As of summer 2014, Mister Sunday is now held on Sundays from 5 to 10pm on Second Avenue between 36th and 37th Streets in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. This post refers to its old space. For more information on the current party, visit the website. When I first became a mom I assumed my clubbing days were over. Then I found out about fun family dance parties like Baby Loves Disco and Little Club Heads held at real NYC clubs in the afternoon so they felt pretty authentic (so much so that we even had to wait on lines to get it—that was a bit of realness I could have done without).
But last summer my family and I discovered our favorite all-ages dance party of all: Mister Sunday, which takes place outside in Brooklyn's Gowanus Grove. Located right along the banks of the Gowanus Canal, Mister Sunday has a chill crowd, and is both kid and dog-friendly. Regular DJs Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin mostly spin house, disco and techno music, and revelers dance the day away under the disco ball and poplar trees.
We went several times as a family in 2012 with our two girls (who were then 2½ and 3 months) and had a blast every time. We felt like we were in a huge backyard just hanging out with friends. Unfortunately, due to a real-estate development along the canal, it looks like this will be the last year for Mister Sunday, so hit the dance floor with your kids while you can.
Mister Sunday is one of those events that my husband and I love just as much as our children. While it's definitely not aimed at families—there are a lot of childless people there—in my experience, the crowd is really respectful of kids. Families usually show up at 3pm on the dot to take advantage of the space before the dance floor gets busy. (The place never feels overcrowded but it does fill up.) There are picnic tables and folding chairs you can move wherever you choose, and lots of shady trees. Sand is scattered about and the kids can play in it. We brought buckets to keep our girls entertained but they were just excited to see the dogs and hang out in a big open space. And this year Mister Sunday has added a Ping-Pong table.
If you work up an appetite dancing, you can chow down on delicious Mexican food from Country Boys (the pulled pork tacos always sell out fast) . This season there is a new concessionaire, James Durazzo & Friends, serving up burgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob and such. Plus there are adult (Brooklyn-Brewed beers, homemade sangria) and nonalcoholic beverages.
Mister Sunday takes place every Sunday 3-9pm through Labor Day at 400 Carroll Street between Bond and Nevins Streets in Brooklyn. It's a residential area so the party never gets too loud. Unfortunately due to a new real-estate development it looks like this is the last year for the party so put it on your summer to-do list. The entrance fee $10 per adult before 5pm if you RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with your first and last name, otherwise it's $15 per grown-up. Children under age 18 are free but must be accompanied by an adult. Dogs are free too but need to be on leashes. Bike parking is available inside. Technically outside drinks aren't allowed but I've never been hassled about sippy cups. My one complaint: There aren't real bathrooms just Porta-Potties but they're usually not too bad.
Find out about other offbeat seasonal activities in our Summer Fun Guide.