With school break upon us, my kid is singing about the 104 days of summer vacation he heard of in the Phineas and Ferb theme song. I’m not going to tell him that he only gets 75 or so days off—why bum him out? Especially when there are hundreds of things to do in NYC this season.
To get into the spirit of summer, we’ve found FREE things for families to do every single day of public school break in NYC, from Monday, June 29 through Tuesday, September 8. Many events occur on multiple dates so be sure to read through the entire listing. We’ve also rounded up a bunch of anytime activities your family can try all season long.
Of course this list isn't comprehensive. You can find many more cool seasonal activities and destinations in our Summer Fun Guide, our Event Calendar and our Free in NYC Guide. Whatever you end up doing this summer in the city, there's only one rule: Have fun out there!
Free Things To Do June & July 2015
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Monday, June 29 Head to the popular Hippo Playground for Art in the Park projects, and then stay and get wet in the sprinklers. The crafts program takes place every weekday in the Riverside Park playground through Friday, August 28. FREE
Tuesday, June 30 Learn how to play soccer in Nelson A. Rockefeller Park. Children ages 3 and up can drop in to this no-cost program every Tuesday through October 27. FREE
Wednesday, July 1 Hitch a ride on the Bronx Culture Trolley to explore the vibrant arts scene in the South Bronx. FREE
Thursday, July 2 Get hep at a WeBop Family Jazz Party in Madison Square Park. Catch no-cost concerts on Thursday mornings in the green space through July 30. FREE
Friday, July 3 Croon rousing folk tunes at Battery Park's Sunset Singing Circle in Wagner Park. FREE
Saturday, July 4 Celebrate Independence Day with a pair of NYC holiday traditions: Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular and Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island. FREE
Sunday, July 5 Groove to the soulful stylings of Shine & the Moonbeams, laugh at the wacky antics of The Red Trouser Show and enjoy more kid-friendly entertainment at SummerStage Global Family Day in Central Park. FREE
Monday, July 6 Explore nature at Hudson River Park’s River Rangers eco-play program. River Rangers runs Mondays at Pier 25 and Thursdays at Pier 46 through Thursday, August 27. FREE
Tuesday, July 7 Cast a line in Central Park's picturesque Harlem Meer for some catch-and-release-fishing today or any day all summer long. FREE
Wednesday, July 8 Improve your game at this no-cost chess clinic in Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, which takes place every Wednesday through September 30. FREE
Thursday, July 9 Enjoy complimentary admission to the Brooklyn Children's Museum from 3 to 5pm today and every Thursday this summer. FREE
Friday, July 10 Bring a blanket and a picnic to an outdoor screening of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water at RiverFlicks for Kids. Free family films continue at Hudson River Park's Pier 46 on Friday evenings through August 21. FREE
Saturday, July 11 Head to the Queens Museum for a kid-lit celebration with local authors, illustrators, a used-book exchange and storytimes. Free with suggested admission
Sunday, July 12 Soak up French culture at NYC’s official Bastille Day fete featuring mimes, accordion players, cancan dancers, French lessons and other fun for les enfants. FREE
Monday, July 13 Giggle at the Story Pirates, who turn kids' stories into laugh-out-loud mini musicals at Hudson River Park’s Pier 25. Can’t make it today? The troupe returns on Monday, August 10. FREE
Tuesday, July 14 Hit the playground in Madison Square Park for storytime and crafts today and every Tuesday and Friday through September 29.
Wednesday, July 15 Enjoy hands-on nature fun at the High Line's Wild Wednesday program, which takes place every Wednesday through August 26. FREE
Thursday, July 16 Watch CityParks PuppetMobile's latest production, Tales of Brier Rabbit, at the Courtney Callender Playground. The tricky rabbit will be touring NYC's parks and playgrounds through Saturday, October 10. FREE
Friday, July 17 Join in a rousing sing-along of East Asian folk tunes with Elena Moon Park and her pals in Brower Park. SummerStage Kids shows and concerts continue through Wednesday, August 19 at parks throughout the five boroughs. FREE
Saturday, July 18 Celebrate NYC's waterways with no-cost boat rides and eco-activities at City of Water Day on Governors Island. FREE
Sunday, July 19 Swing to hip tunes at SummerStage Family Day in Queensbridge Park, featuring performances by the Wycliffe Gordon, B-Love’s Hip Hop Jazzy Groove and more. FREE
Monday, July 20 See Theatreworks USA's brand-new musical, Skippyjon Jones Snow What (& the 7 Chihuahuas), based on Judy Schachner's book of the same name. The no-cost musical runs through Friday, August 7 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. FREE
Tuesday, July 21 Stop by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Discovery Garden for First Discoveries for Toddlers hands-on activity stations. The program runs through August 25 on Tuesdays when admission to the BBG is FREE.
Wednesday, July 22 Rock out to the the Rozz and Val Show in Fort Greene Park. Enjoy no-cost Music in the Grove Kids' Concerts in the green space every Wednesday morning through August 5.
Thursday, July 23 Enjoy yoga, storytime, live animals and a performance by Rolie Polie Guacamole at Union Square Park's Summer in the Square Festival, which runs Thursdays through August 13. FREE
Friday, July 24 Watch fireworks explode over the Coney Island boardwalk courtesy of Deno's Wonder Wheel. The pyrotechnics continue Friday nights through August 21.
Saturday, July 25 Enjoy Family Day at Lincoln Center Out of Doors featuring a Baby Loves Disco dance party, a street dance workshop with Lil Buck, a National Dance Day celebration and a no-cost concert by Randy Newman. FREE
Sunday, July 26 Challenge the gang to a showdown at the Alley Pond Park Adventure Course during a public Sunday session. Note: preregistration is required. FREE
Monday, July 27 Enjoy catch-and-release fishing at Hudson River Park's Pier 25 today and every Monday through August 24. Kids can also cast their lines at Pier 84 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Pier 46 on Sundays. FREE
Tuesday, July 28 Head to the lovely Carl Schurz Park for a no-cost screening of the Disney blockbuster Frozen complete with free sno cones while supplies last. FREE
Wednesday, July 29 Dance to the sounds of Sweetbeatz at the final installment of Hippo Playground's family concert series. FREE
Thursday, July 30 Kick off your shoes for some barefoot dancing on the Van Cortlandt House lawn in the Bronx. Learn different dances every Thursday night through August 6. FREE
Friday, July 31 Get down to family-friendly funk with the Oklahoma duo Sugar Free Allstars in Staten Island's Bloomingdale Park. SummerStage Kids shows and concerts continue through Wednesday, August 19 at parks throughout the five boroughs. FREE
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Check out our Summer Fun Guide and our Event Calendar for additional suggestions.