July events calendar for kids
The Big Bounce America—which holds the Guinness World Record for the largest bounce house in the world—will delight urbanites with a summer experience like no other. We guarantee 2019's bouncing activities will have you jumping for joy...literally. The Bouncer is a massive, multi-colored castle complete with inflatable basketball hoops, slides, a ball pit and more exciting features. Though it's certainly a big draw, we'd be remiss not to swoon over The Giant, a 900-foot inflatable obstacle course, and airSPACE, an interactive, intergalactic jumping adventure fit for an alien thanks to spaceships, moon craters and other-worldly features. All ages.
Wordsmiths of all ages flock to the scenic Governors Island for an annual festival dedicated to rhythmic stanzas and gorgeous ballads. The Poetry Society of New York welcomes visitors to the bucolic landscape to enjoy performances, readings, vendors, artwork and even a Youth Poetry Festival that jumpstarts kids' interest in the genre. All ages.
This feast for the eyes (and Instagram feeds) will feature 100 hot air balloons from around the globe that take flight twice each day—a scene the whole family will certainly appreciate. You and the family can make your way nearby to the Solberg Airport in Readington, NJ (July 26–28) for the jaw-dropping display. (And yes, there's an option to ride the balloons, too.) But the balloons are but one part of this exciting festival. What better way to ring in the summer with a performance from none other than The Beach Boys? This is the perfect way to celebrate the season! Additionally, ABBA the Concert tribute band (performing July 26 at 8pm) and kids' musicians Dan Zanes and Claudia Eliaza (performing July 26 at 7:30pm) will take the stage. Families can also look forward to a lot of other exciting entertainment such as amusement park rides, food vendors, crafters and more. All ages.
Kids will get to experience a traditional high tea of their own this summer. Taking place at the McKittrick Hotel’s rooftop Gallow Green, little ones and their parents will be treated to a traditional British high tea platter and pink lemonade. They’ll even get to bring a plus one for free—dolls and teddy bears will get their own mini seat and personalized bib. While there, families will make their own potions and receive lessons in planting. Everyone goes home with mini flower press, plant soil and seeds. Ages 5-10.
The amazing life-saving dogs in this immersive 3D movie are like real-life PAW Patrol pups. Find out the remarkable stories of canines and their human companions who work hard everyday to rescue people in snowy avalanches and off the coasts of warm beaches. There's even a pair of Bloodhound brothers who are helping save endangered species in Africa. 45 minutes. All ages
The venerable epicurean extravaganza spends Saturdays in Williamsburg and Sundays in Prospect Park. No matter your preference, there's a little something for everyone. While kids can delight in sweets like fried cookie dough, those with a more expansive palate can opt for offerings such as seafood from Lobsterdamus, Boutros' pork shawarma tacos or PopdUp brewed teas, among seemingly hundreds of other dishes. This year, the new Pizza Cupcake and Fluffies Soufflé Pancakes (available Saturdays and Sundays) will be on hand to wow visitors! Note that admission to the food fest is free, but each vendor charges various prices. All ages.
At the nation's largest science playground, tots learn about technology as they slide and seesaw, climb a giant spiderweb, romp in sand pits and wind their way around big trees. Be sure to bring shoes that can get wet—the water play area is a real highlight of any visit. Note that this feature is weather-permitting. The playground closes at 4pm in November. Ages 6 and up.
Each Saturday and Sunday, this enchanting independant kids bookstore in Cobble Hill hosts a story time. Authors read from their dazzling picture books, that can be incredibly funny, heart-warming, educational or all of the above. Be sure to check out all of the store's unique special events for children and young adult readers, too. Check out the lineup here. All ages.
It's no secret that there are plenty of things to do with kids in NYC, but sometimes it's tricky to find a common ground for parents and tykes. But a new Tribeca destination is set to open on May 12 with the hopes of embracing creativity and community for everyone in your brood. The Wonder, an 8,000-square-foot space, is the brain child of two moms who are looking to engage with multiple generations at once. If you're looking to keep the littles active and engaged with their friends, there are plenty of options to choose from at one of the newest kids' play areas in NYC. Expect slime-making workshops, book clubs, play dough classes, an indoor play space—currently sporting an intergalactic "Retro Future" theme—and much so much more. Moms and dads will be able to enjoy booze and board game events, a respite in the café (which will serve coffee and adult beverages) and of course family-focused programming such as disco nights and craft nights.
