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

From outdoor movie screenings to Arthur Ashe Kids Day, we’ve found the 50 best things to do this summer in New York City.

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

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

    Summer Stage Family Days

  • Photograph: Courtesy Madison Square Park Conservancy

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

    Mad. Sq. Kids Concert Series

  • Photograph: Lauren Spinelli

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

    Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N

  • Photograph: courtesy Children's Museum of the Arts

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

    CMA Art Island Outpost

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

    Annual Butterfly Count

     

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

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

    Hip Tot Family Day at Greenwood Park

  • Photograph: Kate Milford

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

    Brooklyn Block Parties

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

    Family Day at the Center for Architecture

     

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

    Make Music New York

     

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

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

    June Ramadan Festival at Children's Museum of Manhattan

Photograph: Dominic Perri

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

Summer Stage Family Days


Who needs the Hamptons when there’s so much going on right here in the city? Though there’s sure to be a cool concert, class or street fair in every corner of NYC this summer, we’ve rounded up the very best of them, including the annual Summer Streets festival, in which seven miles of road gets closed to traffic, City of Water Day, special SummerStage events for families and much, much more. Click through each page to see all 50 essential things to do with kids in New York City this summer, and start planning your next three months of no school now!

RECOMMENDED: Best things to do this weekend

1

Attend SummerStage Global Family Day

  • Free

There are tons of concerts for adults at SummerStage, but this show is geared to the peanut gallery. Headlining the Central Park mainstage's family day are the Okee Dokee Brothers, the Colorado bluegrass duo who'll croon songs like "Can You Canoe?". The boundary-defying Hybrid Movement Company, Australian dance crew Shaun Parker & Company, the Acrobuffos and the National Dance Institute round out the lineup. Throughout the summer, there'll also be special family-only days in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. For a complete schedule, visit cityparksfoundation.org. All ages.

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

Groove to concerts in Madison Square Park

  • Free

Madison Square Park hosts some of the best names in children music for a special series of free outdoor entertainment for kids and their families. Kicking off the series is Father Goose of Dan Zanes & Friends (6/10), who will be followed every Tuesday and Thursday by other kid faves like ska-reggae group Josh & the Jamtones (6/12), girl-rocker Audra Rox (6/17), East Asian folk band Elena Moon Park & Friends: Rabbit Days and Dumplings (6/19), kindie band Joanie Leeds & the Nightlights (6/24), Latin Grammy winners Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band (6/26), the Woody Guthrie-esque Alastair Moock and Friends (7/1), Walkmen alum Walter Martin (7/3), Dog on Fleas (7/8), JazzReach presents ELLINGTON! (7/10), Mister G (7/15), Bari Koral (7/17), Alex & The Kaleidoscope Band (7/22), The Dirty Sock Funtime Band (7/24), Moona Luna (7/29), Shine and the Moonbeams (7/31), The Okee Dokee Brothers (8/5) and finally, Tim and the Space Cadets (8/7). Free. All ages.

  1. Madison Square Park 23rd St to 26th St, between Fifth and Madison Aves, 10010
  2. Tue Jul 29 - Thu Aug 7
More info
3

Scope out the Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. exhibit

  • Price band: 2/4

Superheroes-in-training are granted special S.H.I.E.L.D. access to the offical Avenger's S.T.A.T.I.O.N. (Scientific Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network) headquarters. Visitors can examine top-secret intelligence files and classified studies and experiments that delve into the origins of the powerful Avengers. View Captain America's Birth Pod, Loki's Scepter and other sacred artifacts, then get behind the controls of Iron Man's suit and see how you measure up against Captain America's physical abilities at this immersive exhibition. All ages.

  1. Discovery Times Square 226 W 44th St, between Seventh and Eighth Aves
  2. Until Sun Jan 4
More info
4

Make art with CMA on Governors Island

Hop on board the ferry to Governors Island, where CMA will be hosting free family art workshops led by in-house teaching artists all summer long. This summer's theme is "Dreamscapes," so activities like film-making, found object art, costume-making and theater games are geared toward the same whimsical motif. Kicking off the summer series is The Flubber Experience over Memorial Day weekend, in which kids will mold Play-Doh and test the limits of CMA's famous "homemade flubber," popular in the WEE Arts studio. Ages 1 to 12.

