Want to know one great thing about the summer (or almost summer)? You’ll find lots of outdoor events that are free, free, free starting now! Kick off the weekend by soaking up some kid-friendly Shakespeare, gratis of course, at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Enjoy marching in a couple of parades – one the kids will dress up for, the other they’ll dress up their bike for. Gawk at a bunch of vintage police cars. Help create a sidewalk chalk city skyline. And, catch a concert and more fun at Battery Park’s Almost Summer Celebration.

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Downtown

Almost Summer Celebration
It feels like summer, but if you look at the calendar, we’re not quite there yet. So celebrate “almost summer” at Robert F Wagner Jr Park. You’ll find lawn games, art and nature activities, food and beverages and Native American stories. Be there are noon and you’ll get to see Grammy winner Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell put on a family concert. Sun., 11:00 am – 2:00 pm. Battery Park. Free. All ages. Event details.

13th Annual Vintage Police Car Show
If your kids (or you) go crazy for cars, they’ll love this event. Classic police patrol vehicles will be lining the cobblestone streets of NYC for the Vintage Police Car Show. Peruse the old timey vehicles on Front Street between Maiden Lane and John Street. Sat., 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Financial District. Free. All agesEvent details.

Sidewalk Art Workshop
Kids will sketch a blueprint for a building they know well (home, school, library, etc), then use a rainbow of chalk to draw it on the sidewalk in front of the museum. By the time this workshop is done, a colorful and creative city skyline will emerge in front of the Skyscraper Museum. Sat., 10:30 am – 11:45 am. Battery Park. Free with museum admission. Ages 3+Event details.

Brooklyn

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
See a family-friendly performance of one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, outside in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The traveling band of Theater 2020 is putting on this free show with original music by composer Jason Wynn. Fri., Sat., Sun., 7:00 pm. Brooklyn Heights. Free. All agesEvent details.

Mini Mermaid Parade
Here’s a Brooklyn Mermaid Parade that’s 100% kid-friendly. Local favorite author/illustrator Melanie Hope Greenberg will read her book Mermaids on Parade at 11:00 am. Then after noshing on fish cakes, meet at Mini Jake at 2:00 pm to get ready for a big parade. Dress in costumes, wigs, makeup, sparkly stuff, fins, etc., and even bring your pet if you choose. At 3:00 pm everyone will march down Bedford Avenue in seaside glory. Sat., 11:00 am. Williamsburg. Free. All ages. Event details.

Queens

Extreme Makeover Bike Edition
Turn your boring old bike (or trike, or scooter) into an awesome mobile work of art. Once it’s perfect, kids can flaunt it in the annual LIC Bike Parade. Sat., 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. Flushing. Free. All agesEvent details.

What fun activities do you have planned this weekend?

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— Julie Seguss

Image courtesy of  Mini Jake