Ready for a weekend of summer fun? Start by sending your kids off to a Friday night sleepover with Bija Kids. Then, head to Governors Island on Saturday for a Family Day of time travel games. Celebrate French culture at FIAF’s Bastille Day celebration or Japanese culture at the Japan Society’s Star Festival on Sunday.  Or visit a museum – The Jewish Children’s Museum is focused on safety and kids can check out a real ambulance, while the Rubin Museum is hosting an instrument-making workshop complete with a musical parade.



Japan’s Star Festival
Theatre Banana will introduce Japan’s famous Tanabata legends (Hikoboshi and Orihime) through storytelling and craft making. Kids will create paper ornaments and write wishes on thin paper strips, which will decorate bamboo branches. Sun., 2:00 pm. Midtown East. Free. Ages 3-10. Event details.

Bastille Day Celebration
The French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF) is hosting their annual Bastille Day street fair on 60th Street. Submerse yourselves in French culture from crepes and fromages to live music. There’s beer and wine for you and crafts, face painting and an entire Kids’ Corner for the little ones. Sun., 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Midtown East. Free. All agesEvent details.

Making Mountain Music
Visit the Rubin Museum for a family art workshop. This weekend, visit the shrine room where you’ll hear monks chanting, listen to music and play instruments from the Himalayan region. Then, make your own instrument using recycled natural and found materials and join in on a musical parade. Sat., 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Chelsea. $16 per adult/child pair. Ages 5+. Event details.


Open Ambulance Day
See live, emergency demonstrations by the Midwood Ambulance crew and explore the inside of a real ambulance at the Jewish Children’s Museum. You’ll also find ambulance exploration, helmet fittings, a Sun Smart Challenge and free prizes. Sun., 10:00 am – 5:30 pm. Crown Heights. Free with museum admission. Ages 3+Event details.

Bija Summer Sleepover
Join Bija Kids for their First Annual Summer Sleepover. This action-packed party will feature activities, dinner, a movie, snacks and a safe loving place to sleep. Kids will spend the night enjoying glow in the dark yoga, freeze dance, art making, music, ’camp fire’ stories and games and a healthy and wholesome dinner along with breakfast and snacks. Space is limited for more details or to register contact or 347-294-0653. Fri., 6:00 pm – Sat., 10:00 am. Downtown Brooklyn. $95.00 first child, $75.00 additional siblings. Ages 6-9. Event details.

Governors Island

River to River Festival Family Day
Governors Island turns into a giant playground for one day thanks to Come Out and Play. The festival of games and activities is based on a time travel theme, so you can find adventures in both the Dark Ages and in the space-age future! Games are especially geared towards kids age 6-11, but the whole family can have fun here at this part of the River to River FestivalSat., 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. Governors Island. Free. Ages 6-11Event details.

What fun activities do you have planned this weekend?

— Julie Seguss

Image courtesy of  Japan Society