Best Summer Festivals and Fairs for NYC Families in July

City of Water Day, Powwow, Fests, Fairs for NYC Kids July 2017

So far this summer, we've posted about FREE outdoor movie screenings, FREE children's concerts, FREE kayaking, and FREE things to do every day with kids in New York City. Now we're rounding up our favorite and (mostly) FREE family festivals and city street fairs going on in this month.

Two of our favorite NYC annual fests take place this month, including the big Bastille Day street fair on the Upper East Side and City of Water Day on Governors Island. If neither of those tickles your fancy, we've rounded up several other options, including Come Out & Play Family Day and Boogie on the Boulevard. Still making your July 4th plans? We've got the details on that holiday, including where to see the fireworks.

So go get your calendar! Here are the best sizzling summer fests for New York City families.

Click through to our listings for all the details, including locations and times.


This was the view when the fireworks were on the West Side. Is the East Side view better? Photo by mamojo/CC BY 2.0.

Happy Fourth of July! — Citywide
Tuesday, July 4
Watch the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks in several FREE spots, including Dumbo and along the FDR in Midtown East. Other Fourth of July fun includes the hot-dog eating contest on Coney Island and more free fireworks on Staten Island and in Brooklyn. FREE

RELATED: July GoList: Best Things to Do with Kids in NYC This Month


Check out the floats at The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Photo courtesy of the festival.

The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel — Williamsburg
Wednesday, July 5–Sunday, July 16
A sort of mini-San Gennaro, this Catholic fest has been celebrated in Williamsburg for more than a century. The multi-day festivities include live music, carnival rides, and great eats, along with a traditional procession of flower-strewn towers and the big feast on Sunday, July 16. Be sure to check the full schedule before heading over, because there are different activities every day. FREE

Bastille Day – Upper East Side
Sunday, July 9
Viva la France! Celebrate French Independence Day at this outdoor cultural fete sponsored by the French Institute/Alliance Française. Attractions include French cuisine, live music, and can-can dancers, an artisan market, and a Kids' Corner with face painting and art projects. Admission is FREE but there are fees for certain activities.

Math Metropolis — Downtown Manhattan
Sunday, July 9
Summer slide got you worried? Head down to Liberty Street for this outdoor hands-on math fest from the folks at MoMath. Kids can try puzzles, brainteasers, and games. FREE


See the city from a different point of view in a kayak. Photo courtesy of Waterfront Alliance.

City of Water Day — Governors Island
Saturday, July 15
Celebrate our waterfront at this annual eco-fest, which takes place on Governors Island and at other points along New York Harbor (called "In Your Neighborhood" locations). Activities include kayaking, historic boat tours and rides, live entertainment, face time with aquatic creatures, and fishing lessons, along with landlubber favorites like arts and crafts, and bouncy castles. Catch a free boat tour on everything from tugboats to tall ships. Fans gobbled up most of the FREE tickets that were released online on June 28 as soon as registration opened, but standby is an option the day of in case there are no-shows, and organizers said they might release more as the summer goes on. FREE


Nepalese dancers at the Rubin Museum Block Party. Photo by Michael Seto courtesy of The Rubin Museum

Rubin Museum Block Party — Chelsea
Sunday, July 16
Inspired by The Rubin Museum of Art's current exhibit, The World is Sound, this family-friendly block party celebrates the seasons. Kids create crafts while enjoying live performances. Admission to the museum is gratis during the event, too. FREE


The Family Day portion of Governors Island's Come Out & Play Day offers a variety of games to play together. Photo courtesy of the festival.

Come Out & Play Family Day – Governors Island
Saturday, July 22
Ready, set, play! This fest, which aims to turn NYC into a giant playground, was once solely for adults. But a few summers back the organizers added a Family Day on Governors Island aimed at fun lovers of all ages. This year, families can participate in multiple interconnecting games themed around time travel, both back to the distant past and ahead to the future. Hit the official Time Travel Agency to get started, and then play as few or many as you'd like. Developed by ESI Design, the games are best suited for children ages 6 to 11 and their adult companions. Afterward, explore the attraction-filled isle. FREE

Boogie on the Boulevard — Grand Concourse, The Bronx
Sunday, July 25
Head to the Grand Concourse where myriad Bronx organizations will be on-hand for a day of free fun including arts and crafts, performances by local artists, an open mic, street games, biking, fitness classes, and more. Can't make it today? Boogie on the Boulevard will be held again on Sunday, August 20. FREE

RELATED: Best of Summer in NYC: Festivals, FREE, Beaches and Pools


Take part in the Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Powwow in a bucolic setting. Photo courtesy of the Queens County Farm Museum

Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Powwow — Glen Oaks, Queens
Friday, July 28-Sunday, July 30
Members of 40 tribal nations participate in this popular powwow at the Queens County Farm Museum, which features Native American dance contests on the farm's apple orchard. Visitors can also browse an ethnic market filled with amazing art, crafts, jewelry, and eats. Afterward, enjoy face time with the farm's residents.

Lincoln Center Out of Doors Family Weekend — Upper West Side
Saturday July 29-Sunday July 30
Lincoln Center kicks off its outdoor music and arts festival Wednesday, July 26 and continues into mid-August. The family weekend (Saturday, July 29-Sunday, July 30) offers a return of its iconic double dutch demonstrations and contests, plus a family film on the subject, discussion and more. Note: FREE

Check out our Event Calendar for additional daily fun in NYC with the kids.

Top image: Bastille Day on East 60th Street. Photo by Michael George