We love a good chorus of 'the wheels on the bus' (or, since we're in New York, 'taxi, taxi, riding in the back seat') as much as the next guy.  But there comes a time when one more shake of those colorful maracas might be all that we can take.  Fortunately, this city is home to a glorious array of hidden gems that are great for baby's development, and mama's, too.  Here are five for you and your little companion to check out this week.

Installation view of Take Me (I'm Yours). Photo: Jewish Museum.

Installation view of Take Me (I'm Yours). Photo: Jewish Museum.

Take Me (I'm Yours)
Now through February 5th, the Jewish Museum, 1109 5th Ave at 92nd St. Free on Saturdays, otherwise $15.
In this unconventional exhibition, viewers are encouraged to participate, touch and even take home works of art by more than 40 artists from different generations.  The exhibition aims to 'democratize' art, subverting the traditional museum experience by allowing you to shape the art yourself.  Which is especially convenient if your baby is in that slobbery-grabby phase that can make visiting a more traditional art gallery slightly awkward.
More info: http://thejewishmuseum.org/exhibitions/take-me-im-yours

Lunar New Year celebrations in New York. Photo: Raymond, made available by a Creative Commons license via Flickr.

Lunar New Year celebrations in New York. Photo: Raymond, made available by a Creative Commons license via Flickr.

Lunar New Year Parade and Festival
February 5th from 1pm, Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Grand St at Forsyth St. Free.
Celebrate the dawn of the year of the Rooster with this explosion of color and sound (baby headphones optional).  There will be dancing, drumming, and delicacies, and it's said that the more dumplings you eat the more money you'll make, so we're going to be very, very rich.  Vivid celebrations can also be found in Sunset Park and Flushing.
More info: www.nycgo.com/events/lunar-new-year-parade-festival

Installation view of Exhibitionism. Photo: Exhibitionism

Installation view of Exhibitionism. Photo: Exhibitionism

Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones
Now through March 12th. Industria, 775 Washington St. $30, or 2-for-1 with NYC Attractions Week until February 5th.
Featuring a vintage guitar gallery, rare instruments and lyric books, backstage paraphernalia, album art, photographs, personal diaries and stage designs, as well as almost 200 original artworks by Andy Warhol and others, there's plenty here for the avid Stones fan.  And if your tiny rockstar's got moves like Jagger, they'll like the immersive concert experience at the end and the plentiful supply of giant, color-changing fluoro tongues sticking out all around the place.  Five dollar stroller checking is mandatory, so you may want to opt for the carrier.
More info: www.stonesexhibitionism.com
 

Immersion Room, Cooper Hewitt. Photo: Wolftone, made available by Creative Commons license via Flickr.

Immersion Room, Cooper Hewitt. Photo: Wolftone, made available by Creative Commons license via Flickr.

Cooper Hewitt (Smithsonian Design Museum)
2 East 91st St.  $16, or 2-for-1 with NYC Attractions Week until February 5th.
The emporium of creativity that is the Cooper Hewitt museum will dazzle you with its displays of clever technologies, innovative architecture and global design competition winners, and impress your tiny companion with its colors, shapes and sounds.  The 'process lab' provides a window into the ways designers help to address public challenges, such as dependence on cars, access to healthcare, or the restoration of housing after natural disasters.  An especially big hit with the little ones is the Immersion Room, which projects intricate wallpaper designs from the museum's vast collection (or those of your own making) onto the walls from floor to ceiling.
More info: www.cooperhewitt.org

Immersive kung pow chicken. Photo: Sarah Lux-Lee

Immersive kung pow chicken. Photo: Sarah Lux-Lee

Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant
Museum of Food and Drink, 62 Bayard St, Brooklyn. $14.
This fun, fledgling food museum, which got its start as a Kickstarter-funded roving exhibition about cereal, provides a bite-sized window into the evolution of Chinese American cuisine.  Learn about the game-changing role of chop suey, grab a fresh fortune cookie directly off the conveyor belt, and design your own philosophical token for a future visitor to find in theirs.  A smell-making machine, remnant from a previous exhibition about flavor, will let you introduce your little one to scents ranging from citrus to skunk.  You'll also get to watch a Chinese American delicacy being made by a pro, and sample it for yourself.
More info: www.mofad.org

If you're looking for more baby-friendly activities that will expand your mind, join us for our upcoming event on February 8th at 4-6pm, where we will be screening the award-winning short film 'Escape from Garden Grove' and hosting a Q&A with its mama-director, Mathilde Dratwa. 

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