With summer right around the corner, the city is bursting with outdoor activities sure to keep your family entertained. This weekend, take in some culture at a block party, rock out at a Brooklyn festival, take your budding artist over to Governor’s Island or bask in the sun at the botanic gardens. Already gotten too much sun? Try out an indoor event at a museum or go back in time for a sleepover. Either way, we’ve got you covered.
Photo: Figment Project via flickr
CMOM Free First Friday Nights
Take advantage of Target’s Free First Friday Night and visit the Children’s Museum of Manhattan free of charge tonight with your family. Fri. 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Upper West Side. Free. All ages. Event details.
A Sleepover Fit for a Knight
Feel like splurging? You can entertain your knights in training ALL evening into the next morning at this sleepover. Fair knights and their chaperones can journey back to the Middle Ages during a unique experience at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. The medieval fun includes a scavenger hunt, period dances, a clay gargoyle craft, a (foam) swordplay workshop, and more. A healthy snack and breakfast will be provided. Dress-up is encouraged, RSVPs are required. Be warned: one adult must attend for every 3 children participating. Fri. 6:30 p.m. Morningside Heights. $135 per person (discounts offered for groups of 15 or more), Ages 6-12. Event details.
Annual Egg Rolls and Egg Creams Festival-Introducing Empanadas!
Where else can your family listen to Chinese opera, learn to salsa dance, take a yiddish lesson, all while snacking on empanadas? At this annual festival, the Lower East Side celebrates the Chinese, Jewish and Puerto Rican cultures that make up the neighborhood with food, music and art. Enjoy a day outside at this lively block party, and make sure your family comes with an appetite! Sun. 12 p.m.-4 p.m. Lower East Side. Free. All ages. Event details.
International Children’s Day Celebration
Celebrate cultures around the world at CMA through hands-on workshops. Create a collaborative community portrait in the Fine Arts Studio, make a 3D model of the Earth in the WEE Studio, hit the Clay Bar to make world flags & national flowers and more. Plus, don’t forget to peruse an exhibition of puppets from around the world. Sat. & Sun. Soho. 12 p.m.- 5.p.m. $11 per person, infants and seniors free. All ages. Event details.
Red Hook Fest
For most people, summer unofficially begins on Memorial Day weekend. But for many Brooklyn families, the Red Hook Fest is when the summer really begins. Presented by Dance Theatre Etcetera, the 22nd annual Red Hook Fest is spread over three days and features world-class music and dance performances and fun activities like face-painting, a BBQ & DJ dance party and free kayak rides in New York Harbor. Fri. 6 p.m.- 8 p.m., Red Hook. Sat. 12 p.m.-7 p.m. Free. All ages. Event details.
Dance with Butterflies at the Discovery Garden
Bring your imagination and dancing shoes to the opening celebrations for the Discovery Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Your little explorers can partake in a scavenger hunt led by stilt walkers, dance to live music with giant puppets, and create their very own butterfly antennas. Activities begin at the Cherry Esplanade. Sat. 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Crown Heights. Free. All ages. Event details.
Celebrate Brooklyn Family Concert
Celebrate Brooklyn goes family style with an Ezra Jack Keats family concert featuring multi-cultural Creole for Kidz! Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience. Plus, there will be a reading of Keat’s work. Enjoy great food and on-site stroller parking. Doors open at 3 p.m., bring a blanket to enjoy a spot on the grass or snag a seat. Sat. 4 p.m.-7.pm. Prospect Park. $3 suggested donation. All ages. Event details.
LIC BIke Parade
First get your bike ready to roll with repair from Recycle-a-Bicycle, a helmet fitting and artist-led workshops. Then, learn to ride (if you don’t know how already). Next, ride in the parade along Vernon Blvd. Finally, celebrate your day of bike fun on the waterfront in Queensbridge Park. Sat. 11 a.m.-5.pm. Long Island City. Free. All ages. Event details.
Figment NYC is a free, family-friendly participatory arts event held in multiple cities each year. Every June, this traveling arts fest with its wild sculptures and fun activities lands on Governors Island, transforming it into a large-scale collaborative artwork. Go golfing on the artist-designed mini-golf course, get touchy-feely in the interactive sculpture garden, see live music, play games and more. Sat. & Sun. Governor’s Island. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. All ages. Event details.
What are you up to this weekend? Share with us in the comment section below.
— Caitlin Dowling