August is here and summer fun is not quitting. NYC is rolling out lots of free kid-friendly events to keep you and the little ones busy, active and enjoying the dog days of the season! Catch Dragon Boat Racing, stroll the Summer Streets, roll with the Unicycle Festival on Governors Island and take in your pick of free outdoor music and movies!

Dragon Boat Festival at Flushing Meadows Park

Enjoy a day out by the water and watch the spectacular Dragon Boat Festival. Cheer on your favorite team, enjoy free lawn games where you can winprizes, watch live cultural performances or just have a picnic!

Sat., Aug. 3-Sun., Aug. 4
Flushing Meadows Park


photo: Liz Ligon

 Free Movies in NYC Parks

All summer long, parks around the city are showing movie screenings outdoors. Check out kid-friendly picks like "Hotel Transylvania 3" at Hudson River Park, "The Incredibles 2" at Astoria Park, and many more! Bring a blanket to sit on and an evening snack and make it a family movie night!

Various times and locations

Indoor Soccer Play for Kids at Berry Park

Want to enjoy a drink while the kids play in a safe environment? Come down to Berry Park for exactly that. Every Sunday, kids can play soccer for free in the backyard, which has padded walls and turf to keep them safe and comfortable. While they play, parents can enjoy a drink from the bar. It's win-win!

Sundays in Aug.
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Berry Park
4 Berry St.

Broadway in Bryant Park  

Introduce the children to the magic of Broadway without breaking the wallet thanks to free outdoor performances of Broadway (and off-Broadway) classics. Get there early to watch the performers prepare or show up to enjoy the performances and accompanying Broadway tunes. August shows include classics like “The Phantom of the Opera" and "Oklahoma" as well as more modern selections like "A Musical About Star Wars."

For more free performances at Bryant Park, check out the full summer lineup.

Thurs., Aug. 1, 8, & 15
12:30 p.m.
The Lawn at Bryant Park

Kids' Yoga at Washington Square Park

Get kids up and moving through stretches, exercises, and dances as they learn some yoga moves to music and song. The weekly event makes yoga fun for the little ones! Adults must be present throughout the class and are encouraged to bring yoga mats, as they won't be provided.

Thursdays through Sept. 19
10-10:45 a.m.
Washington Square Park
Greenwich Village

Harlem Week in Harlem

Harlem week continues through to mid-August, celebrating its 45th year and highlighting the heritage and history of the neighborhood. Stop by on August 17 and 18 for the children's festival, which features performances, competitions, sports events, and more for the kids to enjoy.

Sun., July 28-Sat., Aug. 24
Various times and locations

photo: Ken-Springle6

Unicycle Fesitval 

This quirky and fun festival is back for another year of single-wheel celebrations. Watch as seasoned unicyclers show off their skills, newbies test their mettle, or give it a try yourself. The main event will take place on Governor's Island on August 31 and Sept 1 and will feature unicycle races, obstacle courses, and even unicycle sumo, to name just a few.

Thurs., Aug. 29-Sun., Sept. 2
Governors Island, Battery Park to Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge to Coney Island

Kids Fun Day in Astoria

Visit this festival for a fun day specially curated with kids in mind! Children can take part in activities and crafts, participate in giveaways, and enjoy the entertainment. Then, take the perfect selfie thanks to a special green screen for a fun photo effect.

Fri., Aug. 2
11 a.m.-2 p.m.
2325 Newtown Ave.

Arte Pa' Mi Gente by Teatro SEA

This free outdoor festival gives kids a cultural experience through music and theater. Watch the performance of the Belly-ache Opera, a children's theater that incorporates traditional Puerto Rican music and dance and tell the tale of a little boy who ate a little too much.

Fri. Aug. 2-Sun., Aug. 4
7 p.m.
La Plaza @ The Clemente
114 Norfolk St.
Lower East Side

photo: Summer Streets

Summer Streets on Park Ave.

