Timeout New York Kids

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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: Captain Kidder

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

Sweet Spot Festival

  • Free

Enjoy authentic Jamaican food, lively music, dance parties, a vintage craft pop-up market, free fitness workshops and art displays in Harlem. This month's Jamaican Indepen-dance bash features DJs including Herbert Holler, DJ MoMA, Rice & Peas, the Soul Summit Music crew and Kervyn Mark. All ages.

  1. Location TBA
  2. Sun May 31 - Sat Aug 1
More info

Hip Tot Family Day

  • Free

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.

  1. Lakeside at Prospect Park Prospect Park, enter at Lincoln Rd and Ocean Ave, 11215
  2. Sun Jul 12 - Sun Sep 13
More info

Jazz Age Lawn Party

  • Critics choice

The Jazz Age Lawn Party celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with some Prohibition–era delights. 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. Sat Aug 15 - Sun Aug 16
More info

City of Water Day

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This annual fest celebrates the natural resources of the New York harbor with a host of aquatic-based highlights. Sail to Governors Island or Maxwell Place Park in Hoboken for a kids' fair featuring ecology-themed games and activities. Families can also get gratis access to a plethora of watergoing vessels, including canoes, kayaks and rowboats; or fish, bike or kick back with food and music on dry land. Sign up early to nab a spot on a narrated boat tour of the harbor. Check cityofwaterday.org for events taking place throughout the five boroughs. All ages.

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). Admission on opening day (June 19) is only $2. Check the website for the full schedule. All ages.

  1. Meadowlands Fairgrounds 50 Rte 120
  2. Until Mon Jul 6
More info

Bastille Day on 60th Street

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The fireworks from the Fourth of July have barely cooled, but midtown is ready to celebrate France’s Independence Day with face painting, can-can dancers, mimes, a Citreon vintage car show and French language workshops. New this year, families can enjoy a live performance by France's legendary Lyon-based theater group Compagnie des Zonzons, starring the iconic hand-puppet Guignol, plus music by Chorale Arpege, an impressive children's choir from Martinique. Petite New Yorkers will want to practice their fencing and soccer skills and head inside the FIAF building for cooking classes and film screenings before munching on Belgian waffles, crêpes, chocolates and éclairs from local French vendors. 60th St between Fifth and Lexington Aves (bastilledayny.com). Noon–5pm, free. All ages.

  1. Manhattan
  2. Sun Jul 12
More info

Waterfight NYC

  • Free

No backyard? No problem! Break out those sweet ’90s Super Soakers for a proper water fight in Central Park. Every year, thousands of New Yorkers duke it out with buckets and squirt guns (and siblings look to settle the score). Pack a bathing suit and your water-spraying contraption of choice, slather on the sunscreen, and get pumped for a sopping-wet day of fun. Insider tip: Park officials won’t let you use water balloons, so avoid a Category five kiddie meltdown and leave those at home. Ages 6 and up.

  1. Central Park, Great Lawn midpark, from 79th to 85th Sts
  2. Sat Jul 25
More info

Smorgasburg

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The venerable epicurean extravaganza spends Saturdays in Williamsburg and Sundays in Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 5 through the summer. We're still waiting on details for the 2014 iteration, but previous years have featured returning vendors such as comfort-food maestro Buttermilk Channel, offering its beloved fried chicken and cheddar waffles and newbies like Vermont’s Rockville Market Farm, peddling breakfast gorditas ($5) with farm-made sausage, eggs, butternut-squash hot sauce and Shelburne Farms cheddar wrapped in a double tortilla; they’ll also be hawking farm-fresh eggs by the carton ($5 for a dozen).

  1. Brooklyn Bridge Park Main St, at Fulton Ferry Landing, 11201
  2. Sat Jul 11 - Sun Nov 22
More info

Brooklyn Flea-Fort Greene

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice
  • Free

It’s that time of year! The Brooklyn Flea comes back outside in Fort Greene on Saturdays and Williamsburg on Sundays when the weather warms up. We're still waiting on details for this year's flea, but you'll be able to browse (and eat!) 'til your heart's content. All ages.

  1. Brooklyn Flea 176 Lafayette Ave, between Clermont and Vanderbilt Aves
  2. Sat Jul 11 - Sat Nov 21
More info


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