Every year we take a day out of our busy schedules to appreciate the earth beneath our feet. Whether you regularly take family nature hikes or generally take the world around us for granted, Earth Day is a chance to stop and smell the roses. This year, NYC will have plenty of opportunities to show our appreciation for the Earth, through family-friendly celebrations, park events, and more. Check out our list below to see how you and the kids can thank Mother Nature for everything she does.

Go Green at Union Square

Find out how you can help the world breathe a bit easier at the Union Square Earth Day celebration. 70 organizations and non-profit exhibitors will be on hand to share tips and ideas for lessening our carbon footprint and going green. Visit for the nature-themed kids' activities, performances, and other lively festivities. Parents: Bring your utility bill to the booth at 17th St. and Park Ave. for a chance to help the environment and save $25 off your next energy bill.

Sun., Apr. 15
12-7 p.m.
Union Square West
Online: earthdayinitiative.org

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Volunteer at Washington Square Park and Inwood Park

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than by getting down and dirty with some gardening? Join others and help restore the city's park to tip-top shape through the SCA's Earth Day volunteer events. Help restore trails and remove weeds at Inwood Park, or re-sod the lawn and plant some new garden additions at Washington Square Park. Snacks and coffee will be provided, as well as work gloves and tools, and all volunteers can take home an SCA ConSERVE shirt. Wear long pants and closed-toe shoes, and bring a bottle of water for this rain-or-shine event! Kids of all ages are welcome to participate, though parents will need to sign a waiver for anyone under 18. Register online before you go to save time!

Washington Square Park:

Thurs., Apr. 19
9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Enter at the Washington Square N. Arch
Greenwich Village
Online: thesca.org

Inwood Hill Park:

Sat., Apr. 21
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Inwood Hill Park, Dyckman St.
Inwood
Online: thesca.org

Give Thanks at Wave Hill

This family event will have you and the kids reflecting on everything that grows. Working together, families will pick some things they love — be it trees, bees, or bananas — and sculpt colorful oil clay models of them. Models will then be "planted" outside in a "gratitude garden" for the entire community to enjoy. This event is free, and admission to Wave Hill will also be free until noon over the Earth Day weekend.

Sat.-Sun., Apr. 21-22
10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Wave Hill
West 249th St. & Independence Ave.
Hudson Hill
Online: wavehill.com

Get Your Hands Dirty at Harlem Grown's Street Farms

Give back to nature by helping out at Harlem Grown's Street Farms. Located across three spots in Harlem, volunteers at this event will help prepare the earth for the planting season while also enjoying family activities and community festivities.  

Sat., Apr. 21
11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Three locations: 34 W. 131st St., 118 W 134 St., and 77 127th St.
Harlem
Online: nycgovparks.org

Join the Festivities at the Weeksville Heritage Center

Now in its 11th year, the annual Brooklyn Center Earth Day event will be held on the Weeksville Heritage Center campus in Crown Heights. The event is family-friendly with plenty of activities, performances, games, and even food demonstration for kids and adults to celebrate the Earth in style. This event is free and requires no registration.

Sat., Apr. 21
2 p.m.
Weeksville Heritage Center
158 Buffalo Ave.
Crown Heights
Online: brooklyncenter.org

Party with Dragons at Tompkinsville Park

There be dragons at this year's St. George Day celebration in Staten Island. In addition to dragons, visitors will also find art, giant puppets, music and dance, a free store, and much more in this non-commercial celebration of Earth Day.

Sun., Apr. 22
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tompkinsville Park
45 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island
Online: stgeorgedaysi.com

Enjoy a Good Story at Battery City Park

Join a storytelling session that's all about nature and the Earth. Hosted by Luann Adams, this readalong will use props, visuals, music, and audience participation to explore "Why the Sky is Far Away & Other Marvelous Tales to Celebrate the Earth." Enjoy stories and folktales from around the world in this outdoor Earth Day-themed free story time event.

Sun., Apr. 22
11 a.m.
Rockefeller Park
6 River Terrace
Tribeca
Online: bpcparks.org

Meet Some Wildlife at Prospect Park

Get up close and personal with nature at Prospect Park's annual Earth Day celebration. Learn to fish with some catch-and-release fishing lessons at the Prospect Park lake — everything you need will be provided, including bait, tackle, and a fishing license. Or visit the Boathouse to meet some real owls, hawks, and other birds of prey in a Q&A session with wildlife specialists.

Sun., Apr. 22
1-4 p.m.
Prospect Park Audubon Center
101 East Dr.
Online: nycgovparks.org

Craft Nature with Ecological City

Craft puppets, design costumes, and choreograph performances based around ecology and the environment with Ecological City's workshops. Register for one or a few workshops, then put your Earth-friendly creation on display at Ecological City's six-hour procession on May 12, which will take place in the community gardens, neighborhood, and East River Park waterfront in the LES. Come visit even if you didn't participate in the workshops: See giant puppets, performances, and more fun displays about climate solutions and Earth sustainability.  

Workshops:

Every Wed. 6-9 p.m. & Sat. 12-4 p.m. until May 12
Free
710 E. 9th St.
Lower East Side
Online: earthcelebrations.com

Celebration:

Sat., May 12
12-6 p.m.
Free
Lower East Side 

Become One with Nature with Citywide Nature Hikes

Put on your walking shoes and take to the great outdoors — right in your own backyard. Join the NYC Urban Park Rangers on family-friendly guided hikes being held in parks throughout the city on Earth Day. Wear long pants and comfortable hiking shoes, and bring water and a light snack along with you for this event.

Various times and locations
Online: nycgovparks.org

Plant a Tree with NYRP's Tree Giveaway

If you have the space for it, bring a new tree home. The New York Restoration Project hosts tree regular tree giveaways, and this month the event will be coming to a number of locations around the city from Brooklyn to Staten Island. To pick up a free tree, you must agree to plant it within the five boroughs, somewhere on your property or in a community garden (that is, not on a city street or park), and keep it maintained and watered — a great way to involve the whole family for more than just one day. Advance registration required.

Various times and locations
Online: nyrp.org

How does your family honor Mother Earth? Tell us in the comments! 

—Yuliya Geikhman