Free Things to Do with NYC Kids in August 2018

Free Summer Festivals, Concerts and Events for NYC Families 2018
Summer Streets transforms NYC's busy avenues into playgrounds. Photo courtesy of NYC DOT

Free Things to Do in August 2018

See free June & July events | See free September events | See free anytime events

Wednesday, August 1 Head to West Harlem Piers Park for Summer on the Hudson's Game Days and old-school amusements like hopscotch, giant tic-tac-toe, and jump rope.

Thursday, August 2 Get to Brooklyn Bridge Park for a free paddle along the waterfront.

Friday, August 3 Get your groove on with a Popping and Locking Hip Hop Dance Workshop in the Bronx's Crotona Park.

Saturday, August 4 Stroll, scoot, or cycle your way through the streets of Manhattan during Summer Streets. The car-free fun happens the first three Saturday mornings in August.

Sunday, August 5 Catch a showing of Coco under the stars (and away from the city lights) out on Randall's Island.

Monday, August 6 Bookworms unite: Head to the Oasis Community Garden for a story time led by NYPL librarians.

Make a day of it at Coney Island Beach. Photo by Julienne Schaer for NYCgo

Tuesday, August 7 Hit one of NYC's beautiful beaches. The city beach season ends on September 9.

Wednesday, August 8 Close out your day in the action-packed Brooklyn Bridge Park with a Double Dutch lesson from instructors at the Brooklyn-based Double Dutch Empire.

Thursday, August 9  Introduce your teen-and-tween girls to Mean Girls, the movie, when the Oculus hosts its dinner and a movie series. Admission is FREE, but you must request tickets in advance.

Friday, August 10 While away the afternoon at the Imagination Playground then hit up the South Street Seaport Museum during its FREE admission hours. Seafaring fun abounds.

Saturday, August 11 Head to Flushing Meadows Corona Park for the annual Hong Kong Boat Festival, one of our favorite annual festivals, which is filled with boat races, kite flying, and cultural performances.

Sunday, August 12 Head to the grounds of Manhattan's oldest house to learn the art of African dance from choreographer Yahya Kamate, who has worked with local and international dance troupes.

Monday, August 13 Introduce the kids to a film classic with a showing of Casablanca on the Great Lawn in Astoria Park.

Medieval suits of armor are on display in Fort Tryon Park near The Cloisters. Photo by Suzanne Cort

Tuesday, August 14 Wander through the beautiful Fort Tryon Park and check out the Armor on the Lawn sculptures, a public art project. Or duck into The Cloisters, which, like its sister museum, has a suggested admission policy, allowing you to pay what you wish...or nothing at all.

Wednesday, August 15 Enjoy an off-beat outdoor concert in Bryant Park with its Accordions Around the World series.

Thursday, August 16 Register for Kids Bowl Free at Queens' Astoria Bowl and Jib Lanes or Brooklyn's Shell Lanes. Children younger than 16 can play up to two free games per day (times vary and shoe rental is not included). 

Friday, August 17 Catch the final film in the Central Park Conservancy's Film Festival, the family-friendly Muppets Take Manhattan.

Saturday, August 18 Head to Brooklyn's Wyckoff House Museum for its monthly family day, which always includes family-friendly activities geared toward kids ages 4-10.

Sunday, August 19 Get down to the beats of the steel pan drums as the CASYM Steel Orchestra entertains the crowd at the Harlem Meer Performance Festival. The oft-overlooked northeastern edge of the park offers plenty of fun stops.

Cool off in the gigantic LeFrak Splash Pad. Photo courtesy of NYC Parks

Monday, August 20 Get soaked at one of our favorite sprinklers or splashpads.

Tuesday, August 21 Hop a ferry to Governors Island to see the massive sculpture by Jacob Hashimoto. Arrive before noon to snag a FREE one-hour bike rental.

Wednesday, August 22 Get pumped for the upcoming U.S. Open when Brookfield Place hosts the U.S. Open Experience beginning today. The fan fest attempts to re-create the excitement of the big tournament in Queens.

Thursday, August 23 In a twist on the typical summer movie series, Clinton Cove hosts a Frozen sing-along version tonight.

Friday, August 24 Sunset + samba? Yes, please! Head to the Hudson River Park at Christopher Street for this sunset concert series.

Saturday, August 25 Enjoy a classic NYC story time at the Hans Christian Andersen statue in Central Park. Today's title: Juan Bobo and the Pig, a Puerto Rican tale.

Sunday, August 26 Head to the boogie down Bronx for the annual Boogie on the Boulevard hosted by the Bronx Museum of Arts, which transforms the Grand Concourse into a massive street party filled with music, arts, and entertainment.

Monday, August 27 Catch a family-friendly puppet show from Penny Jones Puppets at Pier 25 in Hudson River Park.

Take a trip to the Financial District to see Fearless Girl. Photo by Erin Martell

Tuesday, August 28 Strike a pose with Fearless Girl and explore the nearby, and always free, National Museum of the American Indian.

Visitors of all ages are mesmerized by the koi in the pond at NYBG. Photo by Peter Dutton via Flickr

Wednesday, August 29 Wander the beautiful grounds of the New York Botanical Garden, which offers FREE grounds admission on Wednesdays.

Thursday, August 30 Gawk at the one-wheeled wonders who take over the town as part of the annual NYC Unicycle Festival. Today's big draw, a West Side One-Wheel Ride that loops Central Park.

Friday, August 31 Speaking of our favorite green space, how about spending the day checking out all of our favorite playgrounds in Central Park and creating your own personal ranking.

See free June & July events | See free September events | See free anytime events

Check out our Summer Fun Guide and our Events Calendar for additional suggestions.

A version of this story was published in 2017; it is updated annually.