Looking to make the most out of the spring season? Our roundup of free things to do with kids this month in NYC provides an opportunity for the whole family to enjoy exciting activities—without the burden of a hefty pricetag. From displays and story times to Easter events and gamming, April is chock full of kid-friendly fun. Enjoy!
The best free things to do with kids
Kids can take in the springtime sun as they stroll through the cherry blossoms of Randall's Island. They'll also have the opportunity to get their faces painted, fly kites, enjoy live music and experience Japanese culture with an Origami studio and even get a chance to try on a kimono. All ages.
Kids take to the park for skateboarding clinics and ’60s and ’70s street games like double dutch and lemon twist hula-hooping. There's also a box car derby and obstacle course for those who are feeling adventurous! Those who are less inclined to play can watch yo-yo master, hip-hop breakdancers and the Dance Theatre of Harlem do their thing. The event is open to children of all abilities. All ages.
Now that Spring is in full swing, it's time to get that cleaning part done. Declutter your home by bringing clean, reusable, portable children’s clothing, shoes and accessories to JCC Manhattan this Earth Day (April 22). While you're there, feel free to pick up some items that your growing child might want. Please note you don't have to bring something to take something. All ages.
Kid-friendly fan-favorite musician Suzi Shelton is about to release her fourth album, "Hand in Hand" and decided to celebrate the milestone with several concerts in the NYC area, much to fans' delight. Parents and kiddies will be equally excited to hear Suzi sing and strum her guitar. Don't forget to tune in to her Facebook Live concert on May 10, so you'll be able to rock out from the comfort of your home, too. Check out the website to RSVP. Some of the performances in April are free of charge, others require a fee. All ages.
Each Saturday and Sunday at 10:30am this enchanting independant kids bookstore in Cobble Hill hosts a storytime. 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. All ages.
More fun things to do
Even the smallest kids will feel like giants in this astounding world of miniatures. The Times Square attraction is in a league all its own with 50,000 square feet containing approximately 300 models, 1,000 trains with 12,000 wagons, over 10,000 cars and 50 airplanes. Replicas of well-known locales around the world—along with some fantastical ones found in our favorite books—cover this massive installation and with little vehicles coming and going every which way, it’s a place a child could get lost in for hours. If the family wants to be a deeper part of the action, a 3-D scanner will turn you all into model citizens for a fee. All ages.
If you’re looking for an easy breezy afternoon outing, Industry City has a new mini golf course that’s all about Brooklyn. Located in the courtyard behind the Wheelhouse, the course features colorful local icons such as the Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower, Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel, the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. There’s even a kid-sized water tower and blue-colored "green" to represent the Gowanus Canal. Courtyard 5–6 (718-965-6450, icsummerspree.com). Mon–Thu 11:30am–8pm; Fri–Sat noon–9 pm, Sun noon–6pm. $10, children $5.
Thrill-seekers can roam above the trees or zip line over the Bronx River at the Bronx Zoo’s new Treetop Adventure course. The park features seven aerial courses and eight to 12 different challenges of rope bridges, tight ropes, ladders and swings above the forest canopy. The courageous can then hop on one of two zip lines to travel 800 feet over the river and back while 50 feet above the ground. Participants must be at least seven years old, weigh between 50 and 275 pounds and able to reach 5’6” with their feet flat on the ground.
Football fans who fantasize about being a professional player will get a kick out of the upcoming NFL Experience. Set to debut in Times Square this November, the NFL-themed attraction guides visitors through training drills, puts them in the coach’s seat and tackle challenges that’ll push them towards a championship win. Kids can see how their passing skills compare to favorite quarterbacks, take control of a game by mapping out their own playbook and check themselves out wearing their team’s uniforms thanks to some cool tech work. The NFL Experience will also exhibit fun items, interactive displays and a 4-D cinema screening exclusive NFL content. All ages. 20 Times Square (212-216-0908, nflexperience.com)
National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey
Explore life under the sea in this 60,000-square-foot virtual realityscape. The immersive experience invites all ages to interact with sea lions, rays, dolphins, humpback whales, sharks and squids without getting your clothes wet. Photo-real animation, giant project screens and interactive technology will make kids feel like they’re truly playing with the fishes. An exact opening date is yet to be set for this coming October, but tickets are already on sale so be sure to grab a time slot to get in on the underwater action. 226 44th St (natgeoencounter.com). $39.50, seniors $36.50, children 12 and under $32.50.