Culture. Diversity. Playgrounds. So much about raising kids in NYC is hard to beat. Yet when it comes to bugs you’re at a loss (save roaches — ew). Introduce your tiny urban dweller to critter fun with World Alive’s praying mantis and ladybug kits. Supplies include a net habitat, feeding pipette, magnifying glass, tweezers (scientific examinations!), and instructions for ordering eggs and larvae online. Kids will learn about life cycles, pet care, and, er, biology stuff. You will be grateful these guys aren’t as smelly or space consuming as the hamster or fish they’ll beg for next. Best of all, when the insects are fully grown, they can be set free at the park. Embracing — not fearing — creepy crawlers? Welcome to the jungle. Available at Ibiza Kidz, 61 Fourth Avenue, between 9th and 10th Streets (212-228-7990). SALUTE Independence Day 1808 What: A parade through Van Cortlandt Manor with costumed historical interpreters, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, and military reenactments. Why: Wave the flag. When: Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: Van Cortlandt Manor, 525 S. Riverside Ave., Croton-on-Hudson (914-631-8200). HEAR New York Philharmonic at Governors Island What: Fireworks to music by Copland, Rossini, and Tchaikovsky (1812 Overture). Free ferries leave the Battery Maritime Building every half hour and return immediately following the concert. Why: Sounds and sparkles. When: Sat., 6:30 p.m. Where: Governors Island, 10 South St. (212-440-2202). SEE Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy What: A one-hour intro to the Met fashion exhibit. Why: Movie costumes to them; couture creations to you. When: Sat. & Sun., 1:30-2:30 p.m., 2:30-3:30 p.m. & 3:30-4:30 p.m. Where: North Classroom, Uris Center for Education, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., at 82nd St. (212-535-7710).