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Attractions: Concert Venues
American Theatre
Fall season: City Center, 130 W. 56th St., near Sixth Ave.
Spring season: Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center
ABT Kids features one-hour, fully costumed Saturday-morning programs designed for kids 4 to 12. In the fall, check out the family-friendly matinee performances of ballets like Swan Lake. Pre-performance workshops teach children the basics of movements they’ll see (e.g., dueling in Romeo and Juliet). ABT Kids tickets are $18–$20.

Brooklyn Academy of Music
30 Lafayette Ave., near Saint Felix St.
BAM’s two great theaters have as much personality as the programming itself. BAMfamily, a weekend series, presents affordable music, dance, and theater for children and adults. Past performers have included Dan Zanes and the Bobby Sanabria Big Band/Masters of Afro-Cuban Jazz. $10.

Carnegie Hall
881 Seventh Ave., at 57th St.
Recommended for kids 7 and older, the Family Concerts series features top-notch ensembles like the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the New York Pops. For the younger set, there’s CarnegieKids, a series of performances including singing with resident dinosaur Bachosaurus Rex. It’s not unusual for kids to end up dancing in the aisles. $3 for CarnegieKids; $5 for Family Concerts.

City Tours for Families
New York Talks and Walks
Unlike most city tours, Dr. Phil’s Child-Friendly Tours and Rambles ($8 and up) focus on the interests of 9-to-12-year-old kids—so you won’t have to worry about tired feet and boredom-fueled tantrums. Pick from topics like “Brooklyn Bridge for Young Dreamers” and “Chinatown for Children.”

Colden Center for the Performing Arts
Queens College campus; 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing
An introduction-to-classical-music concert series, KidsClassics features performances like Beauty and the Beast for kids ages 5 to 10, with activities that include concert-etiquette lessons, instruction in the science of sound, and puzzles, games, and discussions. $12.

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts
250 Bedford Park Blvd. W., at Paul Ave., the Bronx
With its Young People’s Series, the Lehman Center provides free music, dance, and theater for Bronx schools. The Family Fun series—shows like Jack and the Beanstalk and Peter Pan—is $5 for children, $10 for adults. Community Celebrations (acts like the Peking acrobats), $10.

Little Orchestra Society
Lolli-Pops concerts feature a menagerie of colorful animals like Bow the Panda and Buzz the Bee, helping the friendly Maestro Dino Anagnost teach ages 3–5 music basics. Happy Concerts for Young People include full-length children’s classics like Babes in Toyland and Amahl and the Night Visitors (appropriate for ages 6–12). Lolli-Pops single tickets $40; $66 for a two-concert series. Happy Concerts single tickets $10–$50; $24–$126 for a three-concert subscription.

New York City Ballet
Samuel B. and David Rose Building, Lincoln Center
New York City Ballet offers plenty for kids. Family Insights is a 45-minute pre-performance program designed for children 6 and up, in which dancers, musicians, and other artists answer questions in the rehearsal studios. Coming in January, Ballet Fundamentals will feature dancers and musicians covering ballet history, choreography, technique, and production. There’s also Family Fanfare and Ballet for Young People. Tickets are $5 to $12.

New York City Coalition of Community Schools of the Arts
All of the city’s community arts schools, like Greenwich House, Bloomingdale, and the Brooklyn Conservatory, offer regular recitals by students, which young children tend to find fascinating, if not inspiring. Recitals are free.

New York City Opera New York State Theater, Lincoln Center
Kids ages 6 to 12 interact with City Opera singers, musicians, and staff to learn the different aspects of the opera world in these very affordable hourlong programs. The season starts this fall, and includes The Girl of the Golden West, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, and the classic Cinderella. $5.

New York Philharmonic
Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center
Four Saturdays a year, the orchestra directs its energy toward children and families during its Young Peoples Concerts, which focus on one section of the orchestra at a time. Before each concert, kids can play with instruments, make their own, and meet musicians in a program called Kidzone. Young Peoples concerts are $5–$23.

New York Theatre Ballet
Call 212-355-6160 for participating venues
This chamber ballet ensemble presents hourlong performances of children’s classics like The Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, and Cinderella, ideal for kids 3 and up. Performances take place in venues throughout the city, from Lincoln Center to the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Children from $20; adults from $25.

92nd Street Y
1395 Lexington Ave.
Concerts for children ages 6 to 10 clock in at a kid-friendly 60 minutes, and are held in the intimate Buttenweiser Hall. This October, The Straus/Warschauer Duo will perform klezmer music and Yiddish songs; in January, there’s Peter and the Wolf. Tickets are $10.

Poppy Seed Players
129 W. 67th St., near Broadway
The resident theater company of the Kaufman Center, Merkin Concert Hall promotes awareness of Jewish culture through family-oriented musical theater depicting Bible stories, holidays, folklore, and history. This season: A Poppy Seed Purim (3 and up) and David and Goliath (6 and up). Tickets are $15.

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From the Fall 2004 edition of the New York Family Guide