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Bears Necessities

The Berenstain Bears LIVE! comes to NYC for the summer, while The World Science Festival features plenty for the kids, including a Youth and Family Street Fair, Mathemagician, and Cool Jobs. Also catch A Sense of Wonder: Science and the Arts Play Together, Percussion People, and The Story Pirates. logo
A scene from The Berenstain Bears LIVE!
(© Aaron Epstein)
The beloved family from the Berenstain Bears book series step off the page and onto the stage this summer for The Berenstain Bears LIVE! in Family Matters, the Musical (June 25 - September 4). The lively tuner, which combines three classic books from the series, features warmth, humor, and some good lessons on subjects like eating healthy and dealing with strangers. There will be a sneak peek of the show at the Bronx Zoo on June 18 and 19 before it begins its run at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center on the Upper West Side.

Entertainment that is both enlightening and educational will be featured in the World Science Festival, June 1-5. Among the highlights is a June 5 Youth and Family Street Fair, which will be held in and around Washington Square Park. Admittance is free, and you can expect to see Dancing Mad Scientist Jeffrey Vinokur, Central Park Zoo's Wild Life Theater, and appearances by characters from Jim Henson Company's Dinosaur Train and Sid the Science Kid TV shows. There will also be attractions and exhibits featuring intriguing subjects like the science of ping pong, underwater exploration, dinosaur fossils, and robotics.

Think math is for the birds? Well, you'll change your mind as fast as you can add 1-2-3 when you meet the Mathemagician (June 4), another World Science Festival entry at the Eisner Lubin Auditorium at the Kimmel Center. It's an intellectually stimulating event ideal for kids ages 10 and up. You'll be wowed when math genius Arthur Benjamin performs mental feats such as outperforming a calculator and figuring out the weekday of any historical date at the speed of light. Join the Mathemagician's Apprentice workshop following the performance to learn some of Benjamin's mathemagical secrets.

Children still mulling over the all-important question of what they want to be when they grow up should check out Cool Jobs (June 4) at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, which is also part of the World Science Festival. Roboticist Heather Knight, mechanical engineer/daredevil Nathan Ball, and ecologist and explorer Mark Moffett will be among the participants in this program, which explores a world of awesome jobs in the field of science. Kids will discover that scientists have some of the coolest jobs out there, from hanging out in jungle trees with weird creatures to building amazing robots. Canadian rap artist, writer, and former tree-planter Baba Brinkman serves as moderator.

Speaking of science, the National Dance Institute is presenting its 2011 Event of the Year, A Sense of Wonder: Science and the Arts Play Together (June 18-20), at the Laguardia Concert Hall. Inspired by Carl Sagan's evocative quote "We are starstuff," this whimsical piece uses dance, music, and visuals to interpret scientific concepts.

Percussion People (June 5) are banging up the Players Theatre, where they are showing families that making noise can be fun and educational. In this interactive concert, you'll meet the percussion family, including drum set, bongos, xylophone, marimba, djembe, and many more awesome instruments that you can strike, scrape or shake to create rhythm. The concert will be preceded by an instrument-building workshop where you can learn to create music as well as appreciate it.

Every child is a great storyteller in the world of The Story Pirates, where a group of improv comedians, actors, and teaching artists turn imaginative tales that kids write down on paper into real-life adventures with the use of props, songs, and puppets. This super fun weekly program is held at The Drama Book Shop, and the whole audience is treated to ice cream and cookies after each show!

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