Best NYC Spring Festivals, Fairs & Carnivals April 2015

Free Spring Festivals, Spring Fairs, Tribeca Family Day, Cherry Blossom Festival in NYC 2015

New York City's spring outdoor festival season kicks off this April with 11 fun and mostly FREE fairs, fetes and carnivals. We already spotlighted five of our big annual favorites in our April GoList: the Tribeca Film Festival Family Street Fair, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Cherry Blossom Festival, the Queens County Farm Museum's Children's Carnival, Staten Island's St. George Day celebration and Street Games in East Harlem. But there are a bunch of smaller festivals worth putting on your radar, where you can entertain your family for just a few bucks—sometimes even for nothing.

These events aren't just fun, they also foster community by bringing folks together for a common cause, or to support a school, playground or cultural institution. And many include old-fashioned games, eco-activities, homemade treats and live performances.

Here are 11 awesome NYC fairs, carnivals and festivals for families this April.

Click through to our listings for all the details, including address, time and recommended ages.

Children’s Carnival – Floral Park
Saturday, April 11-Sunday, April 12 and Saturday, April 18-Sunday, April 19
If you've never visited the Queens County Farm Museum, this is the time to go. This historic working farm is a hit with kids year-round, but on these two consecutive April weekends it hosts a huge, old-time carnival complete with a midway, magic show and lots of kiddie rides. Bonus: Unlike most carnivals, all rides are included with the admission price (although some of the other activities cost extra).

The National Grid Earth Day Celebration – Flatbush
Sunday, April 19
FREE
Celebrate Earth Day a little early at this annual fest on the Great Artist Plaza outside the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts. The afternoon features interactive storytelling, yoga workshops, puppet shows, live music and a slew of eco-activities.

Earth Day New York 2015 – Union Square
Sunday, April 19
FREE
Head to Union Square for the 25th anniversary of this eco-fair with live music, green goods and educational activities. If you're looking for something to do on April 22, Earth Day, the group is sponsoring an Earth Day 5K where participants will move from site-to-site, scavenger-hunt style and learn about the green initiatives in the city.

Prospect Heights Craft Fair – Prospect Heights
Saturday, April 25
Free admission, but there are fees for activities and wares
Peruse handcrafted clothing, kids' gear, jewelry and gifts made by independent artists. Children aren't into shopping? No problem. Kids can participate in supervised, fun activities like arts and crafts, science experiments, story time with local authors and yoga while you browse. Proceeds support the hardworking students at PS 9.

Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair & Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day – Tribeca
Saturday, April 25
FREE
One of the most popular festivals in town, this amazing (but very crowded!) family favorite features block after block of fun, including bouncy houses, games, face painting, arts and crafts, contests, a soft play area specifically for toddlers and much more. There's also tons of entertainment, like performances by Broadway shows such as Wicked and Les Miserables, stilt walkers, magicians and popular kiddie bands. The Rockettes will also make an appearance. At North Moore Street you'll find one block set aside for ESPN Sports Day featuring games, demos and appearances by pro athletes and sports teams. If your kid is curious about what happens behind-the-scenes on film shoots, head to the Tribeca Studios Backlot, which brings all aspects of filmmaking into the open. Kids can try their hand at working on a real set, learn how to create animation on a phone or tablet or pose like a star walking the red carpet. 

Street Games – East Harlem
Saturday, April 25
FREE
We're big fans of this annual fest dedicated to the analog amusements we grew up with back in the '60s and '70s. Leave your iPads and iPhones at home and encourage the kids to try out classics like pogo sticks, hula hoops, yo-yos, hippity hops and Double Dutch jump rope. In addition, there will be an old-fashioned soap box derby race, local deejays spinning tunes and performances by the Dance Theater of Harlem.

Park Slope Family Festival – Park Slope
Saturday, April 25
Free admission but there are fees for certain activities
This annual neighborhood favorite is organized by the creative folks at Puppetry Arts. Enjoy live family bands, bike spin art, carnival games, bouncy houses and other kid-centric fun.

Jack and Jill School Spring Fair – Gramercy
Saturday, April 25
Free admission but there are fees for certain activities
The perfect fete for the preschool set. Kids can hit the bouncy castle, do crafts, get their faces painted and go on rides at this annual school fundraiser.

St. George Day 2015 – Staten Island
Saturday, April 25
FREE
There are a ton of things going on at this annual community festival celebrating the arts and the Earth in Tompkinsville Park. Local artists sell their wares and run workshops, in addition to live performances, storytelling, poetry and prose. The Earth Day Zone is full of eco info, herbs for sale, composting demos and more. There's also an entire area devoted to kids with arts and crafts and a fanciful puppet show that recounts the St. George dragon-slaying legend with a less gruesome ending. The highlight of the day is the interactive 35-foot puppet dragon parade. Best of all, this shindig is a quick walk from Staten Island's St. George Ferry Terminal so it's an easy journey from lower Manhattan.

Sakura Matsuri 2015/Cherry Blossom Festival – Crown Heights
Saturday, April 25-Sunday, April 26
$25 for adults, free for children under age 12
This fantastic, extremely popular two-day festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden gives visitors a chance to immerse themselves in all aspects of Japanese culture alongside the BBG's blooming cherry trees. In addition to the stunning flowers, there are a bunch of activities on tap, including Taiko drumming performances, art and flower arranging workshops, Samurai sword play, tea ceremonies, manga drawing, magic and drumming workshops for kids. Plus lots of revelers come dressed in their best anime-inspired outfits and show them off in a cosplay fashion show. It's no wonder Sakura Matsuri is No. 51 on our list of 100 things to do with kids in NYC.

Arbor Festival – Flushing
Sunday, April 26
Free with admission, extra fees apply for some activities
In honor of Arbor Day, kids can enjoy all kinds of nature fun including a petting zoo, pony rides, games and crafts, face painting, composting workshops, garden tours and live music. Bonus for grown-ups: a beer-tasting tent!

Find out about other great things to do this April in our Spring Guide and our Event Calendar.