Now that the Bryant Park lawn has officially opened for the season we're actively planning our spring and summer bucket list.
Le Carrousel Puppet Shows
For those who appreciate a flair for the dramatics and love taking in a show at the best puppet theaters in NYC, stop by the park on Saturdays from June 8–July 6 from 2–3pm for a grand presentation from WonderSpark Puppets. Goldilocks & The Three Bears, The Lion & The Mouse and other fun performances are on the roster this season.
Le Carrousel Magique
Now you see it, now you don't! If you little ones have a burning curiosity to uncover what's hiding in the magician's hat, take them to the park's weekly magic shows for kids on Sundays from June 9–Aug 4 from 2–3pm. Loonie Louie, Silly Billy and other tricksters are on the list of performers!
Le Carrousel StoryTime
NYC is a literary hub for so many writers and readers—even pint-size Shakespeares. One of our go-to storytime for kids series returns on Saturdays from July 13–Aug 10 from 2–3pm. Cali Co Cat will get some help from her carousel pals and spice up story hour with a few games. Count us in!
Reading Room Events
The Reading Room is certainly keeping busy! Summer storytimes from June 25–Aug 20 at 10:30am are perfect for littles ages 2–8 who'd like to hear a cool tale and follow up the fun with a few crafts alongside Cali Co Cat!Saturday Fun from June 29–Aug 17 at noon will include a little bit of everything—books, music, magic, crafts and cool characters! Need we say more?
Grab a blanket and some snacks and enjoy family-friendly films under the stars. Every summer New Yorkers flock to their favorite parks for free screenings and fresh air. The season at Randall's Island kicks off with everyone's favorite Pixar superheroes with Incredibles 2 on May 24. Other highlights include Mary Poppins Returns (June 8) and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (July 14). All ages, listed movies rated PG.
For kids who never tire of building cool stuff, Koko NYC Inventor’s Lab after-school class lets kids learn about basic simple machines (inclined plane, wedge, lever, wheel and axle, screw and pulley), practice problem-solving techniques and even put their skills to work with their very own inventions. Ages 7–9.
(SPONSOR CONTENT) No, school no problem—Taste Buds Kitchen is open for business! Budding chefs aged 4-17 are invited to get creative while cooking in a day class (roughly three hours) or a full week's course. Running from Memorial Day to Labor Day, these fun-packed cheffing camps teach kids how to make at least one savory and one sweet recipe daily, and those on the week-long camps even get a Taste Buds Kitchen apron to take home. Classes on offer include 'Eid al-Fitr' (breaking fast), in which lasagne cupcakes and apple ginger dumplings make an appearance, and 'Future Celebrity Chef', which features veggie sushi rolls and matcha turtle bread on the menu. Or take the 'All-American Road Trip', a culinary journey on which your little ones will explore cinnamon raisin bagels from New York City, BBQ cauliflower wings from Kansas City and Californian pita pizzas.
Drop in to draw, sculpt and collaborate in MoMA's Art Lab. Visitors of all ages can learn how artists are inspired by the natural world through a brand new multisensory installation, and then create and desig their own works using multiple mediums, including natural materials. All ages.
Advertised as the "biggest, most realistic dinosaur ride in America," the new attraction shuttles families (with narration) through a wooded area packed with 40 ultra-realistic (read: gigantic) animatronic dinosaurs. One of the most notable features will certainly be the two towering Tyrannosaurus rex—as well as the vegetarian Omeisaurus that stretches an impressive 60 feet long. And to make things as realistic as possible, the Bronx Zoo teamed up with a paleontologist from the American Museum of Natural History—Don Lessem even served as an advisor on the original Jurassic Park! The experience is topped off with an ADA-accessible fossil dig area for kids to play in, plus some additional dino-themed activities around the zoo. All ages.
