We’ve got festivals galore as the city gears up for summer. Come out with the family and party on the streets of NYC with these awesome free things to do with kids in NYC this June! Or get in touch with science, count some fish, enjoy some free museum time and so much more. The season just started and things are heating up fast! Check out our favorite free NYC events for kids in June!
Celebrate the many cultures that make up New York City's soul at this festival. Families can enjoy performances from various backgrounds while kids will love the arts and crafts and the dedicated children's area. Don't miss the fashion show and energy-boosting drum circle!
Sat., Jun. 1 & June 8
St.Nicholas Ave., btwn. 141st to 145th Streets
Figment NYC at Roosevelt Island (New location this year!)
Who says you have to look at art from afar? The Figment festival brings art up close and personal with interactive artworks, creative installations, and a lot of contagious energy. (This fest has traditionally taken place on Governors Island.) Families are welcome to visit and smell, write on, dance with and talk to the art. For just one weekend, Roosevelt Island will be transformed into a giant art gallery where the visitors are key participants.
Sat.-Sun., Jun. 1-2
Sat.: 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun.: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Pride Celebrations in June
The fest's free Family Movie Night is screening Coco at Hudson River Park's Pier 45 on June 21 at 6:30 p.m.
Be sure to make it to Brookfield Place and check out the colorful installation Thrive, as well as other pride events throughout June.
Queens Green Day Festival
Get in touch with your roots and grow closer to nature at this festival, which aims to bridge the gap between us to the natural world around us. Come to participate in activities and watch demos about topics like smart recycling, the intersection of art and environmental activism, teaching kids to grow and make their own food, and more.
Sat., Jun. 8
Socrates Sculpture Park
32-01 Vernon Blvd.
Long Island City
Bus Festival at Brooklyn Bridge Plaza
They keep the city connected and get you to work on time — they're bus drivers! Visit the NY Transit Museum for the 26th annual Bus Festival, where families can take photos, meet and greet with some of the city's hardworking bus drivers, and learn about the over 80 years of history of the city's transit system.
Sun., Jun. 9
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Brooklyn Bridge Plaza
11 Water St.
River to River Festival in Lower Manhattan
The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council presents the 18th annual River To River Festival, Downtown New York City’s completely free summer arts festival. Performances and events celebrate artistic and creative diversity in all its forms throughout spaces in Lower Manhattan. This year's festival encourages the discovery of what arises when we all slow down.
Live experiences including intimate and provocative dance, music, visual art, and new media projects in public parks, in historic landmarks, on Governors Island, and along the waterfront. This year features work and events from from Yoko Ono (her piece "Add Color: Refugee Boat" is seen above), Pam Tanowitz, NIC CAY, Ernest Pujol, Drag Queen Story Hour, and Rooftop Films. You can also drop in an see artists at work in the studio.
June 18-29, 2019
Various times and dates
Taste of Jewish Culture Annual Street Festival
Eat, learn about, and celebrate Jewish food at this delicious festival. Enjoy everything from traditional fare to unique ethnic variations on Jewish classics. Live klezmer music, fun kid activities, and plenty of vendors will give you a taste of the Jewish culinary culture.
Sun., Jun. 16
11 a.m.-6 p.m.
6th Ave. at W. 48th St.
Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas Festival at the Museum at Eldridge Street
What do the Jewish, Chinese, and Puerto Rican cultures have in common? You can find them all merged into this one festival! In a very NYC way, this festival mixes together three different cultures into a unique blend of traditions you won't find anywhere else. Enjoy Chinese Opera and acrobatics, klezmer music, and mambo. Try your hand at Mah Jongg games and tea ceremonies, Jewish scribal arts, or Puerto Rican lace making. Of course, food from all three cultures will also be available for purchase.
Sun., Jun. 16
12 Eldridge St.
Lower East Side
Make Music Day By Make Music New York
For one day on the Summer Solstice, the entire city turns into a giant stage for performers of all kinds. Enjoy concerts throughout the boroughs as over 1,000 free concerts take place in public places around the city. Performers of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to take the stage and dance and sing their way into the city's hearts.
