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Figment NYC returns to Governors Island this weekend (slide show)

Sail to Governors Island on June 8 and 9 to view art installations and play minigolf at the annual Figment NYC festival.

  • Photograph: Lindsay Buckley

    Figment NYC at Governors Island

  • Photograph: Captain Kidder

    Figment NYC at Governors Island

  • Photograph: Scoboco

    Figment NYC at Governors Island

  • Figment NYC at Governors Island

  • Photograph: Ederek

    Figment NYC at Governors Island

  • Photograph: Chris Jordan

    Figment NYC at Governors Island

  • Photograph: Donald Yip

    Figment NYC at Governors Island

  • Photograph: Shira Goldberg

    Figment NYC at Governors Island

  • Photograph: Donald Yip

    Figment NYC at Governors Island

  • Photograph: Shira Goldberg

    Figment NYC at Governors Island

  • Photograph: Shira Goldberg

    Figment NYC at Governors Island

  • Photograph: Shira Goldberg

    Figment NYC at Governors Island

Photograph: Lindsay Buckley

Figment NYC at Governors Island


Figment is one of the city's coolest family-friendly festivals, and the fact that it takes place on Governors Island—one of our favorite family attractions—is just a bonus. During the weekend of June 8–9, the island will come alive with interactive art installations, climbable structures, a new minigolf course and plenty of games and activities for kids of all ages. Don’t catch the ferry back home until you’ve caught these highlights. (Note: If you can't make it this weekend, many of the festival's incredible designs, including the minigolf course and the Sculpture Garden will be on display through September 22.)

RECOMMENDED: Governors Island in New York guide

Perfect your swing

Each year, the festival features a different artist-designed minigolf course. This year, the theme is “State of the Art,” and the course’s ten holes explore the concepts of technology, innovation, and the future. At hole #5, Mini Golf Matrix, your ball will travel through a course resembling an oversized QR bar code. And the bonus tenth hole, Upsy-Turby, is designed to reflect the idea of advancement with its two levels that allow the golf ball to elevate to a higher plane.

Experiment with art
Starting this weekend, the Governors Island parade grounds will be transformed into an Interactive Sculpture Garden featuring 11 three-dimensional works that invite hands-on exploration. Reverberate is a “soundscape playground” with an assortment of colorful rubber balls that, when pushed, create cascading layers of sound. Or check out Little Katie’s Light-Bright, a larger-than-life recreation of a LiteBrite machine (designed in collaboration with a class of first graders at P.S. 139) in which kids can wander through a tunnel decorated with colorful light pegs, then create their own peg designs.

Climb a tree(house)
The Figment TreeHouse is no ordinary backyard fort; it’s built entirely from recycled materials and is powered by wind and solar energy. An interactive art piece in itself, the TreeHouse also features several other creative installations in its Gazebo. Biomorphs allows little ones to peer inside a spinning zoetrope—a kind of cylindrical flipbook—and view a pictoral story; the Strata wall relief depicts modern artifacts dug up by an imaginary future generation, inviting viewers to find certain objects hidden throughout the piece.

Touch the sky

The festival traditionally plays host to the winner of the annual City of Dreams Pavilion competition, and has featured some amazing architectural creations in past years. This year’s winner is Head in the Clouds, a 40’ x 18’ x 15’ cloud-shaped structure made with 53,780 recycled plastic bottles (representing the number of bottles thrown away in New York City in just an hour). The billowing white and blue pavilion will feature seating areas and a small stage for performances. Kids will be mesmerized as they wander the light-filled “room,” exploring and inspecting the recycled materials.

Play creative games
Tots can dress up in costumes and cool off in kiddie pools with Aqua Attack!, a made-up Japanese game show in which participants decide whether they want to be a Super Villain or a Super Hero—then battle their “enemies” with plush toys. Little ones will also love zipping themselves into a sensory Cocoon Playground, a sheer, stretchy fabric enclosure that they can enter and explore. Finally, adventurous youngsters can participate in The Hero’s Journey, an interactive epic quest in which they play the hero facing off against an evil warlock in order to rescue the royal family and save the kingdom.

Figment NYC takes place on Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9 on Governors Island.


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