Spring 2012 fairs and festivals for kids

Take your brood out for a day of warm-weather fun at one of NYC's best spring fairs and festivals. 


39th Annual Ninth Avenue International Food Festival
Let your clan work up an appetite with games and activities in the children's pavilion, then nibble on suckling-pig sandwiches, crayfish, pierogi, jambalaya, Thai dumplings, key-lime pie and other global gourmet goodies courtesy of Hell's Kitchen's numerous eateries. Sun May 20 9:30am--6:30pm. Ninth Ave from 42nd St to 57th St (212-581-7217, ninthavenuefoodfestival.com). Subway: A, C, E to 42nd St. Free; food and games cost extra. All ages. 

The Great GoogaMooga
Let your eyes grow bigger than your stomach at this massive culinary celebration. Showcasing food and drink from dozens of NYC's coolest eateries, the Great GoogaMooga will house eight different "pavilions," with bites from specialized "farm-to-fork" restaurants, and a pizza station offering slices from the city's top pizzerias. Foodie parents and their kids can also take in performances by culinary celebrity Anthony Bourdain and Parks and Recreation comedian Aziz Ansari; there will also be music and dance performances. Sun May 20 11am--9pm. . Free general admission but families must reigister ahead of time. All ages.

Drums Along the Hudson
Head uptown to see Manhattan's only open-air powwow, produced by Lotus Music and Dance. Spend the day checking out exhibitions of world dance and drumming traditions as well as sampling tasty international cuisine. Sun May 20 11am--6pm. Inwood Hill Park. Free. All ages.

Fleece Festival
At this woolly weekend celebration, kids can watch Prospect Park Zoo sheep get their winter coats shorn at 1:30 and 3:30pm, then head next door to Lefferts Historic House for a lesson in washing, carding (brushing), spinning and weaving fleece into cloth. Not baaaad!
Sun May 20 11am--4pm. Prospect Park Zoo. $8, seniors $6, children ages 3--12 $5, children under 3 free. Lefferts House admission is free. Ages 3 and up.

Ninth Annual Mamapalooza Extravaganza

Family-friendly bands including the Anna Banana Band (led by Music for Aardvarks bassist Anna Bohichik) warm up the kiddie crowd for a Gymboree play tent, environmental demos, children's-wear vendors and more. Since this is a celebration of motherhood, have Dad watch the kids and let Mom enjoy poetry readings, art shows and comedy from the Funniest Mom in America finalists. Sun May 20 11am--5pm. Riverside Park South, W 66th St at the Hudson River, enter park at 68th St (212-408-0219, mamapalooza.com). Subway: 1 to 66th St--Lincoln Ctr; 1, 2, 3 to 72nd St. Free. All ages.

National Museum of the American Indian Children's Festival: Arctic Blast!

In honor of the current exhibit "Infinity of Nations," this year's festival celebrates the native tribes and cultures of the Arctic and includes dazzling performances by the renowned King Island Dancers and Singers, and the appearance of two World Eskimo-Indian Olympic board members. Kids have the chance to make an Eskimo yo-yo, a story knife and snow goggles. Sun May 20 noon--5pm. National Museum of the American Indian. Free. All ages.

Pets and Pals Party
Here's an event for the entire family—including the four-legged members of your brood. Bring along your cats and dogs for a day of rides, games, animal demos, giveaways and crafts. (You can even get your pets microchipped for their safety.) If you're without a furry friend, think about taking home one of the critters at the party's pet adoption station. Sun May 20 noon--3pm. Alley Pond Park. Free. All ages.





Saturday, April 14 | Sunday, April 15Saturday, April 21 
Sunday, April 22Saturday, April 28Sunday, April 29Saturday, May 5 
Sunday, May 6Saturday, May 12Saturday, May 19 | Sunday, May 20


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