Easter Weekend for NYC Kids: Free Egg Hunts, Parade, Luna Park

Easter Weekend 2016 in New York City: Egg Hunt, NYC Auto Show, Coney Island

Happy Easter and happy spring New Yorkers! There are Easter festivities in every NYC borough this long weekend, including classic egg hunts and Fifth Avenue's spectacular Easter bonnet parade. There is plenty of non-Easter entertainment on tap, too, like the New York International Auto Show and engaging new museum exhibits including Dinosaurs Among Us and the Art & Whimsy of Mo Willems. Plus, Macy's just unveiled its gorgeous Herald Square Flower Show.

Last weekend's chilly temps and dud of a spring snowstorm delayed the opening of the beloved Cyclone and Wonder Wheel on Coney Island's boardwalk, but these amusement parks kick off the season this weekend instead! The Prospect Park Carousel is spinning for the season, too, and be sure to enter your name into the lottery for the NYC Park's Department's FREE swimming lessons.

These are just a few of the great activities happening this Easter weekend. Our best bets are below. You can find additional options in our Event Calendar and our Spring Fun Guide. And with schools closed on Friday, March 25, check our Weekday Event picks for more Friday family activities. 

Kids take off at the Barnyard Egg Hunt at the Queens County Farm Museum. Photo courtesy of the museum.

All Weekend

Egg Hunts — Citywide
Kids can search for brightly colored eggs in every borough this weekend. While there are dozens of egg hunts listed in our Event Calendar, the eggs-tra special ones include:

  • Staten Island's Historic Richmond Town on Saturday also features Victorian crafts and face time with the Easter Bunny
  • Greenpoint's Msgr. McGolrick Park on Saturday where you can meet the Easter Bunny and enjoy other festivities
  • The Barnyard Egg Hunt at the Queens County Farm Museum on Saturday with old-fashioned games and a hayride
  • Unfortunately, this event is now sold out: The New York Fire Museum on Saturday includes a hunt and posing for pics with Hot Dog, the museum's mascot
  • Harlem's St. Nicholas Park on Saturday with a visit from the Easter Bunny, spring crafts and other fun
  • Brooklyn's Aviator Sports and Events Center all weekend long features tractor rides and a petting zoo

Oviraptorosaurs are cousins to T. rex, but closer cousins to modern birds, a new exhibit at the Natural History museum explains. Image by Zhao Chuang/courtesy of Peking Natural Science Organization.

Dinosaurs Among Us — Upper West Side
From our March GoList: Catch Dinosaurs Among Us during its first weekend open to the public. The exhibit explores the connections between the prehistoric monsters and our feathered friends through hands-on stations and rare fossil displays. You'll see a tiny dinosaur model whose sleeping posture mimics that of a modern bird, a nest with newly hatched dinosaurs, a four-winged dromaeosaur and a feathered 23-foot-long tyrannosaur!

New York International Auto Show — Midtown West
Head to the Javits Center to check out the latest cars, trucks and cutting-edge concept vehicles at the annual auto show, which kicks off its 10-day run on Friday. While not specifically aimed at kids, there is plenty here for young motor enthusiasts to enjoy. This year, the organizers have upped their family programming with a slew of family tours, art projects and special kid-friendly activities and exhibits.

Easter Fun at the Children's Museum of Manhattan — Upper West Side
Head to CMOM for an indoor Easter egg hunt with a twist—instead of looking for candy-filled plastic eggs, participants go on a scavenger hunt for egg icons hidden throughout the galleries. Plus, kids can enjoy an Easter concert on Saturday and weave an Easter Basket from recycled materials throughout the weekend. While there, be sure to visit its latest interactive exhibit, America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far. Free with paid admission.

Easter Weekend at the Bronx Zoo — the Bronx
Celebrate spring at the Bronx Zoo with a nature-filled Easter experience. Take a self-guided scavenger hunt that tours several animal exhibits, while collecting stamps and a prize. There is also a funky "Endangered Species Parade" with colorful costumes and dancing; kids can even create their own animal-themed hat to join in the procession. Free with general admission.

Get into the Easter Bunny spirit with a visit to the Flemish Giant rabbit at the Queens Zoo. Photo by Julie Larsen Maher/courtesy of WCS.

Queens Zoo Spring Eggstravaganza — Corona
More zoo fun! Celebrate Easter at the Queens Zoo in Flushing Meadows Corona Park with egg hunts, crafts, visits from the Easter Bunny and face time with some of the zoo's animal residents. Free with paid admission.

Prospect Park Carousel Season Opening and Nature Activities — Prospect Park
Climb onto a painted pony for a whirl on the historic Prospect Park Carousel as it opens for the season. While in the park, visit the Audubon Center and nearby Lefferts Historic House for some nature-inspired fun, including meeting live animals and old-fashioned outdoor games. Audubon Center activities are FREE.

Hit the Wonder Wheel during opening weekend festivities at Coney Island's amusement parks. Photo via Bigstock.

Saturday, March 26

Luna Park and Deno's Wonder Wheel Opening Day — Coney Island
Last week's season-opening festivities on Coney Island were rescheduled due to a predicted storm, which turned out to be a dud, and cold temps. Although the beach isn't open yet, this weekend, ring in spring with a spin on the Cyclone, the Wonder Wheel or one of the two parks kiddie rides and Luna Park's thrilling rides. The first 96 people at Deno's and the first 100 people at Luna Park can score FREE rides on the Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone, respectively.

Watch the Cat in the Hat and other Dr. Seuss characters at this hilarious Theatreworks show. Photo by Joan Marcus/courtesy of the production.

Seussical — Upper East Side
Theatreworks USA mounts this delightful musical at the Kaye Playhouse that is a must for Seuss fans. The show is hosted by the mischievous Cat in the Hat and tells the tales of the kind Horton the Elephant and Gertrude McFuzz, the tail-feather challenged bird.

See all Saturday events.

A jelly-bean-studded top hat sparkles at NYC's annual Easter bonnet parade. Photo by D_M_D via Flickr.

Sunday, March 27

Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival — Midtown East
Happy Easter! This March GoList pick is one of our favorite celebrations of the whole year. Fifth Avenue between 49th and 57th streets is closed to traffic and opened to beautiful bonnets, snappy hats and jaw-dropping headdresses. Show off your craziest hat, or just come and take photos. Check out the slide show we did a few years back for inspiration. Truly a must-do event—in fact, it's No. 27 on our list of 100 things to do with your kids in NYC. FREE

Holi: The Spring Festival of Colors — Flushing
Experience the Hindi Festival of Colors, Holi, a celebration of the Earth's rebirth each spring. Hosted in part by the Hindu Temple Society of North America enjoy cultural dances, live music and the traditional (and fun) smearing of vivid colored powders on friends and loved ones. FREE

See all Sunday events or read our 21 Things to Do with Kids in NYC on Easter Sunday roundup!

Don’t forget: there are lots of other kid-friendly NYC activities in our Event Calendar.

Top photo: People of ages get into the fun at the annual Easter bonnet parade in NYC. Photo by Michael Fleshman via Flickr.