Free in September: 50+ Things To Do in NYC with Kids

Circus Ominum comes to Lincoln Center as part of the third annual Big Umbrella Festival from Friday, September 16-Sunday, September 18. Photo by Maike Schulz/courtesy of Lincoln Center
Circus Ominum comes to Lincoln Center as part of the third annual Big Umbrella Festival from Friday, September 16-Sunday, September 18. Photo by Maike Schulz/courtesy of Lincoln Center

Back-to-school season can be expensive, but we've found more than 50 free things to do in NYC with kids this September. September in NYC serves up the last few bites of summer fun, with Labor Day weekend picks. This month also marks the kickoff of fall festivals around NYC, with the West Side County Fair, the Rockaways' sweet NYC Honey Fest, the NYC Poetry Fest, Little Italy's San Gennaro, and book fests on Randall's Island and in Brooklyn.

The free family fun doesn't stop there: Playscape Performs one more time, Smithsonian Museum Day provides free passes to city museums, Morningside Lights returns to the Upper West Side in person at last, and a very tall puppet is walking all over NYC this month, too.

Read on for more than 50 free things to do in New York City this September with kids, including events in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Find more top events on our list of the best things to do in September 2022 or our always-packed Family Activity Calendar.

As always, if an event piques your interest, click through to our listing for all the details, including addresses and times. And keep in mind: Really cool things to do with kids often book up quickly, so register or buy your tickets ASAP.

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Places featured in this article:


Multiple locations around NYC

Governors Island

South Street Seaport Museum

Brookfield Place

Citywide (see above)

Various Museums in New York City

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Miller Theater at Columbia University

Various locations in Brooklyn

Alamo Drafthouse/Fosun Plaza

Oculus at Westfield WTC

Citywide (see above)

National Parks - Multiple Locations

Pleasant Village Community Garden
Wonder Kids Day Camp - Adventures with Gaia
School of Wonder - 9:00 AM Pick
Kids' Concert in Hudson Yards Bella Abzug Park
Bella Abzug Park - 10:30 AM Pick
British Royal Marine Band Service Performance
Central Park - Naumburg Bandshell - 12:00 PM Pick
Brooklyn Book Festival
Brooklyn Commons Park - various times Pick
Lego Based Engineering Class
The Afterschool Collective - 2:30 PM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides