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Ah, the week after Christmas. The youngsters have no school and no outdoor place to blow off steam. They can stay at home and fight or they can bend, twist, light, sculpt and animate at workshops, demos, art installations and other activities at the New York Hall of Science. From December 27th to December 30, the Corona museum will offer daily theme projects, ice sculpting with Bill Bywater and a screening of Bag It, a movie in which Jeb Berrier embarks on a tour to unravel the plastic world. What starts as a film about plastic bags evolves into a wholesale investigation into plastic’s effects on oceans, environment and living creatures. Here’s a breakdown of the fun:

December 27th: Wire It (circuitry-based projects)

  • Hack an electronic toy with DiYAbility;
  • Turn recycled paper and cards into lanterns with LEDs, noon to 4 pm;
  • Recycle wire into Calder-like mobiles with Skraptacular, noon to 4 pm;
  • Reinvent the lightbulb, noon to 4 pm;
  • Create snowflakes using recycled materials, noon to 4 pm;
  • Ice sculpting by Bill Bywater, noon to 2 pm;
  • Ice sculpting demonstration with Bill Bywater, 2 pm;
  • One-on-one ice sculpting with Bill Bywater, 10-minute sessions at 3, 3:10, 3:20, 3:30 and 3:40 pm;
  • Origami with staff from Invent-abling, noon, 12:45, 1:30, 2:15 and 3 pm;
  • Screening of Bag It, 3:15 pm.

December 28th: Build It (3D design, building, architecture and printing)

  • Recycle Newspaper Building Challenge, noon to 4 pm;
  • Build the next city or skyscraper with Skraptacular using recycled materials, noon to 4 pm;
  • Make gingerbread houses under the guidance of GingerBread Lane creator Jon Lovitch, 2 to 4 pm;
  • Learn a variety of free and inexpensive building techniques with staff, noon to 4 pm;
  • Create unique snowflakes with recycled material, noon to 4 pm;
  • Ice sculpting by Bill Bywater, noon to 2 pm;
  • Ice sculpting demonstration by Bill Bywater, 2 pm;
  • One-on-one ice sculpting with Bill Bywater, 10-minute sessions at 3, 3:10, 3:20, 3:30 and 3:40 pm;
  • Screening of Bag It, 3:15 pm.

December 29th: Animate It (moving image and animation)

  • Watch a 15-minute selection of old cartoons and learn how film strips and old projectors work, noon to 4 pm;
  • Experience a new portrait technique with an animated photobooth, noon to 4 pm;
  • Learn how to repurpose animations into 3D sculptures with folks from Mappathon, noon to 4 pm;
  • Upcycle used DVD cases into animation travel kits and learn about Thaumatropes and other forms of animation with Unplug Kids, noon to 4 pm;
  • Create unique snowflakes using recycled materials, noon to 4 pm;
  • Ice sculpting by Bill Bywater, noon to 2 pm;
  • Ice sculpting demonstration by Bill Bywater, 2 pm;
  • One-on-one ice sculpting with Bill Bywater, 10-minute sessions at 3, 3:10, 3:20, 3:30 and 3:40 pm;
  • Screening of Bag It, 3:15 pm.

December 30th: Wear It (sewing, garments and accessories)

  • Make garments and accessories from recycled materials, noon to 4 pm;
  • Make a button or pendant from recycled materials, noon to 4 pm;
  • Beginner sewing sessions, noon and 12:45 pm;
  • Sew and use zippers to create cases for phones, tablets or laptops, 30-minute sessions, 1:30, 2:15 and 3 pm;
  • Learn about e-textiles and how to use fabric to build a switch with Invent-abling, noon to 4 pm;
  • E-textiles;
  • Use textile paint and stencils to remake garments or accessories, noon to 4 pm;
  • Hair and makeup by professional stylists, 1 to 3 pm;
  • Trashion Show Runway, 3:45 pm;
  • Create snowflakes using recycled materials, noon to 4 pm;
  • Ice sculpting by Bill Bywater, noon to 2 pm;
  • Ice sculpting demonstration by Bill Bywater, 2 pm;
  • One-on-one ice sculpting with Bill Bywater, 10-minute sessions at 3, 3:10, 3:20, 3:30 and 3:40 pm;
  • Screening of Bag It, 3:15 pm.

Details: ReMake the Holidays, New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Corona, December 27 and December 30, 9:30 am to 5 pm, December 28 and December 29, 10 am to 6 pm, free with admission ($8 to $11) except some activities cost extra. Plus, some activities are on a first-come, first serve basis.

