Editor’s note: We’re making every effort to provide you with the most up-to-date information. However, sometimes closures occur at the last minute due to circumstances beyond our control, such as the spread of Covid-19. We highly recommend that you call ahead before you pack your kids (and all those snacks, and diapers…) and haul them across town. 

The summer fun kicks into high gear in June: school’s out, beaches and pools open, and the weather in NYC is finally at that Goldilicks-approved phase of “just right”! June is also jam-packed with kid- and family-friendly events around NYC—especially this June, as NYC reopens with lots of programming and events. As a bonus, most of these events are free — and all of them are definitely fun! From LEGO and Harry Potter news, an interactive magazine, and a new outdoor movie series, to singalongs, farm tours and tall ships,  June’s got something for everyone. (And don’t forget all this free outdoor programming happening all summer long!)

photo: LEGOLAND

Visit LEGOLAND

It's finally here! The newest LEGOLAND, located in Goshen, New York is open for previews through June 20. (Previews means they are putting the final touches on the park, so some attractions may not be ready, but you get a reduced rate!) The park will include seven LEGO-themed lands, with attractions such as Miniland, Ninja Training Camp, Build and Test, Robotic LEGO play, LEGO Creative workshop and tons of LEGO-themed rides for thrills, spins and more. You must buy tickets in advance. 

Preview tickets: $49.99/adults, $44.99/kids, through June 20
1 LEGOland Blvd. 
Goshen, NY
Online:  legoland.com

photo: Harry Potter New York

Experience Harry Potter New York

Holy Hogwarts! Starting June 3, the largest collection of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts merchandise under the sun can be found at 935 Broadway. In addition to three floors and 20,000 square feet filled with products, from the accessible to collectible, you'll find a deluxe wand shop, photo ops and even the chance to order up a Butterbeer. 

Opens June 3
935 Broadway
Flatiron
Online: harrypottershop.com

Grab & Go Kits at Brooklyn Public Libraries

Need something to occupy the little ones at home? Stop by a local library and bring home an arts and crafts kit. Each kit contains all the materials and instructions kids need to complete a project like a paper collage, origami, home design, and more fun themes. 

Various times and locations in Brooklyn public libraries
Online: bklynlibrary.org

photo: D. Finnin/© AMNH

The Halls of Gems and Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History Reopen

One of The American Museum of Natural History's  most popular and beloved spaces returns to public view on June 12! It's been completely redesigned and reinstalled, and is now the Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals.

The 11,000-square-foot hall showcases one of the greatest collections of its kind. Dazzling gems on view include the legendary 563-carat Star of India sapphire, the 632-carat Patricia Emerald, and the 110-carat diamond Organdie necklace designed by Michelle Ong for Carnet. Plus new specimens including a pair of towering, sparkling amethyst geodes that are among the world’s largest on display, a slice of a 35-million-year-old metasequoia—a petrified dawn redwood from the Cascade Mountains—the 9-pound almandine Subway Garnet discovered under Manhattan’s 35th Street in 1885, and the Tarugo, a 3-foot-tall cranberry-colored elbaite tourmaline that is one of the largest intact mineral crystal clusters ever found. Wow! 

Maybe the best news of all? It's included in the General Admission price to the museum, and is on permanent view!

Opens June 12
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
Upper West Side
212-769-5100
Online: amnh.org

photo: New-York Historical Society/Jessica Craig

Learn About Juneteenth with the New-York Historical Society

The New-York Historical Society's Dimenna Children's History Museum explores Juneteenth, the annual celebration of the end of American chattel slavery on June 19, 1865, with a free series of Living History @ Home: online events. 

Sun., June 6, 2 p.m.
Reading into History @ Home: Troublemaker for Justice 
Explore the life and impact of Bayard Rustin, a civil rights leader and openly gay man. Talk to one of the co-authors of Troublemaker for Justice, Michael G. Long, and dig into Rustin’s adherence to non-violence and civil disobedience, and his belief in the value of community organizing. Recommended for kids ages 9–12.

