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

Spring is in the air! Get outdoors for free family festivals, new museum exhibits and other great things to do with kids in New York City this spring.

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    50 things to do with kids in New York City in spring 2014: Sakura Matsuri 

     

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    50 things to do with kids in New York City in spring 2014: Super Sabado

  • Photograph: Rebecca Wolf

     

    50 things to do with kids in New York City in spring 2014: Arbor Festival at the Queens Botanical Garden

  • Photograph: Etienne Frossard

    50 things to do with kids in New York City in spring 2014: Greenlight Saturday Storytime

  • Photograph: Elliot Kaufman

    50 things to do with kids in New York City in spring 2014: Fluff at New Victory Theater

  • Photograph: Nick Stevens

    50 things to do with kids in New York City in spring 2014: Prospect Park Fair

  • 50 things to do with kids in New York City in spring 2014: Mother's Day at Central Park Zoo

  • 50 things to do with kids in New York City in spring 2014: Kings County Fair

  • 50 things to do with kids in New York City in spring 2014: Brooklyn Film Festival kidsfilmfest

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    50 things to do with kids in New York City in spring 2014: Hippo Playground Spring Fair

Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

50 things to do with kids in New York City in spring 2014: Sakura Matsuri 

 

11

Sakura Matsuri

  • Critics choice

You might think you're suddenly in Japan at the BBG's legendary spring festival celebrating the peak of the cherry blossom season. The Japanese tradition of Sakuri Matsuri (cherry blossom festival) celebrates spring, the arts and the great outdoors with a slew of cultural arts and general merry making. On tap at this year's fest, the nation's largest happening in a public garden, are performances like taiko drumming, samurai sword fighting and classical dance; demos in such Japanese arts as ikebana (flower arranging) and tea ceremony; and, for kids, hands-on workshops (in the Osborne Garden) where they'll learn manga, origami and even the art of making spring pinwheels. All ages.

  1. Brooklyn Botanic Garden 990 Washington Ave, at President St
  2. Until Sun Apr 27
More info
12

Super Sábado! 2014

  • Critics choice
  • Free

El Museo del Barrio's free family programming every third Saturday of the month presents gallery tours and art workshops centered around a different theme each month. This March, explore the world around you through art making and storytelling (3/15). Enter the magical world of libros at a book fair this April (4/19), and fete the return of spring with a block party blowout in May (5/17). R.S.V.P. recommended. All ages.

  1. El Museo del Barrio 1230 Fifth Ave, between 104th and 105th Sts
  2. Sat Nov 15 - Sat May 16
More info
13

Arbor Festival

  • Price band: 1/4

Eco enthusiasts can do more than just hug a tree at the garden's festival: They'll get the chance to plant one as well. Nature specialists and seasoned gardeners will be on hand to guide kids through the gardens, plus families can check out craft vendors, meet zoo animals, get their faces painted, listen to live music, participate in workshops and go on a bird walk. Parents can also indulge in the beer tent. Check the website for the full schedule. All ages.

  1. Queens Botanical Garden 43-50 Main St, at Dahlia Ave
  2. Until Sun Apr 27
More info
14

Greenlight Saturday Storytime

  • Free

Kids' authors and illustrators (or staffers from Brooklyn's family-friendly Greenlight Bookstore) sit down with kids and their caregivers to read from their own picture books (or their favorites), be they classics or brand-new creations. Ages 3 to 8.

  1. Greenlight Bookstore 686 Fulton St, at South Portland Ave
  2. Sat Oct 25
More info
15

Fluff

  • Price band: 1/4

When the Ginghams discover cast-off stuffed animals like Disco Frog, Squibbly and Fluff, the abandoned toys are given a new home with the plaid-clad family. The trio of performers display quirky talents like bird calls, sound sampling and dance in this silly multimedia show. Ages 5 and up.

  1. New Victory Theater 209 W 42nd St, between Seventh and Eighth Aves
  2. Until Sun May 4
More info
16

Prospect Park Fair

  • Free

Experience all the best parts of a New York City street fair, but surrounded by the greenery in Prospect Park at the second annual Prospect Park Fair. Kids can listen to live music, grab some grub from local food trucks and watch demonstrations of activities offered by the park, like tennis and Pop-Up Audubon workshops. All ages.

  1. Prospect Park Bandshell Prospect Park West, at 9th St
  2. Until Sat Apr 26
More info
17

Mother's Day at the Central Park Zoo

  • Price band: 2/4

Celebrate the moms in your life with an Animal Mom scavenger hunt, Mother's Day–themed crafts and tasty treats. Ages 3 to 10.

  1. Central Park Zoo Southeast corner of Central Park,, enter at Fifth Ave at 64th St
  2. Sun May 10
More info
18

5th Annual Kings County Fair

  • Price band: 1/4

Older kids can enjoy a bevvy of stomach-churning roller coasters, while little ones have fun on tamer rides. Other classic carnival treats include a Ferris wheel, cotton candy and funnel cakes. All ages.

  1. Aviator Sports and Events Center Floyd Bennett Field, Hangar 5, 11234
  2. Until Mon May 26
More info
19

Brooklyn Film Festival kidsfilmfest

  • Price band: 1/4

Young film buffs can spend an hour watching live action and animated shorts from around the world in this cinema extravaganza created just for kids. While this year's lineup is still TBD, last year's featured 12 new short films ranging from two to 12 minutes, including tales about a boy who finds a video game console with special powers and a silly study hall mishap that lands three boys in big trouble. Be sure to arrive early; tickets sell out quickly. All ages.

  1. IndieScreen 289 Kent Ave, at South 2nd St, 11211
  2. Until Sat May 31
More info
20

Hippo Playground Annual Spring Fair

This festival, now in its 31st year, comes complete with a bouncy castle, pony rides, a petting zoo, a maze, face painting, games and more. The proceeds will help raise funds for Hippo Playground maintenance and public programs. Details for this year's festival are still TBA; see the website for details. All ages.

  1. Riverside Park, Hippo Playground 91st St, at Riverside Dr
  2. Until Sun May 4
More info

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