The big event this weekend is no doubt the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks, but there’s plenty of other family fun to be had. Learn about science with a side of singing and art, catch a bilingual, kid-pleasing concert at the Bronx Zoo or see the opening day of a new museum exhibit featuring a classic character from children’s storybooks.

Rainforest Puppet Show July 13, 2012 © Julienne Schaer


Attend Opening Day of the Madeline in New York Exhibit
July 4th marks the opening day for the Museum’s new exhibit Madeline in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans. Meet Madeline, help build the Eiffel Tower, decorate a Pepito or Genevieve finger puppet, get a temporary tattoo, hear a special story time and more. Best of all, kids get in free all day long on Friday and there are lots of Independence Day activities going on as well. Fri., 10:00 a.m.-6 p.m. Upper West Side. $18/adults, free for kids. All ages. Event details.

See Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band at the Bronx Zoo
The whirling dervish, road-weary, bilingual musical sensation from SoCal returns to the city with three days of concerts at the Bronx Zoo. Sure, the animals are awesome, but Lucky Diaz and bandmate/wife Alisha Gaddis are the real reason to go wild at the zoo this July 4th weekend. Fri., Sat. & Sun., 12:30 p.m. Bronx. Free with Zoo admission. All ages. Event details.

Enjoy Global Family Day in Central Park
As part of SummerStage and presented by Disney, Global Family Day is a musical and dance fest geared to the smaller members of your family. This year the Okee Dokee Brothers bring their campfire folk music for sing-alongs, and Accrobuffos will wow the mini-masses with their water balloon gladiator show. And check out the circus arts workshop and other crafts activities. Sun., 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Upper East Side. Free. All ages. Event details.

See Free Shakespeare in Battery Park
A great way to introduce kids to the theater? A free performance that’s outside in the park. New York Classical Theatre is presenting As You Like It in Battery Park. Come prepared with a picnic and a few little toys or lawn games and you should be in for an evening of fresh air fun. Fri., Sat., & Sun., 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Battery Park. Free. All agesEvent details.


Catch the Central Park Zoo Wildlife Theater at Brooklyn Bridge Park
The Central Park Zoo Wildlife Theater is bringing their Amazing Adaptations show to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Dinosaur Adventure includes science, singing, art and fun. Art activities begin at 12 p.m. Sun., 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Brooklyn Heights. Free. All ages. Event details.

Take Advantage of Special Activities at the Brooklyn Museum
Visit the Brooklyn Museum this Saturday to enjoy special art and entertainment programs and discount admission. At 4:30 p.m. your kids can create sidewalk chalk drawings and show off their hula hoop skills. Plus, see a performance by Matuto, which fuses Afro-Brazilian, folk and bluegrass sounds. Sat., 11 a.m. Prospect Heights. Free for kids. All agesEvent details.

Looking for 4th of July-themed activities? Check out our guide to watching the fireworks and other Independence Day events.

What fun activities do you have planned this weekend?

— Julie Seguss

Image courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park by  Julienne Schaer