• Events: Top Kid-Friendly Activities For The Week

    Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island, Big Apple Barbecue Block Party in Madison Square Park, Ezra Jack Keats Family Concert in Prospect Park, and more!

    By Gavriella Mahpour, Maggie Finn Ryan, Lauren Vespoli
    Join Dan Zanes for the Ezra Jack Keats Family Concert in Prospect Park this Saturday! Photo courtesy of Dan Zanes via bricartsmedia.org.

    Join Dan Zanes for the Ezra Jack Keats Family Concert in Prospect Park this Saturday! Photo courtesy of Dan Zanes via bricartsmedia.org.

    We’ve got several heavy-hitting annual fests coming up this weekend! Clear some time on your calendar for a swingin’ exhibit at Brookfield Place, a 1920s-style lawn party on Governors Island, a delicious BBQ fest in Madison Square Park, and an American Indian festival in Inwood Hill Park. Plus, don’t forget to check out the Ezra Jack Keats Family Concert with Dan Zanes in Prospect Park. Enjoy!

    Opening Friday, June 10

    “The Swings” Exhibit
    Brookfield Place
    Presented by Daily tous les jours, a Montreal-based design studio, “The Swings: An Exercise in Musical Cooperation”  is a fun, interactive exhibit that will thrill kids and adults alike. Each swing represents one of four instruments–piano, guitar, harp, and vibraphone–and visitors create music by swinging on them. As all four are swung, a beautiful symphony emerges. The kids will love participating in this collective music experience. Runs through Thursday, July 7. This event is free.

    Saturday, June 11

    Ezra Jack Keats Family Concert
    Prospect Park
    Dan Zanes is known for exploring American and global roots traditions in his incredibly fun and engaging family music. Join Zanes at the Prospect Park Bandshell for a concert that will provide a special sneak-peek of his newest “Smithsonian Folkways” album, which celebrates the blues icon Lead Belly. The show also honors the centennial of the birth of Brooklynite author Ezra Jack Keats, who introduced characters of color to mainstream children’s literature. Get to the show on time for a TADA! Youth Theater performance of one of Keats’ most beloved stories. Gates open at 3pm; show begins at 4pm. This event is free.

    Saturday, June 11-Sunday, June 12

    Jazz Age Lawn Party
    Governors Island
    The roaring ’20s Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island has become an annual destination for New Yorkers young and old to dress up and have some good ol’ fashioned fun. Wear your best flapper-style outfits, bring some snacks for a lawn picnic, and take the ferry to be transported to another time. Once again this year, Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra will delight guests with big band dance numbers, joining an array of other performers throughout the weekend. This all-ages, family-friendly event will have plenty of entertainment options for everyone, including Kidland, which features carnival games and prizes for junior “flappers and flapperettes,” dance lessons, a paper moon photo booth, an antique car exhibit, vintage clothing and gift vendors, ’20s-era inspired food and drinks, and more. Tickets start at $15. Children under the age of 12 do not need a ticket, but must be accompanied by an adult at all times. This event will also take place on Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14.

    Big Apple Barbecue Block Party
    Madison Square Park
    Rustle up the kids and head over to Madison Square Park for some mouthwatering BBQ! The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party is a two-day food fest where visitors can sample barbecue ribs, chicken, sausage and more from the best pitmasters in the US. The block party will also include cooking seminars with nationally renowned chefs, plus live music by Bernie Williams & His All-Star Band, David Ryan Harris, and the Demolition String Band. Admission is free. Food is $10 per plate; a FastPass is $125; Big Wig VIP Pass is $275.

    Sunday, June 12

    14th Annual Drums Along the Hudson Festival
    Inwood Hill Park
    This year, the city’s only open air pow-wow will honor the American Indian College Fund’s president and CEO Cheryl Crazy Bull and the co-founder of Miss Jessie’s, Miko Branch. Featuring the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, this Native American festival will include festivities such as storytelling, arts and crafts, food, an Environmental Tent, live dance and drumming performances, and, for the second consecutive year, a World Market Tent. Hosted by Sandra Bookman. This event will be held rain or shine.

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