Don’t forget Father’s Day is this weekend and while Dad deserves every minute of his big day, you’ll find lots of other activities to keep the whole family busy this weekend too. Lots of music and dancing is on tap – don’t worry dads, we’re not talking ballet! Start your weekend by watching a loud and energetic stepping performance under the High Line. On Sunday you can hear children’s songs with an African twist in Central Park, hear sophisticated sounds at Red Hook’s Jazz Festival or check out the experimental music festival Bang on a Can at the World Financial Center. Beyond music, you can channel your inner outdoorsman by checking out what kind of creatures scientists pull out of the East River. Kids will love the Mad Science party that Tompkins Square Library is hosting in honor of the summer reading program, and a beach party happening with Clifford the Big Red Dog in Bryant Park.


Children’s Songs in the Park 
Have a picnic and listen to classic children’s songs performed with a new twist by Joe Todaro. His guitar music is influenced by Afro-Caribbean rhythms, rock and classical music. Sun. 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. UWS. Free. All ages. Event details.


Clifford’s Beach Party
Clifford the Big Red Dog is coming to Bryant Park for a fun summer celebration. Say, “aloha,” to the season by crafting a Polynesian lei, learn a hula-hoop trick or two, dance to the beat of tropical drums as Clifford leads a conga line and see how low Clifford can go in a game of limbo. Sat., 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. Midtown. Free. All ages. Event details. 


Summer Reading Kick Off
Get your child excited for a summer of books with the New York Public Library’s Summer Reading 2012 program. This kick off party at Tompkins Square Library features scientific fun with fire and ice – don’t worry it’s safe! From the properties of fire and combustion to demonstrations with dry ice, this Mad Science show will make learning a blast. Fri., 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm. East Village. Free. 4 and older. Event details.

Stepping Festival, Workshop & Showcase
The energetic dance form of stepping is coming to the High Line complete with lots of handclaps, footsteps and spoken words. Every night from June 13 to June 15 two high school step teams from around NYC will battle it out on the High Line and on Saturday June 16 there will be a workshop where the whole family can learn some moves, along with a showcase performance. Thurs. & Fri. 6:30 pm, Sat. 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Meatpacking District. Free. All ages. Event details.

Bang on a Can
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Bang on a Can, a celebration featuring 12-hours of free live music. Innovative musicians from near and far will be performing experimental and unique music on an outdoor stage at the World Financial Center Winter Garden. Sun., 12:00 pm – 12:00 am. Battery Park City. Free. All ages. Event details.


Seining the River Wild
Ever wonder what lives in the East River – or if anything lives there at all? Now you can get a glimpse first hand as scientists use a 20 foot seining net to catch and release fish and other remarkable East River creatures on the Main Street Waterfront. Sun., 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm. Brooklyn Heights. Free. All ages. Event details.

Red Hook Jazz Festival
Enjoy an afternoon of jazz with your kids on the Brooklyn waterfront. The lineup includes Mike Baggetta Quartet, Harris Eisenstadt’s CANADA DAY, Nate Wooley Quintet, Rick Parker Collective and SPOKE. Sun., 1:00 pm. Red Hook. $10 for adults, free for children. All ages. Event details.

— Julie Seguss