From a festival dedicated to worms to an Eloise-themed flower planting party, we’ve found 15 Earth Day events in NYC where you and your kids can celebrate our Mother. Mother Earth that is. Read on to discover the details on all the planet-praising fun happening from The Battery on up to the far upper reaches of Central Park. Hint: You’ll find story times, craft workshops, tree planting, volunteer opps and more. Yay Earth!
Family Volunteer Day
Get the family together and help beautify Central Park to celebrate Earth Day. The annual Spring Family Volunteer Day is made just for families – individuals are not allowed to volunteer. You and your kids (4 and older please) will help with a mulching project in the East Meadow. Sat., Apr. 20, 10:00 am and 12:00 pm. Upper West Side. Free. Ages 4+. Event details.
Animals Alive! with Mr. Zelenka
Jerry Zelenka will introduce kids to a world of nature. He’ll have all kinds of living things to share from the ordinary to the exotic including birds, lizards, tarantulas, alligators and snakes. They can celebrate Earth Day as the develop an appreciation for all these fabulous creatures. Arrive at 12:30 pm to hear Robert Forbes read his illustrated animal poems. Sun., Apr. 21, 1:30 pm. Upper West Side. Free with museum admission. All ages. Event details.
Earth Day Story Time
This Sunday’s Macy’s Story Time features Earth Day books to help celebrate the planet. Kids will hear The Curious Garden by Peter Brown and The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recyclingby Alison Inches. Sun., Apr. 21, 11:30 am. Upper West Side. Free with museum admission. Ages 4-7. Event details.
Earth Day at Grand Central
Celebrate Earth Day at Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall from Saturday, April 20 to Monday, April 22. You’ll find live performances, kids’ activities, panel discussions and interactive displays all designed to teach you how to live a more sustainable life in NYC. Sat. Apr. 20 – Mon. Apr. 22, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Midtown. Free. All ages. Event details.
Smell the Flowers with Eloise
Celebrate Earth Day with Eloise at the Plaza. Gramercy Park Flower Shop will be there to teach kids to take care of flowers. Everyone will bring home potted seeds and watch them grown into flowers. Mon., Apr. 22, 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm. Midtown. $35. All ages. Event details.
Habitat Garden Restoration
You and your family can help transform the Hudson River Park’s Habitat Garden into a beautiful teaching space. Planting, weeding, re-mulching and clearing are on tap at this Earth Day volunteer event. Mon., Apr. 22, 10:00 am and 1:00 pm. Chelsea. Free. Ages 5 and older. Event details.
FIAF Family Saturday
This month’s family Saturday is an Earth Day celebration at FIAF! They have a fun lineup of family-friendly activities en francais including a screening of the animated kids series Ma Petite Planete Cherie, a poetic French series about the environment at 3:00 pm followed by arts and crafts; a mesmerizing performance about the life of a plastic bag (11:00 am, 1:30 pm and 3:15 pm) followed by a recycled craft inspired by the show; and free story time and arts and crafts in the library. Sat., Apr. 27, 11:00 am. Midtown. Free – $12. Ages 3 and older. Event details.
Earth Fest at the Battery
Green your community and celebrate Earth Day at The Battery Urban Farm. You can build a fruit cage for the farm, inoculate a mushroom log, see an urban farm photo exhibt, meet some honeybees and farmers, partake in Rock the Compost relay races, swap clothing and kitchen stuff and enjoy live music and refreshments. Sat., Apr. 20, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. Battery Park. Free. All ages. Event details.
Plant Trees in Chinatown
Do good in Chinatown this Earth Day. You can volunteer with your kids to help plant new trees and flowers. They’ll love getting their hands dirty and you’ll be happy to give back as a family. Sun., Apr. 21, 10:30 am – 3:00 pm. Chinatown. Free. All ages. Event details.
Earth Day Union Square
Get your Earth Day on outside at Union Square’s celebration. The day has a full lineup of fun including exhibits, live performances, a clothing swap, a green-vehicle runway show at 11:00 am and more. Sun., Apr. 21, 11:30 am – 6:00 pm. Union Square. Free. All ages. Event details.
Earth Day at the Scholastic Store
Discover facts about the rainforest at the Scholastic Store in honor of Earth Day. You’ll learn things like only 6% of Earth’s surface is rainforest but over half of all plant and animal species live there and then take a planet power quiz. Coolest part – every kid will go home with a tree to plant. Sat., Apr. 20, 3:00 pm. Soho. Free. Ages 5+. Event details.
Earth Day in Prospect Park
Celebrate Earth Day in Prospect Park at the Audubon Center. The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation will be on hand giving presentations on a variety of earthy matters including responsible fishing and lakeshore clean-up. Kids can also participate in educational activities, make recycled instruments and hear a performance and parade featuring Bash the Trash. Sun., Apr. 21, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Park Slope. Free. All ages. Event details.
Visit the South Brooklyn Children’s Garden to celebrate worms, composting and see the opening of the community garden. Activities include arts and crafts for kids, music from The Dad Beats, compost drop off, games, a bake sale and lunch, a worm-themed story time, raffle and more. In case of rain, the event will take place on April 21. Sat., Apr. 20, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Cobble Hill. Free. All ages. Event details.
Arbor Day Celebration
Don’t forget Arbor Day. You can celebrate this tree-filled day at Prospect Park’s Audubon Center with crafts, an exhibit about the Park’s trees, games and hands-on activities. Fri., Apr. 26, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Park Slope. Free. All ages. Event details.
Kids will learn how to identify parts of trees, discover how they grow and explore why they’re important for the planet and ecosystem in this program. Plus, they’ll get to plant their own tree to take home and create art using tree bark. Wed., Apr. 17, 11:30 am. Crown Heights. Free with museum admission. Ages 0-5. Event details.
Tell us – how are you celebrating Earth Day?
— Julie Seguss
Image courtesy of South Brooklyn Children’s Garden, Grand Central and The Battery Urban Farm