Free things to do over the Fourth of July weekend with NYC kids
Celebrate Independence Day on a budget of zero.
Fri Jun 25 2010
Sat July 2
FREE International African Arts Festival
Sat Jul 2 10am--9pm. Commodore John Barry Park, Navy St between Flushing and Park Aves, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718-638-6700, iaafestival.org). Subway: N, Q, R to DeKalb Ave.
What better way to celebrate our country's melting-pot heritage than to swing by the 40th annual International African Arts Festival? The four-day fest stages an eclectic lineup of performances, including jazz, gospel and reggae concerts, dance, storytelling, arts and crafts, face painting, rides and a massive African marketplace. All ages.
FREE TriBattery Pops: Independence Day Weekend Celebration
Sat Jul 2 at 2pm. Zuccotti Park, Liberty St between Broadway and Church St (rivertorivernyc.com). Subway: 4, 5 to Wall St; N, R to Rector St.
The downtown volunteer community band celebrates the Fourth of July with an eclectic set, including tunes that range from the obvious (Sousa) to the quirky (Gaga). All ages.
FREE Stories at the Statue
Sat Jul 2 11am--noon. Hans Christian Andersen Statue, Central Park, enter park from Fifth Ave at 72nd St (hcastorycenter.org). Subway: 6 to 68th St--Hunter College.
The Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Center has been showcasing summer tales for more than 50 years! This week, listen to two Andersen classics recounted by Julia Della Torre and Ken Setterington. Ages 6 and up.
FREE Eagle as Icon
Sat Jul 2 noon--5pm. Prospect Park Audubon Center at the Boathouse, enter park from Ocean Ave at Lincoln Rd, Brooklyn (718-965-8999, prospectpark.org). Subway: Q, Franklin Ave S to Prospect Park.
Little conservationists can enjoy this presentation on the bald eagle and the role the bird has played in shaping our national identity. All ages.
FREE Kayaking on the Hudson
Sat Jul 2 10am-5pm.
*Riverside Park at 72nd St (downtownboathouse.org). Subway: 1, 2, 3 to 72nd St.
* Pier 40, West St at Houston St (downtownboathouse.org). Subway: 1 to Houston St.
It's no fun being taken for a ride...unless, of course, it's a free family boat trip. The New York City Downtown Boathouse is offering complimentary kayaking every weekend through October at three Hudson River docks. There's no need to make a reservation; just walk right up and wait on (a bit of a) line. Don't worry if you've never kayaked before: The nautical experts provide the equipment and the know-how—although they do ask that you sign a liability waiver. Now's a good time to review your swimming skills. Kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult in the same boat. All ages.
FREE Saturday Sculpture Workshops: Wearable Works of Art with Lina Puerta
Sat Jul 2 noon--3pm. Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Blvd at Broadway, Long Island City, Queens (718-956-1819, socratessculpturepark.org). Subway: N to Broadway, then walk eight blocks to the East River.
Tykes can bring along their own recyclables or search the park for natural materials to transform into jewelry. Ages 4 to 14.
FREE Dumbo Kite Flying Society
Sat Jul 2 10am--12pm. Brooklyn Bridge Park, Main St at Fulton Ferry Landing, Dumbo, Brooklyn (718-222-8500, galapagosartspace.com). Subway: A, C to High St; F to York St.
Dumbo's Galapagos Arts Space takes kids on a high-flying adventure with a free cloth-kite clinic. Don't worry if your little one is more Charlie Brown than Ben Franklin—they provide loaner gliders and lessons. All ages.