The best street fairs and festivals in NYC

Street fairs for kids in NYC are aplenty, so mark your calendars for the can't-miss fun happening this season

Photograph courtesy Randall’s Island Park Alliance
Advertising

It's time to embrace the sunshine with fun street fairs in NYC! 

Now that winter is in the rearview mirror, New Yorkers are ready to take advantage of neat outdoor activities, and these festivals are a great way to enjoy quality time with loved ones on the cheap. 

Sample some of the city's best family restaurants, gain entrance to the most beloved family attractions and enjoy free fun all courtesy of these NYC street fairs. The festivities will kick off on June 11 with the Museum Mile Festival, a creative celebration of some of Gotham's most well-known institutions along Fifth Ave. 

There's no time to waste. These street fairs for kids need a spot on your summer bucket list, so start marking those calendars! 

Street fairs in NYC

869.bo.critics
Photograph: Courtesy Lawrence Schwartzwald
Things to do, Festivals

New York City Poetry Festival

icon-location-pin Governors Island, Governors Island
icon-calendar

Wordsmiths of all ages flock to the scenic Governors Island for an annual festival dedicated to rhythmic stanzas and gorgeous ballads. The Poetry Society of New York welcomes visitors to the bucolic landscape to enjoy performances, readings, vendors, artwork and even a Youth Poetry Festival that jumpstarts kids' interest in the genre. All ages. 

QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning
Photograph: Courtesy of Rebecca Mensch/Mensch & Company
Things to do, Festivals

QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning

icon-calendar

This feast for the eyes (and Instagram feeds) will feature 100 hot air balloons from around the globe that take flight twice each day—a scene the whole family will certainly appreciate. You and the family can make your way nearby to the Solberg Airport in Readington, NJ (July 26–28) for the jaw-dropping display. (And yes, there's an option to ride the balloons, too.) But the balloons are but one part of this exciting festival. What better way to ring in the summer with a performance from none other than The Beach Boys? This is the perfect way to celebrate the season! Additionally, ABBA the Concert tribute band (performing July 26 at 8pm) and kids' musicians Dan Zanes and Claudia Eliaza (performing July 26 at 7:30pm) will take the stage. Families can also look forward to a lot of other exciting entertainment such as amusement park rides, food vendors, crafters and more. All ages. 

Advertising
Governor's Island Unicycle Festival
Photograph: Michael Skigen
Things to do

NYC Unicycle Festival

icon-location-pin Various locations, Midtown West
icon-calendar

This wacky one-wheeled weekend rolls into town and begins with a pitstop in Battery Park (10 am on Aug 29), followed by a ride over the Brooklyn Bridge and ending with a stage show at Coney Island (Aug 30, meet at 2pm in front of City Hall in Manhattan on the base of the Brooklyn Bridge). Don't miss the main event—a giant festival on Governors Island with races, competitions, exhibitions, unicycle sports (basketball, hockey and sumo on wheels!), music, live performances and more one-wheeled activities for the whole family (Aug 31 and Sept 1 from noon–5pm). Learn more about the lineup on the festival's website. All ages.

Photograph courtesy Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership BID
Kids, Quirky events

Flatiron Summer Series

icon-location-pin Flatiron North Public Plaza,
icon-calendar

From June 18 through August 8, the Flatiron Public Plazas will be celebrating summer with educational and active free events. While most offerings are more geared for grown-ups, kids will love stopping by the North Plaza on Thursdays (11am to 7pm) for board games, giant Connect Four, and Corn Hole — on select days there will even be live music. The whole family can also celebrate the official start of the season with the Summer Solstice Sundial Event (June 20th), with a full day even that will include activities from the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath). All ages.

Advertising
Steven Jackson
Things to do

Citi Summer in the Square

icon-location-pin Union Square, Union Square
icon-calendar

With sunny days finally here to stay, it’s time to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. Summer in the Square returns to Union Square Park with a line-up of free family-friendly activities and entertainment. Head on over every Thursday for children’s shows, books to read, coloring activities, games, bubbles, animals, kids yoga, sing-a-longs and dancing with kids bands like Hot Peas n’ Butter. All ages.

kids.dough02 copy.jpg
Photograph: Melissa Sinclair
Things to do

Smorgasburg

icon-location-pin Multiple venues
icon-calendar

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. 

Advertising
Photograph: Courtesy Max Guliani
Things to do, Performances

Hudson RiverKids

icon-location-pin Multiple venues
icon-calendar

(SPONSOR CONTENT) Hudson River Park will keep little New Yorkers entertained all summer long with a series of free performances and interactive activities. Visit the park on Monday and Thursday afternoons from June to September to take advantage of a wide variety of outdoor fun. Your little ones will love a jam session with Ramblin Dan and the Free Wheelin’ Band (July 8 and 11), they'll get creative with projects from the Children's Museum of the Arts (Aug 26 and 29) and they'll sit for story time with picture book author Elisha Cooper (Sept 16 and 19), among other happenings. Visit the Hudson River Park website for the complete lineup. Meet at Pier 25 on Mondays and Pier 62 on Thursdays. Ages 1–6. 

More fun activities for kids

Advertising