Weekend Fun: Big Umbrella, Comic Con, and Circuses

Best Things to Do in NYC with Kids April 14-April 15, 2018
The Carnival at Queens County Farms is always a big hit! Photo courtesy of the farm

Kids' shows, in particular, often rely heavily on technical pizzazz—lighting, music, surprises—but this weekend Lincoln Center’s new Big Umbrella Festival goes for the polar opposite. Instead of big bangs and bright spotlights, productions aim to provide a safe and comforting, and inspiring, experience for kids on the Autism spectrum. 

Beloved kids' music star Brady Rymer kicks things off Saturday morning with a whimsical Americana music mashup. And while several of the festival's shows are sold out for this weekend—Up and Away and Light Show— seats remain for the NY Phil's special Young People's Concert, rejiggered to be spectrum-friendly. You might also look ahead to Oddysea, an underwater tale about a turtle and a crab.

By the way, Chalk, currently in the middle of its run at the Kraine Theater, fits right in with the Big Umbrella aesthetic, pulling in elements of silent cinema and Harold's Purple Crayon to draw kids in, literally. Sunday is Access Family Day on the Intrepid, offering special programs for kids with developmental or learning differences.

Got a kid who prefers to be in the middle of loud, bustling mayhem? Then Comic Con is the perfect outing, with a roster of celebrity guests all weekend and a costume parade on Sunday. Or step right up to bleacher seats at Universoul Circus, now celebrating 25 years of razzle dazzle, or Circus Muse, both in Brooklyn. The Bubble Guppies and Daniel Tiger also make stops in NYC this weekend.

Plus, we're finally being promised some warm weather, so get out there to enjoy Earth Day in Union Square, a Queens carnival, or the Morgan's annual Family Fair. Not a bad weekend to try out a destination-worthy playground, roller skating, or even start thinking about where to see NYC's cherry blossoms.

Do you even have to ask? Of course there's more. Take a gander at the ever-expanding calendar, bookmark our juicy April GoList, nab some inspiration from our Spring Fun Guide, and—if you've been slacking off—let us give you a leg up on summer camp planning.