Spring break doesn't have to mean a break from learning.
If you're looking for educational, fun activities your children can do when the recess kicks off on April 14, here are some that the city's cultural institutions have in store.
New York Aquarium
During the Tale of the Seven Seas spring minicamp, children ages 6 to 8 can explore the ocean's many inhabitants through animal visits, sea-themed storytelling, insider tours and hands-on activities. They'll have opportunities to get close to such aquarium residents as penguins, harbor seals, California sea lions, sea otters and walruses, and even handle some of its invertebrates. April 17 and 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 602 Surf Ave., Coney Island, 718-265-3457; $125 for Wildlife Conservation Society members, $150 for nonmembers for both days, nyaquarium.com.
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex
Travel to the dark side of the moon this spring break at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex through its on-ship camp program, Camp Intrepid. Geared toward children ages 5 to 13, it lets campers investigate how the rotation of the moon, sun and Earth affect our everyday lives. They'll also have the opportunity to create solar ovens, shadow art and more. April 14-18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Pier 86, West 46th Street and 12th Avenue, 212-245-0072; $125 a day, $500 for the week, intrepid museum.org.
New York Hall of Science
The New York Hall of Science has a wealth of programming on a daily basis. Most of its spring break workshops are already full, but those families with children on the autism spectrum can take advantage of its Family Science Adventures -- hands-on science experiments and sensory-rich projects geared toward children ages 3-5 with learning differences. In the Water Works workshop, your little one can explore properties of water, play with ice and watercolors, paint with mud and more, with a teacher in a small classroom setting. April 19 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at 47-01 111th St. in Corona, 718-699-0005 ext. 341; free, nysci.org.
Explore the great outdoors and get your hands dirty with History in Your Hands: Spring Sprouts. Kids can help prepare the Lefferts Historic House's potato plot for planting, as well as make a small plot that they can plant and take home. April 14-April 22 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Children's Corner, inside the Willink entrance at Ocean and Flatbush avenues and Empire Boulevard, 718-789-2822; $3 suggested donation, prospectpark.org.