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50 things to do in New York City with kids in the fall 2014

Get ready for fall! Our list of things to do in New York City this season—exhibits, shows, festivals and more—will keep your family busy through Thanksgiving.

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    50 things to do with kids in New York City in fall 2014

    Dumbo Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    50 things to do with kids in New York City in fall 2014

    Wave Hill Honey Weekend

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    50 things to do with kids in New York City in fall 2014

    Atlantic Antic

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    50 things to do with kids in New York City in fall 2014

    Transit Museum Bus Festival

  • Photograph: courtesy National Guitar Museum

    50 things to do with kids in New York City in fall 2014

    "Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World"

  • 50 things to do with kids in New York City in fall 2014

    Chile Pepper Fiesta

  • Courtesy CMA/Erik den Breejen

    50 things to do with kids in New York City in fall 2014

    "Drawn to Language" at the Children's Museum of the Arts

  • Courtesy of Warner Bros. Looney Tunes Characters © & TM Warner Bros.

    50 things to do with kids in New York City in fall 2014

    Chuck Jones Matinees

  • 50 things to do with kids in New York City in fall 2014

    Apples and Honey in the Big Apple

  • Photograph: Courtesy Hudson River Park Trust

    50 things to do with kids in New York City in fall 2014

    Big City Fishing

Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

50 things to do with kids in New York City in fall 2014

Dumbo Arts Festival

11

Interact with installations at the Dumbo Arts Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The oversize installations at the über-stylish ’hood’s annual summoning of more than 400 international artists will have little ones immediately in thrall of arts’ interactive powers, thanks to works like last year's lineup of Flying, a 3-D animated game that will have them soaring through dreamscapes as a butterfly, or Strings: Part instrument, part sculpture, this work allows kids to play within a space and create music with their bodies. Another inspiring piece is The Ship of Tolerance, a global project whose sails are made of paintings by 500 NYC students, that’s docking in the U.S. for the first time. Make sure to stick around for the Bubbles of Hope Performance Art Parade, where “moving sculptures” will hand out noisemakers and masks to anyone who wants to join in. All weekend long, drop by local studios, see performance art and works-in-progress in the streets, or take a spin on Jane's Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Artists and projects are still TBA for this year's event, but we'll keep you in the loop! Ages 5 and up.

  1. Various locations
  2. Fri Sep 26 - Sun Sep 28
More info
12

Buzz like a bee at Honey Weekend

  • Price band: 1/4

Get ready for a sticky, sweet weekend at Wave Hill's annual honey celebration in which kids dance in a cardboard hive, make beeswax candles ($15), march in a bee parade and use a kazoo to buzz like a bee. Families can also catch honey extraction demonstrations and try on beekeeping gear throughout the weekend, then sample different varieties of the sweet stuff in the garden's shop. Don't forget to sign up for a jar of Wave Hill's own "Liquid Gold," harvested from the hives over the weekend. Admission to the grounds is free until noon on Saturday. All ages.

  1. Wave Hill W 249th St, at Independence Ave, 10471
  2. Sat Oct 4 - Sun Oct 5
More info
13

Shop NYC's largest street fair at Atlantic Antic

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The busy Brooklyn artery closes down for the 40th anniversary of New York City’s largest street fair, featuring over 500 vendors and ten stages. But there’s more to see here than stands hawking Pashminas and Mozzarepas (although there are plenty of those, too): Visitors can expect a lineup of activities about as long as the avenue itself, including an entire block dedicated to kids (Atlantic Ave between Boerum and Smith Sts) and live performances by local kindie favorites, pony rides, a bouncy house, face painting, tattoos, puppet and magic shows, a singalong and small carnival rides. Plus, turn down Boerum Place to see (and climb into!) the New York Transit Museum's fleet of vintage buses, and score $1 entry into the museum 'til 4:30pm. The fest runs on Atlantic Ave between Fourth Ave and Hicks St. All ages.

