Opening day at an iconic amusement park, an African-American celebration of spring and three enchanting live theater performances are some of the coolest ways to spark pint-sized imaginations in Westchester this weekend.
Friday: 'The Secret Garden'
In this musical performance of the children’s classic, a young girl orphaned by a cholera epidemic is sent from her home in British India to live in England, where she unlocks the restorative magic of a hidden garden on her reclusive uncle's estate. Kids aged 6 and older will enjoy the show, which is 2 1/2 hours long with one intermission. “The Secret Garden,” written by Marsha Norman with music by Lucy Simon, is based on the classic novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The original production opened on Broadway in 1991 and went on to win three Tony awards.
When: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, May 11 to 27; and 8 p.m. Thursday, May 24
Info: White Plains Performing Arts Center, 11 City Place, White Plains; 914-328-1600; www.wppac.com; $40 adults, $30 for high school ages and younger
Saturday: Opening day at Playland
The Rye amusement park that’s been providing thrills to the Hudson Valley since 1928 is launching the new season with special opening day events. Entertainment kicks off at 11 a.m. with a parade, and three musical performances will be held at the Music Tower Theater at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. The park has rides that are appropriate for every age group, and there’s a discounted rides admission for opening day.
When: Entertainment starts at 11 a.m. and the park is open 12 p.m. till 7 p.m., Saturday, May 12
Saturday: 'The Spencers: Theatre of Illusion'
Award-winning husband-and-wife magical duo Kevin and Cindy Spencer will mystify you and your little ones as they levitate, walk through walls, vanish and reappear in a dramatic, high-tech performance of elaborate stage illusions. And don’t be surprised if they expect you to participate -- they’ve been known to invite the audience to get in on the act with an interactive mind-reading experience. The two-hour show is appropriate for all ages.
When: 3 p.m., Saturday, May 12
Sunday: Pinkster Festival at Philipsburg Manor
Kids can learn to make a gourd rattle and listen to African folk tales at the Pinkster Festival, a lively re-creation of the cross-cultural springtime celebrations jointly created by Dutch settlers and enslaved Africans during colonial times. Visitors of all ages can sample traditional West Indian and African-American fare while enjoying music, dancing and cooking demonstrations. African drumming presentations will be led by Ghanaian native and renowned drummer Maxwell Kofi Donkor.
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, May 13
Info: Philipsburg Manor, 381 N. Broadway (Route 9), Sleepy Hollow; 914-631-3992 ext. 46; www.hudsonvalley.org; $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, $8 for children 3-17, and free for children under 3 and Historic Hudson Valley members
Sunday: 'Into the Woods'
The wishful thinking of familiar fairy-tale friends such as Cinderella, Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood and Prince Charming brings unexpected twists and turns in this musical journey into a haunted forest. The Tony Award-winning show with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim is 2 1/2 hours long with one intermission. It’s appropriate for all ages.
When: 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Sundays, May 13 and May 20
Info: The Play Group Theatre, 1 N. Broadway, White Plains; 914-946-4433; www.playgroup.org; $18 for adults, $15 for kids and seniors