Wed., June 9, 3 p.m.
Living History @ Home: Celebrating Juneteenth |
What did a historical Juneteenth celebration look like? Find out how people across the country celebrated Juneteenth and Freedom Day in the late 19th century. Then, settle in to learn songs traditionally sung at Juneteenth celebrations! All ages.

Wed., June 16, 3 p.m.
Living History @ Home: Cooking for Juneteenth
Take a virtual field trip to Genesee Country Village & Museum—the largest and most comprehensive living history museum in New York State—to explore how some African American New Yorkers would have celebrated the end of slavery. Living History Coordinator Cheyney McKnight, along with Historical Helper Millen Shiffer, prepare a celebration feast on a wood burning stove in one of the historic buildings. All ages.

Online: nyhistory.org

Kids Farm Tour at the Battery Urban Farm

Can you grow your own food in the middle of New York City? The Battery Urban Farm says "yes, definitely!" and this kid-friendly tour of the farm will share this wisdom with children. The tour takes kids through the vegetable farm and is intended for kids under age 13. Dress for the outdoors and wear fitting shoes for a farm (they might get dirty!). Tours happen regularly throughout the season and are announced well in advance, so if you miss this one, keep an eye out for the next opportunity to explore this urban farm!

If you have older kids, you can also consider volunteering

Thursdays through June 25
3-4 p.m.
Battery Urban Farm in The Battery
State St &, Battery Pl
Financial District
Online: eventbrite.com

photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Pop-Up Magazine's The Sidewalk Issue

Pop-Up Magazine's The Sidewalk Issue is a free, outdoor, self-guided experience happening in Brooklyn, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The project invites audience members to take a closer look at the neighborhood of Fort Greene, to discover works of film, sound, photography, illustration and more. Pop-up story locations in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood include BAM’s David Byrne-designed bike racks, BRIC, Mark Morris Dance Group, Tacombi and Theatre for a New Audience. The "table of contents" is a map which can be picked up at Pop-Up Magazine's partner, BAM Fisher in Fort Greene; you can also start the journey online, here. (Tip: be sure to bring headphones or earbuds and a handful of quarters!)

June 4-20
Tickets: free
BAMFisher 
321 Ashland Pl. 
Fort Greene
Online: popupmagazine.com

photo: MTA/Patrick J. Cashin

Music Under New York in NYC Subways

Music is returning to the city's train stations, courtesy of the MTA's "Music Under New York" program. Over 350 artists will be performing in about 30 locations across NYC's train stations. Hear music from many different cultures and in many different styles, from jazz, pop and the blues, to the didgeridoo, steel drums, the dulcimer — and much more. Visit the MTA website for more information about performers and event locations. 

Starting Fri., June 4
Online: mta.info

photo: Guggenheim Museum

A Year with Children Exhibit at the Guggenheim

During the lockdown, these kids found a way to enjoy and express themselves through art. This year's "A Year with Children" exhibit showcases art from public school students from second through sixth grades, created with the Learning Through Art education program. Visit the exhibit to celebrate the power of art to transcend hardships, and to find inspiration.

Apr. 30-June 21
During museum hours
Price: $25/adult, Free/children 12 and under
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Ave. at 89th St.
Upper East Side
Online: guggenheim.org  

photo: Mimi O'Connor

A New Nailed It! at Home Experience

Yes, you can try your hand at making a custom creation on the clock, live, along with hundreds of other Nailed It! fans! You get a custom Nailed It! At Home Experience - Double Trouble edition baking kit (gluten-free, of you want), including dry ingredients and decorating supplies, and access to a live stream session  with special guests and surprises. (Jacques Torres has been on hand for both of the sessions we participated in!) Order by June 7 to get your kit!

June 26, 3 p.m.
Tickets: $54
Online: feverup.com

photo: Flor Bromley

NYC Kids Fest at Morningside Park

Celebrate Father's Day with fun and music at this Kids Fest, which the NY Times describes as an "annual Woodstock for the under 12 set." The weekend bash features performers from different cultures and performance styles, like Peruvian singer Flor Bromley, Brazilian tap dancer Leonardo Sandoval, the Harlem School of the Arts Hip Hop Dance Class, and more. The current lineup can be seen here, with more to be announced at the time of this writing.

