Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
Photograph: Courtesy Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

July events calendar for kids in NYC

Our July events calendar for kids is full of activities that let you make the most of what NYC has to offer this summer!

By Oliver Strand, Danielle Valente and Allie Early
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Summer is here, and not a moment too soon! Although this season is looking a little different, there are still amazing things for families to do in and around NYC. 

RECOMMENDED: See the best things to do with kids this weekend

Our July events calendar for kids will help you entertain the little ones while keeping them safe! We deliver the goods, from the best beaches for kids in and around NYC, to the best hiking trails for NYC families to explore, to magical drive-in theaters in and near New York City! City pools won't reopen until August 1, but you can cool off at the best water playgrounds for kids in NYC—it's totally OK for you to make a dash through the misting spray!

Before you grab your sunscreen and floppy hats, make sure to check out our list of summer activities for kids for more warm-weather ideas. 

July events calendar for kids

MCNY ice cream crafts
MCNY ice cream crafts
Photograph: Courtesy MCNY

1. MCNY x Project K!d

Things to do Remote, Midtown West

MCNY x Project K!d is a kid-friendly online series from the Museum of the City of New York. Of special note is the For Families series that goes live Wednesdays at 10am. For Families is totally free, and totally socially distanced! The schedule is below. All ages. • July 15, Frozen Treats, City Streets: Explore NYC's ice cream scene • July 22, Focus on Fun: Create a cardboard camera • July 29, Animal Friends: Make animal puppets from materials found in your home • August 5, A Wonder-ful Time: Construct a mini Coney Island Wonder Wheel  

hudson river park
hudson river park
Max Guliani for Hudson River Park.

2. Virtual STEM events at Hudson River Park

Things to do Classes and workshops Remote, Midtown West

Summer is the perfect time for your little scientists to spruce up their STEM knowledge, and Hudson River Park is here to help with a lineup of virtual events. With programs like Ask a Scientist and Live from the Field, little New Yorkers will be able to watch local scientists share and conduct research in their go-to greenspace. 

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The MET
The MET
Photograph: Shutterstock

3. Storytime with the Met

Things to do Literary events Remote, Midtown West

Storytime with the Met is now online—every Thursday at noon, a new story from the shelves of the Nolan Library is read aloud and posted to the museum's YouTube channel and Facebook account. Ages 18 months-6 years.

Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen
Photograph: Courtesy Anne-Mette Andersen

4. Hans Christian Andersen Storytelling Online

Things to do Literary events Remote, Midtown West

One of the most beloved storytelling traditions in NYC is now online! In previous years, you could bring your little ones to the Hans Christian Andersen statue in Central Park for an hour of storytelling every Saturday at 11 am. The statue is an iconic setting for a repertoire of international fairytales and folk stories since 1956. Bonus: The stories are often accompanied by live music! This year, the readings will be held online on the Hans Christen Andersen Storytelling Center's Facebook page and YouTube Channel until public gatherings are permitted in Central Park. Ages 5 and up.

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

5. Go get some ice cream

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.

Fornino
Fornino
Photograph: Courtesy Fornino

6. Eat outdoors

Restaurants

 New York might not have the sidewalk cafés of Paris or the beachfront tavernas of the Greek islands, this city has some fantastic outdoor dining—if you know where to look. 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. 

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NYPL Lions
NYPL Lions
Photograph: Shutterstock

7. Summer Reading with the NYPL

News City Life

The New York Public Library's annual Summer Reading event is going to be bigger than ever this year. Titled "Summer Reading 2020: Quest for Adventure," the program has a new homepage with online resources that will make reading that much more fun—and that will make your little bookworm feel connected to the library community. Just as important for parents, this Quest for Adventure could become a part of what saves this summer!

Photograph: Courtesy Timothy Schenck

8. Visit Governors Island

Attractions Parks and gardens

Curious about all of the things to do on Governors Island? Hop aboard the ferry! Located in the heart of New York Harbor, one of our go-to family attractions offers scenic views, a country environment and a plethora of outdoor activities for kids and adults (like one of the coolest kids' playgrounds NYC—with mighty impressive slides). This year, things will look a little different: Governors Island will open at limited capacity for passive recreational activities like biking, hiking, walking and bird watching starting July 15. It'll be open on weekdays from 10am–6pm and weekends from 10am–7pm. Beginning Saturday, July 18, The Trust for Governors Island will offer free ferries to all New York City Housing Authority residents.

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Domino Park Playground
Domino Park Playground
Photograph: Courtesy Daniel Levin

9. Stop by fun playgrounds in NYC

Things to do

This is a golden age of playgrounds: 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 our list will help you set off on a fabulous adventure!

Photograph: Courtesy Etienne Frossard

10. Check out NYC water playgrounds

Things to do

When the summer heat strikes, you can always head for a water playground. The city's best water playgrounds for kids are unmatched—these cooling play zones are an essential part of a New York summer.

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kid bike
kid bike
Photograph: Shutterstock

11. Pedal through these bike trails for families

Things to do Games and hobbies

New York is a wonderful biking town! From protected bike 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 in NYC.

