Our guide to cultural events in New York City for families with children and teenagers.
THE BLACK GLOVE at the Gene Frankel Theater (through Dec. 16). It certainly doesn t sound like a holiday title. But then, you wouldn t expect August Strindberg to create anything called The Red Mitten. Yes, this dour Swedish master wrote a Christmas play and, even more surprisingly, it s for children. Presented by August Strindberg Repertory Theater, in a new verse translation by Anne-Charlotte Hanes Harvey, the production centers on the lost object of the title, which seems to confer the season s spirit on anyone who finds it. Its original owner, however, has none of that warmth. A mean-spirited, wealthy young mother, she thinks that her maid has stolen her ring, which is actually inside the missing glove. A tomte, similar to an elf, conspires with the Christmas Angel to teach the woman a lesson. Points are scored, but this being a holiday entertainment, she ends up more like Scrooge than like Miss Julie. 212-868-4444, strindbergrep.com
CITY OF SCIENCE at the Park Slope Armory Y.M.C.A. (Dec. 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Children will walk on water no religious miracles required during this free daylong celebration, a satellite event that takes highlights of the annual World Science Festival and transports them outside Manhattan. At this stop in Brooklyn, in addition to that water feat (courtesy of cornstarch and the principles governing what are known as non-Newtonian fluids), science fans can also investigate a giant pendulum wave; an astroblaster, or seismic accelerator; a space-time simulator using marbles to illustrate the theory of general relativity; and other experiments and demonstrations. 212-348-1400, worldsciencefestival.com/cityofscience
JUDY & THE MACCABEES at Merkin Concert Hall (Dec. 10, 11 a.m.) Yes, that s Judy, not Judah. The story of Hanukkah gets a heroine in this feminist musical retelling, in which young audience members can also belt out tributes to the mighty, mighty Maccabees. Written by Sean Hartley and presented by the Poppy Seed Players, the show follows Judy, a teenager who seeks out Judah and his soldiers, eventually coming up with the plan to outwit the evil King Antiochus and restore religious freedom for the Jews. Light will shine, but no swords will be raised.212-501-3330, kaufmanmusiccenter.org/mch
THE LOST STRING QUARTET at the Time in Children s Arts Initiative (Dec. 10, 11 a.m.). Want to get young people interested in classical music? Write some for them. That s what Stephanie Griffin, the violist of the Momenta Quartet, has done in this project, which is as much a theater piece as it is a concert. (The show is free, but reservations are requested.) Working with the Mexican director Fernando Villa Proal, who wrote the libretto, she has adapted N. M. Bodecker s children s book of the same title. It s the story of a quartet (played here by the Momenta Musicians) whose members run into trouble during an arduous winter journey. As they lose their instruments, they replace them with objects like a car door, an oil pan and a tire iron with intriguing results. brownpapertickets.com/event/3181579
LATKEPALOOZA! at the Museum of Jewish Heritage (Dec. 10, 10 a.m. to noon). You may have seen hamburgers and pancakes flipped, but how about latkes? The staff of Ben s, the kosher Manhattan delicatessen, will demonstrate the proper technique at this festive event, where visitors can also eat those fried potato Hanukkah treats. Presented by the Workmen s Circle and National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene, as well as by the museum, the celebration will include Hanukkah singalongs with klezmer musicians and opportunities to decorate menorahs.646-437-4202, mjhnyc.org/events/latkepalooza
MATERIALS AND TEXTURES : A FAMILY WORKSHOP IN SELF-TAUGHT GENIUS at the Self-Taught Genius Gallery (Dec. 9, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.). And what would you find in a space devoted to untutored talent? One of the most striking examples of such a gift: folk art. That s what children will be emulating and creating in this gallery, the recently opened Queens annex of the American Folk Art Museum. Program participants (registration is required) can observe the works in Highlights From Self-Taught Genius, a smaller version of a previous museum exhibition. Inspired by the creations of artists like Judith Scott, who wound and wove layers of yarn around ordinary objects, children will use a variety of materials to make their own sculptures.212-265-0605, folkartmuseum.org/programs
OPEN STUDIO: LAURA OWENS at the Whitney Museum of American Art (Dec. 9, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Paintings aren t always about paint, or about gracing a wall. The work of Laura Owens, now in a major retrospective at the Whitney, embraces three-dimensionality, bookmaking and objects like buttons, wheels and cords. Children can do the same at this program, where they will explore the exhibition and create their own artists books, using Ms. Owens s inventions as inspiration. The artist herself will join the workshop in the morning, to answer questions and join in the fun.212-570-3600, whitney.org