Free summer entertainment series for NYC kids and families
Embrace the season with one of the city's complimentary cultural offerings.
Mon May 23 2011
Photograph: Robin Schatell
Carroll Park Kids' Concert Series
Everyone from AudraRox and Music for Aardvarks' David Weinstone (June 12) to Bubble Do Beatles (Sept 25) perform at this popular Brooklyn park. June 12--Sept 25 various days at 4pm. Carroll Park, Smith St between Carroll and President Sts, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (carrollparkbrooklyn.org/concerts).
Prospect Park's free summer-concert series kicks off with visionary Andrew Bird (June 10) and continues with Dan Zanes, who performs at the Ezra Jack Keats Family Concert (July 16), and a West Side Story sing- and dance-along (July 21). June 10--Aug 6. Prospect Park Bandshell, Prospect Park West at 9th St (bricartsmedia.org/celebrate).
Free Friday Family Jams
BCM offers special events every Friday night, including Third Rail Projects' Lewis Carroll--inspired performance piece, Through the Looking Glass (July 22). July 8--Aug 26 Fri 6:30pm. Brooklyn Children's Museum, 145 Brooklyn Ave at St. Marks Ave, Crown Heights, Brooklyn (718-735-4400, brooklynkids.org).
Intrepid Summer Movie Series
Families gather on the aircraft carrier's flight deck to watch classic films like The Goonies (July 8), Back to the Future (July 22), E.T. (Aug 5) and Jurassic Park (Aug 19). May 27--Aug 19
Fri 7:30pm. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Pier 84, 46th St at Twelfth Ave (877-957-7447, intrepidmuseum.org).
Mad. Sq. Kids Concerts
Madison Square Park draws big crowds with this summer music series on the Oval Lawn. As always, the lineup is impressive: Hot Peas 'N Butter (June 23), the Jimmies (July 19), Moona Luna (Aug 2) and more. June 14--Aug 11 Tue, Thu 10:30am. Madison Square Park, Broadway at 23rd St (212-538-4071, madisonsquarepark.org).
Music In The Grove
Top children's-music acts like the Deedle Deedle Dees (July 20) and King Pajama (Aug 17) play every Wednesday morning. There's ample stroller parking, but you'll want to bring a blanket to sit on. June 15--Aug 31 Wed 10am. Fort Greene Park, enter at DeKalb Ave at Washington Park, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (fortgreenepark.org).
River To River
Alt-music gods descend on this multiarts festival in lower Manhattan, but less boho bambini might be more interested in seeing the airborne antics of the Streb Trapeze Academy, performing throughout the summer in the World Financial Center Plaza. June 19--July 16. Various dates, times and locations (rivertoriverny.com).
River Flicks For Kids
Pack a picnic dinner for this waterfront film series. Animated faves like Despicable Me (June 15), Toy Story 3 (July 29), Shrek Forever After (Aug 12) and Tangled (Aug 19) screen on Friday nights. July 8--Aug 19 Fri 8:30pm. Pier 46, West St at Charles St (212-627-2121, riverflicks.com).
Saturday Sculpture Workshops
Classes are led by a different local artist each week. On June 4, McKendree Key lets kids smash plates, Greek-wedding style, then teaches them how to create mosaics out of ceramic shards. May 7--Sept 24 Sat noon--3pm. Socrates Sculpture Garden, 32-01 Vernon Blvd at Broadway (718-956-1819, socratessculpturepark.org).
Summer In The Square
Morning Mommy and Me Yoga classes are followed by dancing and music in the square, with sets from Baby Loves Disco (June 16, July 21) and the Anna Banana Band (July 28). June 16--Aug 11 Thu 8am. Union Square, 14th St to 17th St between Broadway and Fourth Ave (212-529-9262, unionsquarenyc.org).
Summer On The Hudson
In addition to watching kids' shows on Thursdays at Pier I on 70th Street (July 14--Aug 18 10:30--11:30am), tots can attend playdates, game days and the West Side County Fair. May 1—mid-November. Various times. Hudson River Park, Hudson River between 59th and 135th Sts (riversideparkfund.org).
Summerstage Kids Presented By Disney
Now sponsored by Disney, SummerStage's children's series hits all five boroughs. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo performs at St. Mary's Park in the Bronx (July 3), while the Zany Umbrella Circus takes to the stage in Central Park. (July 10). June 19--Aug 17. Various times and locations. Go to cityparksfoundation.org for more information.
Syfy Movies With A View
DJs from Brooklyn Radio spin tunes until the sun sets and the big screen under the Brooklyn Bridge lights up—flicks include Ghostbusters (July 14) and An American Tail (Aug 4). July 7--Sep 1 Thu 6--11pm. Pier 1, Old Fulton St at Furman St, Brooklyn Heights (brooklynbridgepark.org).
The Toyota Concert Series On Today
Rock Center turns into a mini Radio City when Today takes its acts outside on Friday mornings (Glee fave Journey performs on July 29). A special Thursday show (June 2) features the new American Idol winner. May 27--Sept 2 Fri 7am. Rockefeller Center Plaza, W 49th St near Fifth Ave (today.msnbc.msn.com).
Word For Word Kids
Throughout the summer, the Bryant Park Reading Room treats kids to alfresco art projects, magic acts and live concerts. King Pajama croons about ice cream and guacamole on August 13. June 18--Aug 20 Sat noon--1pm. Bryant Park Reading Room, 42nd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (bryantpark.org).