Central Park Bethesda Fountain
Central Park Bethesda Fountain
Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

12. Find your favorite park

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. Go to these parks and you'll find the best bike trails for families in NYC, and even some of the best hiking trails for NYC families to explore. 

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Cheesequake State Park
Cheesequake State Park
Photograph: Shutterstock

13. Explore these hiking trails in NY

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. These hiking trails are great for children of all ages, from toddlers out for a stroll to bigger kids looking to go for a scramble.

Coney Island Beach Boardwalk
Coney Island Beach Boardwalk
Photograph: Shutterstock

14. Pay a visit to the best beaches for kids

Things to do

Pack the beach umbrella and slather on the SPF: It's summer, and a trip to one of the best beaches for kids in NYC and beyond guarantee a fun summer afternoon for the whole family. 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 the whole family will enjoy. The food concessions at the Rockaways are some of the best outdoor restaurants in NYC  while the amusement parks and the New York Aquarium at Coney Island are not to be missed!

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drive in
drive in
Photograph: Courtesy Greenville Drive-In

15. Go to a drive-in theater in and near NYC

Things to do

This is going to be the summer of the drive-in! A new generation of drive-ins 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. Some of the drive-ins have been around for more than 50 years. Others, such as the Greenville Drive-In, Jericho Drive-In and Four Brothers Drive-In, are updated classics with delicious food and craft beers. And some, such as the Skyline Drive-In in Greenpoint, the BelAire Diner in queens and Mema's Pizzeria on Long Island, are parking lot pop-ups that appeared this year!

elf
elf
Photograph: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

16. This drive-in is hosting a Christmas in July movie marathon

News Movies

Make like Buddy the Elf and spread some Christmas cheer!  The holidays are coming a bit early this year thanks to Movie Lot Drive-In's Christmas in July program, an outdoor activity you and Santa's helpers can't miss. From July 23–26, families can pull up to the Smith Haven Mall on Long Island for a screening of the best festive flicks around. The schedule is as follows:  July 23 at 9pm: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (PG-13)  July 24 at 9pm: Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (PG)  July 25 at 9pm: Elf (PG) July 26 at 9pm: Home Alone (PG).

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Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

17. Go strawberry picking in New York

Things to do

It's a berry good idea to go strawberry picking in New York! Not only will you have fresh fruit for the kids' lunchboxes, but you'll be more inclined to whip up that delectable cake that the whole family's been dreaming about. (No birthdays required.)

strawberry strawberris
strawberry strawberris
Photograph: Shutterstock

18. Go strawberry picking in New Jersey

Things to do Markets and fairs

Looking to get outdoors–and snack on delicious sun-ripened fruit–all while maintaining a generous social distance? Then head for the hills of New Jersey, where the PYO strawberry farms are bountiful!

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19. Go strawberry picking in Connecticut

Things to do Markets and fairs

Looking to leave town for some summer strawberry picking? CT is the place to go for pick-your-own fruits and day-trip itineraries! Local farms are brimming with juicy red berries just waiting to be added to your baskets. Just think of all the yummy treats you could make—that is if they make it past the car ride home.

Photograph: Courtesy Unsplash + veeterzy

20. Go blueberry picking

Things to do

While it's practically impossible to resist a sweet summer strawberry, let's not let the popular fruit hog all of the attention: Blueberry picking in New York—and the surrounding area—is just as delightful, and if you're craving homemade sweets, stop by your local farm for a bushel of berries!

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Photograph: Shutterstock

21. Go peach picking

Things to do

What's sweeter than peach picking near NYC? If you have a hankering for fresh produce and want to spend some time outdoors with the kiddos, check out these local farms in your area for PYO hours and rules—many of which have changed this year. Not only will you head home with a bushel of fruit, but the adventure makes for a great day trip.

cherry picking
cherry picking
Photograph: Shutterstock

22. Go cherry picking

Things to do

What better way to escape the city than by spending the day at one of the best cherry-picking spots close to NYC?  After all, going to a PYO farm is guaranteed summertime fun for the fam. The kids get to be active and snacky, while the grownups can do their best to save enough fruit to make a crumble at home.

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Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall
Photograph: Jeff Goldberg/Esto

23. Learn with Carnegie Hall

Things to do Classes and workshops Remote, Midtown West

Learn from Carnegie Hall is a new online series of concerts for families that includes weekly live streams and archived performances. Next up: The Musical Explorers Family concert featuring the jazz artist Brianna Thomas, the bomba and plena music of the father-daughter duo Juan Gutiérrez and Julia Gutiérrez-Rivera and Fabiana Masili's sounds of Brazil's Carnival, will stream online on Wednesday, June 17 at 2pm! All ages.

Peanuts Artist Collective es la nueva exposición de Snoopy en la CDMX
Peanuts Artist Collective es la nueva exposición de Snoopy en la CDMX
Photograph: Time Out New York

24. The Snoopy School of Fine Art

Things to do Classes and workshops Remote, Midtown West

Learn how to draw your favorite Peanuts characters at the Snoopy School of Fine Art, an online academy with YouTube tutorials, step-by-step how-tos and complete lesson plans. Follow along, and you too will master Snoopy's elegantly swooping lines, that distinctive nose, those eyes and all the other details that make him the world's most famous beagle. Ages 3 and up.

