It’s officially summer! The days are longer and we’ve got plenty of ways to help your family fill in the time. Take Dad to a ball game to celebrate Father’s Day, hit the river for a family scavenger hunt, or take in an outdoor symphony concert. When you’ve worked up an appetite, head over to Governor’s Island for some crawfish or stroll a street fair with local eats in Brooklyn. Your family’s biggest challenge this weekend will be fitting in all the fun events we’ve found for you, read on to start planning!
Photo: New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra via nyphil.org
Teach Your Kids to Ride in the City
Your little ones may be dreaming of the freedom to cruise the neighborhood on their bikes, but you’re worrying about them learning on the busy streets and crowded sidewalks of the city. Sound familiar? Try out this free Bike New York class where kids learn bike riding basics from experts in a traffic free environment. Just be warned, there’s a good chance your little cyclist will be coasting out of there on two wheels. Must bring your own bike and helmet. Please register at bike.nyc/education/classes/learn-to-ride-kids. Sat. 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Upper West Side. Free. All ages. Event details.
Make Unique Gifts With or Without Dad
What can you get the dad that has it all? CMA has the answer with a slew of great craft projects sure to bring a smile to any dad’s face. Kids can create a family photo album, DIY ties, homemade cards or even a clay bust of Dad himself. Make your gift a surprise or bring Dad along for a day of family fun. Fri.-Sun. 12 p.m-5 p.m. Soho. $11/person; Dads, Seniors and children under 1 free. All ages. Event details.
Cruise the River on the Family Fun Day Boat Tour
Set sail on a family water adventure with the Maritime Scavenger Hunt Tour. Your boat will cruise through New York and New Jersey’s busy waterfronts filled with giant container ports, tugboats, cranes, a lighthouse, and of course, the Statue of Liberty. Your little sailors will be tasked with filling in their booklets as they spy each piece of the scavenger hunt and rewarded the promotion to “honorary Captain” at the end of the trip by a maritime expert. Sat. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Wall Street. $30/adult, $25/senior, $15/children 12 and under. All ages. Event details.
Take a Water Taxi to New Orleans
Do your kids know what a crawfish is? Hop on a ferry to Governor’s Island and be transported to the Big Easy. Enjoy a day eating authentic New Orleans’ crawfish, listening to Louisiana inspired music and marching bands, all while enjoying the beautiful New York skyline views. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Sat. 1 p.m. Governor’s Island. $35/person, general admission; $55/person, admission and crawfish platter; children 5 and under free. All ages. Event details.
Listen to the Symphony Under the Stars
You may not be ready to fork over the high ticket prices to take your kids to the symphony, but wouldn’t it be great to show them just how amazing a live performance can be? Here’s your chance to expose the whole family to the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra for free. Grab a blanket, head to the park, and let the kids stay up a little late to take in some culture. Come early to see performances by local artists. Fri. 8 p.m. Prospect Park. Free. All ages. Event details.
Root For the Home Team at the Brooklyn Cyclones Home Opener
Take the family out to the ballgame, buy some peanuts and crackerjacks, and celebrate the home opener for the Brooklyn Cyclones. Root for your home team and grab a souvenir magnet with the season schedule. Stick around after the game for what Cyclone fans hope to be celebratory fireworks, but either way, the light show will go on. Sat. 6:30 p.m. Coney Island. $10/person and up. All ages. Event details.
Be the Canvas at the Brooklyn Color Run
For all those kids that have a hard time keeping those white shirts clean, this is the event for you. Grab your goggles and your whitest shirt and get ready to run. Kids will make their ways through an exciting obstacle course that will leave them painted in every color of the rainbow at the Brooklyn Doodles 1st Annual Kids Color Run. Must register in advance at www.thebkdcolorrun.eventbrite.com. Sat. 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Prospect Park. $18/per child, adults free. Ages 2.5-6. Event details.
All Aboard the Party on Wheels
Trains, bagels, and birthday cake on a Saturday morning, this event is worth the splurge. Your kids will think they’re dreaming at the New York Transit Museum’s 100th birthday party. Dance to live music by City Stomp, ride historic trains, pose for a vintage family photo and more. Must make reservations to attend. Sat. 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Downtown Brooklyn. $65/adult; $40/child; children under 2 free; Family pack: $175/4 tickets. All ages. Event details.
Annual Seventh Heaven Street Fair
Take part in a Park Slope tradition and come to this annual street fair always held in honor of Dad on Father’s Day. Stroll along 7th Ave. for 23 blocks of fun, food and entertainment. Expect the typical street fair treats like grilled corn, italian sausages, and funnel cake, as well as a great showing from local shops and restaurants. And in keeping with this family friendly neighborhood, LOTS of activities for the kids. Sun. 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Park Slope. Free. All ages. Event details.
Celebrate the Solstice at the Botanical Garden
It’s the longest day of the year, so there will be plenty of time to celebrate at this summer solstice party. Watch out for paparazzi at the Trashion Fashion Show, featuring reycled high-fashion attire. Take the whole family on a relaxing tour of the gardens, let the kids enjoy some solstice-themed crafts and story time, and then head home, even though it’s somehow still daylight! Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Flushing. $4/Adult; $3/Seniors; $2/Students with ID and children; Children 3 & under free. All ages. Event details.
Take Dad to an Old School Ball Game
Test how far back Dad’s baseball knowledge goes. Does he know how the game was played in the 1800’s? Better brush up on the rules because at this ball game, the New York Mutuals play with 1864 rules, balls, bats and uniforms. For starters, this means no helmets and gloves. Come early for free tours of the Bartow-Pell Mansion and enter a raffle to win the game ball. Stay after so your little all stars can play a game of rounders with the team. Please register in advance at either (718) 885-1461 or info@ . Sun. 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Pelham Bay Park. $10/adults; $8/seniors, students, and members; $5/child 12 and under. All ages. Event details.
Cheer on the Staten Island Yankees
Put on your team shirts and head to the stadium to see the Staten Island Yankees opening day game. Your kids may be too young to know the famous phrase, “if you build it, they will come”, but parents will immediately recognize Dwier Brown from Field of Dreams, when he throws out the first pitch. Come early for a chance to get an autograph and be sure your little sluggers bring their gloves to grab a catch on the field after the game. Then wrap up the night with a fireworks display. Fri. 7 p.m. St. George. $9/person and up. All ages. Event details.
What are you up to this weekend? Share with us in the comment section below.