Summer is in full swing and so are the free events all around New York City. Enjoy kid-friendly festivals, get active with movement-based events, discover the different cultures of the city, and so much more. These free NYC July events are family-friendly and will turn lazy summer days into days of fun and learning!
Belvedere Castle in Central Park
At long last, Central Park visitors can visit its famous castle once again! After 15 months of closure for restoration work, Belvedere Castle will be reopening to the public on June 28. The castle has been fully restored, including work on its support and structures, as well as repainting and repairing the masonry. Revisit the castle to see it looking fresh but even more historic — various original aspects were restored as part of the work, including a wooden tower and replacing the original paving.
Starting June 28
79th St. atop Vista Rock
NYC Beam Project at DUMBO
The Beam Project has taken the idea of the small flipbook and supersized it. Currently on display in DUMBO are two huge mechanical, solar-powered flipbooks. Created by youth ages 15-18, these massive flipbooks come to life when activated, turning hundreds of drawings into an animation. These kinetic sculptures are available all summer long to look at and play with.
On display all summer
Pearl Street Triangle
Water St. btwn Pearl St. and Anchorage Pl.
Enjoy hundreds of free concerts all summer long at SummerStage performances, spanning across many cultures and genres. From gospel to flamenco to more mainstream acts, there's sure to be a performance for every member of the family to enjoy.
Various times and locations
Broadway in Bryant Park
Returning for the 20th year, 106.7 LiteFM's Broadway in Bryant Park brings free lunchtime concerts to the midtown greenspace. Stop by every Thursday starting July 11 at 12:30 for live performances from the casts of Tootsie, Oklahoma!, The Cher Show, and others. Take note: Disney on Broadway takes the stage July 25 with excerpts from Aladdin, Frozen, and The Lion King.
Thursdays, 12:30 p.m., through Aug. 15
Sixth Ave. and 40th St.
Summer Art Mondays at the Jewish Museum
Get those creative juices flowing at these drop-in art programs, recommended for ages 3 and up. Kids will make artworks based on music, design instruments using unconventional materials, create found-object sculptures, and other fun art activities inspired by the museum's current exhibits.
RSVP isn't obligatory but it's recommended. Although museum admission is a fee for adults, visitors 18 and under get in for free.
Mondays in July
Free with museum admission (18 and under are free)
1109 5th Ave. at 92nd St.
Citi Summer at Union Square
Union Square boasts full-day events for the whole family, including plenty of goodies especially curated for kids. Children can get some exercises with soccer sessions, yoga, and PopFit Kids. Or, they can work out their minds with books, crafts, chess, and more. Add live music, storytime, and plenty of bubbles, and Thursdays will be the highlight of the week.
Thursdays in July
9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Union Square Park
Broadway to 4 Ave., East 14 St. to East 17 St.
Friday Night Fireworks at Coney Island
Every Friday can be like 4th of July at Coney Island! Come down to the beach and watch spectacular displays of fireworks every Friday this summer (if the weather is good). Enjoy this free display from the boardwalk or have a night-time picnic on the sand.
Fri., July 5, 12, 19, & 26
Coney Island Boardwalk
Btwn W. 10th St. & Stillwell Ave.
Kid Crafts at Blick
The Blick art store is making materials (and instructors) available on Saturdays in July for kid-oriented arts and crafts creations. Kids will make their own puppets, decorate masks and flower pots, and paint teddy bears for some personalized treasures to gift or keep.
Sat., July 6, 13, 20, & 27
Myrtle Ave. Plaza
536 Myrtle Ave.
Music and Dance at Brooklyn Bridge Park
Friday and Saturday nights at the Brooklyn Bridge Park bring plenty of festivities with the Unplugged and Gibney Dance programs. At Unplugged, local artists put on intimate acoustic performances for a chill time. Gibney Dance, on the other hand, gets the heart pumping through engaging dance performances, set against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline during sunset.
Fri., July 12, 19, 26
Greenway Terrace at Brooklyn Bridge Park
Sat., July 13, 20, 27
Harbor View Lawn at Brooklyn Bridge Park
Science Saturday at Hudson River Park
Get your science on with the City of Water Day, where kids can take part in STEM activities and learn about the waters around us. At 1 p.m., enjoy a performance of Mad Science, a show that makes science accessible and fun for kids.
Sat., July 13
Pier 84 at Hudson River Park
555 12th Ave.
Summer Carnival Funfair
Get some fun in the sun at this family- and community-oriented fair! Face painting, arts and crafts, photo booths, and even baseball make for a fun day out with the family.
