Our guide to cultural events in New York City for children and teenagers happening this weekend and in the week ahead.
BREAD BAKING CLASS FOR KIDS at Brooklyn Bread Lab (Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, 2:30-4:30 p.m.). There’s nothing like a big, gooey mess to attract a group of children. But while many messes have no useful purpose, those produced here will result in something delightful: fresh sourdough bread. Open to young bakers 6 and older and accompanying adults, each of these classes is a self-contained lesson. (Space is limited.) Working with Leah Morrow, executive pastry chef of the Williamsburg Hotel, students will create their own dough (playing with the ingredients is encouraged) and bake loaves to take home. Brooklyn Bread Lab will provide refreshments, ingredients and critical accessories, such as chefs’ aprons.
‘MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER’ at BAM Rose Cinemas (Nov. 25, 2 p.m.). Hogwarts isn’t the only school of magic worth attending. Consider Endor, the institution in which Mary, this film’s young heroine, finds herself enrolled after she follows a black cat into a forest and comes upon a broomstick and some mysterious blossoms. Part of the BAMKids movie matinee series at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, “Mary and the Witch’s Flower” derives its story from “The Little Broomstick,” a 1971 novel by the British author Mary Stewart. Hiromasa Yonebayashi, a Japanese director who worked on several of Hayao Miyazaki’s films, has turned the book into this animated adventure, shown here in an English-language version that the New York Times critic A. O. Scott called “a charming children’s entertainment.”
‘PETE THE CAT’ at the Borough of Manhattan Community College Tribeca Performing Arts Center (Nov. 24-25, 11 a.m.). Many children would agree that cats rock, but no feline hipster does it as well as Pete: He’s a genuine pop star. TheaterWorksUSA is now bringing him, his band and his VW bus back onstage in a revival of its musical based on the “Pete the Cat” picture book series by James Dean. With a genial, peppy score by Will Aronson and a clever book and lyrics by Sarah Hammond, the show follows Pete’s adventures after he’s forced to give up a gig in Paris and learn how to be a house pet with the Biddle family — not an appealing prospect for a party animal. But the production does grant redemption for Pete. The cultured cat helps give Jimmy, the Biddles’ son, the confidence the boy needs to tackle a school art project — Pete just doesn’t do it in the usual animal-therapy way.
‘SLEEPOVER’ at Tada! Youth Theater (through Dec. 2). Parents know that one of the activities least favored at a children’s sleepover is sleep. That’s certainly true of this onstage slumber party, performed by the tween and teenage actors of the Tada! Resident Youth Ensemble. Written by Philip Freedman and Jim Beloff, this cheerful, oft-revived musical comically explores middle-school anxieties as Mia, the event’s host, agonizes over the guest list, and Simone, the new girl, worries about making friends. Male theatergoers should have fun, too: The script includes an ingenious way that a bunch of boys manage to crash the party, which remains steadfastly G-rated.
212-252-1619, ext. 5; tadatheater.com
WINTER ON A FLATBUSH FARM at the Lefferts Historic House (Nov. 25, 1-3 p.m.). It’s been a long time since Brooklyn was a rural community, but children can experience what those days were like at this annual event, held at a restored 18th-century farmhouse in Prospect Park. Operated by the Historic House Trust of New York City and the Prospect Park Alliance, the Lefferts estate recreates the atmosphere and activities of an 1800s home. Young visitors can make scented balm, watch wool thread being spun, play old-fashioned board and card games and enjoy traditional treats like apple butter and olykoek, or deep-fried dough, from the house’s outdoor hearth. The fun concludes with a visit from St. Nicholas, who will arrive the Dutch way — not with reindeer, but on horseback.
WINTER’S EVE AT LINCOLN SQUARE (Nov. 26, 5:30-9 p.m.). The holidays always arrive early — and exhaustively — in the form of this free indoor-outdoor festival, which stretches (mostly) along Broadway, from Columbus Circle to 70th Street. Presented by the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District, the event will begin with a tree-lighting ceremony at Dante Park, where the festival’s M.C., Judy Collins, will join Arlo Guthrie, his family and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City for festive singing. Children can have their pictures taken with “Sesame Street” characters at the Tisch WNET Studios; enjoy art projects, face painting and the music of Mister G at the festival’s Kid Central, inside the Raymour & Flanigan store; experience the comedy of Jack Frost at the Time Warner Center; and see free screenings of “Prancer,” a film about a little girl and an injured reindeer, at 3, 5 and 7 p.m. at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. St. Nicholas will also join the fun at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle.
WORLD VISION’S GIVE-BACK GIFT SHOP in Bryant Park (Nov. 25-27, 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.). Families in underdeveloped nations who receive holiday presents from World Vision aren’t likely to find them beautifully wrapped and decorated with bows. This humanitarian nonprofit’s catalog offers gifts like goats, chickens, dairy cows and wells, and its pop-up shop, which allows the public to purchase these in the name of a family member or a friend, also teaches young people how charity works. Children can see live farm animals here, including goats, alpacas and sheep; explore a Mongolian ger, a type of shelter; help pack a care kit for an indigent family; and put on a virtual-reality headset to see the world through the eyes of Cheru, a Kenyan girl. They can also try out a working pump and see what it’s like to carry a full container of water, as children in the third world often must.
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