Father's Day Weekend with NYC Kids: Free SummerStage Brooklyn Family Day, Fish Parade & Festival, Jazz Age Lawn Party June 15-16
Dad's the king on Sunday but you can celebrate Father's Day in NYC all weekend long with a wide variety of fun family outings. Saturday brings the annual Hunts Point Fish Parade and Festival and the Turtle Cove Golf and Baseball Center's opening season festivities. On Sunday, groove to cool tunes at SummerStage Brooklyn Family Day or catch a 19th-century style baseball game at the historic Bartow-Pell Mansion. Or dance the weekend away at the retro Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island.
For those of you who like to plan ahead, two awesome free summer performance series kick off this weekend: the River to River Festival in Lower Manhattan, which runs through Sunday, July 14 and the Harlem Meer Performance Festival in northern Central Park, which goes through Labor Day weekend. Also, beginning this Friday you can enter the lottery for the NYC Park Department's FREE summer swimming lessons, which start in July.
Jazz Age Lawn Party – Governors Island
Dress up in your finest retro garb and celebrate 1920s-style at this open-air dance party. Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra play period tunes, and there will be performances by Ziegfeld-style showgirls, vaudeville comedians, and old-fashioned vocalists and dance teams. Other fun includes dance lessons, vintage-style photos, and Charleston and pie contests. Plus new this year: a kiddie area with carnival games and other amusements. In advance: $30 for adults, free for children under age 12; at the door: $35 for adults, free for kids.
Great Small Works 10th International: Toy Theater Festival – Dumbo
Don't let the word "toy" in the title fool you: Much of this eight-day theater fest is aimed at adults. However, there are some offerings that are great for all ages. Saturday's Greatest Smallest Parade features miniature floats and full-sized brass bands marching through Dumbo to St. Ann's Warehouse, where you'll find a toy theater museum. On Sunday, there are a pair of kid-friendly shows: Vrooom!, about a spider sucked into a vacuum cleaner, and the musical Schnurzpiepegal, based on a German picture book. Parade and museum are FREE. Shows are $20 for adults, $10 for children.
Saturday, June 15
Brooklyn Bridge Cup & Block Party – Fort Greene
Young Rock Soccer Academy and the Hip Tot Music Fest team up for two days of soccer matches. But the main event is Saturday's giant block party featuring live performances by local kiddie rockers Rolie Polie Guacamole, AudraRox and Love Funk. Games, kids' activities and food trucks round out the day. Free admission but there are fees for activities.
Puppetry Arts Festival of Brooklyn – Park Slope
Head to the awesome J.J. Byrne Playground to meet Noel MacNeal (the man behind Lionel the Lion from PBS Kids' Between the Lions), pose with Star Wars characters, hit the bouncy house, play games and catch shows by Puppetry Arts. The first 200 kids to arrive snag free goody bags. Free admission but there are fees for activities.
Hunts Point Fish Parade and Summer Festival – the Bronx
Bronx community organization The Point sponsors this waterfront neighborhood celebration. The parade kicks off in Riverside Park and boasts colorful costumes and floats. After the march, join the festivities in beautiful Barretto Point Park, which include hip-hop DJs, live music performances by local schools, art projects, giveaways and more. FREE
Sketching Tour: Hopper Drawing: What is a Sketch? – Upper East Side
While the Whitney Wees' Hopper Draws program is already sold out for Saturday, the workshop for children ages 6 to 10 is still open as of this writing. Kids can explore the museum's extensive exhibition of Edward Hopper's drawings and then experiment with some of his techniques. Advance registration required. $10 per family.
