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NYC festival and fair guide for families: spring 2014

Plan your family’s perfect springtime with our spring festival and fair guide, including the Jazz Age Lawn Party, Figment and more!

  • NYC festival and fair guide for families: Red Hook Fest

  • NYC festival and fair guide for families: Chelsea Music Festival

  • Photograph:Courtesy the Big Appl

    NYC festival and fair guide for families: Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

  • Photograph: Lindsay Buckley

    NYC festival and fair guide for families: Figment Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    NYC festival and fair guide for families: Egg Rolls and Egg Creams Festival

  • Photograph: Randi Lass

    NYC festival and fair guide for families: Pug Day

     

  • Photo: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    NYC festival and fair guide for families: Museum Mile Festival

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    NYC festival and fair guide for families: Jazz Age Lawn Party

  • NYC festival and fair guide for families: State Fair Meadowlands

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    NYC festival and fair guide for families: Mermaid Parade

NYC festival and fair guide for families: Red Hook Fest

21st Annual Red Hook Fest

  • Free

Dance Theater Etcetera once again turns Valentino Park into an outdoor showcase for young spoken-word artists, performance troupes, dancers and hip-hop acts. The full schedule won't be announced until March 15, but last year’s lineup included roots band Brown Rice Family (winners of WNYC's Battle of the Boroughs), "rappalachian" group Gangstagrass, old-school salsa band Avenida B, and local dance troupes led by Camille A. Brown and Nicholas Leichter. Kids also took gratis kayak rides in New York Harbor, in addition to the family barbecue and dance party the evening before. Saturday's festivities kicked off with a Red Hook Rebirth Parade through areas of the neighborhood hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy, led by the Hungry March Band. Visit redhookfest.com for more information. All ages.

  1. Louis J. Valentino Jr. Park and Pier Coffey St, at Ferris St
  2. Thu Jun 5 - Sat Jun 7
More info

Chelsea Music Festival

  • Price band: 2/4

This annual classical music fest goes kid–friendly during its special family days, which are currently TBD. For its fifth year, the festival celebrates the music of both Germany and Brazil. See the website for updated information. Ages 3 to 12.

Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

  • Free

The nation's top pitmasters celebrate summertime barbecues by cooking up their specialties. Dig into tasty grub, enjoy free music and seminars, and take in a cooking demo or two. Admission is free, but the mouthwatering food is not. All ages.

  1. Madison Square Park 23rd St to 26th St, between Fifth and Madison Aves, 10010
  2. Until Sun Jun 8
More info

Figment NYC

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Governors Island explodes with artistic energy at this weekend devoted to outside-the-box creativity. This year's art is still TBD, but kid-centric highlights from previous years include the TreeHouse, a colorful structure made of recycled materials where kids can climb, play, and check out interactive art installations in the fort's Gazebo and the artist-designed minigolf course "State of the Art," as well as the 11 works of kinetic, playful art featured in the Interactive Sculpture Garden. All ages.

  1. Governors Island Governors Island
  2. Until Sun Jun 8
More info

Egg Rolls and Egg Creams Festival

  • Free

Celebrate Jewish and Chinese cultures at the crossroads of the Lower East Side and Chinatown. Only here can you and your little ones marvel at Chinese opera and acrobatics while listening to klezmer music and learning Yiddish. Or, encourage your brood to look over the shoulders of a mah jongg pro after taking a synagogue tour. True to the festival’s name, kosher egg rolls and classic New York–style egg creams will also be in abundance. All ages.

  1. Museum at Eldridge Street 12 Eldridge St, between Canal and Division Sts, 10002
  2. Until Sun Jun 8
More info

Pug Day

  • Price band: 1/4

Photographer Alice Austen fell in love with pugs long before the rest of the country. Details for the 2014 fest are still TBA, but last year's attendees spent the day celebrating this breed of canine cuties at the house Austen grew up in by cheering on the winners of the Fun Pug Judging contest and the costume contest , where prizes were awarded for the funniest, cutest, prettiest, most original and best overall outfits. Be sure to bring your own furry friend (pug or otherwise) for Good Citizenship testing, obedience training and a run through the sprinklers. All proceeds, including those from barbeque and snack sales will go towards the Pug Dog Club of Greater New York. All ages.

  1. Alice Austen House 2 Hylan Blvd, at Edgewater St
  2. Until Sun Jun 8
More info

Museum Mile Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Now in its 36th year, New York’s biggest block party hits town once more, offering free access to ten museums (from the Met to the Guggenheim) along a car-free mile sprinkled with music, art and entertainment. Kids can color up the sidewalk with chalk, attend live model-drawing classes, get their faces painted, and enjoy performances by clowns, magicians, jugglers, musicians and more. Visit museummilefestival.org for a complete schedule. Fifth Ave between 82nd and 105th Sts. All ages.

  1. Various locations
  2. Until Tue Jun 10
More info

Jazz Age Lawn Party

  • Critics choice

The Jazz Age Lawn Party brings us some Prohibition delights—without the dry policies—for its ninth summer. Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra headline the old-timey affair, which also features a Charleston dance contest, a 1920s motorcar expo, tug-of-war, vintage portraits, dance lessons, carnival games and prizes in the Kidland area, plus a ten-girl tribute to the Ziegfeld Follies. Families, who are encouraged to dress in their finest 20s garb, can pack their own picnic lunch, enter a pie-baking contest (sign up by emailing govsislandpie@gmail.com) or buy treats like lemonade sodas and ice cream. All ages.

  1. Governors Island Governors Island
  2. Until Sun Aug 17
More info

State Fair Meadowlands

  • Price band: 1/4

The giant fair offers more than 150 rides and attractions, plus tons of free entertainment, including master hypnotist Steve Bayner, racing pigs, an open-air circus, a petting zoo, lions and tigers, and fireworks (July 3 & 4). Opening day (June 20) admission is only $1; kids under 13 are free on June 25. Check the website for the full schedule. All ages.

  1. Meadowlands Fairgrounds 50 Rte 120
  2. Until Mon Jul 7
More info

Mermaid Parade

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Coney Island’s answer to Greenwich Village’s infamous Halloween parade might be a little risqué for some tiny ones, but plenty of families scope out King Neptune (Judah Friedlander) as he presides over wacky floats, marching bands, drill teams, vintage cars and a dazzling array of scantily clad seafaring sirens. From W 21st St and Surf Ave to the Boardwalk at W 10th St, Coney Island, Brooklyn. All ages.

  1. Parade route
  2. Until Sat Jun 21
More info

  1. April festivals
  2. May festivals
  3. June festivals

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