  1. Governors Island Governors Island
  2. Sat Jul 26 - Sun Sep 28
More info
5

Count butterflies on Staten Island

  • Free

Join the Staten Island Museum staff as they count butterflies all across the island. Bring a pair of bincoculars to help you spot the butterflies, and keep track of the ones you find! Meet at Snug Harbor at 9am. All ages.

  1. Snug Harbor Cultural Center 1000 Richmond Terr, between Snug Harbor Rd and Tysen St
  2. Until Sat Jun 28
More info
6

Head to a Hip Tot Family Day

  • Free

Celebrate the end of each month with Hip Tot–quality entertainment. In June, head to the first family day held at the new Lakeside Skating Rink in Prospect Park for a Fantastic Father's Day celebration featuring storytime with local author Ty Allen and ska music from Vinny Nobile (June 15). July brings a Beat the Summer Heat Dance Party with tunes from DJ Misbehaviour (July 13) and Underwater Adventures featuring a reading by Melanie Hope Greenberg of Mermaids on Parade, seaside crafts with Barking Cat Studio, and a sing-a-long with Suzi Shelton (July 27). In August, bring hungry kiddos to enjoy some Food Fun and entertainment by Rolie Polie Guacamole and storytime (August 10), then hit up a back-to-school themed event with theater by Jason and story time with Caron Levis reading Stuck with the Blooz (August 24). September brings with it a Fall Dance Party featuring DJ Misbehaviour and a dance-themed art project with Barking Cat Studio (September 28). Finally, celebrate Halloween at the Halloween Hullabaloo sing-a-long with the Trummytones, story time with a reading of Have You Seen My Dragon by Steve Light, and Creepy Crafts activities (October 26). Events on June 15, July 13 and August 10 will be held at Lakeside at Prospect Park while events on July 27, August 24, September 28 and October 26 will be held at Greenwood Park. Ages 2 to 5.

  1. Greenwood Park 555 Seventh Ave, between 19th and 20th Sts, 11215
  2. Sun Jul 27 - Sun Oct 26
More info
7

Have a block party in Brooklyn

Rock along to musical performances by kid's favorites this summer. Watch Aly Sunshine and the Funkytown Playground play educational jams on June 19 and catch drum band JahPan on July 17. On August 21, break out the dance moves with Shira & Friends and on September 18, join Mil's Trills in an interactive instrumental show. Ages 0 to 10.

  1. Albee Square DeKalb Ave, between Fulton St and Bond St
  2. Thu Aug 21 - Thu Sep 18
More info
8

Build your dream city

  • Price band: 1/4

Budding builders can search the city for architectural gems. After exploring and sketching buildings in Greenwich Village, little ones will regroup at the Center for Architecture and create a take-home model of those discoveries to be included in a temporary city block. Pre-registration required. Ages 5 and up.

  1. The Center for Architecture 536 La Guardia Pl, between Bleecker and W 3rd Sts
  2. Sat Jun 28
More info
9

Join in a jam band at Make Music New York

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Musicians flood NYC's public spaces during this daylong, citywide, entirely free festival. For tot-friendly tunage, make sure to catch kid-friendly acts like Lily Rose (12:30pm) or The NYC Streetsingers (3:30pm) on Great Oval Hill in Central Park. Plucky tykes can grab free guitar lessons at select NYPL branches throughout the day or pick up harmonicas, recorders and more to join in on group jam sessions alongside the pros. Visit makemusicny.org for the full lineup of events and happenings spanning the five boroughs (you can even search by 'hood!) All ages.

10

Celebrate Ramadan at CMOM

  • Price band: 1/4

This fest, as part of CMOM's Muslim Art Festivals, is aimed at exposing children to the diversity and beauty of Muslim cultures through art. All weekend long, there'll be Ramadan calendar crafts, Fanoos holiday lantern-making with artist Na'ima Roberts and storytelling. See website for full schedule. All ages.

  1. Children's Museum of Manhattan 212 W 83rd St, between Amsterdam Ave and Broadway, 10024
  2. Until Sun Jun 29
More info

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

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