Easter Weekend for NYC Kids: Free & Fun Things to Do, Egg Hunts, Easter Bonnet Parade, Auto Show, Passover Fun March 30-31
Happy Easter, Passover and spring! There are Easter festivities in every borough this weekend, including classic egg hunts and Fifth Avenue's spectacular Easter Bonnet Parade. Meanwhile you can celebrate Passover at the Jewish Museum, which is hosting a music and art-filled family day on Sunday.
Spring break continues through Tuesday for NYC public school students and there are plenty of things to do this weekend and beyond, including the New York International Auto Show, which rolls into the Jacob Javits Center this week. The NYC Parks Department is also holding its lottery for free spring swimming lessons. Find out how to try to snag a spot for your child.
These are just a few of the great things going on this Easter weekend. Our best bets are below. You can find additional suggestions in our Event Calendar. Have a happy holiday, whatever you're celebrating!
New York International Auto Show – Midtown West
The popular annual car show kicks off its ten-day run on Friday at the Javits Center. Check out the industry's latest cars and trucks, and cutting-edge concept vehicles. While the show isn't specifically aimed at kids, there are definitely lots of things young car lovers will enjoy like interactive experiences, off-roading simulators and countless photo ops. $15 for adults, $5 for children ages 3-12, multi-day passes are also available.
Nick Cave: Heard NY – Midtown East
This weekend is your last chance to catch Nick Cave's art installation in Grand Central Terminal featuring 30 flamboyant, life-size "horses" roaming Vanderbilt Hall. The steeds are actually pairs of dancers from the Ailey School wearing his soundsuits created from found objects, recycled items and discarded materials. When not quietly grazing, the animals will burst into choreographed movements accompanied by two harpists twice a day. FREE
Easter Activities at the Children's Museum of Manhattan – Upper West Side
CMOM offers a twist on the usual egg hunt: Visitors search for paper eggs that are hidden throughout the museum. Once located, kids can redeem their completed hunt sheets for Easter prizes. Other activities on tap include holiday crafts and kid rocker Jeremy Plays Guitar. Free with admission: $11
Peter Rabbit Storytime – Crown Heights
Hit the Brooklyn Children's Museum for a special storytime dedicated to Beatrix Potter's beloved characters. Bonus: Peter himself will put in an appearance. Free with admission $9
Spring Eggstravaganza – Corona
Celebrate Easter at the Queens Zoo in Flushing Meadows Corona Park with egg hunts, mask making and face time with live giant Flemish hares Ruby, Flip and Olivia, and the Easter Bunny. Free with admission: $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 3-12
Saturday, March 30
Annual Easter Egg Hunt – Jamaica
Billed as the largest egg hunt in New York City, this event is sponsored by Affinity Health Plans and attracts more than 5,000 people to St. Albans Park. There will also be live music, rides, arts and crafts, and pony rides. FREE
Barnyard Easter Egg Hunt – Glen Oaks
Enjoy an afternoon of Easter fun at the bucolic Queens County Farm Museum. Kids can search for eggs in the apple orchard, try their hand at egg tossing or egg rolling, do the bunny hop, visit with the animals and go for a hayride. Whiskers the bunny will also be hopping around, greeting children. $5
Spring Egg Hunt – Brooklyn Heights
Candy, face painting, balloons and an egg hunt are all on tap at this annual fete at Pierrepont Playground. There will also be a bake sale to benefit the playground committee. FREE
Easter Egg Hunt – Gowanus
Hunt through the nooks and crannies of Brooklyn Boulders' awesome rock climbing gym for eggs filled with pennies that are redeemable for candy. Advance registration required. $10
Popovich Comedy Pet Theater – Tribeca
Catch Gregory Popovich and his humorous circus-style animal show at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. His talented cats and dogs were all rescued from shelters, and can run, jump, ride scooters and even push each other in prams. $35-$50
The 3 Wishes, the Ugly Duckling & the 3 Little Pigs – Park Slope
Puppetworks mounts a one-day-only trio of classic fairy tales using hand puppets in place of its standard marionettes. Advance reservations required. $9 for adults, $8 for children.
Build A Recycle-Saurus Children's Art Workshop – Brooklyn Heights
Drop in to Fim Biz Recyling to craft funky dinosaurs from repurposed household items with ScrapKins. Adults can enjoy complimentary coffee in the lounge. $15
BubbleMania: Science, Art & Comedy with Casey Carle – Corona
Bubble master Casey Carle presents a 30-minute performance at the New York Hall of Science. Watch as he makes foam, fog and helium bubbles, and soapy orbs that burst into flame. Afterward, hop on a skateboard at the museum's Tony Hawk|Rad Science exhibit. $8 plus admission: $11 for adults, $8 for children ages 2-17
Nocturnal Wildlife – Upper East Side
Urban Park Rangers teach families about NYC's wild residents, who come out at night in Central Park around Belvedere Castle. FREE
Sunday, March 31
Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival – Midtown East
This is one of our favorite celebrations of the year! Fifth Avenue between 49th and 57th streets is closed to traffic and opened to beautiful bonnets, snappy hats and jaw-dropping headdresses (really, you need to see some of these. One year a lady wore a replica of the Chrysler Building.) Show off your craziest hat, or just come and take photos. Since it's really more of a promenade than a parade, it's easy to get good shots. Raven and her daughter go every year, and Anna put together an awesome slide show of all the incredible bonnets and outfits last year. It's a must-do event. In fact, it's No. 27 on our list of 100 things to do with your kids in NYC. FREE
Holi Hai 2013 – Midtown East
Sunday also marks the Hindu holiday of Holi, also known as the festival of colors. Celebrate at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza with traditional dance, music, food and crafts. Make sure you wear something you don't mind getting dirty: A Holi tradition is getting doused with colorful powder. FREE
Easter Parade Screening & Crazy Hat Contest – Greenwich Village
The Film Forum's family series continues with the classic 1948 movie musical starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire. After the screening, children under age 13 can show off their creative chapeaus in a crazy hat contest and vie for prizes. $7
EasterFest 2013 –Forest Hills
Ascension Presbyterian Church hosts its annual Easter celebration featuring kids' games, crafts, refreshments and a traditional Easter egg hunt. $2 if you attend Easter services, otherwise $5
Freedom Art Jam: Art and Dance Party for Passover – Upper East Side
Passover continues through Tuesday and families can celebrate at the Jewish Museum's annual fete. Grove to live tunes by David Grover and a Baby Loves Disco DJ dance party, enjoy matzoh pop-art projects, mural painting and more. Free with admission: $12 for adults, free for children under 12
Easter Egg Hunt – West Village
Right after Easter services at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields, families can join in a festive egg hunt that's open to the public. FREE
Celebrate Easter on the rails! A bunch of New Jersey train museums are offering locomotive trips with the Easter Bunny this weekend.
On Long Island, there are 13 fun egg hunts this weekend, including the Penguin Egg Hunt at Atlantis Marine World and the spring festival in my hometown's Sweet Briar Nature Center.
Don’t forget: There are lots of other options in our Event Calendar.