Columbus Day weekend is here, and there's so much to do with kids around NYC it would take another three-day weekend to fit everything in. The annual Columbus Day Parade steps off in Midtown, of course, and there are Indigenous Peoples' Day celebrations at the National Museum of the American Indian and the Museum of the City of New York.
This weekend also brings FREE fall festivals in full force, including the Harlem Harvest Festival, the Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival, and the Jefferson Market Garden Children's Festival. Plus there's Fall Family Day at the Museum of the Moving Image, Honey and Harvest Festival at the NYBG, and the rocking and rolling 25th Annual Bus Festival in Dumbo.
Great kid-friendly concerts, exhibits, and shows abound, too: It's opening weekend for the Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibit at the New-York Historical Society (and as of this writing, there are still ticket times available Monday afternoon) as well as Laurie Berkner's Pillowland at New York City Children's Theater. Michael and the Rockness Monsters kick off the season at Symphony Space, Charlotte's Web spins its enchantment on Saturday in Tribeca, and two Fringe Jr shows open their doors (The Odyssey and Super: The Musical). There's also a FREE performance by Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards Saturday at Lincoln Center.
And it's time for animal blessings! Head to Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn on Saturday and St. John the Divine on Sunday to watch a parade of animals both exotic and domestic—bring your own Horace T. Goldfish or Woofs A. Pup for a blessing on the pulpit green. To the delight of tiny creature fans, the butterflies are back at the American Museum of Natural History this weekend, too.
Read on for our top picks for the coming weekend, or check out our list of 25 Fun Things to Do on Columbus Day in NYC. Also, be sure to check our October GoList and just released Halloween Guide to help you plan out the rest of this fall. As always, our Event Calendar is full of activities and events for every day of the week.