June events calendar for kids
New York’s biggest block party hits town once more, offering free access to six museums (from the Met to the Museum of the City of New York) along a car-free mile sprinkled with music, art and entertainment. Kids can color up the sidewalk with chalk, get their faces painted, and enjoy performances. Stop in to enjoy amazing exhibits celebrating many different cultures and styles at El Museo Del Barrio, the Jewish Museum, Guggenheim and more. The festival runs along Fifth Avenue between 82nd St and 105th St. All ages.
Coney Island’s answer to Greenwich Village’s infamous Halloween parade might be a little risqué for some tiny ones, but plenty of families scope out King Neptune and Queen Mermaid as they presides over wacky floats, marching bands, drill teams, vintage cars and a dazzling array of scantily clad seafaring sirens. From W 21st St and Surf Ave to the Boardwalk at W 10th St, Coney Island, Brooklyn. All ages.
As part of this year's city-wide celebration of all things science, the Brooklyn Bridge Park is hosting an evening of family-friendly stargazing. Kiddos can learn all about the constellations visible from New York and enjoy some space-related activities. They'll even be able to check out some far away moons, stars and planets through hi-power telescopes with The Amateur Astronomers Association of New York.
Celebrate the cultures of Jewish, Chinese and Puerto Rican communities at the crossroads of the Lower East Side and Chinatown. Only here can you and your little ones marvel at Chinese opera and acrobatics, listen to klezmer and dance to mambo music. Encourage your brood to look over the shoulders of a mah jongg pro, make bomba drum and practice Yiddish dancing. True to the festival’s name, kosher egg rolls, classic New York–style egg creams and fresh empanadas will also be in abundance. Don't forget to R.S.V.P. to the event! All ages.
It's finally summer! Celebrate the vibrant waterfront of Randall's Island with this outdoor festival, which includes nature crafts and activities, face painting and music. Learning about science is made even more fun with a live bubble demonstration from Bubbledad (yes, you can expect some very large bubbles!), while the folks from Arm-of-the-Sea Theater promise to put on a spectacular puppet performance. All ages.
Enjoy annual free family-friendly performing arts festival. Live music, dance, theater and storytelling sessions will make for a memorable afternoon. Headliners include a performance from the New York Arabic Orchestra, an interactive magic show with The Amazing Max and much more. Meet at Morningside Park (110th St & Manhattan Ave) on Saturday and Jackie Robinson Park Bandshell (148th St and Bradhurst Ave) on Sunday. 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.
SNL jokester Vanessa Bayer delves into children's lit with the release of her picture book, How Do You Care for a Very Sick Bear? The actress will discuss her personal inspiration for the heartwarming story and sign copies for fans. Following the literary happenings, guests are encouraged to stick around and help make get-well cards for children in NYC hospitals. Learn more about the event on the Strand website. All ages.
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
Are your kids looking to dig deep? Let them try their hand at "The Quest for the Magic Potion," a bubble scavenger hunt and treasure game that'll keep them on their toes. Meet at Monument Plaza in Fort Greene Park. Find the waiver here. Participants under 7 will need to be accompanied by at least one adult during the whole 90-minute event. Ages 5–9.
The medical experts from NewYork-Presbyterian Queens are heading to the Queens Botanical Garden for a day of fun and tips about healthy living. Check out fun food activities like cooking demonstrations, herb planting workshops and fruit and veggies crafts. Afterwards, get active with Fit Kids, hula hooping, dance and bounce houses. Kids can also meet medical experts and step inside a real ambulance. All ages.
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.
A 3-inch block of wood might not seem like a lot, but with some imagination—and the right tools—even beginner woodworkers can build something cool. In this 90-minute workshop, children learn how to use pull saws, rasps, files, sand blocks, vice clamps and hot glue guns to transform their small blocks of wood into a new creation. Ages 7 and up.
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.
The Yard is one NYC playground that truly makes its mark among the others. The Governors Island hangout for kiddies encourages visitors to tinker with loose parts and atypical objects (think cardboard, rope, wood planks, tires) and work toward creating a unique masterpiece. If you can't hop aboard the ferry, visit play:groundNYC (the Yard's former name) pop-up in Cobble Hill, operating rain or shine at Christ Church Cobble Hill, located at 326 Clinton St. All ages.
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?
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.
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.
Spend your summer on the Hudson enjoying free arts and cultural events, performances and seasonal festivities at various NYC parks. The schedule for the program is as follows: May 5 from 1–5pm in West Harlem Piers: Irish Arts Center New York City Irish Dance Festival May 9 from 10:30–11:15am in Riverside Park South: Locomotive Lawn Live featuring Moosiki Kids Musical Storytime May 11 from 1–4pm at 125th and Marginal Sts: STEAM the streets May 25 from noon–2pm at 125th and Marginal Sts For a full lineup of events, visit the NYC Parks Department online.
Every year Lincoln Center presents a phenomenal lineup of programming for kids of all ages. This years, wee ones (ages 0–18 months) can explore their surroundings with Rain, a sensory performance that includes touch and music, while slightly older babies (ages 6 months-36 months) can join a friendly environment for creative exploration with Pulsar. Highlights for big kids include Is this a Dagger? The Story of Macbeth (ages 8 and up), a retelling of the classic tale by a Scottish storyteller; You Me and the Space Between (ages 6 to 12), a performance about an inventive child that utilizes storytelling and choreography; Soundtrack '63 (ages 12 and up), a multimedia musical experience about music's relationship to social justice. A number of shows offer relaxed performances for neurodiverse audiences. Visit here for more details.