Photo: Skraptacular

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152 gingerbread houses, 65 trees, four gingerbread cable cars, five gingerbread train cars and an underground candy subway station. That’s what you’ll find at the GingerBread Lane exhibit at the New York Hall of Science, and the Queens Courier reports that the 2014 Guinness World Records just named this the largest in the world. The village took 2,350 pounds of icing, 400 pounds of candy and 500 pounds of gingerbread dough to make. According to the Courier, the man behind the village will host a gingerbread house workshop on Saturday, December 28th and plans to give away all the gingerbread homes on Sunday, January 12th. The village is on view until January 12th from Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 am to 5 pm, and on weekends from 10 am to 6 pm.

NY Hall of Science Gingerbread Village Sets Record for World’s Largest [Queens Courier]

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Dentists would probably oppose consuming it, but they might recommend looking at this marvel. This Sunday, the New York Hall of Science will unveil GingerBread Lane, a 1.5-ton, 300-square-foot village with 152 gingerbread houses, 65 trees, four gingerbread cable cars, five gingerbread train cars, an underground candy subway station, candy trees and sugar signage. Ingredients include roughly 1,900 pounds of icing, 400 pounds of candy and 500 pounds of gingerbread dough. Chef Jon Lovitch spent about a year, drafting, designing, baking, building and decorating this metropolis, which sits out in the open, rather than behind glass, so the smell of homemade gingerbread fills the hall.

Details: GingerBread Lane, New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, November 17th, 2013 through January 12th, 2014, click for museum hours, free with admission.

Bonus details:

  • Gingerbread House Workshop, December 7th and December 28th. Make a gingerbread house to take home. Free with admission. Limited capacity; signup on day of event; beginning at noon.
  • GingerBread Lane House Giveway, January 12th. Take a piece of GingerBread Lane home, while supplies last. Two houses per person. Line opens at 10 am, giveaway at noon. Free with admission.

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It’s so nice, they have to do it twice. Last weekend, the New York Hall of Science organized Dead or Alive, a pre-Halloween festival that included pumpkin chucking, live wolves and Frankenstein-like wall projections. Now, the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park venue is getting ready to host a post-Halloween celebration with Dia de los Muertos-related activities. On November 2nd, the fun will begin with Science Story Time at 11 am. Daring souls will gather in the Science Technology Library as a librarian reads from Littlebat’s Halloween Story by Diane Mayr. At 1 pm and 3 pm, the Organization for Bat Conservation will present — what else? — big brown bats from North America, fruit ones from Africa and Asia and the largest of its species in the world, a gigantic flying fox bat from Malaysia. Meanwhile at 2 pm, the Hall of Science’s catapult, named “Chuck” of course, will toss pumpkins in the air. Then from 3 pm to 6 pm, the Dead or Alive Party will include Frankenstein-like wall projections by Mappathon, forensic science activities, Dia de los Muertos-inspired treats and Halloween make projects. (Prizes will be awarded to those in costumes.) The next day, November 3rd, will feature more live bat encounters at 1 pm and 3 pm and more pumpkin tossing with Chuck at 2 pm.

Details: Dead or Alive, New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Corona, November 2nd and November 3rd, 1 pm to 6 pm, $8 child/$11 adult. Most activities are free with admission. Some have extra charges.

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It’s scary how many Halloween-related festivals will take place in Queens over the next 10 days. On tap are everything from costume contests (for humans and dogs, of course), haunted houses, enchanted walks and Dia de los Muertos celebrations. Here is a list of some of the free or low-cost fun.

Oct. 25, See It Big!, 7 pm, Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave., Astoria. Despite the availability of movies on portable devices and small screens, there is only one way to really see a scary movie: BIG! Enjoy the 1978 Halloween classic starring Jamie Lee Curtis. Free with MMI admission ($6-$12).

Oct. 25, 26 & 27, Halloween Haunted House, 4 pm-7 pm, Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy., Floral Park. Hayrides, mulled cider, pumpkins and apples. The haunted house is recommended for children ages 4–12. Adults will find it creepy too! $4 with purchasable items.

Oct. 25 & 26, Haunted Lantern Tour, 6:30-8:30 pm, Fort Totten, 212th Street and Bell Boulevard, Bayside. Urban Park Rangers will lead a nighttime tour of the Civil War-era bastion’s battery. Expect frights mixed in with a history lesson.

Oct. 26, Second Annual Woodside Halloween Pet Parade and Festival, 11 am-2 pm, Windmuller Park, 52nd Avenue and 39th Drive. An afternoon of surprises including a costume contest, training workshops, grooming demos and giveaways. Free.

Oct. 26, Canine Costumes Carnival in the Rockaways, noon-2 pm, Freeway Dog Park/Beach 84, 83-02 Beach Channel Dr., Rockaway. Indulge your desire to dress up your pooch as a caped avenger. This costume contest for canines has carnival games, a photo booth and pet-friendly services. Free.

