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12 free things to do with kids in NYC this week: August 19–23

Outdoor screenings of kids’ classics, jazz performances and contemporary circus acts are on tap for this week’s no-cost family activities.

This week, expect to get seriously entertained (for free!) by world-class jazz artists, three contemporary circus acts, a whopping six outdoor movie screenings and—oh yeah, a little-known band called One Direction.


RECOMMENDED: More free things to do with kids this summer


  • Photograph: Bryant Park Corporation

    1. Vie for a spot at the last (and kid-friendliest) edition of the annual HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival for a screening of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (August 19).

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    2. Get in on family activities like crafts and hula-hooping before artists take to the stage at the Jazzmobile Block Party (August 20).

  • 3. Hop over to Hoboken for the final installment of Family Fun Nights at Shipyard Park, featuring Music Together (August 20).

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    4. Head to Back to the Future with a screening of the classic 80's flick at the South Street Seaport (August 21).

  • Photograph: C.CHARRAT Martin

    5. See three contemporary circus troupes' takes on the centuries-old art form at "Circus Now!", hosted by the zany Bindlestiff Family Cirkus (August 21).

  • Courtesy Disney Junior

    6. Give your stuffed animal a check-up and learn healthy eating tips when Doc McStuffins arrives at the Disney Store for a day (August 21).

  • Courtesy Central Park Conservancy

    7. Curl up for audience-selected picks of a different genre each day at the Central Park Conservancy Film Festival, like Thursday's West Side Story (classics) and Friday's Hook (family-friendly).

  • 8. Hear musical twists on kids' favorite fairytales with a FAB Concert for Kids featuring The Good Ms. Padgett (August 23).

  • 9. "Wax on" aboard the flight deck of the Intrepid for its final screening of the summer, 1984's The Karate Kid (August 23).

  • Photograph: Courtesy Hudson River Park Trust

    10. Munch on popcorn and je et jo ice cream before settling in for The Adventures of TinTin at Hudson River Park's Pier 46 (August 23).

  • Courtesy Matt Wilson

    11. Show tots how to bebop at a Charlie Parker Jazz Festival families-only performance (August 23).

  • Photograph: Jael Marschner

    12. Squeal for Harry, Louis, Niall, Zayn and Liam of One Direction when they perform on the Today Show Concert Series (August 23).

Photograph: Bryant Park Corporation

1. Vie for a spot at the last (and kid-friendliest) edition of the annual HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival for a screening of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (August 19).


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