Sat & Sun, June 19-20
Morningside Park
Morningside Dr, btwn W.115/116 St.
South Harlem
Online: nyckidsfest.org 

Musical Readalongs at Locomotive Lawn in Riverside Park

Chug along with the Locomotive Lawn readalong, brought to you by Summer on the Hudson and Moosiki Kids. This event combines reading and music for a fun sing-along story experience on the turf lawn, right next to the big locomotive of Riverside Park South. These readalongs are recommended for kids ages 5 and under. The lawn is an open space, so be sure to use sunscreen or bring some form of shade. Though the events are free, you must register in advance.

May 6-June 25
Thursdays at 10:30
Locomotive Lawn in Riverside Park South
Hudson River Greenway &, W 62nd St.
Riverside Park
Lincoln Square
Online: nycgovparks.org

photo: Andy Lin

At-Home Heroes on Manhattan Bridge

The Dumbo Improvement District has partnered with Photoville for a special celebration of NYC parents and caregivers, our everyday "at-home heroes." The result is a photo exhibit of over 150 ordinary city families, gathered during a citywide call for photos. Images will be projected onto Manhattan Bridge at 65 by 40 feet, and are best viewed from the Pearl Street Triangle.

Through June 20
From dusk until 10 p.m.
The Pearl Street Triangle
Water Street between Pearl Street and Anchorage Place
DUMBO
Online: dumbo.is 

photo: Richard Bowditch

The Wavetree by the South Street Seaport Museum

Explore the 1885 Tall Ship Wavetree for free this season. Visitors will be allowed onto the ship (with a capacity of 150 people, safely distanced and properly masked) and will have a chance to follow a self-guided tour across the ship, to learn about how people — like the crew, cooks, officers, and the captain — worked and lived on board this cargo sailing vessel. Following this tour, you'll get a chance to stand atop the viewing platform and behold the huge cargo area for a sense of scale.

May 29-Oct. 10
Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Pier 16
167 John St.
Financial District
Online: southstreetseaportmuseum.org 

photo: Angelito Jusay for Bryant Park Corporation

The Reading Room at Bryant Park

Cali Co Cat and her friends have returned to the Bryant Park reading room for a new season of stories and fun. Join them for an interactive story experience that'll have kids jumping, playing, and dancing along. These readalongs are recommended for ages 2-8.

Tuesdays, June 29-Aug. 24
10:30-11:30 a.m.
Bryant Park
Online: bryantpark.org

photo: Anne Tan Detchkov

Movie Nights at the Queens Botanical Garden

Movie Nights are coming to the Queens Botanical Garden, and will kick off with a screening of Zootopia on Saturday, June 12 at 7:30 p.m., followed by Dirty Dancing on Friday, June 25. Visitors are invited to experience big screen magic with are seasonal, movie-themed food and refreshments and a hands-on craft activity or a live performance (varies based on the evening's film). You are encouraged to bring your own blankets and chairs, but no outside food or drink is permitted. 

Each ticket comes with after-hours admission to the Garden, a $5 food voucher, and a complimentary craft or performance. $10 parking rate in effect. Registration and masks are required. 

Tickets: $15/adults; $12/kids, free/kids under three
43-50 Main St.
Flushing
718-886-3800
Online: queensbotanical.org

Family Day at Fotografiska

Do you have a budding photographer in the family? Join Fotografiska for Family Day, were kids are invited to play with photography through fun but informative projects. This month's events are led by the photographer Catalina Kulczar, and are inspired by award-winning photographer Susan Meiselas' book, Eyes Open: 23 Photography Projects for Curious Kids. This event is recommended for kids ages 5-12.

June 6 & 27
10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Price: $30 per child
Fotografiska New York
281 Park Ave. South at 22nd St.
Flatiron District
Online: fotografiskanyc.showare.com

photo: NYC Parks

NYC Public Pools

Beaches are open, and free public pools open June 26. Find your place to dive in here

—Yuliya Geikhman

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