Spring fairs and festivals for NYC kids
Warm up at fine-weather fests in all five boroughs.
Thu Apr 22 2010
Saturday May 21
FREE Rolling Along the River
Sat May 21 11am--4pm. Concrete Plant Park, Westchester Ave between Bronx River and Whitlock Aves (718-430-4618, bronxriver.org). Subway: 2 to Simpson St.
Encouraging borough residents to get active and enjoy the Bronx River, this Bronx River Alliance celebration introduces a fleet of new bikes for loan, with free tours, training stations, canoeing, kid-approved obstacle courses, snacks and more. Ages 3 and up.
FREE Dance Parade
Sat May 21 1-7pm. From 21st and 22nd Sts between Park Ave South and Fifth Ave to Tompkins Square Park, Ave A between 7th and 10th Sts (267-350-9213, danceparade.org). Subway: F to Lower East Side--Second Ave; N, R to 23rd St; L to First Ave; 6 to Astor Pl.
Thousands of participants are expected to tap, salsa, hula and even stilt-dance their way down Broadway in colorful costumes during this fifth annual boogie brigade, with everything from techno to polka music ringing out from festive floats as the procession shimmies past Union Square and through the East Village via St. Marks Place. (The reviewing stand in Astor Place makes it a great place to watch the proceedings.) The parade terminates in a dance fest in Tompkins Square Park, where, from 3 to 7pm, kids of all ages enjoy more performances and free lessons. All ages.
FREE Touch-a-Truck Street Fair
Sat May 21 10am--4pm. West Side YMCA, 64th St between Central Park West and Broadway (212-875-4101, touch-a-truck.org). Subway: A, C, B, D, 1 to 59th St--Columbus Cir. Admission is free, but tickets for activities must be purchased.
At this extravaganza, youngsters are free to explore police cars, fire trucks and other vehicles. Kids who aren't as enthused about automotives can jump around in bouncy castles, listen to the Dirty Socks Funtime Band, get their faces painted, make spin and sand art, enter raffles, and munch on food from E.E. Cookies, Rickshaw dumplings, Alice's Teacup and other yummy vendors. Event will go on rain or shine. All ages.
FREE Ethnic Festival of El Barrio
Sat May 21 11am--6pm. Union Settlement Association, 104th St between Second and Third Aves (212-828-6000, unionsettlement.org). Subway: 6 to 103rd St.
This block-party blowout celebrates the vibrant and diverse cultures of East Harlem, bringing together artists, musicians and neighborhood locals for succulent eats, marching bands, salsa and mariachi music, a b-ball tournament and karate demos—plus storytelling, face painting and crafts. All ages.
FREE Hudson River Pageant
Sat May 21 1--5pm. Hudson River Park between Jane and Warren Sts (212-777-7969, earthcelebrations.com). Subway: A, C, 1 to Chambers St; E to World Trade Center; 2, 3 to Park Pl.
The route of this parade of 15-foot puppets and costumes is lined with stations offering harmonic chanting, oyster planting, river cleaning, live catch-and-release fishing and more. All ages.
Sat May 21, Sun May 22 1--4pm. Prospect Park Zoo, 450 Flatbush Ave at Empire Blvd (718-399-7339, prospectparkzoo.com). Subway: Q, Franklin Ave S to Prospect Park. Zoo admission $8, seniors $6, children ages 3--12 $5, children under 3 free. Lefferts House admission is free.
At this woolly weekend celebration, kids can watch Prospect Park Zoo sheep get their winter coats shorn at 1:30pm and 2:30pm, and then head next door to Lefferts Historic House for a lesson in washing, carding (brushing), spinning and weaving fleece into cloth. Not baaaad! Ages 3 and up.
FREE National Museum of the American Indian Children's Festival
Sat May 21, Sun May 22 noon--5pm. National Museum of the American Indian, 1 Bowling Green between State and Whitehall Sts (212-514-3700, nmai.si.edu). Subway: 4, 5 to Bowling Green.
In honor of the current exhibit "Infinity of Nations," this year's festival celebrates the native tribes and cultures of the Northwest Coast and includes dazzling performances by the renowned Git-Hoan Dancers and mask-carving presentations by David Boxley and Tsimshian. Kids can make miniature button blankets, cedar-bark bracelets and animal masks in various craft workshops. All ages.
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Saturday April 9 | Sunday April 10 | Saturday April 16
Saturday April 23 | Saturday April 30 | Sunday May 1 | Saturday May 7
Saturday May 14 | Sunday May 15 | Saturday May 21 | Sunday May 22 | Saturday May 28