Outdoors

Best NYC Family Festivals and Street Fairs This May

There are street fairs and then there are street fairs. We don't mean those random ones selling irregular socks and fried Oreos; we're talking about true community festivals. Each one is unique, reflecting the character of its neighborhood, and many feature rides, performances, activities and food. The hard part, of course, is knowing which is which, but don't worry, we've taken the guesswork out of it for you.

We've gone through the city's list of festivals, street fairs and carnivals for the month of May and put together our roundup of top picks. Most of these fetes are FREE or cost just a couple of bucks, and in many cases your dollars go to support a local charity or school. Here are 25 awesome fests happening in NYC this May from the always popular tot-friendly Touch-a-Truck to a brand-new family fest at the Children's Museum of the Arts to Lincoln Center's annual Kids Spring Fling.

You can find even more seasonal activities in our Spring Fun Guide.

Hidden NYC: 21 Fun Things To Do in Central Park

Central Park was created as a respite for the teeming masses of Manhattan.The 843-acre jewel is home to woodlands, meadows, lakes and wildlife, and years later still offers a respite to all New Yorkers. Today, more than 40 million people annually visit the lush expanses of the country's earliest public parks. Its 21 playgrounds make it a destination for families from all over the city and world.

Central Park isn’t a place to tire of easily. My family's daily commute to school takes us back and forth across the park, for which I thank my lucky stars. But it's easy to lose perspective and forget how much this massive green space has to offer locals and visitors alike. With that in mind, we've rounded up 21 fun sites and scenes worth exploring in New York City's big backyard, from the obvious playgrounds and sledding hills to more obscure destinations. Enjoy.

Time-traveling with Kids: What To Do at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire

Hear ye, hear ye! There's more to Ye Olde Renaissance Faire than turkey legs, men in tights, and replacing all thy "yous" with thees and thous. So if you—or thou—art wondering whether or not it's worth venturing 45 minutes inland in search of a park full of people pretending wholeheartedly that Queen Elizabeth I is still on the throne, the answer is an unmitigated, "Huzzah!"

Kid Bike, Seat and Gear Rentals for Pedaling Around NYC

Bike riding makes for a great family outing—with a little help from the right gear. We scoured NYC looking for the best bike rental locations that offer child bike seats, tandem bikes, trailers and more to make biking with kids seamless fun for the whole family. And while May is National Bike Month, and the warm spring temps may propel families to head outdoors to enjoy the season, bike riding is also a great summer and fall activity, as well as year-round transportation option for many New Yorkers. 

So whether you're a space-challenged New Yorker without the room to store bikes and bulky children's seat attachments for your toddler, or just visiting for the day, read on for our top rental picks.

For more seasonal fun, check out our NYC Spring Fun Guide.

 

7 Free Outdoor Art Exhibits to See in NYC This Spring

New York City's parks and plazas are brimming with a new crop of kid-friendly public art installations just in time for springtime neighborhood walks.

These seven eye-popping statues are larger than life. There are gigantic glowing bunnies at Brookfield Place and a massive recreation of a DNA molecule in Marcus Garvey Park. You'll also find a 30-foot swimming pool propped up on its side in Rockefeller Center; a 25-foot-tall spinning, neon sign in Brooklyn Bridge Park; a pair of towering orchids at the entrance to Central Park; and an awe-inspiring, 30-foot-tall aluminum humanoid on the Park Avenue Mall. 

Visit these gigantic pieces one by one or link a couple together for a fun family outing, perhaps over the upcoming NYC public school April break. The best part of these seasonal art installations is that they all can be spotted in parks or other public places, so you can view them at your convenience and for FREE.  

Celebrating Earth Day in the Hartford Area

On April 22, people across the world celebrate Earth Day by exploring their local environments, learning how to protect the natural world, and finding new ways to become "more green." Plenty of eco-friendly events in the Hartford area will focus on educating children about how their actions can affect the earth - for the better, or for the worse. Check out these Earth Day events in New Haven County and Fairfield County too.

Celebrating Earth Day in the New Haven Area

On April 22, people across the world celebrate Earth Day by exploring their local environments, learning how to protect the natural world, and finding new ways to become "more green." Plenty of eco-friendly events in the New Haven area will focus on educating children about how their actions can affect the earth - for better, or for worse. ​Check out fun events happening in Fairfield County and Hartford County too.

Celebrating Earth Day in Fairfield County

April 22nd marks the 46th celebration of Earth Day, an annual celebration in which kids (and adults!) are encouraged to give back to planet Earth.  There are a range of celebrations in Fairfield County from the artistic to the philanthropic.  The spectacular Grace Farms property in New Canaan has a whole day of activities planned for children and adults of ages. For more suggestions, check out our Earth Day round ups in Hartford, New Haven, as well as Westchester and  the Lower Hudson Valley.

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