What’s In While School’s Out

BY SCOTT STIFFLER | Midwinter Recess Week is almost upon us — and although the classrooms will be empty from February 20 through 24, there are still plenty of lessons to be learned. These activities at local theaters, museums, and libraries will keep cabin fever at bay while hammering home the point that there’s a whole wide world of fun beyond what Netflix has to offer.

TADA! Youth Theater’s “History Mystery” takes you back in time to the childhood years of American heroes. Photo by Kaila MacKenzie.

TADA! Youth Theater’s “The History Mystery” takes you back in time to the childhood years of American heroes. Photo by Kaila MacKenzie.

“THE HISTORY MYSTERTY” AT TADA! YOUTH THEATER | Closing, appropriately, on President’s Day, this musical — originally written in 1995 and updated just after the 2016 election — uses the women’s and civil rights movements to ask tough questions about how well we’ve lived up to the principles our country was founded upon. The power of good citizenship to challenge injustice is explored by taking a time travel adventure back to the childhood years of Benjamin Franklin, the Wright brothers, suffragettes, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King Jr. Performed by a troupe of actors ages 8-18, “The History Mystery” is rooted in the notion that, through hard work and strong convictions, kids who dream of a better world gain the power to make it happen. As the lyric says, “It’s up to you and me to make history.” After Feb. 18’s 4 p.m. performance, stay for a Community Talk, during which audience and cast members will explore the show’s themes.

Sat., Feb. 18 and Sun., Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. & 4 p.m.; Mon., Feb. 20 at 12 p.m. & 2p.m. At TADA! Youth Theater (15 W. 28th St., btw. Fifth Ave. & Broadway, 2nd Floor). Tickets start at $15. For reservations, visit tadatheater.com or call 212-252-1619. Find them on Facebook at facebook.com/TADAyouththeater and on Twitter at @TadaTheater.

FREE ACTIVITIES AT THE MUHLENBERG LIBRARY | This branch of the New York Public Library is located at 209 W. 23rd St., btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves. Every Friday at 3:30 p.m., the Teen Tech Lounge (for ages 13-18) provides laptops and a place to do homework, check email, or just surf the net. Are you 13 to 18 years of age? Got gaming moves? “Game On!” is a drop-in activity that invites you to take part in Wii tournaments: Tues., Feb. 21 and 28 at 3:30 p.m.

Chelsea’s Muhlenberg branch of the NYPL has youth activities week in and week out. Photo by Crystal Chen.

Chelsea’s Muhlenberg branch of the NYPL has youth activities week in and week out. Photo by Crystal Chen.

As part of their Mid-Winter Break Special series, Wed., Feb. 22’s 10:30 a.m. Movie for Families is a bit of a mystery; the selection has yet to be announced — but the programmers at Muhlenberg promise it will be feature-length, and fun (eating snacks is permitted, so bring some!). On Wed., Feb. 22 at 3:30 p.m., the Teen Silkscreen allows ages 13-18 to design T-shirts by cutting out paper stencils and learning a basic screen printing technique. Materials are provided. There’s a limit of 10 participants, so register in advance by calling 212-924-1585. The Kids Can Play series, every Wed. at 4 p.m., is for ages 3-12. The structured play activity, which changes week to week, includes games, puzzles, crafts, and Play-Doh, and other special surprises.

KIDS WEEK AT THE INTREPID SEA, AIR & SPACE MUSEUM | From Mon., Feb. 20 through Sat., Feb. 25, the consistently kid-friendly Intrepid Museum amps up its enduring appeal (ships, planes, and other giant stuff!) by presenting dozens of workshops, live shows, and demonstrations.

Interact with real-life scientists at “Meet the Scientist,” which takes place every day of Kids Week at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Photo by Erika Kapin.

Interact with real-life scientists at “Meet the Scientist,” which takes place every day of Kids Week at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Photo by Erika Kapin.

With “The Science and Art of Games” as its theme, the schedule features tour guide talks, “Meet the Scientist” and “Meet the Author” opportunities, hands-on fun at an arcade-style gaming center, experiments at the STEAMKids Lab, a Rube Goldberg speed building challenge, and an LED maze activity that kids can take home. Among the meet and greets: Alexandra Siy will do readings and signings of her book, “Footprints on the Moon,” and astrophysicist Steven Mohammed will teach you about constellations (both on Tues., Feb. 21). On Thurs., Feb. 23, astrophysicist Tjitske Starkenburg talks about how galaxies grow; and on Fri., Feb. 24, spacewalk flight controller and lead trainer Allison Bolinger along with her colleague, NASA astronaut Mike Massimino, lead a conversation about what happens when things do not go according to plan during a spacewalk.

At Pier 86 (W. 46th St. & 12th Ave. at Hudson River Park). Admission is $26 for adults, $24 for seniors/students, $19 for ages 5-12, and free for those under 5. All programming is free with Museum admission. For the full schedule of events and hours of operation, visit intrepidmuseum.org.

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