Father's Day Weekend: Free and Fun Things to Do with Kids Fish Parade, Harlem Skyscraper Classic June 16 - 17
Dad's the king this weekend (or on Sunday at least). There are lots of fun family outings to choose from like the Hunts Point Fish Parade and Festival, 3D juggling spectacle Expect the Impossible, the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island and the inaugural Atlantic Avenue Extravaganza street fair.
One of our favorite free summer-long performance series kicks off this weekend: The River to River Festival in Lower Manhattan. This weekend you can also enter the lottery for the NYC Park Department's free summer swimming lessons for kids and adults, which start in July.
Mark Nizer: Expect the Impossible – Tribeca
This one-man juggling show incorporates all kinds of high-tech gimmicks like lasers, robots and glow-in-the-dark hoops and pins. Viewers even get 3D glasses so they can watch the objects literally come at them. $20.
Jazz Age Lawn Party – Governors Island
The 1920s come alive at this old-fashioned garden party. Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra will set the mood with live jazz tunes for dancing. Don't worry if you don't know the steps—lessons will be offered. Games and picnicking round out the retro fun. $15 for adults, free for children under 12.
Saturday, June 16
Word for Word Kids: Clifford’s Summer Beach Party – Midtown West
Bryant Park’s outdoor entertainment series for tots kicks off for the season with a visit from everyone's favorite big red dog. Crafts, music and games will also be on offer. Afterward, step over to Le Carrousel to hear stories told by high-energy Flaubert Frog, a.k.a. performer Dan Kitrosser. FREE
Gustafer Yellowgold – Upper West Side
Head to the UWS Apple Store to catch Morgan Taylor—the man behind the tunes and tales of Gustafer Yellowgold—in concert. At this special appearance, he'll also give a behind-the-scenes look at how he creates the award-winning series of videos and music. FREE
Identification Day – Upper West Side
Got an old fossilized thingamajig hanging around the house? Bring it by the American Museum of Natural History and see if scientists can identify it. Plus you can check out their collections of cool whatsits. Free with admission: $19 for adults, $10.50 for children.
Hunts Point Fish Parade and Summer Festival – the Bronx
Bronx community hub The Point sponsors this annual shindig that celebrates the waterfront neighborhood. Like a modest Mermaid Parade, the procession includes colorful costumes, floats and artistry. After the parade, join the festivities in beautiful Barretto Point Park, which include Native American drum circles and dance. FREE
Atlantic Avenue Extravaganza – Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill
To celebrate the launch of the Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District, members are throwing a massive community party with performances by the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, the Underground Horn, the Brooklyn Steppers and Circus Amok. FREE
Super Sabado: Around the Block from the Museum – East Harlem
This edition of El Museo del Barrio's monthly family fest extends beyond the building and throughout the whole neighborhood. At the museum, take a kid-friendly tour of the new exhibit Voces y Visiones: Grand Caribe and enjoy various art activities. Afterward, hit the second annual East Harlem Children's Book Festival at nearby P.S. 72. Make your way to brand-new bookstore La Caza Azul for an art workshop with the soon-to-open Museum for African Art. Finally, work on a Manhattan skyline project with the Museum of the City of New York in the 103rd Street Community Garden. FREE
Go Fish! Featuring Valerie June and Friends – Battery Park City
Enjoy catch-and-release fishing in Wagner Park, along with birding, arts and crafts, and live music by Valerie June and Friends. FREE
Juneteenth Celebration – Harlem
June 19 marks Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States. There are a handful of fetes this weekend, including this street festival featuring musical performances, yummy food and awesome motorcycle stunts by the NYC's Ruff Ryders. FREE
Hands on History: Let's Go Fishing – Jamaica
Preschoolers can go fishing in a magnetic pond at the 19th-century King Manor Museum and make a fish-themed craft. FREE
Sunday, June 17
New York Hall of Science Celebrates National GeekDad Day – Corona
Hit the museum's outdoor inventors' studio to mess around with old building materials, tools and a variety of loose parts. Who knows: Maybe dad and the kids will create something cool! Free with admission: $11 for adults, $8 for children ages 2-17.
Harlem Meer Performance Festival: Orlando Marin – Harlem
This event has been canceled. The festival will now kick off on Sunday, June 24.
Summer Solstice: Celebrate Birds! – Flushing
The Queens Botanical Garden celebrates the upcoming season with a guided bird and nature walk, storytelling by Bobby Gonzalez and a performance by the Quintet of the Americas. Afterward, explore nearby Flushing Meadow Corona Park. Free with admission: $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 3-12.
NYC KidsFest – Morningside Heights
Morningside Park's annual community gathering features soccer demos, face painting and great kids' entertainment like the Story Pirates, National Double Dutch League and the Boogie Brats Crew. FREE
Clearing in the Forest: Music – Upper West Side
Head to Central Park’s Children’s Glade for an Afro-Caribbean guitar concert by Joe Todaro. FREE
Father’s Day Scavenger Hunt – Upper West Side
In honor of Father’s Day, the New York Historical Society’s DiMenna Children's History Museum hosts a family scavenger hunt designed just for dads. Free with paid admission: $15 for adults, $5 for children ages 7-13, free for kids under 7.
Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic – Harlem
Cyclists of all ages can watch the pros race in Marcus Garvey Park or try to snag a last-minute spot in one of the amateur competitions (as of now, most of them are sold out). The day also includes free riding lessons for kids from Bike New York and a BMX stunt show. FREE to watch; races require advance registration and fees.
River to River Festival:: Bang on a Can Marathon – Financial District
This eclectic performance series kicks off today with a number of offerings throughout Lower Manhattan. The cacophonous Bang on a Can Marathon in the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center will be of the most interest to kids. Wall-to-wall noise for 12 hours? Sounds like a child's dream.
Take a Father's Day day trip to Alba Vineyard in New Milford, NJ for wine tastings for adults, and fun activities for the kids.
Long Island’s Cold Spring Harbor’s fish hatchery is offering real fishing (just catch, no release) in its stocked trout pond, with free admission for dads to boot.
Ride the trolleys at the Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor, where dads get in free with the purchase of a child’s ticket.
Don't forget: There's even more fun to be found in the Mommy Poppins Event Calendar.
- Rodeos, Jazz Festivals and Other Fun Events Happening in Connecticut for Father's Day!
- 100 Free Things to Do Summer 2012 with Kids in New York City
- Father's Day NYC 2011: Free and Fun Things to Do with Dad
- Free and Fun Things to Do for NYC Kids and Families: Children's Day, Fishing Festival, Hunts Point Fish Parade June 25-26