Weekend Fun: Free Day of the Dead Celebrations, Diwali, Late Halloween Events for NYC Kids
Thanks to an inevitable Halloween sugar rush, your kids are going to have a lot of energy to burn off this weekend. Luckily, there are lots of great things to do, including two FREE Day of the Dead festivals, Diwali celebrations at the Asia Society and the Rubin Museum, and even some better-late-than-never Halloween fun, like the New York Hall of Science's big Dead or Alive dance party.
There's also some great kids' culture on tap including cool concerts from Dog on Fleas at Symphony Space and the Rockdoves at the central branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, plus the opening weekend of the annual Canstruction exhibition.
All of our best bets for the weekend are below. As always, you can find additional options in our Event Calendar. And if you're looking to plan our your entire month, check out the brand-new edition of our NYC Go List, which highlights the absolute best things to do with kids throughout November.
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Canstruction – Battery Park City
One of our November Go List picks: Marvel at amazingly detailed sculptures constructed entirely from full cans of food! The pieces are always whimsical (the Price is Right big wheel was a favorite last year) and make for great photo ops. Once the exhibition is dismantled, all the cans will be donated to City Harvest. It's a great way to kick off the Thanksgiving season. FREE but visitors are encouraged to bring cans of food for the charity
Sleeping Beauty – Midtown West
Another November Go List pick: Head to the New Victory Theater to see this sumptuous puppet adaptation of the classic fairy tale by Italy's Carlo Colla & Sons Marionette Company. Parents of princess-obsessed preschoolers take note: This 90-minute show is faithful to the original story which is much darker than Disney's version, so it's probably best to heed the age recommendation of 7 and up. $14-$38. If you attend on Saturday, you can also try a puppetry family workshop for an extra $17.
Dead or Alive – Corona
Hit the New York Hall of Science to celebrate Halloween and the Day of the Dead with pumpkins chucking, face time with live bats, and a dance party on Saturday featuring hands-on forensic fun, delicious treats, themed crafts and prizes for kids in costume. Most activities free with admission: $11 for adults, $8 for children 2-17; animal presentations are an extra $6 for adults, $5 for children
Day of the Dead at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery – East Village
Mark Día de los Muertos with Mano a Mano with a wide variety of activities to honor those who have passed. Workshops are for all ages and include altar-building, paper flower making, poetry writing and bread baking. Bring photographs, candles and flowers to adorn the altar in honor of your deceased loved ones, or just drop by and enjoy the experience of this cultural celebration, which also includes musical performances and a traditional dance procession. Be sure to check our listing for the full schedule since the lineup changes every day. FREE
Winter Village at Bryant Park Opening Weekend – Midtown West
Bryant Park's ice-skating rink has a new name (no more Pond) but it's still FREE. Beat the coming crowds by heading out for a spin early in the season, or do some holiday shopping at the market, which also opens this weekend. FREE but skate rentals are $15
Saturday, November 2
Day of the Dead at the National Museum of the American Indian – Financial District
Head to the always-free institution to make traditional Day of the Dead crafts like paper flowers, plaster skulls and skull masks, and enjoy live dance performances by Cetiliztli Nauhcampa. FREE
Diwali Lights Up Asia Society: Family Day – Upper East Side
Celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, with a variety of traditional activities at the Asia Society. Fun on tap includes Indian music with Raga Kids, an interactive Bhangra and Bollywood dance performance, storytelling, bangle and yantra making, and henna tattoos. $12 for adults, $5 for children
Family Day: Festival of Lights – Chelsea
More Diwali fun: The Rubin Museum of Art celebrates with storytelling, music and dance, clay lamp sculpting, garland making, and a collaborative Rangoli design. $10
Fun Fair – Upper West Side
Enjoy one last blast of fall-themed fair fun at the Brownstone School's annual fundraiser featuring crafts like pumpkin and cupcake decorating, a choo-choo train, bouncy castles and slide, carnival games, yummy eats and a rummage sale. Free admission but there are fees for activities
The Rockdoves – Prospect Heights
Mellow out to gentle acoustic songs about birds and city life penned and performed by the local duo at the Brooklyn Public Library's Dweck Center. FREE
Whitney Wees and Family Fun Workshops – Upper East Side
Hit to the Whitney Museum for family workshops inspired by the bold and graphic exhibit Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE. Enjoy kid-friendly tours, and then create art inspired by what you see. As of this writing, spots are still available but register ASAP as these sessions always sell out in advance. $10 per family
Dog on Fleas – Upper West Side
Groove to lively blues and jazz tunes from the energetic rock band at Symphony Space. $20 for adults, $15 for children
Sunday, November 3
Two important reminders for Sunday: Daylight Saving Time ends, so be sure to turn your clocks back one hour. Plus the New York City Marathon makes its triumphant return, which means you should allow extra time to get around town.
Puppet Take Over: Craft, Play, Perform – Midtown West
Enjoy Urban Stages' puppet show Dancing Guinea Pig: A Folktale from Peru. Afterward, kids can work with the performers to create their own puppets and perform a short play. $10 for adults, $5 for kids, $30 per family
Don't forget: We have additional activity options in our Event Calendar.
- Day of the Dead for NYC Kids: Mexican Culture Comes Alive with Día de los Muertos Family Celebrations
- Things to Do in New York City for Kids & Families November 6 & 7: Diwali, Day of the Dead, Firebird & Free Museum Programs
- This Week: Best November Events for NYC Kids, Where to Donate Halloween Candy, Mommy Poppins Holiday Photo Event
- Mostly Free & Fun Things to Do with Westchester Kids this Weekend: Greek, German, Renaissance Fests & More, Sept. 14 - 15