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cherry picking
cherry picking
Photograph: Shutterstock

25. Cherry picking in and around NYC

Things to do

What better way to escape the city than by spending the day at one of the best cherry-picking spots close to NYC?  After all, going to a PYO farm is guaranteed summertime fun for the fam. The kids get to be active and snacky, while the grownups can do their best to save enough fruit to make a crumble at home. Remember, cherries are only a part of the PYO scene—you'll also want to go strawberry picking in New York and hit the best blueberry picking in NY!

Campfire Camping Camp
Campfire Camping Camp
Photograph: Shutterstock

26. Family camping spots near NYC

Things to do

When you're living in NYC it's easy to forget that the Concrete Jungle is surrounded by some truly spectacular nature. Let this serve as a reminder that you're just a hop, skip and an E-ZPass toll away from a weekend of hiking, and swimming, and campfires, and s'mores, and restful slumbers under the night sky! Our curated list of kid-friendly campgrounds is perfect for those of us new to camping with the family. These campsites are easy to access and have loads of amenities, but will still give you that surrounded-by-nature feeling that feeds your kid's sense of adventure.

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safari six flags
safari six flags
Photograph: Courtesy Six Flags Great Adventure

27. Six Flags Great Adventure's 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—just book a reservation, hop in the car and 1,200 animals will be available right before your eyes.

CMA Children's Museum of the Arts
CMA Children's Museum of the Arts
Photograph: Courtesy Children's Museum of the Arts

28. CMA Live! from the Children's Museum of the Arts

Things to do Classes and workshops Remote, Midtown West

The Children's Museum of the Arts in SoHo will Zoom into your home—literally. CMA Live! is a series of online interactive activities that let kids join Zoom meetings and take part in sing-alongs, create their own artworks, explore creative movement and much more. There are new events every day of the week. Some classes are free, while others require a fee; registration is a must for all events. All ages.

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Drag queen story hour
Drag queen story hour
Photograph: Jessye Herrell

29. Drag Queen Story Hour Livestream Experience

Things to do Literary events Remote, Midtown West

Drag Queen Story Hour is now on the interwebs, with new readings every week! Many of the livestreams organized by local DQSH chapters are also listed on the Facebook page of the umbrella organization. We're living in a Drag Queen nation! All ages.

LC_Pop_UP_Classroom_LetterPg_Colored
LC_Pop_UP_Classroom_LetterPg_Colored
Courtesy Lincoln Center

30. Pop-Up Classroom from Lincoln Center

Things to do Classes and workshops

Every weekday at 2pm, a Lincoln Center Teaching Artist will lead families and kids in a fun and creative workshop that uses simple materials you probably already have at home. These live pop-up classes will pop-in to your home via the Lincoln Center Facebook page, where they will also be archived. All ages.

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Lincoln Center Fountain
Lincoln Center Fountain
Photogrpah: Courtesy Shutterstock

31. #ConcertsForKids from Lincoln Center

Music Remote, Midtown West

Lincoln Center is bringing you fantastic #ConcertsForKids through #LincolnCenterAtHome. The online programming includes family-friendly performances—some are prerecorded, others are broadcast from private homes and some are performed in empty auditoriums or wherever concerts are still happening.#ConcertsForKids also includes archival videos of amazing past performances. The latest schedule is below—check the Lincoln Center at Home calendar for full listings. All ages. Wednesday, April 29 at 4pm: SUDS This immersive, multisensory theatrical experience was originally created for children with autism and other developmental disabilities. SUDS transforms the simple task of going to the laundromat into a soapy, bubble-filled adventure. Sunday, May 3 at 11am: The Pop Ups Your kids might know this (ahem) POPular musical act from Brooklyn from "Wow in the World," one of the best podcasts for kids of all ages. This grammy-nominated group is taking its music online for this special concert. Wednesday, May 6 at 4pm: M.A.K.U. Soundsystem This NYC band will get you grooving to beats of their Latinx sound. Sunday, May 10 at 11am: Celisse A singer, songwriter and spoken word artist who has performed everywhere from "The Electric Company," to "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," to "Saturday Night Live"—where she played guitar with Lizzo. Wednesday, May 13 at 4pm: Etienne Charles A composer and performer from Trinidad and Tobago, Etienne Charles will perform a special concert with h

Young People's Concert Philharmonic Lincoln Center
Young People's Concert Philharmonic Lincoln Center
Photograph: Oliver Strand

32. NY Phil Learning @ Home for Students and Teachers

Music Classical and opera Remote, Midtown West

The NY Philharmonic is taking its education programming online with NY Phil Learning @ Home for Students and Teachers, a free resource that includes lessons, digital content and activities that will spark your little musician's imagination. Also, be sure to check out the performances archived at NY Phil Learning @ Home for Families. Ages 5 and up.    

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