Cute girl playing with Bubbles on Central Park
Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

August events calendar for kids in NYC

Make the most of your month with our spectacular August events calendar for kids! There's so much to do.

By Danielle Valente and Allie Early
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We've assembled this fantastic August events calendar for kids because—well—you deserve it! August is the last month of summer, so capitalize on all the coolest events for kids happening soon.

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for families

While we're sad to see August already rocketing by—and the rest of the best summer activities for kids too—we do love back-to-school season (hellooooo, school supplies!). Browse our guide to kids' back-to-school to get the best deets on where to shop for school supplies and the best ways to plan for the year ahead. 

Your August events calendar for kids

Time Out + NYPL
Photograph: Courtesy Time Out/Shutterstock

Time Out New York Kids + New York Public Library daily storytimes

Things to do Literary events

Are your little ones missing their favorite reading circle? Don’t worry, Mom and Dad: We have the perfect solution!

Time Out is partnering with the New York Public Library to present digital storytimes for pint-sized bookworms. Beginning August 10, families can tune in Monday through Friday at 10am—right here—for a remote read-aloud.

Curious about the lineup? The Time Out New York Kids newsletter will reveal forthcoming story time schedules on Fridays, so sign up today!

 

seal
Photograph: Julie Larsen Maher

Wildlife Conservation Society reopens its zoos

News City Life

As much as we love livestreams of our favorite animals, we're pretty anxious to see all of the cute critters in-person once again.  And New Yorkers will soon enough! The Wildlife Conservation Society announced that all of its zoos will reopen to members from July 20–23 and to the general public on July 24. The participating family attractions are as follows: Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, The Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo.

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Lady Liberty
Photograph: Shutterstock

Liberty Island has reopened

News City Life

Looking for summer day trip ideas? Why not check in on Lady Liberty? The iconic New York City destination is open and welcoming back visitors who are anxious to take in the statue in all of her glory. Liberty Island, one of the outdoor attractions given the green light to reopen during Phase 4, is another destination implementing new rules as the city attempts to normalize. New cleaning procedures at the ticket booths, departure points and aboard the ferries are now in place, according to CBS.  Despite these efforts, the island's newly redesigned museum still remains shuttered, as indoor activities were put on pause by Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

alpacas queens farm museum
Courtesy Sarah Meyer

Queens County Farm is reopening

News City Life

Prepare to immerse yourself in a rustic environment—straight from the concrete jungle.  The largest undisturbed piece of farmland in New York City, Queens County Farm, is welcoming back visitors on August 2 for the first time since its closure March. If you're anxious to take in the greenery, meet a few friends (think goats, sheep and alpacas) and snag some fresh produce at the farmer's market (11am–3pm Wed–Sun), now's your chance. The bucolic 47-acre family attraction is celebrating its reopening with something new, according to Facebook—its debut public art installation. 

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LeFrak Lakside
Photograph: Courtesy Upsilon Ventures

LeFrak Center at Lakeside is reopening

News City Life

Exciting news, families: One of your go-to summer hubs is reopening! It's time to ready the brood for a trip to Prospect Park.  LeFrak Center at Lakeside is going to have programming up and running on August 1, which means your favorite outdoor activities are making a comeback: Visitors will be able to rent a boat, kayak and bike with family and friends. If you're looking to refuel after an afternoon out, the Bluestone Cafe is offering food and drinks on a takeaway basis. 

Free Van Leeuwen ice cream giveaway LA Zoo with Stitch Fix Stitch Kids
Photograph: Courtesy Van Leeuwen

Ice cream shops in NYC

Restaurants

What does it take to be counted among the best ice cream shops in New York? The quality of the ice cream, for one. The creativity and variety of flavors, for another. But more than that, you need to have the right disposition: Ice cream is the ultimate childhood treat, the stuff of lasting memories. In other words, the ice cream shops on this list know they're scooping up magic. It doesn't matter if your kid orders a simple vanilla soft-serve, or a eyes-bigger-than-their-stomach sundae, or one of the best milkshakes in NYC, a visit to one of these ice cream shops and old-school soda fountains will be the highlight of the day.

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Fornino
Photograph: Courtesy Fornino

Outdoor restaurants in NYC

Restaurants

Some of the best family restaurants in NYC and the best fun restaurants in NYC have outdoor spaces where you and your kids can enjoy a little fresh air. Go ahead and make the most of the season!

Photograph: Courtesy Etienne Frossard

Water playgrounds

Things to do

Pack your water shoes, grab a towel and head to the Water Lab in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Beach 30th Street Playground in the Rockaways or the Chelsea Waterside Play Area in Manhattan! We guarantee you hours of fun at these splash pads.

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Domino Park Playground
Photograph: Courtesy Daniel Levin

Kids' playgrounds

Things to do

In recent years NYC has completely transformed what playtime is like for a city kid, introducing creative playgrounds to every corner of the Big Apple. There are so many gorgeous playgrounds to visit in NYC, and this list will help you set off on a fabulous adventure.

hiking
Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

Hiking trails

Things to do

Just because you live in the Big Apple doesn't mean you can't spend time in the great outdoors. There are amazing family-friendly hikes close to NYC—in fact, the Bronx River Greenway and Inwood Hill Park are right in the middle of the city! So: Check the weather, pack a picnic and make plans to visit mother nature with the fam.

