Weekend Events for NYC Kids July 24-26: Free Musuems, Festivals and Circus Fun, A Sandcastle Competition, Boat Rides & More
If you're in town this weekend you could score free admission to a hip museum and get your and the kids' hands dirty in some art, make instruments, build a kick-butt sand castle in the beaches of NYC, enjoy free boat rides, learn about life in the City pre-Mr. Hudson, hang with some batty creatures, or watch an old-fashioned (and super cheap) circus. And if you are looking to flee, here are our top 30 day-trips to get you started.
We also have weekly listings for Long Island events and New Jersey events on their respective pages (whether you live there or are looking for a day trip). And of course, our event calendar is jammed with even more things to do, and don't forget to enter to win a dinner for 10 in our Summer Activity Guide.
Bash the Trash
The High Line Park
Sat, July 25, 11AM
Build and parade around with your own musical instrument made with recycled materials. You'll be working with Bash the Trash, a really cool group of artist/educators dedicated to raising environmental awareness through the arts while making connections to science, math, literacy, humanities and social issues. RSVP is recommended but not required, since walk-ins are admitted until the program is full.
Marina Day 2009
Riverside Park at
79th Street Boat Basin
Sat, July 25, 11:30AM-4PM
If you haven't gotten your fill of waterfront celebration after last week's City of Water Day festival (or if it has made your craving insatiable), head to Riverside Park and meet the Parks Dockmasters, learn about marine ecology, nautical skills like knot tying, race toy Parks tugboats, and view how a dock is constructed by the marina’s dock builder. There will be “touch tanks” where you will literally be able to feel the living river. Free sailing trips aboard a 42-foot sailing vessel will be offered throughout the day and you can also go for deck tours aboard Parks Enforcement Harbor Patrol’s new vessel as well as Pete Seeger’s 18th century wooden tallship, the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.
Manahatta Family Workshop
Museum of the City of New York
Sat, July 25 at 2PM
Free with museum admission (children under 12, free always)
Museum educators will take families on an exploration of the exhibition Mannahatta/Manhattan: A Natural History of New York City, investigating the quiet, wooded island as it was 400 years ago through cutting-edge multimedia, maps, and historic artifacts. Following the tour, children and their caregivers will create their own images of Mannahatta's vibrant natural environment.
New Museum Block Party
Sara D. roosevelt Park and New Museum
Sun, July 26, Noon-7PM
To celebrate the first anniversary of the New Museum, there will be a day of art activities and performaces. Enjoy a range of artist- and educator-led interactive projects and programs related to the neighborhood and the New Museum, join the Block Party Parade in a processional marching from the park to the New Museum, explore the current exhibitions with a free highlights tour, and it all ends with a special performance at the museum. Major bonus: admission fee is waived all day.
Imagination Playground (Ocean Ave b/w Lincoln Rd & Parkside Ave)
Sat, July 25 at 11AM, Sun, July 26 at 2PM
Adapted from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and especially for kids, Daydream is the story of a group of construction workers who come to rehearse a play in the Imagination Playground in Prospect Park and stumble into a battle between the King and Queen of the Fairies. Stick around afterwards for the children's activity or bring your kids' bathing suits for a splash in the dragon fountain after the play. Seating is on the ground, so bring some blankies/chairs.
Still Hip's 2nd Birthday Block Party
283 Grand Ave (Still Hip store)
Sat, July 25, 10AM-8PM
Celebrate Still Hip's second birthday with family-friendly crafts, yoga, a free Private Picasso class, live music, face painting, drink specials for the 'rents, food and more.
31st Annual Thunderbird American Indian Pow Wow
Queens County Farm Museum
Fri, July 24, Sat, July 25, Sun, July 26
Children 12 and under $4/day $5/all weekend
Adults: $15/ all weekend pass, $9/day
New York City 's oldest and largest powwow will feature three days of intertribal Native American dance competitions. Over 40 Indian nations are represented at this event held in the apple orchard on the farm grounds. There will also be a large selection of Native American art, crafts, jewelry and foods.
Rockaway Beach & Boardwalk: Beach 117th Street
Sun, July 26 Noon-2PM
Get your buckets and tools ready (and don't forget your imaginations). Kids and adults build sandcastles on Rockaway beach during this 14th annual contest. There will be refreshments and prizes for several age categories. You don't need to be an experienced sandcastle-builder, just come on down.
Are you ready to meet things that go bump in the night? Bats, sloths, owls and more move around in the dark, and this is your chance to see them in daylight. Join Rob Mies as he talks about the noctural critters at this event for all ages.
Also on Staten Island this weekend is the Cole Brothers Circus. You might be unfamiliar with it, but it really is worth checking out. Kids go free with an adult purchase (only via the link in this post); there's seven-man pyramids on the high-wire, elephants, mules, ponies and dogs, clowns and a ton more. Plus, adult tickets are only $12-$17. Read more about this old-fashioned circus (complete with tent!) here.
What's That Beautiful Junk?
Crotona Park (enter at Charlotte St. & Crotona Park East)
Sat, July 25 at 2PM
Kids and kids at heart will enjoy this afternoon of creating art from discarded objects.
Van Cortlandt Pak (Van Cortlandt South & Major Deegan Expressway)
Sat, July 25 at 11AM
This quiet lake is a perfect place to learn to canoe. Bring water, sun block and a little snack, but come early--admission is on a first come, first-served basis. For ages 8 and up.
Photo Credit: Maerzbow