The new year brings a gigantic fruit, a masked man on stilts, and rubber band rockets to the Valley
James and the Giant Peach Jan. 17: This one-hour, five-actor musical follows seven-year-old James and a ragtag group of friendly, life-size insects as they travel sea and sky inside an enormous piece of fruit. The production is based on the novel by legendary children’s author Roald Dahl (as if you couldn’t tell from that zany plot), whose most famous work is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Expect plenty of the off-beat humor, made-up words (like snozzwanger), and magic-filled fun that Dahl's stories are known for.
11 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. $18, $13 children.
153 Library Lane, Mamaroneck. 914-698-0098 or www.emelin.org
A giant gets jiggy with it in Masked Marvels & Wondertales
THE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, PURCHASE COLLEGE
Masked Marvels & Wondertales Jan. 25: Performance artist Michael Cooper is a little bit of everything — mime, masked storyteller, and stilt dancer, to name a few of his talents. Watching him pull off all of those roles — many times simultaneously — should make for an entertaining one-man show. Cooper’s characters, which include a long-limbed giant and robe-wearing fish, are said to delight children and adults alike. Recommended for ages 8 and up.
3 p.m. $17.50-$24.50.
735 Anderson Hill Rd., Purchase. 914-251-6200 or www.artscenter.org
A young girl and her furry friend attempt to hitch a ride in the
New York International Children’s Film Festival Jan. 11, 18, 25: Oscar season is as good a time as any to broaden your family’s cinematic horizons, so bring the kiddies down to Riverspace for this three-weekend foreign film extravaganza. The festival begins with Kid Flix Mix (Jan. 11; ages 3 to 8), which features 13 animated shorts from countries such as the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and France, and wraps up with Party Mix (Jan. 25, ages 8 and up), an 11-film showcase with selections from Germany, Australia, Korea, and more (the pieces screened during these sessions are typically two to seven minutes long). Sandwiched in between is the Japanese anime feature-length film My Neighbor Totoro (Jan. 18; all ages), which chronicles two sisters’ adventures with a group of friendly, furry forest creatures who can only be seen by children.
11 a.m. & 2 p.m. $9, $5 children. $25 family price. Each ticket good for one weekend only.
119 Main St., Nyack. 845-348-0741 or www.riverspace.org
THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Rubber Band Rocket Gliders Jan. 2: Who says physics can’t be fun? In this workshop, kids construct rocket ships using household items like film canisters, propel the rockets through the air using rubber band launchers, and then experiment with what angles, rocket designs, and amounts of force achieve the greatest distance. They’ll be having such a blast, they may not even realize they’re — gasp! — learning something. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Pre-registration required.
1 p.m. $2, plus $5 general admission.
250 Jordan Rd., Troy. 518-235-2120 or www.cmost.com
HUDSON HIGHLANDS NATURE MUESUM
Knitting Naturally! Jan. 10: Forget the mall: knitting your own garb is so in style this winter. In this workshop, environmental educator Michele DiAmanti teaches participants how to create their own scarves from all-natural, local wool. Grandma should be ecstatic about your newfound talent — now she has a new partner for her yarn-spinning sessions! Recommended for ages 5 and up.
10 a.m. $5.
20 Kenridge Farm Dr., Cornwall. 845-534-5506, ext. 204 or www.hhnaturemuseum.org