Weekend Fun for NYC Kids: St. Patrick's Day Parades, NY International Children's Film Fest, Purim Carnivals & Lunar New Year Celebrations February 28-March 1

2/25/15 - By Stephanie Ogozalek

This weekend is a real multiculti mash-up with a pair of kid-friendly St. Patrick's Day parades, Lunar New Year celebrations and Purim carnivals all on tap. You can also mark Dr. Seuss' 111th birthday at the Children's Museum of the Arts, whip up healthy dishes at the annual Kids Food Festival in Bryant Park and catch offbeat family flicks at the opening weekend of the New York International Children's Film Festival.

These are just a few of the great things going on this weekend. All of our best bets are below. You can find additional options in our Event Calendar and our Winter Fun Guide. And if you're looking to plan ahead, check out our brand-new March GoList, which highlights the absolute best things to do with kids throughout the month.


All Weekend

New York International Children's Film Festival – Manhattan
One of our February GoList picks: This annual fest screens kids' flicks from around the globe at five Manhattan cinemas. Tickets have been on sale since January so a few selections are already sold out, but there are still plenty of cool screenings available for all ages. Plus there are often pre- or post-show Q&As with the filmmakers and other special events. Read our film fest post for more details. $13-$16 but save $2 per ticket with the discount code MOPO15.

Kids Food Festival – Midtown West
Head to Bryant Park for a tasty variety of kids' cooking classes taught by professional chefs, or enjoy FREE live cooking demos, healthy eating seminars, and entertainment by the Dirty Sock Funtime Band, Baby Loves Disco and more. Afterward, take a spin on the carousel or hit the no-cost ice-skating rink. Free admission, $25 per cooking class and buying advance tickets are recommended

Blocks – Fort Greene
Another February GoList pick: A perfect first live show for tots, this whimsical and wordless physical comedy at BAM was created for very young theatergoers. Three clowns play with colorful blocks to build, break and rebuild structures and relationships. $12

The Orchid Show: Chandeliers – the Bronx
Celebrate the (eventual) coming of spring at the New York Botanical Garden's annual orchid display. Look up as you stroll under hanging baskets of beautiful blooms in the heated Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, including the highlight: a giant star-shaped chandelier bursting with hundreds of orchids. Free with All-Garden Pass: $25 for adults, $10 for children ages 2-12

The Light Princess – Midtown West
Head to the New Victory Theater to catch this clever adaptation of George MacDonald's 19th-century Scottish fairy tale about a princess cursed to live without gravity. Developed at Cambridge, Massachusetts' innovative A.R.T. Institute, this musical stars students from Harvard's prestigious graduate acting program. $14-$38

Saturday, February 28

Lunar New Year Festival – Upper East Side
Celebrate the Year of the Ram at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual fete featuring activities and entertainment from all over Asia. Catch live performances by the New York Chinese Cultural Center, the Chinese Center on Long Island Lion Troupe, traditional Tibetan and Indonesian dancers, and Chinese Theatre Works. Try hands-on crafts like accordion books, knot tying, stone carving and shadow puppetry. Plus see Sesame Street puppeteers and Alan Muraoka in action. Free with suggested admission: $25 for adults, free for children under age 12

The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Favorites – Tribeca
Head to the Tribeca Performing Arts Center to see this beautiful, black-light puppet spectacle by the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia based on Eric Carle's beloved picture books. Perfect for preschoolers, the show includes the troupe's adaptations of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Little Cloud. $25

National Girls and Women in Sports Day: Game On – Chelsea
Get your game on with a slew of sports clinics, fitness demos, and face time with pro female athletes. Open to girls and boys but advance registration recommended. Call 212-408-0243. FREE

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! – Hudson Square
Mark the prolific author/illustrator's 111th birthday with a day of creative projects based on his books at the Children's Museum of the Arts. Kids can create a 3D cat to jump out of a hat, stop-motion shorts and Seuss-style clay creatures. Free with admission: $11

Ice-Skating Day – Chelsea
In honor of Chelsea Piers' 20th anniversary, visitors can go ice-skating at no cost at its indoor Sky Rink. While there, snag some complimentary hot chocolate too. FREE admission, $5 for skate rental

See all Saturday events.

Sunday, March 1

Purim Carnival – Upper East Side
One of our March GoList picks: Celebrate Purim, a Jewish holiday inspired by the biblical story of Queen Esther, at the 92nd Street Y. Don your costume to enjoy carnival games, a petting zoo, a bounce house, a Purim play and a magic show. Plus kids can make the holiday's traditional pastry, hamentashen, and create mishloach manot (treat-filled holiday baskets). $12 for adults, $17 for children

St. Patrick's For All Parade – Sunnyside
As the name implies, this Queens procession is completely inclusive, allowing everyone to feel Irish in honor of the holiday. The result is a spirited multicultural affair that embraces community groups, children's bands, Irish organizations, religious groups and LGBT contingents. FREE

Staten Island's St. Patrick's Day Parade – Staten Island
More St. Patrick's fun: This 50th annual procession travels through the borough's West Brighton neighborhood on Forest Avenue, with viewing stands at the Blessed Sacrament R.C. Church. FREE

See all Sunday events.

Don’t forget: There are lots of other options in our Event Calendar.