The NYC Public School System has its annual Mid-Winter Break next week. That means no classes for more than 1 million youngsters.

What to do? Well, there are many options in Queens. And as to be expected in the world’s most diverse borough, there are entertainment, educational, and enrichment activities for many tastes and ages.

The Museum of the Moving Image, which is located at 36-01 35th Ave. in Astoria’s Kaufman Arts District, will kick off the fun with Midwinter Recess Family Programs from Saturday, Feb. 16, to Sunday, Feb. 24.

At noon on all nine days, the museum will offer Sweet Blackberry Presents, a family matinee package presented as part of a larger Black History Month celebration. The program consists of three animated shorts as spearheaded by Karyn Parsons, who starred in the TV show “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” A combined total of 68 minutes, one film depicts Henry “Box” Brown’s daring escape from slavery, while the others focus on groundbreaking dancer Janet Collins, the first African American woman to be a prima ballerina at the Metropolitan Opera, and Bessie Coleman, the first African American woman to earn a pilot’s license.

Meanwhile at 2 p.m. on every day from Feb. 18 to Feb. 24 with the exception of Feb. 23, the museum will screen “Paddington 2.” Released in 2018, this live-action animated sequel shows the main character, an anthropomorphic Teddy bear, living with a family in London. (In children’s books since 1958, he made his movie debut in 1975.)

Paddington has a good life in England. He has many friends, bringing joy and marmalade wherever he goes. The plot thickens when a thief steals a pop-up book that he bought for his aunt on her 100th birthday, and he goes on an epic adventure to catch the culprit.

In addition, Museum of the Moving Images will host Creative Instruments: Scoring and Foley Effects every day from Feb. 16 to Feb. 24, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Recommended for children over the age of four, these drop-in activities explore different types of sounds for films. Visitors will create handmade instruments.

Meanwhile over in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the New York Hall of Science, located at 47-01 111th St., will host Engineering Week from Feb. 18 to Feb. 22. The museum partnered with NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering to develop daily educational activities and programs. Here’s the schedule.

  • Civil Engineering Day, Feb. 18, noon to 4 p.m. Learn about civil engineering through interactive games, construction challenges, and hands-on activities presented by the metropolitan section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
  • Foldscopes, Feb. 19 to Feb. 22, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Make and take home a paper Foldscope. Co-invented by a bioengineer, Foldscopes give optical quality similar to conventional research microscopes (magnification of 140X and 2-micron resolution).
  • Hands-on Engineering Activities, Feb. 19 to Feb. 22, 1:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Explainers, who are museum workers, and engineering partners from Genspace and NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering host hands-on engineering activities.

Here’s the schedule for Hands-on Engineering Activities.

  • Feb. 19, Genspace Executive Director Michael J. Flanagan, who has worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Bell Labs, and entrepreneurial companies Arieso and FlanaGen, with Explainer Elijah Browne.
  • Feb. 20, Cy Andrews, an experiential designer and creative technologist, with Explainer Manfrer Espinal.
  • Feb 21, Roo Shamin, who participates in platform cooperatives and the sharing economy, with Explainer Cara Lambrento.
  • Feb. 22, Brittney Atkinson-McFarlane, whose work is focused on information and communication technologies for development, human-computer interaction, and interaction design, with Explainer Anika Zaman.

The Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St. in Flushing, will host Children Enrichment Activities from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. with the following schedule.

  • Feb. 19, the George Washington Carver Workshop honors the “Wizard of Tuskegee” who made significant contributions to botany and agronomy. Participants will learn about Carver and how plants played an important role in his life. They will use plants to paint and create a healing lotion to take home.
  • Feb. 20, Storytime & Crafts will be a relaxing winter afternoon with nature-inspired stories, followed by a botanic craft activity.
  • Feb. 21, I Heart Worms will teach youngsters about red wiggler worms that are used for indoor composting. They’ll also create their own composting bins.
  • Feb. 22, Bugging Out will explore the world of bugs by examining earthworms, creating insects, and searching for bug homes in the Woodland section of the garden.

Images: Queens Botanical Garden


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