Our guide to cultural events in New York City for children and teenagers happening this weekend and in the week ahead.
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF THE CORETTA SCOTT KING BOOK AWARDS WITH SHARON DRAPER at the New-York Historical Society (Jan. 19, 1 p.m.). Coretta Scott King, the widow of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was also an activist, and the literary prizes that bear her name encourage future generations to pursue the Kings’ ideals. Given annually to African-American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults, the awards recognize works that honor black culture and “universal human values.” Sharon M. Draper, a multiple winner whose most recent novel is “Blended,” will visit the society’s DiMenna Children’s History Museum to discuss the prizes and her career, answer questions and sign books. She will also work with aspiring young authors: Recommended for those 8 and older, the 90-minute program will include a brief writing exercise. (Space is limited; advance ticket purchase is advised.)
I HAVE A DREAM CELEBRATION at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum (Jan. 21, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.). The civil rights movement involved not only adults, but children, too. At this event, museum visitors can honor Martin Luther King’s Birthday by learning about young people’s contributions to the struggle for equality while emulating the movement’s values. They can work with Repair the World to pack bags of warm clothing for the homeless clients of Camba, a Brooklyn nonprofit; examine historical objects from the civil rights era; decorate buttons with quotations from Martin Luther King Jr.; and make drawings and posters about their own dreams for their communities. The day will culminate with a reading of Monica Clark-Robinson’s book “Let the Children March,” about the anti-segregation youth protests in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963. Afterward, attendees will carry their own signs in a museumwide parade for justice and peace. (Details are on the website.)
JUST KIDDING: ‘GO HOME TINY MONSTER’ at Symphony Space (Jan. 19, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.). What makes a good residence for a small monster? Oscar the Grouch, of “Sesame Street” fame, might say a garbage can, but Bonnie Duncan and her audience are sure to come up with intriguing alternatives. Ms. Duncan, who wins my vote for inventing the best title ever for a children’s production — “Squirrel Stole My Underpants” — has returned to New York to perform this new show with her musical ensemble, the Gottabees. Ms. Duncan once again plays Sylvie, a little girl with a problem: The child and her family of fuzzy creatures — whimsical handmade puppets — suddenly need a new place to live. “Go Home Tiny Monster” enlists young theatergoers in devising just the right digs.
‘MICKEY: THE TRUE ORIGINAL EXHIBITION’ at 60 10th Avenue (through Feb. 10). Mickey Mouse has been a constant in popular culture for decades, but that doesn’t mean that he’s been constantly the same. This 16,000-square-foot show celebrates Mickey’s 90th anniversary by charting his evolution from the gloveless, sharp-featured late-1920s version to contemporary iterations in which artists have rendered him abstract, three-dimensionally massive or even psychedelic. Curated by Darren Romanelli, the exhibition includes “Steamboat Willie Redux,” modern animators’ reimagining of Mickey’s first cartoon short; an enormous Mickey portrait by Keith Haring; “Supersonic Skein,” a vibrant mural crocheted by London Kaye; and Shinique Smith’s “Bale Variant No. 0026 (Ode to Mickey Mouse, My First Love),” a sculpture made of plush Mickey dolls. The show, which requires advance purchase of timed-entry tickets, will particularly delight young visitors with Sorcerer’s Way (a room devoted to Mickey’s role in Disney’s “Fantasia”) and the Mickey Mouse Club, a space to eat free ice cream surrounded by TV memorabilia. Children can also participate in a Mickey trivia game show and dance in the “Cosmic Cavern,” Kenny Scharf’s fluorescent disco installation inspired by the classic Mickey wristwatch.
‘ODD DAY RAIN’ at TADA! Youth Theater (Jan. 19, 7 p.m.; Jan. 20, 2 and 4 p.m.; Jan. 21, noon and 2 p.m.; through Feb. 24). Today’s young people, who seem to latch on to digital devices almost as soon as they can toddle, may have more sobering thoughts about technology after watching this rock musical revival, set in a post-apocalyptic landscape in 2211. Society seems to consist of only the youthful survivors of a calamity referred to as “the accident”: One, Claire, lives in a doorless pod where the Computer, an omniscient artificial intelligence, completely controls her existence; another, Aurora, is part of an apparently homeless cohort outdoors. Written by Janine Nina Trevens and Deirdre Broderick and performed by the TADA! Resident Youth Ensemble, “Odd Day Rain” presents a distant future that may feel uncomfortably close.
212-252-1619, ext. 5; tadatheater.com
SING PLAY LEARN at the Bloomingdale School of Music (Jan. 21, 10 a.m.-noon). Children usually enjoy doing all three, and they will have plenty of opportunities at this free open house for ages 6 months to 10 years. (Yes, babies are welcome.) This Upper West Side school will provide information for parents on its early-education program, while the faculty members Shoshana Vogel and Aaron Butler encourage young attendees to move, vocalize and experiment with percussion instruments to explore concepts like pitch, dynamics and timbre. Participants can also visit the music studios to meet other teachers and try out more instruments. Reservations are not required, but interested families are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org with their names and the number of guests.
‘SNOW WHITE AND THE BATTLE FOR PITTSBURGH’ at the Gallery Players Theater (Jan. 19, noon; Jan. 26, noon and 2 p.m.). You can tell by the title that this is not your traditional fairy tale. Written by Hilary Goldman and Kevin McAuley and presented by the Gallery Players in Brooklyn, this hourlong musical presents Snow White as more the mistress of her own destiny than a fragile damsel to be rescued by a prince. She does need help, though, in saving her realm — Pittsburgh — from the evil queen. Snow White turns not only to the dwarfs, who here have names like Dumpy, Antsy and Surf and Turf, but also to young audience members, who will help recite spells, provide directions and even go onstage to assist in the adventure.
For an overview of January and February’s cultural events, click here.