Celebrate the cultural diversity of NYC in May 2019 with free kid-friendly events for the whole family featuring cultures from all over the world. Watch live performances, take part in workshops, make art, and welcome spring to the city with the awesome free events coming up in May! You’ll wish you could be in five different places at once!

photo: Caulipower Pizza

Free Pizza (and Fun) at The Caulipower House

Did someone say "free pizza"? It's true, Caulipower, the people behind the good-for-you-but-still-tastes great gluten-free frozen pizza, are giving away slices in the West Village throughout May. (Don't believe it's good? That's why they want you to bring the kids and try it.) In addition to slices on the house, the pop-up will have entertainment, free swag, a 180-degree multi-camera photo booth, and even a pizza claw machine. 

Daily, in May, noon - 8 p.m.
257 Bleeker St. 
West Village
Online: eatcaulipower.com


photo: Chad Williams, courtesy of WonderSpark Puppets

Puppet Shows with WonderSpark Puppets

This traveling puppet troupe might be coming to you this May with free shows. Enjoy kid favorites like "The Three Little Pigs" and "Goldilocks & The Three Bears" or discover a new favorite in "Princess Petunia and the Dragon" and others. Presented with children in mind and using charming hand puppets, WonderSpark Puppets is bringing its performances to Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and even Westchester, so check the site for an up-to-date list of free performances.

Various times and locations
Online: wondersparkpuppets.com

Handball Sculpture at Cadman Plaza Park

Handball courts are everywhere and we don't really notice them. Harold Ancart's newest sculpture brings the humble handball wall into the spotlight with his new sculpture, which features a handball court sculpture that emulates the abstract art that's created by years of graffiti and graffiti-washing buildup.

Opening Wed., May 1
Cadman Plaza Park
North Lawn btwn Cadman Plaza E. and Cadman Plaza W.
Downtown Brooklyn
Online: publicartfund.org

photo: Kevin Yatarola, courtesy of Lincoln Center

60th Anniversary Block Party at Lincoln Center

Celebrate the 60th anniversary of Lincoln Center with a free block party on the campus. Visit to watch performances and film screenings, make some art, and enjoy the musical renderings of local artists from around the boroughs. From Brazilian drum bands to African American opera performances, there's sure to be something to interest any taste.

Sat., May 4
10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Throughout Lincoln Center
10 Lincoln Center Plaza and nearby locations
Upper West Side
Online: lincolncenter.org

photo: Alexa Hoyer courtesy of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy

Kite Festival at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Bring your kites and join many others in a spectacular display at Pier 5 for this year's kite festival. Attendees will be entertained with music by Bulla en el Barrio and can participate in many S.T.E.A.M.-friendly activities like flying a robot-powered kite, learning how jet planes stay in the air, building your own anemometer to measure wind speed, and many other workshops and experiments. Kids can also marvel at the stilt walkers, get their faces painted, or just sit back and enjoy a picnic while watching hundreds of kites take to the sky.

Sat., May 11
12-3 p.m.
Pier 5 Sports at Brooklyn Bridge Park
334 Furman St.
Brooklyn Heights
Online: brooklynbridgepark.org

Japan Day at Central Park

This Mother's Day, celebrate all things Japan at the 12th annual Japan Day in Central Park. Following the "Japan Run," visitors to the park can enjoy cultural performances, events, and workshops. More details are coming soon, so keep an eye on the website!

Sun., May 12
9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Central Park
Main Entrance at 69th St. & 5th Ave.
Online: japandaynyc.org

Spring Fling at Prospect Park

Spring is here and Prospect Park is celebrating in style with a weekend-long Spring Fling full of free activities for the whole family. Cheer on the half-marathon runners as they depart for Coney Island, participate in nature and history walks, grill fresh Farmer's Market meats and veggies, and even watch a reenactment of a "base ball" game from 1864! There's lots to do and most of it is free and family-friendly, so drop by to participate. RSVP for the weekend is optional but encouraged.

Fri., May 17-Sat., May 18
Various locations throughout Prospect Park
Online: prospectpark.org

photo: Courtesy of Union Settlement

Annual Ethnic Festival at Union Settlement Way

Touting itself to be the "Block Party of the World," this festival brings together the different cultures of East Harlem in one massive celebration. Purchase ethnic foods, enjoy cultural performances, and participate in educational activities for all ages. For the kids, there will be bounce houses, face painting, pony rides, a fun-sounding "Slime Zone," and even a petting zoo.