Fri., Jun. 21
10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Various times and locations
Superhero and Science Fiction Festival in Williamsburg
Be a superhero for a day at this Sci-Fi Festival where kids can find and say hi to characters from classics like Star Wars, Transformers, DC and Marvel Comic Heroes, anime and video game characters, and so much more! Kids can design their own superheroes, make their own anime and manga art, and participate in other fun thematic events.
Sat., Jun. 22
121 Scholes St.
Drums Along the Hudson at Inwood Hill Park
Drums take on lives of their own at this festival, where drummers from all cultures will take on traditional beats and performances. The event features Native American, Japanese, Brazilian, Flamenco, and Korean drummers as well as dance performances to accompany them. Food and music from around the world will take center stage as the festival celebrates Native American culture as well as Spanish, African, Brazilian, and Tibetan cultures and so much more. Take a break from watching to try traditional food, listen to a Native American story, or make cultural crafts.
Sun., Jun. 23
11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Inwood Hill Park
218th St. and Indian Rd.
BLOCK PARTIES AND PARADES
8th Annual Bushwick Collective Block Party
The Bushwick Collective Block Party is an annual art event in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Combining graffiti, street-art, music, food trucks and local vendors, the Collective brings together the best of the community.Young people line up in the sun to enter the Bushwick Block Party, which has two music stages, dozens of street artists, food trucks, and beer at Troutman Street & St. Nicholas Avenue in Brooklyn.
Sat. Jun. 1
Troutman Street & St. Nicholas Avenue
Museum Mile Festival
For three hours in June, museums along Fifth Avenue between 82nd and 110th streets will open their doors to all visitors to come in and and enjoy their exhibits for free. During this time, the streets and museum interiors will be filled with live music, art-making workshops, and more. This event is rain or shine!
Tues., Jun 11
Fifth Ave. btwn 82nd St. and 110th St.
Upper East Side
Mermaid Parade at Coney Island
This parade is a part of Coney Island history and a fun way to spend the afternoon by the beach. Expect tons of glitter, fun floats, and over 1,000 participants in this mermaid-themed parade. This year's Queen Mermaid and King Neptune are Nora and Arlo Guthrie. Be forewarned that there will be semi-nude costumes.
Sat., Jun 22
Starts at W. 21st St. and Surf Ave. and ends at Steeplechase Plaza
The Great Fish Count via the World Science Festival
As part of the World Science Festival, visit any one of 17 different participating spots around the five boroughs, NJ and Westchester to participate in this exploration of the waters that surround us. Visitors of any age can use nets or get up close and personal with waders to see the life that these waters are teeming with. RSVP is not required but is encouraged.
Sat., Jun. 1
10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Various locations around the city
Stargazing Fair at Brooklyn Bridge Park via the World Science Festival
This event has visitors look up from the waters and discover the whole different world in the skies. Guided by the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York, visitors can scan the skies using high-powered telescopes and see the moon, stars, and planets up close and personal. Kids can also enjoy space-themed crafts as they learn about the universe.
Sat., Jun. 1
Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1
Harbor View Lawn
Family Day at BRIC
Visit the BRIC family day and you might discover the next big artist. This event allows new and emerging artists and students from public schools around Brooklyn to display their art in the large in-house gallery. Enjoy a guided tour and hands-on activities as you discover some great new art and artists.
And join BRIC for free family-friendly performances at the Prospect Park Bandshell all month long as part of their Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival.
Sat., Jun. 8
Gallery at BRIC House
647 Fulton St. (Enter on Rockwell Place)
Fishing Clinics at Brooklyn Bridge Park
You can now go fish at Pier 5's fishing station. From May through September, kids and adults alike can come learn to fish (catch-and-release) and all the skills associated with it. All equipment will be provided — just show up. Although a reservation is not required, it's strongly encouraged as this event only takes place once or twice a month.
Sun., Jun. 16
Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 5
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!
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Empire Fulton Ferry Lawn
1 Water St.
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
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Pier 86 (46th St. and 12th Ave.)
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.
feature photo: Make Music New York