• 10 Great Family Events For August

    The Best Family-Friendly Things To Do In NYC This Month

    By Sarah Greene

    Summer Streets -- photo by Teh Moneda

    August 4, 11, & 18
    [All Ages]
    On three Saturdays this month, Park Avenue will be closed to cars for nearly seven miles as Summer Streets returns for its fifth year. New Yorkers can enjoy the rare chance to glide along a 160-foot-long zip line, munch on healthy treats at the Whole Foods Market City Picnic, or scale the 25-foot climbing wall to view the massive festival from above. Don’t miss the free football games, dance and yoga classes, and other exercise- and sports-themed activities for all ages. Free, 7am-1pm. Park Avenue between Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge, nyc.gov/summerstreets.

    August 4 & 5
    [All Ages]
    Bask in the festivities of Asia without leaving the city. Celebrate the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival—traditionally held on the fifth day of the lunar calendar’s fifth moon, which fell on June 23 this year—by watching more than 170 teams compete in one of America’s largest dragon boat races. Boogie to live international music and root for your favorite crew as bands of colorful vessels tear across the water in time with booming Chinese drums. Feast on yummy ethnic cuisine, participate in martial arts demonstrations, or create themed arts and crafts projects. Free, 9am-5pm.Meadows Lake, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, 718-767-1776, hkdbf-ny.org.

    August 11 & 12
    [All Ages]
    You don’t need a time machine to travel back to the 19th century—simply venture on to Governors Island for Civil War Weekend where you can commemorate the 1860s with Union soldiers and Confederate prisoners themselves. Bonding with reenactors aside, kids can foster a love for history by designing fortresses, learning drill instruction, and witnessing live cannon and small arms demonstrations. Extras like a Civil War-style medical exam and the Civil War musical performances will be one for the history books! Free, 10:30am-5pm.Governors Island, Fort Jay and Castle Williams (10 South St. #4), 212-825-3045, nps.gov/gois.

    August 16
    [All Ages]
    What better way to enjoy a classic summer picnic than with a side of classic theater entertainment? From 12:30pm-1:30pm, Broadway in Bryant Park presents the stars of Broadway and Off-Broadway’s hottest musicals as they heat up the lunchtime stage on everyone’s favorite midtown lawn. Little ones will love numbers from “A Christmas Story” and “Bring It On: The Musical,” while older kids can get a dose of culture with favorites from “Avenue Q” and “Rock of Ages.” Free, 12:30pm-1:30pm. Bryant Park Lawn, Sixth Avenue and West 42nd Street, 212-768-4242, bryantpark.org.

    August 18
    [All Ages]
    Join over 60,000 attendees in sampling exotic cuisine, crafts, clothing, and more from an assortment of vendors and exhibitors along West 135th Street. This year’s Summer in the City, a part of the Harlem Week heritage and art festival, celebrates Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence with a special tribute to Bob Marley: an outdoor film festival, rock and hip hop concert with regional dance acts, and college step dance competitions. Free, 12pm-6pm.West 135th Street between Malcolm X Boulevard and St. Nicholas Avenue, 212-862-8477, harlemweek.com.

    Civil War Weekend -- photo by asterix611

    August 18
    [All Ages]
    Tear up the summer sky at the FlyNY Kite Festival in Riverside Park! From 11am-3pm, you can participate in kite-making workshops and learn how to fly a kite like a pro, watching your masterpiece take flight in the breeze. On the pier, dance underneath your swaying kites to live music and entertainment, or sit back and enjoy some demonstrations by the Kiteflyers Association. This event will send both kites and spirits soaring. Free, 11am-3pm. Pier I at 70th Street, Riverside Park South, nycgovparks.org.

    August 25
    [All Ages]
    Get ready to serve your meanest slices across the same nets as your fave tennis stars on Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. Little ones will be able to sharpen their tennis skills with personal trainers, race fellow tennis lovers in an obstacle course, and watch professional players duke it out on the courts. Don’t forget to try out racquets weighted to players’ specifications and check how fast your serve is with real IBMradar guns before you catch the Stadium Show, which has featured hot musical acts like Justin Bieber and Rihanna in previous years. Ticket prices vary, 9:30am. USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, arthurashekidsday.com.

    Through August 30
    [Ages 1-15]
    On Wednesdays and Thursdays this month, head over to CMA’s free pop-up art program on the West Side’s breezy pier and get creative. Each day, start with your very own mixed media project, followed by a team-player contribution to the program’s collaborative masterpiece. Remember to make a weekend stop on the 18th for the special Science on the River workshops, where you can sculpt clay puppets and try your hand at stop motion animation, take part in an eco-art installation, and more. Free, 3-6pmWednesdays and Thursdays. Hudson River Pier 25, 212-274-0986, cmany.org.

    Through September 2
    [All Ages]
    If you haven’t yet joined throngs of NYC Muggles in catching the Olivier Award-nominated “Potted Potter—The Unauthorized Harry Experience,” now’s your last chance. The hilarious spoof, which was slated to close mid-August, has been extended for a few more weeks. Join comedians Dan and Jeff as they squeeze your favorite spells, foes, horcruxes, and other Hogwarts highlights from all seven books into a 70-minute performance. Show-goers can even participate in a live game of Quidditch without having to find the elusive platform 9 ¾. Ticket prices and show times vary. Little Shubert Theatre, 422 West 42nd St., 212-239-6200, pottedpotter.com.

    Through September 3
    [All Ages]
    Calling all mini adventurists: giant LEGO sculptures of tigers, gorillas, and other exotic wildlife are back again at the Bronx Zoo’s WildForest! After a thrilling journey through the safari, head over to the LEGO Construction Zone to create your own building-block animals and help complete the zoo’s mural. To wrap up the perfect expedition, catch an animal-themed handmade puppet show or a performance of the beloved “Avenue Zoo,” featuring Off-Broadway’s Kate Monster. Free with admission, 10am-5pm on weekdays and 10am-5:30pm on weekends. 2300 South Boulevard, Bronx, 718-367-1010, bronxzoo.org.


    For more event picks for families, check out our Family Calendar.

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