Prepare to dig deep like a true paleontologist thanks to "T. Rex: The Ultimate Predator." The Museum of Natural History's new exhibit will give visitors a peek into how the massive creatures came to be. Patrons will get a good look at the new findings about the tyrannosaurs genus, with a special focus on our main man, the T. rex. Unlike what people may think—and what movies led us to believe—T. rex is simply one part of the species' 100-million-year evolution. Who knew that tyrannosaurs species actually include small, agile creatures? For real!
One of our favorite family attractions just revealed a super-cool perk, and we're totally on board. In efforts to increase community engagement, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum will launch a new Free Fridays series. There are plenty of opportunities for patrons to participate. From April until October, one Friday each month will be free from 5–9pm. (General admission is $33 for adults and $24 for children ages 5–12.) Who are we to resist free museum days? The schedule is as follows: April 26, May 31, June 21, July 19, Aug 16, Sept 27, Oct 25
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing with a screening of this 20 minute movie. The whole family will be amazed by the Apollo 11's story, as the filmmakers reconstruct the vessel's preparation, launch and return using never-before-seen footage. After the film, take your future astronauts to check out the museum's Search for Life Beyond Earth exhibition. All ages.
Apollo 11's 50th anniversary is upon us, and the New York Hall of Science is ringing in the milestone with an out-of-this-world celebration. The museum will host an epic family night with spaced-themed music, stargazing, performances, interactive projects and more. All ages.
Wandering through galleries isn't always easy with a tot in tow, but the Guggenheim makes museum visits easier for new moms and dads—and even babies. During Stroller Tours, a museum educator will lead a group through current exhibits as little ones keep busy by playing with fun objects and trying crafts. Whatever keeps them playing with the artwork! Ages 24 mos and younger.
The New York Hall of Science will take you out of this world when summer begins—and you don't even need to get out of Queens! In honor of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the museum is delving into aviation and aerospace. Visitors can expect a group flying experience via motion-sensing technology, a simulated wind tunnel test, theater presentations and more. This exhibition is presented by Boeing and produced by Evergreen Exhibitions in collaboration with NASA and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. Learn more at nysci.org. All ages.
If you have trouble packing your suitcase before a trip, wait until you find out what astronauts have to bring when they head to outer space! During this year’s annual Space & Science Festival, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum will host an exhibit, "Personal Space," dedicated to all of the personal items that astronauts bring along for the trip. Astronauts who will be featured in this exhibit include Mike Massimino, Dr. Ellen Baker and more. All ages.
The American Museum of Natural History’s exhibit explores the microbes, viruses, fungi and other organisms that live inside our bodies. According to the exhibit, our gastrointestinal tract is home to about 100 trillion bacteria and they can be affected by where we live, what we eat and what we touch among other factors. Learn about all about microbial genes and the important work they do to keep us alive. All ages.
Think your kid has what it takes to crack the code? Thanks to SPYSCAPE's newly opened Spy School, you'll have a budding FBI agent on your hands. Students in middle school through college are invited to the afternoon program that allows them to make and break WWII codes in themed Encryption mission, detect lies in Deception booths and much more. “We’re thrilled by the success of SPYSCAPE in New York City, and delighted to be able to offer this experience for free to students,” Ian Oldaker, COO of SPYSCAPE New York said in a statement. “We have had a lot of requests for this kind of program and we’re excited about creating new educational offerings as we continue to grow.” Spy School is free with a valid student ID, but attendees t must be accompanied by a paid ticket holder. We'll catch you there...or will we? Middle school–college.
NYC's museum dedicated to all-things espionage will soon shed some light on 007. The first James Bond exhibit in New York examines the creativity that went into bringing the movies to life. Car aficionados: You'll be pleased to know that Bond's Aston Martin DB5 will on display. There are also many interactive components to the exhibit: You can check out gadgets and gizmos in the Q's lab, get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Skyfall finale came to be and so much more. All ages.
Travel deep beneath the Ocean's surface to discover what lurks in the dark, cold depths of the sea with this special exhibit. Visitors learn about the new, cutting edge technologies like robotics, satellite monitoring, miniaturization, and high-definition imaging that scientists use to explore the ocean's vast realm. They can also see some of the new discoveries, like a new island forming near Hawaii and the behaviors of deep sea animals. The exhibit features mesmerizing displays, like a floor-to-ceiling array of biofluorescent species (animals that absorb and re-emit light) and a virtual ride in a submersible. All ages.
