A kid’s Brooklyn

I’m a teacher and a dad-to-be (!) so I’ve pretty much always got kids on the mind. I just put together a list of activities in Brooklyn that kids will enjoy for part of my “Explore New York” initiative.

These are great spots for field trips, family outings, and birthday parties. Let me know how it goes!
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Summer exhibits at New York City museums

The best part about being a teacher is the vacation time. And since my wife and I both teach, summer vacation is the time to really relax, spend quality time together, travel, and do all the things in New York City that we’re always meaning to do during the year but don’t get around to…mainly, going to museums. Here’s a great list of summer exhibits at some of the best museums in the city:

  • Rococo: The Continuing Curve 1730–2008 at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (through July 6)
  • Double Album: Daniel Guzman and Steven Shearer at the New Museum of Contemporary Art (through July 6)
  • “A Railroad Reborn: Metro-North at 25” at the NY Transit Museum gallery annex at Grand Central Terminal (extended through July 6)
  • Glossolalia: Languages of Drawing at MoMA (through July 7)
  • ©MURAKAMI at Brooklyn Museum () (through July 13)
  • Sex in Design/Design in Sex at the Museum of Sex (extended through July 13)
  • First Under Heaven: Korean Ceramics from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection at the Asia Society and Museum (extended through July 20)
  • Multiplex: Directions in Art, 1970 to Now at MoMA (through July 28 )
  • Projects 87: Sigalit Landau opens at MoMA (through July 28 )
  • “Warhol’s Jews: Ten Portraits Reconsidered” at the Jewish Museum (through Aug. 3)
  • Inspired by Kashmir: Works by New York City Students at the Asia Society (through Aug. 3)
  • Ardeshir Mohassess: Art and Satire in Iran and Vietnam: A Memorial Work by Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba exhibitions at the Asia Society (through Aug. 3)
  • Making It Together exhibition inspired by the ‘70s Feminist Movement at the Bronx Museum of the Arts (through Aug. 4)
  • French Founding Father: Lafayette’s Return to Washington’s America at the New York Historical Society (through Aug. 10)
  • Click! A Crowd Curated Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum (through Aug. 10)
  • From Another Shore: Recent Icelandic Art, including works from Olga Bergmann, Hildur Bjarnadóttir, Margrét H. Blöndal and Ólafur Elíasson, at The Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America (through Aug. 15)
  • Woven Splendor from Timbuktu to Tibet: Exotic Rugs and Textiles from New York Collectors at the New York Historical Society (through Aug. 17)
  • Orientalism in New York opens at the New York Historical Society (through Aug. 17)
  • Eminent Domain: Contemporary Photography and the City at the NY Public Library (through Aug. 29)
  • Mother Goose in an Air-Ship: McLoughlin Bros. 19th Century Children’s Books from the Liman Collection at the Brooklyn Historical Society (through August)
  • Bedford Stuyvesant: Neighborhood of Change at the Brooklyn Historical Society (through Aug. 31)
  • Philip Guston: Works on Paper at the Morgan Library and Museum (through Aug. 31)
  • Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (through Sept. 1)
  • Wiener Werkstatte Jewelry exhibition at the Neue Galerie – Museum for German and Austrian Art (extended through Sept. 1)
  • Framing a Century: Master Photographers, 1840–1940 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (through Sept. 1)
  • “Radiance from the Rain Forest: Featherwork in Ancient Peru” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art () (through Sept. 1)
  • “Multiple Choice: From Sample to Product” at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (extended through Sept. 1)
  • “Arbus/Avedon/Model: Selections from the Bank of America LaSalle Collection,” “Heavy Light: Recent Photography and Video from Japan,” and “Bill Wood’s Business” at the International Center of Photography (through Sept. 7)
  • 183rd Annual Invitational Exhibition of Conemporary Art at the at the National Academy Museum (through Sept. 7)
  • Asa Ames: Occupation Sculpturing at the American Folk Art Museum () (through Sept. 14)
  • Jazz Score at MoMA (through Sept. 15)
  • Dalí: Painting and Film at MoMA (through Sept. 15)
  • Dargerism: Contemporary Artists and Henry Darger at the American Folk Art Museum (through September 21)
  • New York Fast Forward: Neil Denari Builds on the High Line opens at the Museum of the City of New York (through Sept. 21)
  • “Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940-1976″ at the Jewish Museum (through Sept 21)
  • Louise Bourgeois full-career retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum (through September 28 )
  • Red, Black, and Gold at the Rubin Museum of Art (through Oct. 13)
  • NYC Waterfalls in the East River (through Oct. 13)

(thank you newyorkology for a great list!)

(P.S. Check out my post Free NYC (Things to Do and See) for more ideas of ways to spend time (but not money) in New York City this summer.)

The Zoos of New York

While some might like to argue that New York City is one big zoo, others might prefer the more traditional understanding of the term and head out to some of New York’s spectacular animal homes. As being one of the greatest cities in the world, it should come as no surprise that it’s zoos are also some of the best.

The Central Park Zoo in Manhattan, is my most favorite place on earth. It’s definitely one of the smaller zoos on my list, but it’s hidden, surprising location, in the middle of the Big Apple, makes it a sort of ironic, quaint, and extremely happy place. Adults on their lunch breaks, kids on field trips, and idle New York wanderers like myself, come to the Central Park Zoo as a sort of Mecca from bustling city life. One second you’re in Times Square, the busiest spot in the country, and the next second, you’re in Africa, or the South Pole, or China! It’s pretty spectacular.

I grew up in Queens, so I have a special affinity towards the Queens Zoo. There’s also the bear habitat there. It the only zoo in New York to host the endangered bears of the Andes Mountains. The Staten Island Zoo is probably the least exciting for me, but does have a petting zoo which I know grabs the attention of the younger crowd. Prospect Park Zoo is the newest of the zoos and you can really tell with its modern (and very humane) naturalistic habitat exhibits.

Last but not least, is the Bronx Zoo, a huge zoo and a fantastic zoo. My favorite exhibit is the indoor acre large rain forest. It’s truly breathtaking!

Ok, so maybe I know a bit too much about zoos. I’ve been a zoo-goer since my own first class trip to the Queen’s Zoo, and now, as a third grade teacher, I bring kids myself to all the zoos in New York City. I have enough stories to fill a book! Maybe I’ll write a book!