June 20, 2012 is the official first day of summer – celebrate the season of fun and sun this weekend starting with a Friday night at the Swedish Summer Festival complete with a maypole and Swedish treats. On Saturday, hit the eccentric Coney Island Mermaid Parade if you dare, or keep it low-key with a good ol’ fashioned kite flying festival. Sunday, head to midtown for a magic show at the Bryant Park Carousel. Want to stay inside? Burn off energy boogying the afternoon away at the Little Club Heads family dance party or visit the Brooklyn Children’s Museum for a very special Eric Carle birthday celebration.


Le Carrousel Magique
How do you make a magical place like the Bryant Park Carousel even more magical. Add magicians! In partnership with MondayNightMagic.com, Bryant Park is presenting master magicians performing at the carousel – a show that promises to leave you spellbound! Sun., 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. Midtown. Free. All ages. Event details. 


Swedish Summer Festival
Celebrate the summer solstice Swedish-style on the longest day of the year. The Swedish Midsummer Festival includes a family dance featuring traditional music by Paul Dahlin and musicians from the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. Also on tap – decorating the maypole, learning folk dances, children’s games, Swedish treats and a midsummer wreath craft. Fri., 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Battery Park. Free. All. Event details.

Little Club Heads Dance Party
Does your kid love to boogie? Then this event is for you. It’s a dance party experience for kids where parents can socialize with each other too. The lineup includes a live DJ, face painter, clown, balloon twister and family-friendly live performances. Your kind can even feature his dancing skills at the “Little Club Heads Talent Showcase.” Sat. 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Wall Street. $15/person or $40/group of 4. 12 months to 10 years. Event details.


Mermaid Parade
Visit Coney Island for this eccentric art parade with loads of costume-clad people and motorized floats. While the Mermaid Parade is always a spectacle to see and lots of kids are always in attendance, we must warn you that some of the Mermaids and Mermen are scantily clad. Sat., 12:00 pm. Coney Island. Free. All agesEvent details.

Brooklyn Kite Festival
Visit Pier 1 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, bring a kite to fly, buy a kite on site or simply watch everyone else flying theirs above the Manhattan skyline. Even on the best weather day of the year you wouldn’t see this many kites in one NYC park! Sat. 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Brooklyn Heights. Free. All ages. Event details.

Eric Carle’s Birthday Celebration
You’ve read The Very Hungry Caterpillar to your child thousands of times. Take a break and let them hear it at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum’s birthday celebration for Eric Carle this time. Kids will also get to create a beautiful painting using the artist’s unique technique. Sat & Sun., 11:30 am and 2:00 pm. Crown Heights. Free after museum admission. 5 and under. Event details.

— Julie Seguss

Image via Brooklyn Kite Festival via Facebook