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50 things to do in the summer with the kids in New York City 2013

From MoMA PS1's Party Wall to City of Water Day festivities, we've rounded up the best things to do this summer with the kids in the New York City.

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    1. Enjoy car free avenues during Summer Streets, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    3. Rock out at SummerStage Global Family Day, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

  • Courtesy MoMA PS1

    3. Gaze up at Party Wall at MoMA PS1, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

  • Red Grooms

    4. View NYC-themed artwork at "Red-Grooms' New York City," one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

  • 5. Attend a pow wow in Queens, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

  • Photograph: Kyle Rivas

    6. Practice your swing at the MLB All-Star Fan Fest, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

  • Photograph: Joshua Bright

    7. Herald the reopening of the historic Wave Hill House, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

  • Photograph: Kent Miller Studios/Macy's, Inc.

    8. Watch the Macy's Foufth of July Fireworks, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

  • Photograph: J Carter Rinaldi

    9. CHeer for parade floats and costumed merpeople at the Mermaid Parade, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

  • Photograph: Nick McClintock

    10. Learn how to pogo at Pogopalooza, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

Photograph: Marielle Solan

1. Enjoy car free avenues during Summer Streets, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

Summer has officially arrived and like most parents, you're probably thinking: How do I keep the kids busy until school starts in September? Good news! We've put together an essential list of 50 things to do in the summer with the kids. Our roundup includes everything from open-air concerts and movies series (all are free!) to the summer's biggest museum exhibits (Nathan Sawaya's "The Art of the Brick" is number one on our list!) and festivals (think Pogopalooza and the River Fish Celebration). Also on our list: City beaches, pools (the Brooklyn Bridge Park pop-up pool is back), Governors Island and other great activities to do this summer with the kids. Happy summer!


1

Enjoy car free avenues during Summer Streets

  • Free

Kids can strap on their helmets and lace up their sneakers for this annual celebration, which closes off city blocks for outdoor recreation. For the three-Saturday event, nearly seven miles of NYC turf from the Brooklyn Bridge all the way to Central Park will be cleared of vehicles, creating a pedestrian paradise complete with food and entertainment. This edition’s offerings are still being finalized, but previous years have included free bike rentals, a rock-climbing wall, a zip line and picnics along the route. All ages.

2

Rock out at SummerStage Global Family Day

  • Free

Headlining the Central Park mainstage's family day is a street-theater collaboration between the Carpetbag Brigade and Colombia's Nemcatacoa Teatro, blending Andean music, spoken word elements, acrobatic stilt walking, butoh dance and contact improvisation. Folksy songstress Elizabeth Mitchell, Caribbean percussion group Natural Expression Rhythm Band, and African diaspora arts groups ASE Dance Theater Collective and Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy round out the lineup. Nearby, the Radio Disney Road Crew will be entertaining the youngest set with a pirate and princess costume party, complete with photo ops alongside Pirate Jake and Princess Sofia. All ages.

  1. SummerStage Mainstage Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, enter at Fifth Ave and 72nd St
  2. Until Sun Jul 6
More info
3

View NYC-themed artwork at "Red Grooms' New York City"

  • Price band: 1/4

Each of the eight pieces in this show of work by Red Grooms portrays Grooms's design techniques, from mixed media to paint. Among the highlights is the 3-D piece Rockefeller Center, which pulsates with that famous corner's energy. Workshops inspired by the show, such as Pop-Art Construction (3-D model making), Get Groomed! (creating a Groomsesque "Sculpto-Pictorama") and Double Decker New York: Above and Below (building a two-tiered NYC sculpture). Kids can also contribute to an ongoing, NYC-themed mixed-media installation. All ages.

  1. Children's Museum of Manhattan 212 W 83rd St, between Amsterdam Ave and Broadway, 10024
  2. Fri Jun 28 - Sun Jan 5, 2014
More info
4

Practice your swing at the MLB All-Star Fanfest

  • Price band: 2/4

For five days in July, the Major League Baseball All-Star Fanfest transforms the Javits Center into the largest interactive baseball theme park in the world, featuring exhibits from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, batting cages, baseball clinics, autograph sessions with former Mets players and more. Sunday (July 14) is Taco Bell All-Star Sunday ($65-$108, includes admission to Fanfest). This includes the All-Star Futures game, which showcases top Minor League Prospects, and the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, which features stars in music and entertainment teaming up with Hall of Famers and New York baseball greats. All ages.

  1. Jacob K. Javits Convention Center 655 W 34th St, at Eleventh Ave
  2. Until Tue Jul 16
More info
5

Herald the reopening of the historic Wave Hill House

  • Free

Celebrate the reopening of the Bronx spot's historic house  after a two-year renovation during Welcome Home Weekend. Expect house tours (Sat, Sun 11am-1pm), free activities like collaborative tapestry-making (Sat, Sun 1-4pm), live music from Mary Courtney and Morning Star (Sat, Sun 1:30-4pm), and a special edition of Wave Hill's Family Art Projects: "Pinapple Welcome Wishes," in which kids make and decorate silly paper pineapple hats (Sat, Sun 10am–1pm). All ages.

  1. Wave Hill W 249th St, at Independence Ave, 10471
  2. Sun Jul 7
More info
6

Watch the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks

  • Critics choice
  • Free

For this mother of all pyrotechnic displays, Macy's will explode more than 40,000 fireworks choreographed to a 25-minute patriotic score that was directed by Grammy-winning singer Usher. Stake out a nice spot along the Hudson to watch with your crew (you'll have to get there early, so make sure to bring plenty of snacks and games to keep the kids entertained) or watch at home—the show starts at 8pm on NBC. All ages.

7

Cheer for parade floats and costumed merpeople

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Coney Island’s answer to Greenwich Village’s infamous Halloween parade might be a little risqué for some tiny ones, but plenty of families scope out King Neptune as he presides over wacky floats, marching bands, drill teams, vintage cars and a dazzling array of scantily clad seafaring sirens during the Mermaid Parade. The parade is especially sweet this year—a successful Kickstarter campaign kept the annual event from being canceled after Hurricane Sandy hit the area hard. From W 21st St and Surf Ave to the Boardwalk at W 10th St, Coney Island, Brooklyn. All ages.

  1. Location TBA
  2. Until Sat Jun 21
More info
8

Learn how to pogo at Pogopalooza

  • Free

Watch what happens when pogo sticks are mastered long beyond childhood at this three-day Extreme Pogo extravaganza, kicking off with Friday's citywide demos (locations TBA) and an attempt to beat the current record for Most Consecutive Bounces on a Pogo Stick (no one has beaten 70,076 in 36 years!) On Saturday, head to Tompkins Square Park for open qualifying rounds (yep, that means anyone can enter on-site) as well as a Free Jump area, where families can show off their skills or learn a few new tricks. Sunday showcases the finalists, who will compete for the top spots in three categories: Big Air, Best Trick and High Jump. Families can also hang at the Free Jump area, and if they're feeling extra inspired, purchase a stick of their very own. All ages.

  1. Union Square and Tompkins Square Park 14th St to 17th St, between Broadway and Park Ave South
  2. Until Sun Jul 28
More info

  1. 1–10
  2. 11–20
  3. 21-30
  4. 31–40
  5. 41–50

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