Why Neil Patrick Harris ‘May Wait’ to Get a Cat, Even Though the Twins ‘Very Much Want’ One
It seems like every day Neil Patrick Harris takes to Instagram and inspires major #familygoals with photos of his adorable family: husband David Burtka and 4½-year-old twins, daughter Harper and son Gideon.
PEOPLE caught up with the actor — who’s teaming up with Goldstar for its Smarter Summer campaign to keep children active and engaged in the summertime— to talk milestones, his dreams for his own kids (Cirque du Soleil?!) and why they “may wait a few years” to add a cat to the family.
Why did you get involved with Goldstar’s Smarter Summer campaign?
Summer’s tricky. Your kids aren’t in school. They don’t have the same structure and can be prone to run around and create chaos (laughs). So this provides an opportunity to quickly come up with good things for them. I was looking at the site, and you know what I’ve never been which I think would be fun that’s coming is the New York Renaissance Faire. I can see that being a potentially unforgettable memory for them. We’ll go do that. I’ll take a bunch of pictures of them walking around with turkey legs the size of their heads. I’ll Instagram it; don’t worry.
Obviously you’re a little biased, but would you say they’re budding scholars?
They say in the summer if you don’t keep educating them, they can sort of slide back in math skills, reading skills. We have workbooks and things that they do.Each of them excel in their own things unique to each other. So Gideon is very much into the tracing letters right now. He can focus on that for a while, and yet Harper is surprisingly adept at putting together puzzles, which I wouldn’t have thought. She’s much more free spirit, but she’s wicked good at puzzles. It’s uncanny. Granted, they’re 40-piece puzzles with giant pieces. I’m not saying she’s doing 2000-piece puzzles of the same image over and over. But I’m very proud of her.
Do they have a favorite thing to do in the city during the summer?
They’re big into swimming at the moment. They’re big swimmers, which makes me happy, so we’ve been in swimming lessons. And I hope that they will someday be in Cirque du Soleil’s “O.” That’s swimming-based.
Is there anything you’re dying to take them to?
I want them to see more theater, and it’s difficult to get kids to go to the theater just because their attention span… Our kids very much want a cat, so I think they’d really like to see the Moscow Cats Theatre: like, cats on a tightrope.
Adding a cat to the family anytime soon then?
We went and visited Beth [Ostrosky] Stern, Howard’s wife, at their house. She has a great charity that she spearheads called the North Shore Animal League. She has been rescuing and rehabilitating cats off to families for a while, has done an incredible job with it. Our kids very much want a cat, and we visited. I think they’re too young. Harper thinks they’re stuffed animals, and Gideon wants to throw things at them. I think to have cat comes responsibility. We may wait a few years before that, but I love cats. We’ve always had a cat in our family. I grew up with a cat. “Two dogs and a Cat” sounds like hilarious family entertainment and also the name of a potential sitcom.