Most kids' day- and sleepaway camps are over for the summer, but there's still a solid 10 days before school starts again. What to do with the kiddies to fill up that time? Here are some suggestions for summer's final family moments - from a juggling act to a toy exhibit to a live music performance at the Jones Beach bandshell.
'Expect the Impossible, With Mark Nizer's 3-D Show', 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, August 25
COST $15; $12 younger than 18
Juggling a running electric carving knife? Is he nuts? Judge for yourself when Mark Nizer performs as part of Guild Hall's KidsFest Series. Nizer combines comedy, juggling and music, deftly handling such items as lasers, a burning propane tank, that running electric carving knife and a bowling ball. He also juggles five Ping-Pong balls with his mouth. He has opened for George Burns, Ray Charles and Bob Hope and appeared on various TV shows.
Pajamarama!, Noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, August 26
COST Free with museum admission of $10; $9 for seniors; free for babies younger than 1
"Each year, we do one big end-of-the-summer celebration," says Maureen Mangan, director of communications for the museum. Parents and kids should wear pajamas; staff members will be in jammies, too. Learn about Taiwanese sleep charms, create a counting-sheep puppet, make a mini campfire sculpture for family storytelling and add a "bedtime excuse" to the museum's bedtime quilt. Bring a new pair of pajamas to donate to a national nonprofit called The Pajama Program; they will be given to local families in need.
Toy Tech Exhibit, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, August 25 through Sunday, August 29
The Toy Tech Exhibit explores how toys work. Children play with mechanical, optical and acoustic toys, make and test toys and even invent new ones. There are more than 35 interactive activities, include playing with Legos, Lincoln Logs and K'Nex, attempting speed stacking, tossing boomerangs, and building a paper rocket and launching it.
Randy Kaplan, 11 a.m. Thursday, August 26 and Friday, August 27
COST $10; $5 for children younger than 3; $9 for grandparents
Singer-songwriter Kaplan tells offbeat stories through his verses and acoustic-guitar playing; one number is about being in the tub when a whale asks for shampoo. "He's kind of sophisticated the way he deals with the kids," says Liz Joyce, founder and artistic director of Goat on a Boat. Nickelodeon's ParentsConnect has chosen Kaplan's new CD, "The Kids Are All Id," as a "Parent Pick" for 2010.
Z Brothers, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 31
Tuesday is the Z Brothers' third and final performance this summer at the bandshell. Brothers Paulie and David play acoustic guitars and sing a couple of dozen songs, including originals and tunes everyone knows, such as "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "If You're Happy and You Know It." The band shell's outdoor bleachers hold up to 1,000 people; park at Field 4 and walk through the tunnel.