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NYC street fairs and festivals for families

This season's exciting lineup of NYC street fairs and festivals offers only the best


When the warmer temps appear, so do wonderful NYC street fairs (and fun festivals!) across town—a great way to spend an afternoon with your entire family. The best part is that most are free activities for kids, which means you can save your hard-earned dollars for a tasty lunch.

Seeking more warm-weather fun? Don't miss out on our favorite movie screenings, outdoor activities for kids and favorite summer activities for kids!

NYC street fairs and festivals

Puppetry Arts Festival

Set in some of Brooklyn’s coolest playgrounds, this popular community festival celebrates all things puppet! Spin art, games and arts and crafts for $2–4, $5 tote bag decorating and $4 bounce-house access are just a few of the cool activities on offer. There’ll even be a few costumed Star Wars characters in attendance, plus Tuffy Tiger, a bright orange puppet that helps pre-K–through–second-grade students discover the world around them through song and dance. All ages.  

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P.S. 15 , Soho Saturday June 18 2016 - Saturday June 25 2016

Memorial Day Fair

Come enjoy the sunshine and usher in summer at this fun-filled fair featuring live musicians playing Americana music, plus a magician. Kids can jump around in a bounce house, play carnival-style games, enjoy crafts like sand art, compete in a potato sack race, get their faces painted or nails done and try out temporary tattoos. Join in on the raffle or 50/50 to win prizes and money. Food and drinks like popcorn and cotton candy will be available for purchase. All ages.  

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Sunnyside Gardens Park , Sunnyside Saturday May 28 2016

BAMkids Movie Matinees

Sundays this season mean catching up on kid-friendly classics (and some more recent films, too) at BAM. Kick off the season with Charlie Chaplin's silent comedy, The Gold Rush (Sept 27), followed by hand-drawn animation masterpiece, The King and the Mockingbird (Oct 18). Just after Halloween, catch Tim Burton's beautifully creepy The Nightmare Before Christmas (Nov 1), then settle in for the classic fairytale The Wizard of Oz (Nov 22) and a collection of Disney Classic Cartoon Shorts (Dec 6), starring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and other lovable characters. In 2016, stay tuned for Singin' in the Rain (Feb 21), The Iron Giant: Signature Editions (Mar 20), Safety Last (Apr 10), the Best of BAMkids Film Festival (May 8) and a DanceAfrican film (May 29). BAMKids programming is usually PG– and G–rated for pint-size audiences. Ages 2 and up.

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BAM Rose Cinemas , Fort Greene Sunday May 29 2016

Fleet Week at the Intrepid

Celebrate Fleet week on the flight deck of this retired World War II ship. Start the week off right and view Naval and Coast Guard ships sailing up the Hudson River where they’ll travel past the Intrepid’s Pier 86 before docking. Throughout the rest of the week, the museum hosts tons of events for families like a free screening of Top Gun at (May 27 at 7:30pm), a vintage fashion show, swing dance demos and performances by big bands: James Langton's New York All-Star Big Band, George Gee Swing Orchestra and Gordon Webster Big Band (May 28 & 29). Don’t miss a Memorial Day commemoration ceremony featuring veterans and their families on May 30 at 11:30am. At the ceremony, guests can watch an unfurling of a 100-foot American flag and check out the playing of the Taps and a ceremonial wreath laying. All ages.  

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Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum , Hell's Kitchen Until Tuesday May 31 2016


It's back! The City Parks Foundation returns with its annual feast of free outdoor performances. This year features over 100 events (!), taking place in 16 different parks throughout the five boroughs. Little ones will especially enjoy the musical stylings of DJ Rich Medina (June 19, 4pm, Red Hook Park), Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players (July 10, 3pm, Central Park), Legacy Women (July 17, 4pm, St. Mary's Park), Secret Agent 23 Skidoo (Aug 7, 4pm, Clove Lakes Park) and DJ Spinna (Aug 14, 4pm, East River Park). Visit cityparksfoundation.org/summerstage to see the full schedule. All ages.    

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Various locations Saturday June 4 2016 - Wednesday August 31 2016

Figment NYC

Critics' pick

Governors Island explodes with outside-the-box creativity at the annual FIGMENT festival—now in its tenth year! Kid-centric highlights include the Treehouse, which boasts a new design featuring fliexible, modular pieces, and the artist–designed Minigolf Course, which are both are open to the public until August 26. All ages.

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Governors Island , Governors Island Friday June 3 2016 - Sunday June 5 2016

Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

Embrace your inner kid with the best finger foods around! Sauce-slathered ribs, crispy wings and out-of-this-world pulled pork are just a few of the tasty nom-noms on offer at Madison Square Park’s coolest event of the summer. Stop by stands manned by top-notch chefs, pit masters and restaurant owners to try all kinds of delicious offerings before taking your ’cue (and kids) to a nearby park bench. Admission is free but food prices vary. All ages.

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Madison Square Park Saturday June 11 2016 - Sunday June 12 2016

Drums Along the Hudson

Critics' pick

This Manhattan open-air powwow celebrates the diversity of New York City by showcasing not only Native American heritage but also dance and drumming traditions from around the world. In addition to watching performances from top dance companies, kids can listen to storytellers, participate in craft projects and nibble on tasty international eats. Be sure to stop by the Environmental Tent to learn about eco-awareness, and if your family is big on bikes, the festival offers a complimentary bicycle valet. All ages.

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Inwood Hill Park , Inwood Sunday June 12 2016

Museum Mile Festival

Critics' pick

New York’s biggest block party hits town once more, offering free access to seven 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, get their faces painted, and enjoy performances by clowns, magicians, and more. Many different exhibitions will be on hand like “Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs” at the Museum of the City of New York, featuring more than 200 works by the famed cartoon artist, or El Museo del Barrio’s “Antonio Lopez: Future Funk Fashion” exhibit, celebrating the artist’s exploration of race, gender and the body through fashion. The festival runs along Fifth Avenue between 82nd St and 105th St. All ages.  

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Various locations Tuesday June 14 2016
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More fun activities for kids

Best outdoor activities for kids in NYC

There are plenty of outdoor activities for kids in New York City—many you'll even love doing as a family! Explore the coolest skating rinks, parks, family attractions, and campgrounds in cooler weather, and check out our favorite NYC beaches, swimming pools and berry-picking hotspots when it's toasty. 

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By: Allie Early