? You’ll want to check out this FREE event that introduces children and young teens to basic animal care and teaches them about existing issues in animal welfare. Through exciting lesson plans and interactive activities with cats and dogs at the shelter, participants learn the importance of treating animals humanely. They will not only make an impact on the lives of the animals they encounter, but it can certainly be a significant experience for them as well.
Details: 251 Centre Street. Ages 5-12. FREE for all, but RSVP is required. Contact: KendraM@ah-nyc.org or visit the website for more information.

Friday, September 21st at 6:15pm
Family Movie Night at The Moxie Spot
Still stumped on how to enjoy Family Friday Nights after a long week? Head on over to The Moxie Spot, a family-friendly restaurant and play space for a fun Friday night film screening. Kids will eat for free when you purchase an entrée from the dinner special after 5:30pm. Now that what we call “family friendly.”
Details: The short feature begins at 6:15pm. The longer feature begins at 6:45pm. 81-83 Atlantic Avenue (at Hicks Street). 718.923.9710.


Saturday, September 22nd from 10am — 4pm
Apple Seeds Opening Boutique!
To mark the opening of their brand new children’s toy and book boutique, the apple seeds flagship in Chelsea will be offering families free haircuts, shopping discounts and an all-day family extravaganza! While the adults shop, children newborn to 5 years old will have a chance to experience many activities throughout the day including face painting, balloon animals, children’s manicures and story time book readings every hour. Shopping discounts on brands such as Plan Toys, Playmobil, Lego, Kid O, Manhattan Toy, Melissa & Doug, and Klutz will be up to 30% off.
Details: 10 West 25th Street between Broadway and 6th Avenue, NYC. All are welcomed. Contact: 212.792.7590. Visit the website for more information.

Saturday, September 22nd from 10am — 6pm
WILLiFEST’s Blockbuster Block Party
Apparently Brooklyn is going out with a bang this summer because we’re enjoying the outdoor weather until the very last minute. Enjoy a day of kid-friendly vendors, food, crafts, and fun! Plus… The Brooklyn Nets will bring out their mobile “Experience” with activities for children and adults alike. And… special Guest Buckets Blakes of the Harlem Globetrotters (3pm — 4pm) will sign autographs and shoot hoops for the crowd. You can play fun games and win prizes at the Yelp booth. Come hungry because there will be plenty of food offered by local restaurants, carts and exotic food trucks.
Details: Grand Street between Roebling and Driggs Avenue, Brooklyn. All are welcomed.

Saturday, September 22nd from 11am — 3pm
Clean and Green at New Gardens

Here’s your chance to volunteer at the Gowanus Canal Conservancy’s day of planting by the Gowanus Canal. Participants will be installing a new public street-side garden.  By removing trash and debris, and installing native plants and site amenities, we will create a beautiful wildlife garden where weeds and blight existed before. Additional activities will include compost sifting and horticultural maintenance. While you’re enjoying yourself, be sure to wear closed-toe shoes and bring sunscreen and lots of water!
: Corner of 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street, Brooklyn. For more information, email volunteer@gowanuscanalconservancy.org.

Saturday, September 22nd from 11am — 5pm
PS 9 Bounce Back-to-School Fall Carnival
Bounce House Extravaganza, DJ Dance Party, Carnival Games, Face Painting, BBQ and Bake Sale! All proceeds to benefit student, academic and arts programs at PS9. Please note: The rain date is Sunday, September 23rd.
Details: 80 Underhill Avenue (enter on Mark’s Avenue), Brooklyn. Cost: $4/adults; $2/children, first bounce FREE. Visit the website for more information.