  1. Brooklyn
  2. Sun Sep 29
More info
14

Climb into old busses at the Transit Museum Bus Festival

  • Free

Kids won't want to miss the Transit Museum's fleet of vintage busses, on display just once a year as part of Atlantic Antic. (The exact location of the bus fest: Boerum Pl between Atlantic Ave and State St.) Families can board the busses, talk to bus historians and bus drivers, or attend one of the many workshops offered throughout the day. For a change of pace, walk down the street to check out Atlantic Antic, another fun-filled family event, or check out the vintage subway cars at the New York Transit Museum (this event's organizer); admission is just $1 all day long. All ages.

  1. Brooklyn
  2. Sun Sep 28
More info
15

Learn all about "The Instrument That Rocked the World"

  • Price band: 1/4

Come disover the evolution of this rockin' instrument through the centuries. Kids can rock out to their own music while using playables. Also, get a closer look at the world's largest guitar and the world's oldest electric guitar. Are you a fan of rock music? Then you'll enjoy the exhibit's display of guitars autographed and owned by icons in music. All ages.

  1. Liberty Science Center 222 Jersey City Blvd, between Philip and Wilson Sts
  2. Sat Oct 4 - Wed Dec 31
More info
16

Feel hot, hot, hot at the Chile Pepper Festival

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Even kids who aren't fans of spicy food will get a kick out of the lively music and dance inspired by tangy chili flavors. Check out performances from The Cambodian Space Project, Alidu, Tee Chaoul Social Club and more. Then travel between booths to taste some tasty and semi-spicy foods like chocolate, pretzels and sauces. Guests can tour the gardens and view BBG's collection of chile pepper plants. If kids don't like the food, they'll enjoy flame-throwing from circus act Robbins & Ringold. All ages.

  1. Brooklyn Botanic Garden 990 Washington Ave, at President St
  2. Sat Sep 27
More info
17

Get "Drawn to Language" at CMA's latest exhibit

  • Price band: 1/4

Let your pint-sized Picassos discover artistic works that speak to them—literally. Multimedia pieces featuring letters and words that are visualized, spoken, scrambled or made into symbols or patterns will grace the CMA's galleries, allowing young visitors to explore communication through the visual arts. Works from both emerging and established artists including Adam Ames, Jenny Holzer, Jack Pierson and Kambui Olujimi will be featured. All ages.

  1. Children's Museum of the Arts 103 Charlton St, between Greenwich and Hudson Sts, 10014
  2. Tue Sep 16 - Sun Jan 11
More info
18

Duck inside MMI for weekend matinees

In honor of their new exhibition "What’s Up Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones," the Museum of the Moving Image will present matinee screenings of cartoons directed by the talented artist each weekend in the Sumner M. Redstone Theater. A select number of the screenings will be accompanied by personal appearances of Jones' collaborators and top creative figures in animation. Each screening is shown in 35mm and 16mm prints and will take place every Saturday and Sunday (first come, first served) throughout the exhibition. All Ages.

  1. Museum of the Moving Image 36-01 35th Ave, at 37th St, 11106
  2. Sat Aug 23 - Sun Jan 18
More info
19

Celebrate Jewish New Year with apples and honey

  • Price band: 1/4

Celebrate the Jewish New Year with a reggae-rock performance by the Mama Doni Band (2pm), bookended by holiday-themed crafts (1–4pm). Arrive early and join in a family-friendly tour of the museum's galleries (1:30pm). All ages.

20

Catch and release at the Go Fish! Festival

  • Free

Spend a scaly Saturday at this catch-and-release festival in Battery Park City, where families can use barbless hooks (causing less harm to both animals and slippery-fingered children) to get a closer look at the Hudson’s gilled residents before setting them back into the wild. Even if you’re crew isn’t the fishing type, kids can head out on a naturalist-led bird walk (11am), drop in aquatic art projects (11am–2pm) and catch a special stage show by bluegrass duo Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke (12:30pm). Save the date for two more festivals in October featuring performances by blues band Michael Hill & Friends (10/4) and Irish musicians Morning Star (10/18). Ages 5 to 10.

  1. Robert F. Wagner Park Battery Pl, between West St and 1st Pl
  2. Sat Sep 20 - Sat Oct 18
More info


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