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kid bike
Photograph: Shutterstock

Bike trails

Things to do Games and hobbies

New York, New York, it's a wonderful biking town! From protected paths on the Bronx waterfront to the low-key cycling in Battery Park City, we'll help you find the best bike trails for families. (No judgement if some members of your crew need training wheels.)

Fishing
Photograph: Shutterstock

Fishing spots

Things to do

There's nothing like a little quality time with the kiddos at one of the best spots for fishing NY families love the most. Our list includes all of the Big Apple's family-friendly spots, from catch-and-release freshwater ponds and lakes in city parks, to the waterfront piers that draw serious anglers from all five boroughs.

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Governors Island
Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

Governors Island

Attractions Parks and gardens

Governors Island has officially reopened! Although there are limited hours and some activity restrictions, there's still plenty to enjoy at the city's beloved outdoor oasis: hiking, biking, playgrounds and, of course, gorgeous views. Book your ferry ticket and enjoy the adventure!

Coney Island Beach Boardwalk
Photograph: Shutterstock

Beaches in NYC

Things to do

Make like the Ramones and venture to the Rockaways this summer. The sand and the sea are the main draws, but the best beaches for kids in and around NYC have plenty of other activities and amenities that the whole family will enjoy.

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Central Park Bethesda Fountain
Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

Parks in NYC

Things to do

Our guide to the best NYC parks for kids will help you make the most of your sunny afternoon! Simply put, these parks amazing. Some have the best playgrounds NYC families need to visit, others have the best water playgrounds in NYC. There's no shortage of ways to keep busy at these outdoor spots!

drive in
Photograph: Courtesy Greenville Drive-In

Drive-in theaters near NYC

Things to do

You heard it here first: This is going to be the summer of the drive-in. What could be better than a double-feature under the stars? A new generation is joining the family-run throwbacks, and now it's easier than ever to sit back in your car and enjoy the best family movies to watch together.

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Six Flags Hurricane Harbor
Photograph: Courtesy Six Flags Great Adventure

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

News Transport & Travel

Just in time for this week's heatwave, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor has released its summer 2020 reopening plans.   Beginning July 23, guests are able to visit the water park on a reservation-only basis. (This is in an effort to reduce exposure and keep the capacity contained.) Now, the family attraction will operate Thursday through Monday with strict guidelines in place, including health screenings, enforced social distancing practices, sanitized food prep and service, and rigorous cleaning methods. 

safari six flags
Photograph: Courtesy Six Flags Great Adventure

Six Flags Safari

News Weird & Wonderful

An animal safari isn't out of the realm of activity possibilities for NYC families. (Yes, really.)  Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey just announced that its Safari adventure will open as a  drive-through experience, following Governor Phil Murphy’s executive order permitting drive-through events where attendees can practice social distancing. Just book a reservation, hop in the car and 1,200 animals will be available right before your eyes. 

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sesame place
Photograph: Shutterstock

Sesame Place is reopening with new safety measures

News Transport & Travel

Big Bird, Cookie Monster and the rest of the Muppets are anxiously waiting to welcome visitors back to Sesame Place.  On Friday, July 24, the family attraction will open for the 2020 season—which, as it turns out, is an important milestone.   “We’re thrilled to reopen our park and celebrate our 40th birthday this year,” Cathy Valeriano, president of Sesame Place said in a statement. “We know our guests are eager to return and we are just as excited to continue to provide them with fun, inspiring and memorable experiences, while taking the necessary steps to make families feel safe when they visit our park during this milestone year and beyond.” As expected, families will find a few differences once they arrive. For one, reservations will be required. Upon entering the grounds, families will receive temperature checks. Guests are also expected to wear face masks, follow social distancing protocols like line queues and visit cleaning stations when necessary. Interactive elements, like character meet and greets, will be limited.  For more about the park's safety procedures, visit its website. If you're looking for ways to make the most out of summer 2020, check out our favorite outdoor activities and see what's happening in the July events calendar.   Most popular on Time Out - The best hiking trails for NYC families to explore - The best strawberry picking in New York for families - Six Flags Great Adventure's Safari will reopen as a drive-through experience - The 2020 Summer R

Photograph: Courtesy Evan Joseph Images

Empire State Building's Reimagined Observatory Experience

Things to do Empire State Building | Manhattan, NY, Midtown West

NOTE: The Empire State Building's Observatory Experience will reopen on July 20 as part of NYC's Phase 4 reopening plans. Visits will be limited and on a reservation basis. Initial capacity will be reduced by more than 80 percent to only 500 guests in the Observatories’ 70,000 square foot space at a time—kind of like having NYC to yourself! Snag tickets at esbny.com.  NYC's most popular Instagram landmark underwent a renovation that is practically as breathtaking as its views of Manhattan. The $165 million reimagined Observatory Experience at the Empire State Building allows visitors to learn about all aspects of the iconic building: from the moment it was built to its place in pop culture today. Galleries focus on the construction, opening day and everything in between. Catch 70+ screens depicting the building's place in the NYC skyline, see if your favorite celebrity has made a visit and, of course, get a taste of King Kong! Giant ape fingers pierce the wall of a 1930s-themed office. Yikes! All ages. 

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