Saturday, September 22nd from 11am — 6pm
The Brooklyn Local at Pier 1
City Harvest, the world’s first food rescue organization dedicated to feeding New York City’s hungry, will host its second annual Brooklyn Local event at Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Brooklyn Local showcases Brooklyn’s most delectable fares and event proceeds will help City Harvest feed more hungry New Yorkers. Guests can expect more than 75 vendor booths highlighting local and gourmet food items as well as craft beer and wine.
Ticket information: Tickets to enter the market will cost $10 (kids under 5 are free), family passes (for two adults and up to four children) will cost  $40, and visitors can purchase an all-access pass for $90 which includes admission to the Tasting Tent and Happy Hour. Tickets that include access to the Tasting Tent and Market will cost $75, and tickets that include access to the Market and Happy Hour will cost $35. All-access passes are also available for children ages 5-12 for $30.
Details: 334 Furman Street, Brooklyn. Contact: 917.351.8725. Visit the website to purchase tickets.

Saturday, September 22nd at 1pm and 2pm
Suzi Shelton and Friends at The Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Brooklyn Children’s Museum grand re-opening presents… Suzi Shelton and Friends! Join in the fun as Suzi and her friends rock out like never before. Needless to say, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum is back with a vengeance!
Details: 145 Brooklyn Avenue, Brooklyn. Ages 7 and under. FREE with museum admissions. Contact: 718.735.4000. Visit the website for more information.

Saturday, September 22nd from 1pm — 6pm
1st Annual Breukelen Country Fair
Bluegrass, games, crafts, cider pressing, photo booth, house tours, and fire side cooking is just a little of what you can expect from this fair. There’s much more so be sure to head out to Flatbush Avenue and relish in what’s left of the great weather! This event is brought to you by The Wyckoff Farmhouse.
Details: 5816 Clarendon Road, Brooklyn. Cost: $5/adults; $3/children.

Saturday, September 22nd from 10:30am — 11:30am
Story Time with Carol and Friends
Carroll Garden folks, weekly story time has never been so good! The Friends of Carroll Garden Library present, “Story Time with Carol and Friends” so head on over to join in on the educational fun.
Details: All ages welcomed. FREE for all. 396 Clinton Street. For more information, contact: friendscglibrary@gmail.com or visit their website.

Saturday, September 22nd at 11am
Storytime at Greenlight Bookstore
Saturday Story Time is geared toward kids ages 3 to 8 and their families. Authors and illustrators of picture books often visit us on Saturdays to read from their new books, and neighborhood performers sometimes read as well. There are always great stories and sometimes activities and crafts too!
Details: 686 Fulton Street (at South Portland), Brooklyn. Ages 3 to 8. FREE for all, but seating is on a first come, first served basis. Visit the website for more information.

Saturday, September 22nd beginning at 12pm
BAM Fisher Block Party and Musical Celebration
Shine and the Moonbeams, Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls All-Star Band, Alice Smith, Aabaraki, and more! Come on out to enjoy the BAM Fisher Block Party and Musical Celebration! There will be a rhythm and percussion workshop, a human alphabet movement workshop, and ongoing games and activities. Fun, fun, FUN!
For more information, call 718.636.4100 or visit BAM.org.

Saturday, September 22nd beginning at 2:30pm
City Stomp Fall Concert at Littlefield
With a line-up of songs that celebrate the sights and sounds of New York City taxis, Coney Island and more, combined with rock versions of children’s classic melodies, City Stomp Live takes the stage at Littlefield. The Brooklyn-based band is comprised of five veteran musicians, including several who are instructors at the City Stomp music classes held in multiple locations around Brooklyn.
Details: 622 Degraw Avenue between 3rd and 4th Avenues. Cost: $8/person 2 and older; $10/at the door; $30/family of four or more. Visit the website for more information.


Sunday, September 23rd from 10am — 6pm
Brooklyn Book Festival
With over 280 authors and 104 panels, the Brooklyn Book Festival is a fantastic reminder of this borough’s literacy scene. Lev Grossman, Tina Chang, Emma Straub are just some of the great panelists. I checked out the full schedule and it’s pretty awesome so I know that anyone who goes will have a lovely time. Click the link to view the full schedule.
Details: Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza. 209 Joralemon Street. All are welcomed. Visit the website for more information.

