Spring Wings Vacation Week at Wave Hill, April 7-12

Soar into spring with Spring Wings Vacation Week at Wave Hill! Fill your vacation days with kid-friendly, bird-inspired activities at Wave Hill. Enjoy a host of bird-themed art and science programs during the week, and then return for a weekend filled with walks, bird demonstrations and more! And don’t forget to stop by The Shop—all kids’ gifts are discounted by 20% from April 3 through April 10. Get ready to take flight into a week of fun!

Unless otherwise stated, programs are free with admission to the grounds. Register, where required, online or onsite at the Perkins Visitors Center. 

What: Spring Wings Vacation Week

Where: Wave Hill, West 249th Street and Independence Avenue, Bronx, New York


Vacation Week Activities: Art Workshops and Science Explorations

Following each engaging Art Workshop, investigate some of the science and mechanics of how birds do what they do, with fun, hands-on explorations. Programs are geared to children between the ages of five and ten with a parent or caregiver.

Art Workshops

$25/$15 Wave Hill Member per session (includes one child and one adult).Additional child or adult $10. Registration required.

  • Paste Papers, TUE, April 7, 1-2:30PM: Learn how to use an acrylic paint and paste medium to make decorative and textured paste papers. Embellish yours with plumy marks that you make from actual feathers. Participants will make multiple sheets to take home or use at Wednesday’s workshop.
  • Birdy Pamphlet Book, WED, April 8, 1-2:30PM: Delve into the art of bookmaking using a simple pamphlet stitch. Choose a local bird species for the silhouette cover, along with textured paste papers to give your homemade book special character. We’ll provide a list of bird songs to include; add your own notes about the birds you see at Wave Hill.
  • Migrating Kites, THURS, April 9, 1-2:30PM: How do birds fly? Study their wing structure, then, using a simple building technique, assemble a flyable kite with wings as your inspiration. Fashion your kite with color and flare to make a real or imagined migrator.

Science Explorations

Free with admission to the grounds; registration not required.

  • Shells and Feathers, TUE, April 7, 2:30-3:30PM: Feathers and eggs are two of the most recognizable attributes of birds, but how do they work? Using water, sand, fabric and soil screens, explore how water and air pass through the egg’s membrane, while its shell protects it. Learn how feathers camouflage birds and keep them warm, dry and aloft.
  • Bird Calls, WED, April 8, 2:30-3:30PM: Watch a balloon demonstration of how a bird’s voice box—its syrinx—works. Listen to bird-call recordings, and learn simple mnemonics to help you identify the birds you hear at Wave Hill. Make a homemade bird-call using clothespins, electric tape and rubber bands. Learn some tips to sound like a convincing bird.
  • Fasten Seatbelts! THURS, April 9, 2:30-3:30: Learn about the mechanics of bird flight, and how wing length and the shape of a bird’s body determine their flight patterns. Make paper airplanes to recreate different patterns of bird flight, and test how weight distribution and wing shape influence flight.

Vacation Weekend Activities

  • Spring Birding, SAT & SUN, April 11 & 12, 9:30AM: Join expert naturalists on a walk to discover the birds passing through the skies during this early migration season. Birders of all levels welcome! Severe weather cancels. (NYC Audubon Members enjoy two-for-one admission). Ages ten and older welcome with an adult. Registration recommended.
  • Family Art Project: A Nest for Song Birds, SAT & SUN, April 11 & 12, 10AM-1PM: Let’s welcome back our feathered friends as they return to their spring home at Wave Hill! With visiting artist and sculptor Matt Bua, collect sticks, leaves, grasses and found feathers to make a giant, outdoor bird’s nest in the woods.
  • Chirps and Tweets Family Walk, SAT & SUN, April 11 & 12, 1PM: Can you mimic a bird call? Discover a range of birds that fly through Wave Hill, on a walk with naturalist and educator Gabriel Willow. Ages six and older welcome with an adult.
  • Live Bird Demonstrations, SAT, April 11, 12PM and 2PM: Volunteers for Wildlife return to Wave Hill to share live birds such as the eastern screech owl, American kestrel, red-tailed hawk, mallard duck, dove and barred owl. Between programs, get a close-up look at skulls, feathers and other bird-related artifacts. Ages eight and older welcome with an adult.
  • Owl Pellet Dissection, SAT, April 11, 2-4PM: Owls are creatures who swallow their prey whole. Parts of the prey, such as bones, feathers and fur are bound up during digestion into a tight pellet, which the owl regurgitates. Drop-in for this exploratory workshop, and discover the origins of the owl’s diet. Ages six and older welcome with an adult

The Family Art Project is generously sponsored by Target, with additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. Sustaining support is provided by the Sally and Gilbert Kerlin Endowment for Environmental Science and Nature Education. Support for Garden Programs is provided by the Hagedorn Fund. Support for Public Programs is provided by The William Froelich Foundation.

Wave Hill, Inc. is an independent, non-profit cultural institution governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The buildings and grounds of Wave Hill are owned by the City of New York. With the assistance of the Bronx Borough President and Bronx representatives in the City Council and State Legislature, Wave Hill’s operations are supported with public funds through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums Grant Program administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. 

About Us

Wave Hill is a 28-acre public garden and cultural center in the Bronx overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. Its mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscapes, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts.