Five of our top family event picks for June are happening this weekend and we're trying to figure out if we can hit them all since we can't seem to choose. (It's OK—we love a challenge!) There's Madison Square Park's tasty Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, Governors Island's FREE Figment arts festival, the Egg Rolls & Egg Creams Festival on the Lower East Side, the debut of New York Hall of Science's hands-on Design Lab and a no-cost concert by Grammy nominated kid rockers Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could in Wagner Park.
But wait—there's more! Like the performance-filled Red Hook Festival, the New York Aquarium's World Oceans Celebration and FREE tours of the famous Little Red Light House.
These are just a few of the great things going on this weekend. All of our best bets are below. As always, you can find additional options in our Event Calendar and our Summer Fun Guide. Before heading out on your adventures, be sure to download our FREE Mommy Poppins Kids on the Go app so you can find the best family destinations wherever you happen to be in NYC.
Figment NYC – Governors Island
Let your creativity run wild at this two-day festival on Governors Island, where visitors of all ages can participate in or collaborate on a wide variety of projects. The members of the Figment arts collective will debut their brand-new mini-golf course and Interactive Sculpture Garden for the season, and also host all kinds of artsy happenings. In years past, activities have included cookie making, splashing around in big buckets of colored water, painting giant murals, fashioning fairy wings, playing limbo and frolicking in a tent filled with rose petals. It's a truly unforgettable experience. Make sure to catch a morning ferry! There will be long lines by noon. FREE
Big Apple Barbecue Block Party – Flatiron
Pit masters from all over the country descend on Madison Square Park to sell their succulent smoky ribs, juicy pulled pork, mouthwatering sides, desserts and drinks to families and foodies. The fest also features workshops, book signings and great live blues. Arrive early because it gets super-crowded. Free admission but barbecue plates are $9, desserts and beverages are $3-$8.
Design Lab Grand Opening – Corona
The always engaging New York Hall of Science unveils its latest hands-on attraction this weekend: a permanent STEM-themed Design Lab. The installation features five unique pods where kids can try creative activities that hone their design and engineering skills. Drop in to build giant structures, learn about circuitry, create model cities, and study concepts like gravity and motion. Free with museum admission: $11 for adults, $8 for children ages 2-17
World Oceans Day Celebration – Coney Island
Celebrate our planet's amazing oceans at the New York Aquarium. Enjoy eco-crafts, learn about marine biodiversity, watch volunteer divers explore the coral reef exhibit, and meet mer-folk Molly and Gil, the stars of Nickelodeon's animated series Bubble Guppies. Free with admission: $11.95 for ages 3 and up.
Saturday, June 7
Staten Island Children's Museum's Carnival Science Spectacular – Staten Island
Geek out at this science-themed fest. Try robotics activities hosted by local students, check out 3D printing demos courtesy of Staten Island MakerSpace, learn about the science behind the circus with clowns from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and enjoy bouncy houses, live music and other traditional carnival fun. In advance: $12; at the door: $15
Meet the Artist Saturday: Elizabeth Mitchell & You Are My Flower – Upper West Side
Catch the popular Grammy-nominated folk singer at the David Rubenstein Atrium as she croons tunes from her seven family albums. FREE
Red Hook Fest – Red Hook
Hit the Brooklyn waterfront for the final day of this three-day fest featuring a slew of live performances by local artists and family activities like kayaking. FREE
Stories at the Statue – Upper East Side
Enjoy the season opener of this annual storytelling series at the Hans Christian Andersen Statue in Central Park. Today, Laura Simms and Julie Pasqual will perform Hidden But Not Forgotten and The Frog Prince. FREE
Dragon Boat Festival Day – Chinatown
Although Flushing's annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival isn't until August, you can celebrate the tradition early at the Museum of Chinese in America with paper cutting, dance workshops, storytelling performances, and crafts like dragon crowns, potpourri sachets and traditional braided bracelets. Buying advance tickets recommended. $10 for ages 2 and up
Family Day ¡Tejamos! (Let's Weave!) – Upper West Side
Head to the Bard Graduate Center for activities inspired by its Waterweaversfest exhibit. Kids can try their hand at weaving with wool, recycled plastic and plant fibers. $25 per family
Gothic Gardens Children's Workshop – Morningside Heights
Search for plants and flowers depicted in the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine's stained-glass windows and carved stone. Afterward, sculpt your own flora out of clay and illustrate books of plants. Advance registration suggested. $8 per adult-child pair
Little Red Lighthouse Tour – Washington Heights
Don't worry: Even little kids can make it to the top of this NYC landmark. (My son did it at age three!) Before you go, read the classic children’s book that made it famous: The Little Red Light House and the Great Gray Bridge. Arrive early! The Parks Department only opens this lighthouse to the public a few times a year so it's often mobbed. FREE
See all Saturday events.
Sunday, June 8
Egg Rolls & Egg Creams Festival – Lower East Side
Celebrate the multicultural heritage of the Lower East Side at this tasty street fair hosted by the Museum at Eldridge Street. Tour the historic synagogue-turned-museum, learn words in Yiddish and Chinese, enjoy live Chinese opera and klezmer performances, and try mahjong. Of course the title treats will also be available. FREE
Almost Summer Celebration – Battery Park City
Catch the super-popular, Grammy-nominated kid rockers Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could in a rare no-cost concert in Robert F. Wagner Park. Other entertainment includes a Native American hoop dance performance, lawn games, and nature and art activities. Bring a picnic or buy lunch from the onsite food vendors. In the event of rain, the festivities will move indoors to the nearby Museum of Jewish Heritage. FREE
Kite Flying Festival – Williamsburg
Enjoy a day of kite flying fun to support the kids at Brooklyn's P.S. 132. There will also be live performances by local family bands AudraRox and the Villalobos Brothers, as well as the school's talented students. Free admission but there are fees for activities
PBS Kids Club Thirteen Presents: Bessie's Big Shot – Central Park
Are you a member of Kids Club Thirteen? It certainly has its privileges, including free or discounted admission to 13 family events throughout the year, like today's offering at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre. Members snag free tickets to the puppet show Bessie's Big Shot and also enjoy themed crafts. Read our post about Kids Club Thirteen for details on how to join. Free for Kids Club Thirteen members
See all Sunday events.
Don't forget: There's even more fun to be found in our Event Calendar.