Turtle Cove Golf and Baseball Complex Grand Opening Celebration – the Bronx
Mark the sports center's seasonal opening with no-cost batting clinics, rounds of mini-golf, face painting, carnival games and cotton candy. FREE
Pet Day – Coney Island
It's not just people who dress up at Coney Island. Today, gawk at animals in colorful outfits at Deno's Wonder Wheel's annual pet costume contest and parade. FREE to watch, two cans of pet food for donation to compete
Flow.13 Grand Opening – Randall's Island
Hit East Harlem's activity-filled Randall's Island to explore the five site-specific installations along the shoreline that comprise Flow.13. Pack a picnic and stick around to enjoy the beautiful isle. FREE
Summer on the Hudson: GlobeSonic Sound System Dance Party – Upper West Side
Put on your dancing shoes for this all-ages waterfront party showcasing the global beats of DJs Fabian Alsultany, Derek Beres and Bill Bragin, and percussionist Jimmy Lopez. FREE
Sunday, June 16
SummerStage Brooklyn Family Day – Bedford-Stuyvesant
Enjoy a jam-packed afternoon of no-cost family entertainment in Herbert Von King Park, including a concert by Shine & the Moonbeams, a multimedia presentation with storytelling, music, dance and poetry by Something Positive Afro Caribbean Dance Theater, and tunes spun by DJ Hard Hittin Harry. Face painting and carnival art workshops will also be on tap. FREE
Spellbound Theater's Under the Tree – Park Slope
The troupe's latest interactive outdoor show for tots chronicles the nature adventures of a young girl through live acting, animation and puppetry. $15 for adults, $10 for children.
Historian in the Hot Seat: The Civil War and Harold Holzer – Upper West Side
The DiMenna Children's History Museum welcomes historian Harold Holzer for a family-friendly discussion about the Civil War, followed by a museum-wide scavenger hunt. Free with admission: $15 for adults, $5 for children ages 5-13
Take Dad Out to the Ball Game 1864 – the Bronx
Forget about the Yankees and Mets. Instead, cheer on the New York Mutuals as they play the game 1864-style without helmets or gloves. Afterward, kids can try retro baseball for themselves and take a tour of the historic Bartow-Pell Mansion. Advance registration suggested. $10 for adults, $5 for children under age 13
NYC Kids Fest – Morningside Heights
Enjoy no-cost performances and arts activities at this annual community celebration. Entertainment includes Americana band Brother Love, a bilingual Little Red Riding Hood puppet show, a call and response poetry and music session, Harlem's P.S. 180 xylophone players, a soccer clinic, and teen dance and rap troupes, plus face painting, arts and crafts, and giveaways. FREE
Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic – Harlem
Grab your bike and head to Marcus Garvey Park to compete in a variety of races (FREE for kids but not adults), or enjoy no-cost BMX stunt shows, learn-to-ride lessons, live music, food and family entertainment. FREE
Harlem Meer Performance Festival: Zon del Barrio with Chocolate Armenteros – Harlem
This Central Park concert series kicks off for the summer with Latin dance music by Zon del Barrio with Chocolate Armenteros. Afterward, go catch-and-release fishing in the picturesque Harlem Meer or explore the nearby Conservatory Garden. FREE
Bang on a Can Marathon – Financial District
Part of the River to River Festival performance series, this nine-hour concert features a wide range of musical styles, from classical to choral to rock to the unclassifiable. Drop by anytime to discover something new and offbeat. FREE
Father's Day is a great time to take a day trip. Hit Alba Vineyard in New Milford, NJ for wine tastings for adults and fun kids' activities.
Head to the annual Mattituck Lions Club Strawberry Festival for mouthwatering strawberry treats, carnival rides, live music and games.
Or spend Sunday fishing at Westchester County's Westmoreland Sanctuary.
Finally, the Annual Fairfield County Irish Festival in Connecticut features Irish music, dancing and magic shows, storytelling and other Gaelic fun for the kids.
Don't forget: There's even more fun to be found in the Mommy Poppins Event Calendar.
- Father's Day Weekend with Westchester Families: Fishing, Animal Encounters, Classic Shows June 15 & 16
- 100 Free Things to Do Summer 2013 with Kids in New York City
- Father's Day NYC 2011: Free and Fun Things to Do with Dad
- Free & Fun Things to Do this Weekend with NYC Kids: Astoria Park Carnival, SummerStage Bronx Family Day, Fishing Fest June 29-30