Best June Festivals and Street Fairs for NYC Families

Kid-Friendly NYC Festivals in June: Mermaid Parade, Museum Mile, Figment, World Science Festival
Art-making and performances come to Governors Island for Figment NYC. Photo courtesy organizers

New York City's festival season kicks into high gear in June. The debut of warmer weather prompts a head-spinning number of fantastic fairs, parades, carnivals, and other fetes—more than two dozen.

And we're not talking about street fairs with random tchotchkes. These are favorites we look forward to every year, including Museum Mile, Egg Rolls, Egg Creams & Empanadas, Figment on Governors Island, and Coney Island's iconic Mermaid Parade—all of which made our list of the top annual festivals for NYC families.

So get your calendar; you're going to want to write these dates down. Here are more than two dozen great family festivals for June 2018, most of which are FREE.

Check our NYC Summer Fun Guide for more freebies and great kid and family events and outings, and be sure to click through to our listings for exact locations, times, and additional details.

Catch an amazing dance performance at the Red Hook Fest.

Red Hook Fest — Red Hook, Brooklyn
Friday, June 1-Saturday, June 2
This two-day celebration of local artists features live performances on the waterfront. It kicks off Friday night with a fun barbecue and dance party for kids and families in the PS 15 schoolyard. Saturday is the main event with family activities and live performances including spoken word, dance, and music. FREE

Spoke the Hub’s Local Produce Mini-Festival of the Performing Arts — Park Slope, Brooklyn
Saturday, June 2
Local favorite Spoke the Hub closes Union Street between 5th and 6th Avenues in Park Slope to celebrate its 25th annual fest. This year, a couple of new special events will be added to the schedule of free, family-friendly dance and theater workshops and performances by young people and local adult professionals. This year, Spoke will also launch its first pop-up fashion show on the street and host a skateboard clinic (for ages 5 and up). FREE

RELATED: Free Concerts for Kids This June in NYC

Traverse a rope course at Go Green Brooklyn.

Go Green! Brooklyn Festival — Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Saturday, June 2
This annual eco-fest in McCarren Park is packed with educational displays, vendors, and hundreds of community organizations helping to educate families on living a greener lifestyle. Children's activities include live music and performances, scientific displays, fun fitness activities, and a Greencycle Swap, so you can turn in those outgrown kids' clothes. FREE admission with fees for activities

Children gather for the Staten Island Children's Museum's Carnival Science Spectacular.

Staten Island Children's Museum's Carnival Science Spectacular — Staten Island
Saturday, June 2
Geek out at this science-themed fete, which will include past favorites such as crawly creatures from the NY Insect Zoo. New additions this year include the live “Fire & Ice” show by Mad Science, as well as table activities from Eye Level Learning Center and Tegu blocks. This year also features a new rock climbing wall for young adventurers. The festival raises money for the museum while turning families on to STEM subjects. Rain date: June 3.

Interact with a robot at the World Science Festival, or build your own STEM projects.

World Science Festival: Stargazing in Brooklyn Bridge Park — Dumbo, Brooklyn
Saturday, June 2
World Science Festival: City of Science — Greenwich Village
Sunday, June 3
The multi-day World Science Festival hosts loads of kids events including these two. Stargazing in Brooklyn Bridge Park features multiple telescopes for planets and stargazing, a LED-lit balloon chain installation, floating overhead and swaying to the changing winds, and world-renowned scientists and chefs discussing the vagaries of cooking, eating, and staying alive in outer space. The City of Science touring event displays how the wondrous properties of science, technology, engineering, and math collide. It's filled with interactive demonstrations, hands-on activities, and enormous exhibitions. FREE, but RSVP is encouraged.