Batter up! NYC will mark the centennial of Jackie Robinson’s birth with a grand-slam exhibit. The collection of never-before-seen images, Look magazine spreads and personal memorabilia such as home movies will provide a glimpse into the life of the Brooklyn Dodgers MVP, all while exploring the media’s portrayal of the iconic figure. All ages.
In an age where we rely on some type of device to fulfill a task, a group of international contemporary artists take a step back. "Useless: Machines for Dreaming, Thinking, and Seeing," is an exhibit that will feature a variety of unique pieces that ultimately puts utility in question. All ages.
The museum opens up its doors every Sunday for family-friendly activities revolving around various themes (which switch each month). Not only do little ones get to explore their creativity and learn a bit more about particular topics, but they also can revel in the fact that they can take home their art after a day of working on a masterpiece. In May, the events are focused around the museum's The Power of Intention. After checking out the exhibition, the kiddos can experiment with oils and color to make an expressive original piece. Ages 3 and up.
It isn't always smooth sailing in high school, but what if you had the power to change those cringe-worthy moments? Jeremy takes the chance in Be More Chill...with some less-than-satisfying results. Ned Vizzini’s YA bestseller (which had a previous Off-Broadway run) will graduate to the Great White Way and dazzle audiences with upbeat music, neon-colored sets and feel-good moments. Get ready for a coming-of-age tale with an epic sci-fi flair. Ages 12 and up.
Husband and wife duo Fan and Ana Yang have traveled world-wide to dazzle their audiences with their self-titled masterpiece, "bubble artistry." As lights flicker and music plays, prepare to catch some of the wonkiest looking bubbles you've ever encountered. Kids and parents alike will love how these soapy spectacles create a can't-miss experience. Ages 5 and up.
Stomp takes percussion to a whole new level. A small cast of characters makes use of atypical objects—wooden polls, push brooms—to create a unique musical experience. A catchy rhythm, impressive dance moves and laugh-out-loud moments prove why this Off-Broadway show is such a crowd pleaser, even if there isn't any dialogue. Your kiddos might be inspired to take household items and start a jam session of their own! Ages 4 and up.
Fergus Mundingle and his furry companion Puss are making their way to the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre for a performance of Puss In Boots. In this delightful puppet show, the feline snags a pair of shoes that takes him and his other half on a magical journey. Visit the City Parks Foundation page for any scheduling changes.
No stage, no problem—the PuppetMobile comes to you! The CityParks' brainchild hits the road beginning May 1 for a spring and summer of performances, workshops and so on. This year, young audiences will be treated to Bessie’s Big Shot, the story of a cow who is willing to try any stunt in order to land a spot in the circus. Visit the City Parks Foundation online to learn when the PuppetMobile is making a pitstop near you! All ages.
Need a fresh way to beat the heat? Head to Queens to cool off at this family-friendly bash in Seaside Playground, complete with water inflatables and bounce houses, then munch on treats and refreshments. Other activities include games, face painting and crafts—just make sure to bring a bathing suit. Enter at Beach 108th Street. All ages.
Horticulturist and resident wildlife expert, Maryanne Stubbs leads this walk through the High Line's spectacular gardens. Stubbs will point out various wildlife and explain how bees pollinate the plants and how migratory birds and other critters use the habitat for food. All ages.
Visitors will gain a deeper understanding of Mexican history and culture through a new perspective thanks to arist Justin Favela. His piece, "Recuérdame," recreates popular landscapes with a unique touch courtesy of piñata-cut tissue paper. There will be a variety of additional family programming in conjunction with "Recuérdame." To learn more, click here. All ages.
The New York Botanical Garden found a muse for its new exhibit. Through a display of drawings, paintings, textiles and other media, the venue will pay tribute to the work of Roberto Burle Marx, a Brazilian artist and plant conservationist. To accompany the exhibit, NYBG will also host a variety of programs—live performances of Brazilian music and dance, poetry walks and more—that celebrate Marx's work. All ages.