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NYC street fairs and festivals for families

This season's awesome lineup of kid-friendly street fairs and festivals present Ferris wheels, puppet shows and beyond

Photograph: John Haeger

Warm weather in NYC lets families explore the city in a whole new way. They can embrace nature in scenic NYC parks, enjoy outdoor dining and tackle an awesome lineup of NYC street fairs and festivals. Ride the Ferris wheel at State Fair Meadowlands, check out the coolest art at Figment NYC Weekend and catch an awesome flick at Brooklyn Film Festival kidsfilmfest. Happy adventuring, and be sure to check back soon. We'll be adding more awesome stuff throughout the season!

NYC street fairs and festivals

Harlem Meer Performance Festival

Critics' pick

Fill the dog days of summer every sunday with jazz, world and Latin jams at this lakeside performance series. Bring a blanket and picnic lunch to enjoy while you listen to the Harlem Blues & Jazz Band (Aug 9), Quimbombo (Aug 16), Ebony Hillbillies (Aug 23), Garifuna International (Agu 30) and the Dee Dee LeVant Gospel Ensemble (Sept 6). See the website for a full schedule. All ages.

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Central Park, Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, Lenox Hill Sunday September 6 2015

Little Tots Take Over: Ready for School!

To get kids pumped for back-to-school, this week-long event entertains kiddos with meet-and-greets with amazing authors, book readings, interactive performances and activities that give school supplies a “new twist,” like creating a monster-inspired pencil case. All ages.

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Until Fri Sep 4

Family Performance Festival

Throughout the summer, the Central Park Conservancy will present eco-friendly performances for families every Sunday. Think and dance green to musical performances by the likes of Bash the Trash (June 21), Billy B (August 2), Diane Edgecomb (August 3), and Story Laurie (August 24). Hum and listen to musical storytelling by Play Me a Story (June 28) and Ira McIntosh (July 12). Play along with puppets like Clementine the Hipster (July 26), boogie with the butterflies presented by Central Park Zoo Wildlife theater (August 9), solve the Case of the Missing Chipmunk (August 28), and dance along to musical puppetry by Arm of the Sea Theater (August 30). Explore the environment of Central Park on an educational adventure with George Steele (August 16). All ages.

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Central Park, Great Hill, Upper West Side Sunday September 6 2015

West Side County Fair

Critics' pick

The Upper West Side gets countryfied with carnival rides, games, music, square dancing, sideshow acts, a petting zoo and a Greenmarket. In the Green Acre environmental corner, young fairgoers get some hands-on schooling in eco-friendly living and animal care. Stay tuned for new of headliners on the mainstage this year. Last year's acts included Frets in Fire, PitchBlak Brass Band, Sioux City Kids and The Willies, plus more plaza performances. All ages.

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Riverside Park South, Pier I, Upper West Side Sunday September 6 2015

NYC Unicycle Festival

Critics' pick

This wacky one-wheeled weekend rolls into town with a 13-mile ride from City Hall to Coney Island, where a party at Deno’s Wonder Wheel and fireworks honor Brooklyn Unicycle Day (yep, that exists) with a bang. The circus will come to town, and one-wheeled activities will be available for the whole family. All ages.

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Governors Island, Governors Island Sunday September 6 2015

Richmond County Fair

Critics' pick

Grab the fam and head to Historic Richmond Town, a preserved museum-village dating from the late 17th century, for its 34th annual county fair. Three stages of live music, puppetry, dance performances and rides are sure to keep the little ones occupied all day. Plus, check out the Ultimate Air Dogs: These athletic pups perform tricks while jumping off a dock into water, catching mad air (20 feet!) in the process. All ages.

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Historic Richmond Town, Staten Island Saturday September 5 2015 - Monday September 7 2015

The Great New York State Fair

Make a weekend of the fair, trek out to see butter sculptures and adorable (freshly bathed) piglets, and taste the best fried dough you've ever had. When you need a break, you can sample cheese and wine from local wineries. All ages.

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New York State Fairgrounds Until Monday September 7 2015

Hip Tot Family Day

Celebrate the end of each month with Hip Tot–quality entertainment. In June, bring the kiddos to enjoy a few scenes of The Lion King Jr., performed by the students at Brooklyn's Community Roots Middle School before jamming out to tunes by Father Goose (June 14), then hit up a concert from Rolie Polie Guacamole and Dogs on Fleas, featuring Grammy-winning songwriter Dean Jones (July 12). Stay tuned for details on August's gathering (Aug 9), but make sure to come back in September for a fun-filled performance by The Trummytones (Sept 14). Ages 2 to 5.

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Lakeside at Prospect Park, Prospect Park Sunday September 13 2015

Brooklyn Kite Festival

Kite enthusiasts are invited to catch a breeze from the river during this high-flying event. Kids who are new to the craft can purchase them on-site. All ages.

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Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn Heights Saturday September 19 2015

Go Fish! Festival

Spend a scaly Saturday at this catch-and-release festival in Battery Park City, where families can use barbless hooks (causing less harm to both animals and slippery-fingered children) to get a closer look at the Hudson’s gilled residents before setting them back into the wild. Even if you’re crew isn’t the fishing type, kids can head out on a naturalist-led bird walk (11am) and drop in for aquatic art projects (11am–2pm). Catch TBA stage shows as well, by popular family bands like Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem. Ages 5 to 10.

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Robert F. Wagner Park, Financial District Saturday September 19 2015 - Saturday October 17 2015
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