Sat., May 18
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Union Settlement Way
E. 104th St. btwn 2nd and 3rd Ave
East Harlem
Online: unionsettlement.org

Spring Play: NYC Game Expo at Microsoft TS

Got a little gamer in your family? Bring them to the NYC Game Expo, where over 100 games from local developers will be available to try out. Registration is required (and you'll be asked for a photo ID before you can get in).

Sat., May 18
12 p.m.
Microsoft Office
11 Times Square
Online: playcrafting.com

Dance Parade and Festival

Dance your way down to Thompkins Square park in a festival full of performances and music. The park will be bursting with over 80 different kinds of music and dance will be on display, featuring more than 10,000 performers. Spectacular aerial dances, fun acrobatics, and different cultures will be on display.

Sat., May 18
Parade starts at Broadway and 21st and ends in Thompkins Square Park
Performances will take place in Thompkins Square Park
Ave. A and Saint Marks Place
East Village
Online: danceparade.org

photo: Courtesy of Craft in Focus NY

KoKo NYC's Tiny House Project at the Craft in Focus Festival

Kids are invited to build, design, and figure out how to power a tiny house that they create together at this workshop, which encourages critical thinking and eco-consciousness. The workshop will be held throughout the Craft in Focus Festival, a maker's paradise of workshops (though most for a fee).

Sat.-Mon., May 18-20
The Courtyard in Industry City
220 36th St.
Sunset Park
Online: craftinfocusnewyork.com

Korean Street Festival

Democracy Prep Public Schools is hosting its annual Korean Street Festival to celebrate the culture. Expect performances from traditional cultural dance to K-Pop, as well as activities, fun prizes and even free cultural food to sample. This year's roster of activities includes lantern making, Korean calligraphy lessons, and even a VR experience to visit Korea without leaving NYC.

Sat., May 18
12-4 p.m.
134th St. btwn. 7th & 8th Sts.
West Harlem
Online: koreanculture.org

Cultural Festival at Jackson Avenue  

Ring in the Puerto Rican Day parade with the annual cultural festival. Bring some cash because you simply won't be able to resist the traditional food vendors, or stop by the children's pavilion, where kids can enjoy story time, face painting, art and craft making, and more. There will also be live performances and celebrity appearances. Be warned, though: this event does get very crowded!

Sat., May 25
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
152nd St. and Jackson Ave.
Online: nprdpinc.org

Passport to Taiwan Festival at Union Square

Learn about the culture of Taiwan by watching dough figurine makers and calligraphy artists bring their art to life, sampling "small eats" from Taiwan, or participating in cultural playtime with Taiwanese toys and paper cranes. Watch live performances and celebrate the Taiwanese heritage in this cultural fest.

Sun., May 26
12-5 p.m.
Union Square North
17th St. btwn Park & Broadway
Online: p2tw.org

photo: Courtesy of the Intrepid Museum

Free Fridays at the Intrepid

The Intrepid has launched a Free Fridays program, offering free admission on select Fridays through October, and there's something for everyone to enjoy in May. Entrance to the museum will be free from 5 until 9 (last entry at 8:30) and visitors can explore the museum and participate in special events. This month's special events include intergalactic yoga, where participants of all ages can learn to stretch like an astronaut, as well as a science demonstration and movie screening (though this one will most likely be for the adults). All events are first-come, first-served so get there early to take part.

Fri., May 31
5-9 p.m.
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Pier 86 (46th St. and 12th Ave.)
Hell's Kitchen
Online: intrepidmuseum.org

photo: Stephen Mallon

Sea Train: Subway Reef Photos By Stephen Mallon

Someone in your family has probably heard that decommissioned subway trains are dumped in the ocean to serve a second life as an artificial reef for marine life. Now you can see it for yourself. Sea Train: Subway Reef Photos By Stephen Mallon showcases the photographer's images, captured between 2001 and 2010, and many of them are seen here for the first time. The symbols of industry and busy city life, which carried millions of passengers for decades are dropped by brightly-colored cranes off hulking barges. Note that this (free!) show is at the Transit Museum's Grand Central Terminal Annex, located in Grand Central in the Shuttle Passage—not the museum in downtown Brooklyn. Also--the Annex Gallery & Store does not allow strollers. 

Through June 16
Tickets: free
Grand Central Gallery Annex & Store
Grand Central Terminal 
Lexington Avenue and 42nd Street
Online: nytransitmuseum.org

Bridge Over Tree at Brooklyn Bridge Park

A bridge under a bridge over a tree? It might sound perplexing but that's the point of this artwork: to make people question their preconception of the things around them. Bring the kids for a day out and view the artwork by artist Siah Armajani, on display for the first time since 1970!

Now-Sept. 29
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Empire Fulton Ferry Lawn
1 Water St.
Online: publicartfund.org

—Yuliya Geikhman


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