Mini maestros can join members of the New York Philharmonic for an interactive introuction to classical music. To conclude the 2018–2019 season, performers will showcase "Treble and Bass,” the third installment in Philharmonic Playground, which imagines the Orchestra as a playground. Ages 3–6.
The famed Don Quixote tale gets a Gotham twist thanks to Loco7 Theatre's kid-friendly adaptation. Journey alongside Don and his right-hand man Sancho Panza as the battle evil forces in hopes of keeping Lady Liberty safe. Theater-goers can expect great puppetry, lively music, dancing and more. Ages 4 and up.
La MaMa Theater is opening the curtains and bringing the theater fun to kids. Through a variety of workshops and performances, little attendees will be exposed to a Shakespeare retelling, a dance workshop and much more. The schedule of events—held at 66 E 4th St— is as follows: While You Are Out (March 23 at 2pm, March 24 at noon): Midsummer Night’s Dream meets puppets in this interactive experience where kiddies are encouraged to dress up as faries and woodland creatures. Three Dolls (March 31 at 2pm, April 6 at noon, April 7 at 2pm): Three dolls prove the true meaning of friendship in this puppet show. La MaMa Moves! Dance Workshop (May 18 at noon): Get ready to bust a move with choreographer Dan Safer Family Play Date (June 9 at noon): A family cabaret performance with elements of theater, dance and music. Ages 4–12.
When the Story Pirates take the stage at the Cherry Lane Theater, your kids will be excited to find out what happens next...and so will the Story Pirates, since they'll be performing a show that hasn't been written yet! This interactive performance lets your kids call out their ideas, which the performers than use in the plot. Expect lots of laughs in a show that's as entertaining and unexpected as your little ones. All ages.
Magician and cruciverbalist (crossword constructor) David Kwong combines his passion for illusions and cryptology with this immersive experience. Tweens, teens and grownups alike who enjoy enigmas will love solving Kwong's entertaining riddles and puzzles, while the whole family will be left agog by his mind-bending illusions. Be on the look out for hidden messages — Kwong has a talent for adding an extra layer to everything he creates. Ages 10 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.
A sea of toilet paper, neon paint splashes and three blue men have kept audiences laughing and amazed in this long-running Off-Broadway hit. Stand by as these other-worldly fellows learn about the environment around them...and make a bit of noise in the process (largely thanks to the large tubs of paint). You'll laugh, you'll catch one of the group members in the audience and you'll love the wonky happenings throughout the performance. If you catch a show in the first row, wear the poncho—chances are you're going to get splattered with something! Ages 5 and up.
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
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.
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.
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.
The Museum of the City of New York will pay homage to Corduroy's creator, illustrator Don Freeman, with the new exhibit, “A City for Corduroy: Don Freeman’s New York.” Expect a glimpse into the creative process of the 1968 story, as well as other popular work from the creator, including drawings, paintings and original sketches. All ages.
It's a balmy 80 degrees in the museum's 1,200-square-foot vivarium, which houses up to 500 butterflies living among tropical flowers. The free-flying butterflies often land on the shoulders of visitors, allowing tykes to come into direct contact with monarchs, zebra longwings, paper kites other species as they emerge from their chrysalises. Outside the vivarium, youngsters can watch a short film and read displays on the life cycle of butterflies, how to protect their habitats and what kinds of adaptations certain species have. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 work after a day of working on a masterpiece. In March, the museum is celebrating Holi, the Hindu spring festival of colors and love, by inviting families to create their own handmade paper that use bring and vibrant hues. In April, the events will focus around the theme, "Layers of the Land." Ages 3 and up.
Get to know Central Park's resident plants and bugs at the popular Discovery Walks series, where families "get lost" in the public green-space with the help of a guide from the Central Park Conservancy. Explore the North Woods (Mar 30, Apr 7, Apr 22, Apr 28 and May 6 at 11am), enjoy the blooms during the Conservatory Garden walk (Apr 14, Apr 23, May 5, June 2 at 11am) and ventur to the Harlem Meer in an all-new tour (Apr 21, Apr 25, May 12, May 26, June 9). Pre-registration required. Ages 5 and up.
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.
Families join together in NYC's favorite park to help funraise for YAI, an organization that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Whether participants decide to run the four miles or opt for the 3k-walk, one thing's clear: They're all commited to making an impact. Head online to regsiter. The best trains to take are the C at 72nd St and the 6 at 68th St. Meet at Naumburg Bandshell, Terrance Dr near 72rd St and Central Park. 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.
Do you remember when schools offered penmanship classes and lunches were three cents? Probably not, so head to The Museum at Eldridge Street, which will take a step back in time with "History Hunters." The experimental program will explore what students experienced way back when—over 100 years ago, to be exact. Here's what's on the schedule: "A Kid’s Life at Synagogue," Sunday, Feb10 "A Kid’s Life at Work," Sunday, April 7 "A Kid’s Life at Home," Sunday, June 2 Learn more here. Ages 5–11.
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.
Let kids channel their creativity with free art programs. Rockefeller Center and the Noguchi Museum will offer a series of free offerings as part of the Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center installation. The schedule of projects is as follows: April 28: Get the Scoop: Stories and Art from 10:30am–1:30pm, ages 2–11 May 12: 3D: Build Up! from 10:30am–noon, ages 4 and up May 26: Your Neighborhood: Public Art from 10:30am–12:30pm, ages 5–6 June 9: Figures: Strike a Pose from 10:30am–12:30pm, ages 7–11. June 23: Get the Scoop: Stories and Art from 10:30am–1:30pm, ages 2–11 Register for the events on the Noguchi Museum website.
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.
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.