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Six things to do at the Dumbo Arts Festival 2013

Hundreds of artists will take to the Brooklyn nabe for three days of performances, exhibitions and kid-approved interactive installations at the Dumbo Arts Festival.

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    DUMBO Arts Festival

Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

DUMBO Arts Festival


Take a good gander at your dear Brooklyn, fellow New Yorkers: It won’t look the same when the Dumbo Arts Festival takes over every park, street and gallery space in the neighborhood from Friday September 27 to Sunday, September 29. Here’s your guide to doing the three-day fest right if you’re bringing along the little ones.

RECOMMENDED: 50 things to do this fall

Take part in a performance piece
Not limited to just the visual arts, the festival includes special musical and performing arts acts, including our personal favorite, the Bubbles of Hope parade. On Saturday at noon, start at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1, where a troupe of neon-clad marchers will debark from an arriving ferry and set out on a choreographed adventure through the streets of Dumbo, ending with a massive bubble bash inside the Tobacco Warehouse. Looking for some not-so-noisy performance art? All day Saturday and Sunday, families can pick out a canvas picnic blanket and place it anywhere on the Main Street Lawn. The result? Cool aerial photographs of an interactive, outdoor collage—plus, just one more reason to plan a picnic.

Marvel at the Ship of Tolerance
This nautical installation has already sailed through many countries around the world, including Egypt, Italy and the United Arab Emirates, but this year, “The Ship of Tolerance” will dock in United States waters for the first time. Using paintings made by 500 New York City students, the sails reflect themes like diversity and creativity. See it starting Saturday at 11am, but no worries if you can’t make it to the fest—“The Ship of Tolerance” will be on view at the Brooklyn waterfront through October 8. It'll then travel on a barge around Manhattan before settling in to Staten Island's Atlantic Salt Yards from October 11 to 13.

Interact with installations
Large-scale art will be practically inescapable in Dumbo, but if you’re going with children, be sure to check out the works that cater to the kid set. We’re especially excited for “Strings,” an immersive sound experience that allows visitors to become part of a massive, architectural instrument, and “Flying,” an animated 3D game in which little ones can plop down on a tree stump and use video game controls to swoosh over fantastical landscapes as a butterfly. Plus, don’t miss “Drawbots," a 2011 festival fixture that’s back this year, where robots made of plastic cups and motors zoom around a canvas to create a marker masterpiece.

Have a play date
At Kidlot, a special area just for youngsters within Brooklyn Bridge Park, visit the Dada Playground, where kids are free to roam around and work on crafts like collaging, drawing and graffiti amidst cardboard character cutouts and small playhouses. Be prepared to say cheese: The whole thing will be video recorded to create a stop-motion animated film, the progress of which is projected onto a huge screen. Afterwards, head over to the Main Street Lawn and let the kids loose all over “Untiled Benches, Tables/Cubes for Children,” a wooden sculpture that’s meant to be climbed on, under and in between—in short, everything kids want (yet too seldom get!) in their art.

Come say hi to Time Out Kids!
Parents, bring your cover-ready kids along: We’re so excited that the always-popular Time Out Kids photo booth will be at the Dumbo Arts Festival on Saturday this year! (We'll be posting all of the images next week on our site.) We'll also be hosting a puppet making session with the New Victory Theater on Saturday and a wrapping paper craft activtity with the Craft Studio on Sunday. All of our activities will be located in the Kidlot.

Get lost in the nabe
In between art-gawking, save room for a world-class, Brooklyn-style slice at Juliana’s Pizza (because there’s just too much art and too little time to wait in line for Grimaldi’s) and sugary sweets at Dewey’s Candy, Jacques Torres or One Girl Cookies. If you’re there on Saturday, you’ll also run into Smorgasburg, which takes over the Tobacco Warehouse armed with just about every locally made bite in the city. Or, peruse the stacks of art books at the powerHouse arena, the incredibly spacious lair known for its always-amazing kid-lit programming. And of course, it would be a cruel shame to visit Brooklyn Bridge Park without a spin on the beloved Jane’s Carousel, the magnificent result of over 20 years of restorations. Just be sure to keep all that pizza down.


The Dumbo Arts Festival will take place on Friday, September 27 from 6 to 9pm, Saturday, September 28 from noon to 9pm and Sunday, September 29 from noon to 6pm.


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