Sunday, September 23rd at 11:00am
Baby Stories and Singalongs at Greenlight Bookstore
Babies and toddlers under 3 years old will be highly entertained with stories, songs, and interactive play as the children’s performers Miss NinaJon Samson, and Vered take turns keeping them busy.
Details: Geared toward ages 3 years and under. Open to public, but on a first come, first served basis. 686 Fulton Street (at South Portland). Visit the website for more information.

Sunday, September 23rd at 12:00pm — 1:00pm
Story Time at Books of Wonder
Each week, they choose several books (based on the age of the children attending) and sit down with children and their parents.
Details: 18 West 18th Street, NYC. All ages welcomed. FREE for all. Contact: 212.989.3270 or emailstore@booksofwonder.com. Visit the website for more information.

Sunday, September 23rd at 12:00pm — 4pm
Artscetera Open House
Celebrate the studio’s 15 years with open play, singalongs, art projects just for autumn, refreshments and learn about their upcoming classes. The party is best suited for ages 6 months to 5 years. Sign up for Arfie’s Art class early- it usually fills up right away.
Details: 212 Smith Street btw. Baltic and Butler, Cobble Hill

Sunday, September 23rd at 1pm
Kings Vs. Pawns
Abundant Learning and The DUMBO Improvement District presents… Kings Vs. Pawns — A FREE chess simultaneous exhibition with Grandmaster Alexander Stripunsky against 20 participants. And there will be PRIZES for the most successful adult and child!
Details: Under the Manhattan Bridge Archway (between Pearl Street and Adam Street). Sign up by emailing jason@abundantlearning.org.

Sunday, September 23rd at 2pm
WILLiFEST Presents “Brooklyn Castle”
Brooklyn Castle is an inspiring film about the amazing national chess champions at our very own local Eugenio Maria De Hostos IS 318, Academy of the Arts & Sciences.  Please note: this screening is FREE but seating is limited!
Details: 211 South 4th Street (near Roebling Street), Brooklyn. All are welcomed. FREE for all.

Sunday, September 23rd at 2pm
Mil’s Trills with Rolie Polie Guacamole at Union Hall
Get ready for the children’s concert of the summer, Brooklynites! And it promises to be a good one!
Details: 702 Union Street, Brooklyn. All are welcomed. Cost: $10/person; $35/family of 4 or more; FREE/children under 1 year old. Contact: 718.638.4400. Visit the website for more information.

Sunday, September 23rd from 2pm — 3:30pm
Mala Making and Mhendi Party at Bija
Join Bija for a fun afternoon of mala making (prayer beads) and mhendi art (henna tattoos). This is a great way to introduce a different culture to the little ones.
Details: 900 Fulton Street, Brooklyn. All are welcomed. Cost: $25/child. Contact: 718.483.4795. Visit the website for more information.

Sunday, September 23rd from 3:30pm — 4:30pm
Story Time with Spellbound Theatre at JJ BByrne Park
Spellbound Theatre is celebrating the 100 Story House exhibit by Julie Marchesi and Leon Reid IV with… Storytime in the Park! Get in the last bit of your outdoor enjoyment while hearing new stories and familiar tales, creating puppets, singing songs, and more! This event will be led by Spellbound Theatre artist, Lauren Jost and it’s sure to be a good one!
Details: 3rd Street between 4th and 5th Avenue, Brooklyn. All are welcomed. FREE for all. Visit the website for more information.

Sunday, September 23rd at 4pm
Kids Musician Rick Recht Rocks Brooklyn!
Kids’ rock musician Rick Recht will get children and their families on their feet dancing and singing at Brooklyn College’s Tanger Hillel on Sunday, Sept. 23 at 4 p.m. in a special celebration of PJ Library in South Brooklyn. Ticket information: $10 in advance; $15 at the door. Children under 2 are free.
Details: 2091 Campus Road, Brooklyn. Visit the website to purchase tickets.