This Friday marks the official first day of summer and we have a few ways for you to celebrate. Say hello to the season Swedish-style in Battery Park Friday night or enjoy a day of special workshops and activities at the Queens Botanical Garden on Sunday. Feeling competitive? Lace up to participate in Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Family Field Day. And if you’d rather watch the competition, check out the Outrigger Race and Polynesian Festival. Looking for something inside? See an inspiring kid sign cabaret concert or check out some of the tiniest theater performances you’ve ever seen.



Kiddie Kabaret
You’ll see some amazing kids who happen to be jazz singers performing at The Metropolitan Room for Kiddie Kabaret. This Sunday Ruby Rankos, an 11th grader who has performed in Broadway’s Billy Elliot, will put a fresh face on some favorite classic songs. Doors open at 11:00 am. Sun., 11:30 am. Chelsea. $35, plus 1 drink minimum. All ages. Event details.


Swedish Midsummer Festival
It’s the longest day of the year and the summer solstice. Celebrate Swedish-style by decorating a maypole, making wreaths, listening to traditional music, eating Swedish delicacies and learning folk dances. There will also be a parade and children’s games. Fri., 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Battery Park. Free. All ages. Event details.

Outrigger Race and Festival
Learn about the ancient practice of outrigger canoe paddling and cheer on a race of top athletes from around the globe as they paddle down 15 miles of the Hudson River. They’ll go down and around the Brooklyn Bridge, past the Statue of Liberty and back to Pier 26. There you’ll find a Polynesian festival with entertainment, lei making, ukelele lessons, paddling demos and storytelling. Sat., 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. Tribeca. Free. All agesEvent details.


Family Field Day
A bevy of games, sports and activities are coming to Brooklyn Bridge Park, along with experienced staff to ensure plenty of fun is had at this family field day. Join in on a game of soccer or volleyball or test skills in obstacle races, tug of war and lots more. Sat., 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. Brooklyn Heights. Free. Ages 4-10Event details.

Toy Theater Festival Family Programs
Great Small Works is transforming St. Ann’s Warehouse into a world of fantastical tiny stages featuring little theaters from around the world including a lineup of special family programs on Sunday morning. Sun., 11:00 am & 2:00 pm. Fort Greene. $20/adults, $10/kids. All ages. Event details.


Summer Solstice Celebration at QBG
Here comes the sun! The Queens Botanical Garden is celebrating the Summer Solstice with a day of workshops and activities featuring a bird/nature walk, compost demonstrations, a community art project and activities for children including crafts, the TD Bank Activity table, seed plantings and Silly Cheeks face art and balloon twisting. Sun., 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Flushing. Free with garden admission. All agesEvent details.

What fun activities do you have planned this weekend?

— Julie Seguss

Image courtesy of  Brooklyn Bridge Park by Travis Craw