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Things to do with kids in NYC this Sunday

Discover the family-friendly events where you can while away your Sunday with the little ones.

Lantern Floating for Peace 2013

Lantern Floating for Peace 2013 Photograph: Phyllis B. Dooney

Sunday, September 21

Brooklyn Book Festival 2014

  • Free

The ninth annual kid-lit fest returns to Brooklyn Heights with authors like Sophie Blackall, Ann Brashares, Brian Floca, R.L. Stine, Rebecca Stead and many more; plus a drawing contest with famous cartoonists and illustrators.. Keep an eye out for Waldo from Where's Waldo wandering around and catch the festival’s “Bookend” events, popping up in parks and bookstores all over the borough from September 15 to 21. Ages 4 and up.

  1. Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza 209 Joralemon St, between Adams and Court Sts
  2. Sun Sep 21
More info

Lantern Floating for Peace

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Kids of all backgrounds can take part in a modern Shinnyo-en Buddhist lantern ceremony by building, decorating and floating their own creations on Lincoln Center's Paul Milstein Reflecting Pool. While similar ceremonies are held annually in places like Japan and Hawaii, it’s only the second annual event for NYC, where the theme “Be a Light for Peace” honors peacemakers on the United Nation’s International Day of Peace. All afternoon long, construct a lantern (first come, first served) and inscribe it with a personal message of peace, then set your creation afloat and enjoy live performances by Taiko drummers and local musicians. Don't miss the closing ceremony (7pm), led by Her Holiness Shinso Ito, the head priest of Shinnyo-en. Ages 5 and up.

  1. Hearst Plaza (at Lincoln Center) W 65th St, at Columbus Ave
  2. Sun Sep 21
More info

Go Fish! Festival

  • Free

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), drop in aquatic art projects (11am–2pm) and catch a special stage show by bluegrass duo Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke (12:30pm). Save the date for two more festivals in October featuring performances by blues band Michael Hill & Friends (10/4) and Irish musicians Morning Star (10/18). Ages 5 to 10.

  1. Robert F. Wagner Park Battery Pl, between West St and 1st Pl
  2. Sat Sep 20 - Sat Oct 18
More info

The Haunted Pumpkin Garden

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Let the kids get extra milege out of their costumes in daily parades along garden trails decorated with more than 500 hand-carved pumpkin sculptures. Along the way, they can play in the Pumpkin House, stage a puppet show, embark on scavenger hunts and dig for worms. On weekends, catch creepy-crawler meet-and-greets (with frogs, snakes and spiders) and Halloween readings. Spooky Nighttime Adventures (Oct 18, 24, 25, 31 from 6:30 to 8:30pm) dare after-hours visitors to brave the Trick-or-Treat Trail by flashlight for gourd-decorating, ghost stories and photo ops with costumed characters. Kids can also check out the Gone Batty! Live Bat Encounter program during Columbus Day Weekend (Oct 11, 12, 13 at 1 and 3pm) or Giant Pumpkin Carving Weekend (Oct 18 and 19), which includes demos by master Food Network carver, Ray Villafane. See the website for the full schedule. All ages.

  1. New York Botanical Garden Bronx River Pkwy, at Fordham Rd, 10458
  2. Sun Sep 21 - Fri Oct 31
More info

Thalia Kids' Book Club: Pseudonymous Bosch

Fans of Pseudonymous Bosch's young adult series The Secret have been wondering about the author's identity for five installments now. At this special event, the New York Times best-selling author makes a rare public appearance to discuss his new adventure series, Bad Magic with author Adam Gidwitz. Kids can ask questions and have their copies inked by the author. Ages 9 to 12.

  1. Symphony Space 2537 Broadway, at 95th St, 10025
  2. Sun Sep 21
More info
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