After the jump, many more Halloween events taking place all over the borough…

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Celebrate hundreds of birthdays under one roof and in one day. This Sunday, the New York Hall of Science will host the New York Birthday Show, featuring insider access to some of the best entertainment, activities and products for parties that are currently available. More than 65 exhibitors — everything from cupcake- and cake-decorating stations to DIY products activities to a pop-up gift shop — will be on hand to help attendees look at ways to celebrate special occasions and provide giveaways. Plus, the museum will be open with its permanent displays and exhibits on evolution and natural selection, the link between dinosaurs and modern birds, woodworking and machinery.

Details: The New York Birthday Show, New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Corona, October 20th, 10 am to 4 pm, $13-$15.

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This isn’t your mother’s drive-in movie theater. For 16 days, the New York Hall of Science will host Empire Drive-In, a large-scale, multi-media collaboration with artists Todd Chandler and Jeff Stark that reflects on car culture, technological obsolescence, creative reuse and sensory-based nostalgia. Cinephiles will be able to sit inside — or atop — 60 cars salvaged from a Brooklyn junkyard and watch films on a 40-foot, outdoor screen made from discarded wood. The installation features a sound program about cars and manufacturing curated by Ann Heppermann and broadcast on low-power FM. Plus, all nightly programs begin with a slideshow of late industrial images by photographer Stephen Mallon.

Details: Empire Drive-In, New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Corona, October 4th to 20th, open from 10 am to 5 pm, but only from 10 am to 2 pm on movie days, $15. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The film schedule includes the following: The End of the Road: Cars and Other Junk with Greg Saunier’s Casio Orchestra, Oct. 4, 7 pm to 11 pm; Bollywood Bash, Oct. 5, 7 pm to 11 pm; A Samuel Z. Arkoff Double Feature, Oct. 6, 7 pm to 10 pm; Animation Flip Out, Oct. 10, 6 pm to 9 pm; The Space Between: Public, Private, Borders, Edges, Oct. 11, 7 pm to 11 pm; Teenage Wasteland: Double Feature, Oct. 12, 7 pm to 11 pm; Spaceship Earth: Visions, Forecasts and the Future That Never Was, Oct. 13, 7 pm to 11 pm; Youth Media Night: New Films and Filmmakers, Oct. 16, 6 pm to 9 pm; Galactic Drive-In, Oct. 17, 7 pm to 10 pm; A Night at the Races, Oct. 18, 8 pm to 11 pm; Silents and Noise: Handmade Films with Live Scores, Oct. 19, 7 pm to 11 pm; American Made: Cars, Trucks and Working Machines, Oct. 20, 7 pm to 10 pm.

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The Empire Drive-In Movie Installation is coming to Queens! Gothamist reports that the arts organization, which sets up a junk car drive-in theater to screen movies, opens up at the New York Hall of Science on October 4th. Films will run until October 20th — you can check out the screening schedule here. Empire Drive In, according to its website, “is a full-scale theater made out of wrecked cars and a 40-foot screen constructed of salvaged wood. Audiences climb in and out of cars rescued from the junkyard to watch films projected on the big screen.” Tickets cost $15.

Photo via Empire Drive In

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Last year’s event featured cupcake cars, 70 distinct 3D printers and an enormous, remote-control thumbing war. This weekend, the New York Hall of Science will host World Maker Faire 2013, an annual opportunity to invent, craft, recycle and be inspired by arts, engineering, science and technology. An estimated 600 makers will present their rockets, robots and other contraptions in a fun free-for-all of motion, beeping and levitating. Plus, there will be a speaker roster including authors, innovators and leading thinkers in the Maker movement, as well as arts and crafts, food, woodworking and live music.

Details: World Maker Faire 2013, New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, September 21st, 10 am to 7 pm and September 22nd, 10 am to 6 pm, $15-$55, purchase required tickets here.

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It’s enrichment at no cost. The New York Hall of Science will offer free general admission from August 24th to September 9th, and as the deal coincides with the US Open Tennis Championship, some exhibits will have sports themes. The Arthur Ashe Learning Center Inspiration Tour will use touchscreens, motion paintings, augmented reality and wellness challenges to provide insight into the legendary tennis player’s passions, which included sports, education, health and public service. On August 29th, NYSCI will operate an Alternative Sports Drink Stand from noon to 3 pm. Patrons will be able to try alternatives to commercial sports drinks while learning healthful tips on snacks, farming and creating homemade drinks. There are other temporary exhibits, such as Tesla’s Wonderful World of Electricity, and NYSCI has more than 450 permanent hands-on exhibits and demonstrations.

Details: Free General Admission, NYSCI, 47-01 111th Street, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, August 24th to September 9th, click here for hours.

Photo: NYSCI/FB