Fools Company's NY School for Performing Arts seeks NYC residents ages 16-21 looking to develop their creative & communication skills; 423 W. 46th St. (betw. 9th & 10th Aves.), 307-6000; Thurs. 4:30-6:30, free [through 6/00].
the BIG SWIM
Free swim meet for 1000 kids ages 6-16, must register by March 29 for April 15th event, benefits their "Waterproofing" program which offers free swimming classes to kids; Asphalt Green, 800-NYC-SWIM for info & reg.
Children's Programs at the NY Botanical Garden
"Has Spring Sprung?" exploration of flowers, pussy willows & life in the ponds (Weds.-Fri. & Tues. 1-4, Sat. & Sun. 10-4, through 3/31); "Prelude to Spring: The Winter Flower Show" showcases beautiful plants, shrubbery & trees (through 4/23); "Early Bloomers: Spring Bulbs" hands-on exhibit (through 4/23)?volunteers needed, 718-817-8126 for info; NY Botanical Garden, 200th St. (Southern Blvd.), Bronx, 718-817-8700 or www.nybg.org Weds.-Sun. & Tues. 10-6, $2-$7.
Second annual event feat. Julie Ludwick's trapeze performance & live music by Guanabana musicians; Context Studios, 28 Ave. A (betw. 2nd & 3rd Sts.), rsvp 304-3791; Thurs. & Sat. at 8, Fri. at 4 & 8, Sun. at 2 & 7, $12, $10 st./s.c., free/under 18.
PROSPECT PARK'S WOLLMAN RINK
Daily ice skating at Brooklyn's outdoor skating rink in Prospect Park, Parkside Ave. (Ocean Ave.), Park Slope, 718-282-1226; $4, $2 child/s.c., $3.50 skate rentals [through 3/12].
RINGLING BROS. & BARNUM BAILEY CIRCUS
Nassau Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Turnpike, Uniondale 516-794-9303; Weds. & Mon. at 7:30, Thurs. & Fri. at 10:30 & 7:30, Sat. & Sun. at 11, 3 & 7:30, $10-$22.75 [through 3/13].
the EARTH & ME
Music, puppets, workshops & video projections for children & their families; Symphony Space, 2537 B'way (95th St.), 864-5400; Sun. at 1, $8.
FAMILY ART PROJECT
Weekly series. This week, look for eight-legged insects during "Spider's Dream Catcher;" Kerlin Learning Center at Wave Hill, 675 W. 252nd St. (Indep. Ave.), Bronx, 718-549-3200; Sat. & Sun. 1-4, free w/grounds adm.
Learn how 18th-century families crafted practical items for the home during today's "Weave a Spring Basket" workshop at Fraunces Tavern Museum, 54 Pearl St. (Broad St.), 425-1778; Sat. 12-3:30, $2.50, $1 st./s.c.
FAMILY PURIM CARNIVAL
Annual children's event with magicians, jugglers, face painters, balloons, kazoo players & other carnival-type fun, benefits programs for Jewish teens; 92nd St. Y, 1395 Lexington Ave. (92nd St.), 996-1100; Sun. at 11-2, $30, $15 child. ages 1-12.
Introductory discussions, sketching & art projects for ages 5-12 & accompanying adults, followed by a short film; this week's focus: "Dishes Not For Good;" Uris Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Ave. (82nd St.), 570-3932; Sat. at 11, Sun. at 12:30, free w/mus. adm.
rock climbing classes
Offered by Central Park Conservancy, free for ages 9 & up?learn rope management, anchor set-up, knot tying & more; North Meadow Recreation Center, 97th St. (midpark), 348-4867, res. req.; Thurs. & Tues. at 3:30, Sat. at 1:30, free [through 3/30].
SUGAR & SNOW: LET'S GO
Tap trees for maple syrup at Chestnut Ridge, trip sponsored by the 92nd St. Y; 996-1100 for res. & info; Sun. 9-4, $45/adult & 1 child., $10/additional person.
TALLY LECTURE SERIES
Introductory discussions, sketching & art projects for ages 6-12 & accompanying adults, this week's focus: "More Than Just Rock;" Uris Tiered Seating at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Ave. (82nd St.), 570-3932; Fri. at 6, free w/mus. adm. [through 3/31].
Things to See & Hear
BOOKS OF WONDER
Children's book authors, David Almond, Jim Friedman & Patti Stren pres. & sign copies of their new works at 16 W. 18th St. (betw. 5th & 6th Aves.), 989-3270; Sat. 12-2, free.
THE ENCOUNTER OF JUAN BOBO & PEDRO ANIMAL
LES puppet & children's theater for Latino children?shows in English & Spanish; SEA @ Los Kabayitos Puppet & Children's Theater, 107 Suffolk St., 2nd Fl. (betw. Rivington & Delancey Sts.), 260-4080 ext.14, Sat. at 3:30, Sun. at 2, $8, $6 kids [through 3/12].
FAMILY FILMS AT MOMA
Classic animated & doc. films. Today, "If I Were an Animal For a Day" program feat. When the Dust Settles & How the Frog's Eye Sees; Museum of Modern Art, The Roy & Niuta Titus Theater 2, 18 W. 54th St. (betw. 5th & 6th Aves.), 708-9400, reg. req.; Sat. 12-1, $20 per family.
HANSEL & GRETEL
Puppetworks' presentation of classic fairy tale about two children who get lost in the woods & bump into a witch; Greenwich Village Center, 219 Sullivan St. (betw. Bleecker & W. 3rd Sts.), rsvp 718-965-3391; Sun. at 1:30 & 3:30, $8, $5 child. [through 4/2].
LAVA/GROUNDWORK FOR KIDS
Workshop incorporates dance, acrobatics & circus stunts; The Kitchen, 512 W. 19th St. (betw. 9th & 10th Aves.), 255-5793 ext.21; Mon. at 3:30 (ages 5-9) & Mon. at 4:30 (ages 9-14), $150 for ten sessions [through 3/27].
NATURE STORIES & SONGS
Monthly family events. Today, Joyce G. Brown reads Anansi the Spider at Wave Hill, 675 W. 252nd St. (Indep. Ave.), Bronx, 718-549-3200; Sat. at 2:30 & 3:30, free w/grounds adm.
READING FOR KIDS
Preschool teacher Wednesday Gross reads from several books incl. Koko & Where the Wild Things Are at Bluestockings, 172 Allen St. (betw. Stanton & Rivington Sts.), 777-6028; Sat. at 3, free.
Sony hosts holiday activities & movie screenings for families. This week, Arlington Road screens (Thurs. at 5:45) & "CinderElmo" comes alive with your favorite Sesame Street Muppets (Sat. & Sun. at 2); Sony Plaza, 550 Madison Ave. (55th St.), 883-8100; free.
TADA! Youth Theater's musical about turning 16; TADA! Theater, 120 W. 28th St. (betw 6th & 7th Aves.), 627-1732; Fri. at 7, Sat. & Sun. at 2 & 4, $12, $6 kids [through 3/26].
THE UGLY DUCKLING
Musical recommended for children ages 3-10, preceded by "inter-active" workshop at 3; West Side Y, 5 W. 63rd St. (Central Pk. W.), 541-8831; Sat. & Sun. at 4, $20.
WEST END CHILDREN'S THEATER
Crosscurrants production feat. a violinist, pianist & dancer; West End, 2911 B'way (betw. 114th & 113th Sts.), rsvp 877-6115; Sat. & Sun. at 3, $12.