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Best NYC street fairs and festivals for kids

Explore the coolest NYC street fairs and fun family fests this season. Many of these great festivals are cheap or free—don't miss 'em!

Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn Botanic Garden

These NYC street fairs are perfect to visit as a family—just ask your kids! Family favorites like Make Music New York ushers in the summer season every June 21st, while the West Side County Fair in the Upper West Side is an autumn staple. 

For more things to do as a family beyond fun NYC street fairs, check out our list of top-notch free activities for kids, parks for kids, fun outdoor activities for kids and other great things to do with kids in NYC.

NYC street fairs and festivals

Live at SeaGlass Music Festival

Live at SeaGlass is coming back to Battery Park, but this time as a free outdoor music festival for all ages. Families can jam to live bands like King Solomon Hicks, Banda de los Muertos and the Brooklyn Youth Music Project. Swing dance under the stars or enjoy a ride around the SeaGlass Carousel while music fills the air. Performer/magician Todd Robins will serve as MC and food vendors will be on hand to fuel those dance marathons. All ages.

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Battery Park , Financial District Friday June 23 2017 - Saturday June 24 2017

State Fair Meadowlands

New Jersey’s iconic state fair is back for its 31st year! As always, the giant event offers more than 150 rides and attractions, plus tons of free entertainment, an open-air circus, a petting zoo and plenty of live music. More specifics will be announced in the coming months, but mark your calendar for June 27—when kids under 12 get free admission—and for July 3 and 4, when the fair will put on a fireworks extravaganza at 11pm. Check the website for the full schedule. All ages.

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Meadowlands Fairgrounds Until Sunday July 9 2017

Spectacular Fireworks Night

New Jersey’s state fair offers more than 150 rides and loads of shows and activities to keep the whole family entertained. Free shows include open-air acrobatics, racing pigs, cuddly animals at the petting zoo and a high dive show. At 11pm, nab a spot with the littles to watch the sky light up with fireworks. All ages.

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MetLife Stadium Monday July 3 2017 - Tuesday July 4 2017
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Rubin Museum Block Party

Enjoy an afternoon of arty fun at the Rubin Museum’s annual outdoor fete, where the whole family can watch live music and dance performances, participate in art making and nosh on Van Leeuwen ice cream and Himalayan snacks from Café Serai. This year’s edition gives a nod to the Rubin Museum’s exhibition, “The World is Sound,” with activities and performances inspired by the exhibit. Make sure to spend some time wandering around inside the Rubin, which has free admission all day. All ages.  

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Rubin Museum of Art Birthday Parties , Chelsea Sunday July 16 2017

Puppetry Arts Festival

Set in one of Brooklyn’s coolest playgrounds, this popular community festival celebrates all things puppet! The first 200 kids will receive gift bags filled with goodies and spin art, games and arts and crafts ($2–4) are just a few of the cool activities on offer. There’ll even be a few costumed Star Wars characters in attendance, plus Tuffy Tiger, a bright orange puppet that helps pre-K–through–second-grade students discover the world around them through song and dance. All ages.  

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J.J. Byrne Playground , Park Slope Saturday June 24 2017

Jersey City Freedom & Fireworks Festival

If you’re looking to catch a fireworks show with a view of the NYC skyline then hop on over to the Jersey side of the Hudson. Not only will you be treated to views of lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island as the fireworks go off, but there will be live music, carnival rides, vendors selling yummy food and drinks and kid-friendly entertainment all day long. All ages.

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Liberty State Park Tuesday July 4 2017
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Come Out and Play Family Day

Come Out and Play Family Day is the kid-centric portion of the annual Come Out and Play Festival, where you and your children can explore a mini-festival of games that connect in a storyline about time travel. Kiddos can write postcards to the future, ward off threats to the space-time continuum and more at this playful free event. All ages.

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Governors Island , Governors Island Saturday July 22 2017

West Side County Fair

Recommended

The Upper West Side gets countryfied with carnival rides, games, music, square dancing, sideshow acts, a petting zoo and a Greenmarket. In the Green Acre environmental corner, young fairgoers get some hands-on schooling in eco-friendly living and animal care. Stay tuned for new plaza performers and headliners on the mainstage this year. All ages.

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Riverside Park South, Pier I , Upper West Side Sunday September 10 2017

More fun activities for kids

Best outdoor activities for kids in NYC

There are plenty of outdoor activities for kids in New York City—many you'll even love doing as a family! Explore the coolest skating rinks, parks, family attractions, and campgrounds in cooler weather, and check out our favorite NYC beaches, swimming pools and berry-picking hotspots when it's toasty. 

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By: Allie Early

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