Get yourselves over to the New York Hall of Science (free 1 year membership with your NYC ID card!) and check out their new exhibit Connected Worlds. This immersive interactive environment invites you plant virtual seeds (brought into existence with Harry Potter like gestures), prune dead plants, direct the flow of the massive light waterfall, and generally manage the health of a variety of ecosystems, with the help (or hindrance) of your fellow exhibit-goers. The exhibit is in a giant room, surrounded on three sides by active screens that make a seamless collection of Seuss-like environments. “Water” flows down one wall and is projected in rivers that flow across the floor, which can be diverted using provided logs – the only physical objects in the room aside from people (building waterways with the logs was a favorite for my kids, 3 and 6, and many others). Don’t let that desert get too dry, those weird tree-like things need water! Each 30-minute session accommodates around 30 people, and the environments are reset to a neutral state for each group.
Favorite overhead quote (one kid to another, in reference to a stripy slug-thing dwelling on the bottom of a pool): “Stop letting all the water out of the ocean. You’re killing him! You’re KILLING HIM!”
Seriously, do yourself a favor and check this out.