Timeout New York Kids

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38 fun and free things to do in NYC in October 2012

There's nothing we love more than free things to do in NYC; behold, our list of 38 gratis October events that won't cost your family a dime.

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    The Little Red Lighthouse and the GWB

  • Open House NY

  • Photograph: QCFM staff photographer

    Queens County Farm Museum

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Fall Kids Fest

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Century of the Child at MoMA

  • My Dog Loves Central Park Country Fair

  • Harmony on the Hudson

  • GrowNYC's Halloween Costume Swap

  • Halloween Harvest Festival

  • Dia de los Muertos

  • World Financial Center Screamin' Green Halloween

  • LES Pickle Day

  • Central Park Pumpkin Sail

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    39th Annual Village Halloween Parade

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

The Little Red Lighthouse and the GWB

Meet the Author-Illustrator: Stephen Savage
Help author-illustrator Stephen Savage (Where's Walrus?) celebrate the release of his latest picture book, Little Tug, with powerHouse Arena. The book's titular protagonist may lack attributes like speed and power, but what he does offer in the way of steadfast reliability and a willingness to help more than makes up for any shortcomings. Sun Oct 7 45pm. The powerHouse Arena. Ages 2 to 6.

New Green City
Learn how to reduce your carbon footprint with this annual environmental fair that boasts tons of interactive exhibits for kids and adults. While parents improve their DIY skills with home weatherization tutorials, the little ones can visit Kids Korner for environmental-themed games and art projects. Stay for the Iron Chef competition using locally grown produce, and don't forget to bring old cell phones and textiles to drop off at the fest's on-site compost and recycling bins. Wed Oct 10 10am5pm. Union Square. All ages.

Target Design Kids: Kids Made Modern with Todd Oldham
As part of National Design Week, kids can use household objects and recycled goods to create modern design pieces. The best part: They get to work with fashion and interior designer Todd Oldham and his crew. Sat Oct 13 1011:30am, noon1:30pm, 23:30pm, 45:30pm. Cooper-Hewitt Design Center. Ages 5 to 12.

Growing By Design: Designing for Kids
In conjunction with the exhibition "Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900--2000," which presents a hundred years' worth of toys, games and playground designs, MoMA offers you and your tween the chance to participate in a hands-on design workshop. Join forces with your child as you learn what needs to be considered when designing for kids and how creative the most functional objects can be. Preregistration recommended. Sat Oct 13 10:30am12:30pm, 24pm. Museum of Modern Art. Ages 10 to 14.

Fall Kids Fest presented by World Class Learning Academy
Madison Square Park and Time Out Kids partner up for this annual free fall festival. Little ones can bound through the park, stopping for seasonal craft sessions with the Rubin Museum, apple seeds and the Museum of Mathematics, or enjoying concerts by KBC Kids and the Pop Ups. Families will get a sneak peek at the upcoming Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Musical Mystery and hear book readings courtesy of the DiMenna Children's History Museum. After parading around in their adorable costumes in a clown-led procession, kids can pose for pictures in the Time Out Kids photo booth and pick a pumpkin to take home. Sat Oct 13 11am2pm. Madison Square Park. All ages.

My Dog Loves Central Park Country Fair
Bring your young doggie devotees to this fest at the Naumburg Bandshell celebrating NYC pups. Highlights include the popular Best in Park Competition, games like Musical Chairs, where your dog must sit before you can, a Children's Corner for kids' games, and free goodies and giveaways. Sat Oct 13 11am3pm. Central Park. All ages.

Stillspotting NYC: Bronx
The fifth and final edition of the Guggenheim's supercreative Stillspotting series—an audio-based interactive project in all five borough—takes place for one weekend in the Bronx's Joyce Kilmer Park (with the initial meeting place at the Bronx Museum of the Arts). Participants will use ipods and mp3 players to download a narrated audio tour called Audiogram, which the Guggenheim calls "a theatrical group hearing test designed for the South Bronx" and "a unique interpretation of a conventional audiogram through an experience that connects science with humor and the element of surprise." If all this sounds confusing, not to worry: A special family orientation complete with instruction, listening practice and refreshments at the Bronx Museum of the Arts (Sun Oct 14 at 10:30am) will demystify the project for kids and surely get them excited to embark on the experiential adventure. Sat Oct 13, Sun Oct 14 at noon, 1:30pm, 3pm, 4:30pm, 6pm. Bronx Museum of the Arts. Ages 7 and up.

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