NYC's annual Summer Streets event is back for another round! Spanning from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park along Park Avenue, this event is free and open to all ages. Walk, run, bike or even zipline through the streets, which are cleared of cars for the event, allowing New Yorkers to take to the streets and enjoy the many activities and performances stationed throughout the event. 

The 2019 lineup hasn't been announced yet but previous Summer Streets events included art and culture workshops for kids, children's fitness instruction and events, street games, plenty of water stations, free (healthy) snacks and food, and so much more.

Sat., Aug. 3, 10, 17
7 a.m.-1 p.m.
Btw. Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park, along Park Ave.

photo: Mimi O'Connor

Domino Kids at Domino Park

Bring your little ones to Domino Park for fun singalongs this August. Featuring Scott Klopfenstein and Songs for Seeds, these events are intended for kids up to six years of age who love to listen to music or dance. Teach kids the sounds of different cultures and make learning time fun and active with these two performances.

Sun. Aug. 4 & 18
10-11 a.m.
Domino Park
15 River St.

Italian Festival in Harlem

Participate or watch the celebration of the Giglio Society as a giant, community-built statue is paraded through the streets. Enjoy live and DJ music, contests, and more festivities, like the children's Giglio lifting and dancing. 

Thurs., Aug. 8-Sun., Aug. 11
Pleasant Ave. & 114-116 St.
East Harlem

photo: Randall's Island Park Alliance

Great Hudson River Fish Count

Explore the city's waters by wading into the waters around Randall's Island and netting (then releasing) fish and other creatures that live by the shore. Although kids of all ages are welcome to come and watch the demonstrations and fished-up critters, only children over 13 are allowed to participate in the actual wading/catching. 

Sat., Aug. 10
10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Randall's Island Park
103rd St. Footbridge
Randall's Island

Jazz in Central Park

The Jazzmobile brings live music, swing dancing, and a great atmosphere to Central Park for this fun all-ages event. Have a picnic as the music takes you to the past, featuring musicians like the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra, Alyson Williams, the all-women jazz band Sage, Wycliffe Gordon, and others. Bring your dancing shoes!

Sat., Aug. 10
4-7 p.m.
The Great Hill @ 106th St. & Central Park W.

photo: Battery Park Dance Festival

Battery Dance Festival at Battery Park City

Set against the waterfront, this festival brings dance and beautifully choreographed performances to the public. Watch everything from ballet to contemporary dance, brought to you by the city's performance groups and art institutions.  

After 9 p.m., if the kids aren't tuckered out yet, stick around for the dancing free-for-all that follows the performances.

Sun., Aug. 11-Fri., Aug. 16
7-9 p.m.
Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park
20 Battery Pl.
Battery Park City

SSE Jamboree at Williamsburg Oval

Get active at the Williamsburg Oval through Summer Sports Experience. This kid-centric day will feature sports and activities, and will get kids moving, playing, and cooperating with fellow players. 

Wed., Aug. 14
11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Williamsburg Oval
3225 Reservoir Oval

photo: Brighton Jubilee

Brighton Jubilee Festival

Come down to the beach for the annual Brighton Jubilee and check out the vendors, performances, children's events and more. Then, head down to the boardwalk and soak in the sun at Coney Island Beach!

Sun., Aug. 25
10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Along Brighton Beach Ave. from Corbin Pl. to Coney Island Ave.
Brighton Beach

Sand Sculpting Competition at Coney Island

The sand sculpting competition is back at Coney Island, and it'll put your sand castle to shame. Come marvel at the incredible works of art created using nothing but sand, water, and some serious skills and patience. 

Sat., Aug. 17
12 p.m.
Coney Island Beach
Brighton Beach

India Day Parade

Celebrate the culture and traditions of India at this parade, which features floats and performances. Marking 73 years of independence, this event features food vendors and cultural programs and welcomes the whole family to participate.

Sun., Aug. 18
25th 38th St. along Madison Ave.