City Island Spring Arts & Crafts Festival — the Bronx
Saturday, June 2-Sunday, June 3
Head to picturesque City Island to browse stained glass, jewelry, paintings, and other pieces by local artisans. Live music and crafts round out the fun. FREE admission with fees for activities and wares

PS 132’s 14th Annual Kite Festival — Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Sunday, June 3
Join this lofty event for the whole family including kite making, decorating and flying, delicious food—courtesy of The Meatball Shop - Williamsburg, Negril BK, Brooklyn Icehouse, and Davey's Ice Cream—bounce houses, field day events, face painting, and so much more. FREE admission with some fees for food and activities

The Epiphany School Spring Carnival — Gramercy
Sunday, June 3
This annual fundraiser is a blast, with not one, but two bouncy castles. If that's not enough, there's a massive inflatable slide and obstacle course, lots of arts and crafts, and a Silly String area. FREE admission with fees for activities

Drums Along the Hudson Inwood
Sunday, June 3
Head to bucolic Inwood Hill Park to experience Native American culture firsthand. Watch dance and drumming performances by Louis Mofsie and the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, Heyna Second Sons, and the SilverCloud drum group, while trying Native American crafts and foods. There will be traditional ceremonies, including the planting of a Tree of Peace as a tribute to recently deceased community leaders. Rain or shine. FREE

Brooklyn Pride's 21st Annual Pride Celebration — Park Slope, Brooklyn
Saturday, June 9
Park Slope's 5th Avenue turns into the most colorful festival of local food and wares you'll see this summer, with musical performances along the route. Stick around for the 'twilight parade" at 7:30pm. FREE

Riverdale RiverFest — the Bronx
Saturday, June 9-Sunday, June 10
Celebrate the mighty Hudson River at this waterfront festival packed with live music, environmental activities, fun for kids, and a reenactment of a medieval battle. You can also take boat rides on the schooner Pioneer and the Mystic Whaler. FREE admission with fees for activities. Buying advance tickets for the boat rides is recommended.

Big Apple Barbecue Block Party — Flatiron
Saturday, June 9-Sunday, June 10
Chow down on food cooked by the best pitmasters from across the country. There's also great live entertainment. Arrive early because this fest gets super-crowded. Free admission but eating will cost you

Israel on Nostrand Avenue Festival — Marine Park, Brooklyn
Sunday, June 10
NYC's largest celebration of Israeli culture features a kibbutz petting zoo, bouncy castles and slides, kosher food and treats, live music and dance performances, plus a special area just for toddlers. FREE admission with fees for activities

RELATED: Best Water Playgrounds in NYC

Draw, dance, and sing on Fifth Avenue at the Museum Mile Festival.

Museum Mile Festival — Upper East Side
Tuesday, June 12
Fifth Avenue between 82nd and 105th Streets is closed to traffic and turned into a massive art party. Everywhere you look people are making things. Cultural institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of the City of New York, the Guggenheim, El Museo del Barrio, and the Cooper Hewitt offer free admission. Get there early as lines are always long. On the street, check out chalk drawings, live music, theater and dance performances, jugglers, and art activities for kids. Rain or shine. FREE

Bring the Cool Family Festival — Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Saturday, June 16
The Brooklyn Museum hosts PS 1 Elementary School and Bring the Cool for an afternoon of museum-wide activities following the theme of "Express Yourself." This year a special concert performance with celebrated R&B and soul musicians Shine & The Moonbeams will take place at 3pm. Included with museum admission

It's all about the ladies at The Hester Street Fair's Girl Power Day. 

Hester Street Fair's Girl Power Day — Lower East Side
Saturday, June 16
One of the longest seasonal fairs in New York City, running from April to October, the Hester Street Fair hosts a number of thematic bents to its weekly Saturday (and many Sunday) fairs. This day is dedicated to visionary women and girls with charities and events with craft options and speakers. FREE

Hunts Point Fish Parade and Summer Festival — the Bronx
Saturday, June 16
Bronx community organization The Point sponsors this waterfront neighborhood celebration. Like Coney Island's Mermaid Parade, this procession boasts colorful costumes, floats, and artistry. After the march, join the festivities in beautiful Barretto Point Park, which usually include Native American drum circles and performances. FREE

Celebrate the beginning of summer at the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island. Photo by Raven Snook

