What do bats, mimes, and potions all have in common? They’re all things you can see this weekend in New York. Go hunting for flying creatures in Central Park, celebrate Bastille Day with champagne and crepes, or bring your best dolly to a magical garden to mix up some potions. Variety is the name of the game this weekend, so start booking up your family calendar.
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Bastille Day Festival via Flickr


Bat Walk in Central Park
Take your little explorers on a different kind of walk through the park. Join the New York City Bat Group at dusk when bats leave their hiding spaces to feed on flying insects. The experts will lead you through the park and help you spot these flying creatures with the aide of special equipment. You must register in advance. Fri. 8 p.m. Upper West Side. $40/adult; $25/children 12 and under. All ages. Event details

Find Your Groove at Lincoln Center
Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to swing, salsa, tango and merengue with the whole family. Dancing Classrooms will teach you steps to all these classic dances and then put on a performance so you can see these moves in action. Your tiny dancers’ feet won’t stop moving the whole way home. Sat. 2:30 p.m. Upper West Side. Free. All ages. Event details

Brush Up On Your French for the Bastille Day Festival
Say bonjour to your neighbors while you celebrate France’s national holiday. This is no ordinary street fair. Instead of sausages and corn, you can look forward to cheeses, crepes, eclairs and macarons while sipping on champagne and french wines. Enjoy live music, can can dancers, mimes, and arts and crafts. And don’t forget to enter the raffle, this festival could just be practice for the trip you win to actually visit France. Sun. 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Upper East Side. Free. All ages. Event details.


Create Magical Potions in the Garden
Bring your imaginations because Gallow Green is no ordinary garden and this will be no ordinary experience. Be prepared for an enchanting day of planting and potion making at this rooftop garden. Your little ones can bring along their favorite doll or teddy bear to assist them, as well as their own recyclable bottle to create a magical potion to bring home. All potion masters, as well as their assistants (who will have their own miniature seats), will enjoy tea, lemonade and snacks. Fri. 1 p.m. Chelsea. $25/person. Ages 6-11. Event details


Stroll the Whitney Museum Like a VIP
You and your baby will feel like VIP with access to the Whitney Museum while it’s closed to the public. Take a guided tour of the exhibition America is Hard to See with fellow moms and dads. The tour is only open to parents and caregivers with children under 18 months, so we promise no dirty looks from other museum goers if your little artist starts crying. Sat. 9:30 am.-10:30 a.m. Meatpacking District. $25/person in addition to museum admission ($22/adult; $18/seniors; members and children under 18 are free). 18 mo. and younger. Event details


Splash and Dance with Mil’s Trill Lakeside
Grab your swimsuits and get ready for a sun filled outdoor party at with Hip Tots. Dance and splash along with Brooklyn’s own Mil’s Trill during a live performance. Then settle in for story time with local author Melanie Hope Greenberg as she reads her Brooklyn classic, Mermaids on Parade. Don’t forget to bring your copy from home to have Melanie sign. Plus, enjoy crafts and giveaways along with Lakeside’s facilities – a roller rink, splash pad, cafe and more. Sun. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Prospect Park. Free. All ages. Event details


Celebrate the Festival de las Flores
Come enjoy a two day Colombian celebration with the Queens Botanical Garden. On Saturday, spend the afternoon at the garden, listen to live music and view the beautiful medallions constructed of flowers called Silleteros. Stop by in the afternoon for story time and crafts. Then on Sunday, begin your day in Jackson Heights for a parade featuring the Silleteros. After the parade, spend another afternoon back at the garden with music, food and crafts. Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. & Sun. 10 a.m.  Flushing. Free with museum admission. All ages. Event details


Get Crafty at the Bronx Zoo
Head to the Bronx Zoo to visit with the animals for inspiration before going to the newly re-opened Children’s Zoo for a special activity put on by the Children’s Museum of the Arts. Your little ones will create a hanging mobile featuring their favorite animals out of a variety materials. All you’ll need to do is find a place to hang the masterpiece when you get home. Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Pelham Parkway. Free with museum admission. All ages. Event details

Governor’s Island

Cruise Over to the Vintage Bus Bash
You won’t need bus fare to check out this fleet of vintage buses. Take the ferry over to Governor’s Island and hop on and off these buses from the 40’s and 50’s, including the first air-conditioned bus in the country. Your city savvy kids will appreciate just how far public transportation has come! Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Governor’s Island. Free. All ages. Event details

What adventures will your family go on this weekend? Share with us in the comment section below.

— Caitlin Dowling