Harlem 100 at Marcus Garvey Park

Jazz it up at Marcus Garvey Park at the Harlem 100, part of the larger Charlie Parker Jazz Festival held in August. Featuring artists like Mwenso and the Shakes. Brianna Thomas, Vuyo Sotashe, and others, this event is a great way to introduce kids to the traditional sounds of Carribbean and African inspired jazz, or just spend a great day at the park to the sounds of live performances. Visit the event website to hear a sampling of the music!

Fri., Aug, 23
7-9 p.m.
Marcus Garvey Park
18 Mt. Morris Park W.

Blues BBQ Festival at Hudson River Park

BBQ and live music are the highlights of this annual cookout at Pier 97. Purchase freshly grilled fare from local restaurants and listen to toe-tapping blues and jazz music from performers like the Harlem Gospel Choir, Kevin Burt, Ruthie Foster, and others.

Sat., Aug. 24
2-9 p.m.
Pier 97 at W 59 St.
Hell's Kitchen

Taino Calling Song Performance at Fort Tryon Park

Get acquainted with a different culture through the Taino Calling Song, a traditional performance from the indigenous people of Puerto Rico. Presented by the IndoRican Multicultural Dance Project, this interpretive and cultural dance is intended to remind us that we are all together through the good times and the bad. In addition to watching the performance, visitors can learn some dance moves, chat with the dancers, and even create a drum circle with fellow watchers.

Sat., Aug. 24
4-5:30 p.m.
Dongan Lawn in Fort Tryon Park
Broadway and Dongan Place

Belvedere Castle in Central Park

At long last, Central Park visitors can visit its famous castle once again! After 15 months of closure for restoration work, Belvedere Castle will be reopening to the public on June 28. The castle has been fully restored, including work on its support and structures, as well as repainting and repairing the masonry. Revisit the castle to see it looking fresh but even more historic — various original aspects were restored as part of the work, including a wooden tower and replacing the original paving.

Starting June 28
Central Park
79th St. atop Vista Rock

photo: Beam Center

NYC Beam Project at DUMBO

The Beam Project has taken the idea of the small flipbook and supersized it. Currently on display in DUMBO are two huge mechanical, solar-powered flipbooks. Created by youth ages 15-18, these massive flipbooks come to life when activated, turning hundreds of drawings into an animation. These kinetic sculptures are available all summer long to look at and play with.

On display all summer
Pearl Street Triangle
Water St. btwn Pearl St. and Anchorage Pl.

SummerStage Citiwide

Enjoy hundreds of free concerts all summer long at SummerStage performances, spanning across many cultures and genres. From gospel to flamenco to more mainstream acts, there's sure to be a performance for every member of the family to enjoy.

Various times and locations

Friday Night Fireworks at Coney Island

Every Friday can be like 4th of July at Coney Island! Come down to the beach and watch spectacular displays of fireworks every Friday this summer (if the weather is good). Enjoy this free display from the boardwalk or have a night-time picnic on the sand.

Fridays, 9:45 p.m.
Coney Island Boardwalk
Btwn W. 10th St. & Stillwell Ave.
Brighton Beach

photo: Lincoln Center

Out of Doors Festival at Lincoln Center

If you've always wanted to enjoy a Lincoln Center performance, now's the time to check them out — for free. The Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival features many free performances across various genres and styles. Watch live outdoor performances of music, poetry, storytelling, dance, sculpture, and more. All free events are first-come, first-served and in most cases, doors open an hour before the performance, so stop by early to get a good spot for the show.

Wed., July 24-Sun., Aug. 11
Various times
Various locations in the Lincoln Center Plaza
Btwn Broadway at 65th St. & Amsterdam at W. 62nd St.
Upper West Side

—Yuliya Geikhman


The 2019 NYC Summer Bucket List: What You Must Do with the Kids This Season

Cool Culture: The Best Summer Museum Exhibits to Help Beat the Heat

Spray, You! NYC Parks with Water to Keep Cool