Spring fairs and festivals for NYC kids
Warm up at fine-weather fests in all five boroughs.
Thu Apr 22 2010
Saturday April 30
FREE Fifth Avenue Family Festival
Sat Apr 30 11am--4pm. Fifth Ave at 4th St, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-768-3703, parkslopefifthavenuebid.com). Subway: R to Union St.
Little Slopers can enjoy face painting and puppet making (with pizza boxes!), try out the Brooklyn Cyclones batting ranges, hear live bands and get their snapshot taken alongside Star Wars--costumed volunteers. The first 200 kids snag a gratis gift bag. Admission is free, but games and cotton candy cost $1, and the bounce house is $3. All ages.
Arbor Day Celebration
Sat Apr 30 10am--4pm. Alley Pond Environmental Center, 228-06 Northern Blvd at Cross Island Pkwy, Queens (718-229-4000, alleypond.com). Travel: 7 to Flushing--Main St, then take the Q12 bus to Northern Blvd. $1 for ages 12 and up.
When it comes to honoring Mother Earth, actions speak louder than words: At Alley Pond's Arbor Day event, visitors help plant greenery, thus improving air quality and providing shelter for wildlife. Trees are provided for planting, but participants are asked to bring a native shrub, sturdy footwear and work gloves.
FREE Jack & Jill Spring Fair
Sat Apr 30 noon--4pm. Jack & Jill School, 209 E 16th St between Third Ave and Rutherford Pl (212-475-0855, jackandjillschool.com). Subway: L to Third Ave.
This popular annual fete promises plenty of food, face painting, a bouncing castle, a flea market, crafts, games and raffle prizes. Admission is free, but there is a charge for rides. All ages.
FREE Kite Flight: DIY and Fly
Sat Apr 30 11am--2pm. Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Blvd at Broadway, Long Island City, Queens (718-956-1819, socratessculpturepark.org). Travel: N to Broadway, then walk west to the East River.
Go fly a kite—literally! The nearby Noguchi Museum cosponsors this annual event, which invites kids to use recycled newspaper and other repurposed paper products—materials are provided—to build and decorate kites. We think you can guess what happens next. All ages.
FREE Go Green! Greenpoint
Sat Apr 30 noon--4pm. McCarren Park, 900 Lorimer St between Bedford and Driggs Aves, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (347-559-1410, waterfrontalliance.org). Subway: L to Lorimer St, G to Nassau Ave.
Wind up Earth Week with a bang at this fourth annual celebration, where kids can drop off their recycling, pick up Earth-friendly goods (plus eco- and wellness tips), complete arts-and-crafts projects, watch gardening demos and bop around to live music. The winner of the Go Green! Greenpoint writing contest will read the prize essay at the gathering. All ages.
FREE Fifth Annual Earth Day Rockaway
Sat Apr 30 noon--4pm. Rockaway Beach, Boardwalk at Beach 59th St, Rockaway, Queens (718-327-5919, rwalliance.org). Subway: A to Beach 60th St.
Surf's up (well, cleaned up, anyway) at this briny Earth Day celebration. Head to the beach for environmental programs, surfing demos, falconry displays, live music, crafts and ranger-led tours. All ages.
FREE King Manor Museum Spring Festival
Sat Apr 30 noon--4pm. King Manor Museum, 150th St at Jamaica Ave, Jamaica, Queens (718-206-0545, kingmanor.org). Subway: E, J to Jamaica Center--Parsons/Archer. Museum admission $5, children under 16, free.
Head to the historic manor house in King Park and celebrate the season with spring-themed stories and crafts, as well as traditional May Day festivities. All ages.
Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival
Sat Apr 30 10am--6pm. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 900 Washington Ave between Carroll and Crown Sts, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-623-7200, bbg.org). Subway: 2, 3 to Eastern Pkwy--Brooklyn Museum. $15, students $10, children under 12 free.
Happening rain or shine, this weekend celebration of Japanese culture is legendary. The blooming cherry blossom esplanade isn't the only amazing sight. Many visitors dress up for the occasion, meaning fabulous traditional finery and cutting-edge anime outfits give the foliage some fierce competition. Lots of special programming's on tap, from exotic temporary tattoos, taiko drumming and Japanese DJs to presentations on manga art and flower arranging and live music and dance. All ages.
FREE Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair
Sat Apr 30 10am--6pm. Greenwich St between Chambers and Hubert Sts (212-941-2400, tribecafilm.com). Subway: 1 to Franklin St; 2, 3 to Chambers St.
You don't have to be in a dark movie theater to enjoy the Tribeca Film Festival: The big-time movie fest sponsors this annual street fair, featuring magician Max Darwin and puppeteer Ronnie Asbell, plus an army of stilt walkers, dancers, face painters, storytellers and sculptors. Children keep busy building kites and chasing bubbles, posing for photos on the official red carpet and listening to original works from the New York Philharmonic's Very Young Composers ensemble. Not enough? Have them enter hula-hoop contest and dance-off, and enjoy performances by BroadwayCares Kids, cast members from Wicked and ImaginOcean, and others in the plaza. If your tykes aren't tuckered out after the long day, catch the closing act: live music from kids faves like the Fuzzy Lemons and Hot Peas N' Butter. All ages.
FREE Tribeca ESPN Sports Day
Sat Apr 30 10am--6pm. North Moore St between Greenwich and West Sts (212-941-2400, tribecafilm.com). Subway: 1 to Franklin St; 2, 3 to Chambers St.
At the fifth annual sports day sponsored by ESPN and the Tribeca Film Festival, fans of all ages can meet mascots and members of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and WNBA's New York Liberty, who will be leading coaching clinics. Happily, plenty more sports games and activities will help your little rookies burn off carb-centric snacks from the adjacent TFF Street Fair. And if you want the kids to see you relive your college-pigiron glory days, take advantage of the football-passing clinic taught by cast members of Broadway's Lombardi. All ages.
FREE 5 Boro Bike Fest
Sat Apr 30 10am--4pm, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Old Fulton St at Furman St, Dumbo, Brooklyn (718-802-0603, brooklynbridgeparknyc.org). Subway: A, C to High St; F to York St.
Even if your kids are still using training wheels (or a trike), they can still celebrate the 5 Boro Bike Tour at this free fest offering Afro-Latin drums from Bomba Yo, Fab Four songs from the Meetles, performances from Looney Louie and Magic Al, and age-appropriate bike-repair and safety clinics. All ages.
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