Weekend Fun: Dragon Boats, They Might Be Giants, Coney Fest

Battery Dance Festival, They Might Be Giants, Coney Island: Events for New York City Kids August 12 - 13, 2017

New York City kids love to dance, right? Then they'll love this weekend's events, like the Bhangra Family Dance on Saturday and the 36th Annual Battery Dance Festival on Sunday. There's also a Coney Island Food and Music Festival, and hey, you could just dance (or bike or stroll) down the car-free Park Avenue for this Saturday's Summer Streets fest, too.

Equally danceable, They Might Be Giants plays a free family show in Central Park, probably an event no young music fan should miss. Speaking of parks, more than a few host cool stuff this weekend, like the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in Corona Park and a kid-friendly production of A Midsummer's Night Dream in Carl Schurz Park

Maybe you want to leave the city...without leaving the city? Head for the best unkept secret on Staten Island with the Mommy Poppins guide to the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden.

Our August GoList and our Summer Fun Guide are powered up with events as always, and our event calendar adds things to do daily. And don't forget to check out our brand-new local DEALS page, where you can score discounts on camps, classes, birthday party packages, and more for NYC kids. Check back often as we're constantly adding new deals every day.  

All Weekend

More than 100 boats will race in Queens! Photo by Baldwin Saintilus/CC BY 2.0

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival — Corona, Queens
Hey, it's an August GoList pick! Dragon boat teams from across the country will race on Meadow Lake North at this festival celebration of the fifth moon of the lunar calendar. FREE

Family Art Project: Fishy Fun — Hudson Hill, the Bronx
Head to the Wave Hill Public Garden and Cultural Center for this cute kids' project fashioning colored paper bags into fluttering goldfish. 

Civil War Weekend — Governors Island
Witness the firing of an 1860s-era cannon, as well as small arms demonstrations, and maybe dance a little to authentic 19th-century music. FREE

Catch the final weekend of the American Museum of Natural History’s exhibit on Cuba. Photo courtesy of the museum

¡Cuba! — Upper West Side
If you missed it since its opening in November 2016, catch the final weekend of this excellent and kid-friendly exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History.

Weekend Nature Exploration — Prospect Park
Key among the many activities in Prospect Park this weekend is the "Blooming Naturalist" event at the Audubon House, where kids can learn how to use the same tools employed by biologists when conducting research. FREE

See all weekend events.

Saturday, August 12

They Might Be Giants play a family-friendly show that's FREE.

SummerStage Family Day: They Might Be Giants — Central Park
An August GoList pick! Some parents (ahem) may recall seeing They Might Be Giants 25 years ago. They're innovators, pure New Yorkers, virtuosos, and funny as heck. Even on their adult-oriented albums, it never seemed unlikely they'd record children's music, and when they finally did, it was immediately legendary. FREE 

Sweet Spot Pop + Shop — Sugar Hill
The Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling and the Broadway Housing Communities join forces for an outdoor food and craft market highlighted by music and art activities for kids. FREE 

Bhangra Family Dance — Battery Park City
While an outdoor DJ provides music, follow a dance leader and learn the moves of Bhangra, a mish-mash of folk dance and hip-hop moves. FREE

World Elephant Day — Bronx Zoo
Celebrate the pachyderm world at the Bronx Zoo with a visit and then maybe head next door to the new Treetop Adventure, where maybe you can spot some big beasts through the forest canopy. 

Coney Island Food and Music Festival — Coney Island, Brooklyn
Shut down to traffic as part of Weekend Walks, Surf Avenue from 12th to Stillwell Avenue turns into a food and fun and song-filled summer paradise. FREE

Summer Streets — Upper East Side to Lower Manhattan
This annual favorite shuts down miles of Park Avenue and Lafayette Street to traffic, allowing bikers, skaters and pedestrians alike to frolic in the streets for a second weekend in a row (one more to go). There will be multiple rest stops, aka, "entertainment zones," along the route with plenty of family activities to enjoy—including the new LG QuadWash water park in Central Park. FREE

See all Saturday events.

Sunday, August 13

The 36th Annual Battery Dance Festival hosts free performances by professional companies in Wagner Park. Photo by Darial Sneed/courtesy of the event

36th Annual Battery Dance Festival — Battery Park City
Wagner Park in Battery Park City turns into a dance kingdom with almost 40 professional companies drawing thousands of people to their outdoor performances. FREE

Adventure Time: Chirping Crickets — Douglaston, Queens
The Alley Pond Educational Center provides kids ages 1.5 to 3 a cute introduction to the most musical of all the bugs.

Jake Makes a World — Upper West Side
As part of its Sunday storytime series, the New-York Historical Society reads this children's book bio of painter Jacob Lawrence, written by Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts and illustrated by Christopher Myers.

Storytime with Jim Wright — Park Slope
Powerhouse on 8th hosts children's book author and birding/naturalist Jim Wright for his tales of ducks, herons, and baby swans. FREE

A Midsummer's Night Dream — Upper East Side
Carl Schurz Park offers a kid-friendly version (umbrella fairy puppets!) of this Shakespearean comedy of magic and misdirected love. FREE

See all Sunday events.

Top photo: The dragons are coming! Photo courtesy of NYC Parks.