The Mermaid Parade — Coney Island, Brooklyn
Saturday, June 16
A Coney Island tradition since 1983, the parade features revelers decked out in their most outrageous aquatic-themed costumes. Come in your best sea ensemble or just watch as outrageously outfitted revelers pass by. Stunning vintage cars roll down the street alongside marching bands, glamorous floats, and all the wild and wacky mermaids, pirates, Neptunes, and other creatures. There can be some mild nudity, mostly topless ladies with pasties. Afterward, enjoy everything else Coney Island has to offer. FREE

Attempt paddleboarding and more sports in Central Park at Adventures NYC. Photo by Daniel Avila for NYC Parks

Adventures NYC — Central Park
Saturday, June 16
Get active at this annual family fest co-presented by the NYC Parks Department and partners like Honest Tea and Whole Foods. Try rock climbing, zip lining, mountain biking, paddleboarding, and even log rolling in Central Park. FREE

With indoor and outdoor activities, the two-day Queens International Children's Festival is sure to be a hit.

Queens International Children's Festival — Jamaica, Queens
Saturday, Jun 16-Sunday, Jun 17
Hit up this community-building fest featuring two days of live indoor and outdoor performances, face painting, storytelling, and free giveaways. FREE but donations appreciated

Rubin Museum Block Party: We Make the Future — Greenwich Village
Sunday, June 17
The museum's fifth annual fest has art-making, performances, tours, and free admission– all to celebrate and draw inspiration from the museum's yearlong exploration of "The Future." The day also features Himalayan street food from Cafe Serai and Van Leeuwen's ice cream. FREE admission with fees for activities

Egg Rolls, Egg Creams & Empanadas Festival — Lower East Side
Sunday, June 17
This annual fest celebrates the Lower East Side's multicultural community. Visitors can tour the historic synagogue-turned-museum, learn words in Yiddish, Chinese, and Spanish, catch live Chinese opera, Klezmer, salsa and plena music performances, do arts and crafts, and play mahjong. Of course the title noshes—all kosher—will be available. FREE

12th Annual Make Music New York — Citywide
Thursday, June 21
One of the coolest events in all of New York City, this music festival happens all at once, everywhere, on the summer solstice. Over 230 musicians in a city full of musicians play close to 1,000 free concerts in almost every borough, including a number of kindie musicians. FREE

Celebrate Swedish Culture at the Swedish Midsummer Festival.

Swedish Midsummer Festival — Battery Park City
Friday, June 22
Soak up Swedish culture at Robert F. Wagner Park's fest, where families can picnic together, decorate the midsummer pole, make flower wreaths, dance to traditional fiddle music, and play games. FREE

NYSoM SuperHero Sci-Fi Festival — Williamsburg
Saturday, June 23
At the second annual NYSoM Superhero Sci-Fi Festival at the Martinez Playground in Brooklyn, kids get to hang out with their favorite characters from Star Trek, Star Wars, DC, and Marvel, make their own lightsabers, and enjoy classic carnival games. FREE

Summer Celebration — Jamaica, Queens
Saturday, June 23
Queens' King Manor Museum throws its annual end-of-school fete, featuring old-fashioned games, summer crafts, story time, and make-your-own ice cream. FREE

Youth Pride — Chelsea
Saturday, June 23
For the second year, the main NYC Pride festival is hosting a youth event for teens and allies and their families. Much is TBA so far, but expect DJs, photo opportunities, giveaways, and interactive experiences. FREE

Puppetry galore plus lots of other activities at the Puppetry Arts Festival of Brooklyn.

Puppetry Arts Festival of Brooklyn — Park Slope
Saturday, June 23
Spend the day in the awesome J.J. Byrne Playground. Pose with Star Wars characters, hit the bouncy house, play games, and catch shows by Puppetry Arts. The first 200 kids to arrive snag free goody bags. FREE admission with fees for activities

Figment NYC — Governors Island
Saturday, June 23-Sunday, June 24
This über-creative summer festival invites families to make, participate, or collaborate on various art projects. The members of the Figment arts collective say that they offer "art and activities in every medium available," and they're not exaggerating. Kids will also be able to explore tons of interactive installations like tents, domes, and more walk-through projects. FREE

This article first published in June 2010 but is updated annually.

All photos courtesy of the events/venues unless otherwise noted