Sat., July 13
11 a.m.-3 p.m.
East River Plaza
517 E. 117th St.
Bastille Day on Fifth Ave
Travel from Latin America to France for this Bastille Day celebration in Lenox Hill. Purchase traditional French food or just enjoy the atmosphere through music and dance. Adults will enjoy browsing the French brands and food, while children will be entertained by the kids' corner.
Sun., July 14
60th St. from 5th Ave. to Lexington Ave.
Carnaval de la Cultura Latina in the Bronx
Celebrate Latin American culture through child-friendly activities at this festival. Kids can take part in arts and crafts, enjoy some music, jump around in bouncy castles, get their faces painted, play games, and more. Parents can take advantage of free health screenings and giveaways. Expect lots of live performances and plenty of crowds!
Sun., July 14
Picnic and Play at Randall's Island
It's picnic season! Bring your picnic basket and blanket over to Randall's Island for a special day of giant lawn games, art installations, and a general community vibe. Enjoy your picnic then watch the sunset for a nice afternoon of outdoor fun.
Fri., July 19
20 Randall's Island Park
Come Out and Play at DUMBO
Are the kids tired of their toys? Visit DUMBO for a creative boost. Play tons of fun games created for all ages and bring the spark back into playtime. Parents can stick around for After Dark, which features innovative tech games as well as digital and live-action gaming (just keep in mind that only 18+ are permitted to After Dark).
Sat., July 20
Manhattan Bridge Archway Plaza
155 Water St.
Annual Block Party at the Rubin Museum
Come to a huge community-wide block party, brought to you by the Rubin Museum of Art. This year's theme is power, and visitors will have a chance to play with the idea of power in various hands-on ways. Make your own stress balls ("Power Down"), make an artwork out of flowers ("Flower Power"), learn about the magnetic poles ("Power Poles"), and more. Visitors can also enjoy free admission to the museum.
Sun., July 21
Rubin Museum of Art
150 W. 17th St.
Out of Doors Festival at Lincoln Center
If you've always wanted to enjoy a Lincoln Center performance, now's the time to check them out — for free. The Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival features many free performances across various genres and styles. Watch live outdoor performances of music, poetry, storytelling, dance, sculpture, and more. All free events are first-come, first-served and in most cases, doors open an hour before the performance, so stop by early to get a good spot for the show.
Wed., July 24-Sun., Aug. 11
Various locations in the Lincoln Center Plaza
Btwn Broadway at 65th St. & Amsterdam at W. 62nd St.
Upper West Side
Poetry Festival at Governors Island
Find your rhythm at this year's Poetry Festival, where everybody can take part in hearing and writing poems. The festival strives to make poetry more accessible for everyone, including children. Write your thoughts on vintage typewriters decked out with modern tech to record every keystroke online, listen to live performances by poets, or just take a nap to the readings of famous poetry. Children can also partake in the Youth Poetry Festival, which encourages kids to pen some poems, too.
Sat., July 27-Sun., July 28
Sat.: 11 a.m.-7p.m.; Sun.: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Family Fitness Day at the Wyckoff House
Get moving and get fit at this whole-family workout sesh at the Wyckoff House. Participants of all ages can take part in yoga, zumba, dance, and other activities designed to get you up and moving. Games and crafts will also be available, and attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic basket and a blanket and enjoy the spacious park and garden.
Fri., July 28
11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum
5816 Clarendon Rd.
Harlem Week in Harlem
This full week of festivities is in its 45th year and celebrates the diversity and unique heritage of the neighborhood through music, food, dance, performances, and more. Be aware that the festival draws large crowds!
Sun., July 28-Sat., Aug. 24
Various times and locations
City of Science at Lehman College
The World Science Festival is in full swing so stop by this event to get hands-on with science. Interactive exhibits let kids (and yes, adults!) send objects flying, walk on water, try out the Warped Space Gravity Simulator, test your brain against some puzzles, and other activities that encourage STEM learning in a fun and engaging way.
Sat., July 27
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Apex Center at Lehman College
250 Bedford Park Blvd W.
Kingsbridge Heights, Bronx
Fashion Brooklyn Style at the Brooklyn Navy Yard
Think you have the next big fashion designer in your family? Have some curious kids who want to understand the inner workings of the fashion industry a bit better? This event demystifies fashion for kids and gets them hands-on with the clothes they wear. Visit for demos, workshops, learning and interactive events with fashion icons and local industry leaders. This event is intended for kids ages 5-12.
Tue., July 30
Brooklyn Navy Yard
Building 77 (Flushing Ave. & Vanderbilt Ave.)