Free Activities

How to Get Wet and Stay Cool This Summer in NYC

New York City summers are not a pretty thing for the most part. Hot, humid, sticky and stinky. For many people the only way to survive them is to leave. For the rest of us, the best we can do is figure out how to stay cool and entertained. That's why we're posting all about summertime water fun for NYC kids every day this week.

We've already done an article on the best free and cheap swimming pools for kids in NYC. This week we'll be doing the best water parks and playgrounds, beaches, water sports, boats and more.

Outdoor Summer Festivals in Every Borough are Fun for the Whole Family

The great thing about New York City's outdoor festivals is that everyone can enjoy them. If it's kids music, at least the grown ups can enjoy being outdoors on a lovely day or evening, relaxing. And, generally kids will put up with an outdoor concert or performance if they can run around, dance, play and picnic while you enjoy a little grown up entertainment for once.

The following free outdoor festivals are not specifically children's festivals, but they, for the most part, each have at least one kids performance and otherwise offer great performances in great outdoor environments around NYC, making a fun day or evening out with the kids either way.

Celebrate Brooklyn is considered by many to be NYC's best summer festival. Located at the Prospect Park bandshell, Celebrate Brooklyn is a great venue with a diverse range of excellent performances. You'll find music, dance, films and more. We already wrote about the child friendly outdoor movies that are part of Celebrate Brooklyn. Another great kid event at Celebrate Brooklyn will be the Dan Zanes concert on July 22; sure to be packed with toddlers, children and adults alike rocking out to the king of kid rock.

Lower Manhattan's River to River Festival has hundreds of events including dozens of children's and family events. As part of the River to River Festival you'll find children's workshops, story times, fairs, singing and dancing and more. Check out the calendar for the full list of children's events.

Everyone is familiar with Central Park's Summer Stage. Many of the Summer Stage events will be enjoyed by children, but for sure kids will love the Summer Stage Global Family Day on July 15th. Led up by Hip Hop Harry, a Kangol cap bearing big yellow bear described as Barney "if he had lived in the South Bronx in the '80s." Hmmm. Well, there will also be a marionette show of Cinderella Samba, a performance by hip kid rockers, The Sippy Cups, a performance outlining the history of break dancing, and finally, some good 'ol Brooklyn barbecue from The Smoke Joint.

The NY Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks Festival travels to all five boroughs plus Long Island and New Jersey, making classical music from the oldest philharmonic in the United States available to all for free. While there are no children performances, classical music under the stars, followed by fireworks is sure to be enjoyed by the entire family. Or it's a least a good way to sneak a little classical music into your children's repertoire.

The last festival we were planning on featuring was the NYC Fringe Festival which has a series of FringeJR events designed for families. Unfortunately, they have not published their calendar yet and haven't yet replied to our inquiries. We'll keep you posted or you can check the Fringe NYC site.

Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival is a Bounty of Cultural Riches all to be had for Free

One of the themes of this site is the wonderful riches of NYC for kids. We're not talking about investment bankers or bugaboo strollers. We're talking about the wealth of cultural institutions, the hidden gems, and the overall abundance of amazing opportunities for children in New York. Especially when these things can all be had for free.

Lincoln Center's summer programming is a perfect example of the richness of New York City's offering for children. Through Lincoln Center's many festivals and outdoor programming, children can experience an incredible range of high quality performances, all for free, from the world's leading performing arts center.

Free Summer Festivals and Concerts for Kids in NYC

This week it's all free summer fun in the form of kids concerts and festivals. More activities to fill those long hot NYC summer days with free entertainment for kids. We'll have the best of where you can find weekly kid music performances, best kid picks from the summer festivals, and more. The free summer fun for kids just never ends in NYC and you'll find it all here. Have a tip? Click on the Contribute link in the sidebar.

Best Biking for Kids on Bucolic Governor's Island

Imagine what Central Park would be like if you had it practically to yourself. And, instead of being surrounded by tall buildings, imagine it's surrounded by the NYC harbor, so every time you catch a glimpse through the trees, you see sailboats and ferries gliding by. While we're dreaming, imagine that every weekend a free concert or event takes place, but unlike every other event in NYC, there aren't huge crowds. Wouldn't that be nice?

Well, pinch yourself, you're not dreaming. This is the perfect description of Governor's Island and we highly recommend it as a family outing destination, and possibly the best place to bike with kids in NYC.

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