• Weekend Planner: Fun Family Activities in NYC (August 15-17)

    Jazz Age Lawn Party + FlyNYC Fest + Sandcastles On Coney Island + Much More


     

    Fly a kite at the FlyNYC 2014 Festival in Riverside Park this Saturday; photo via riversideparknyc.org

    Fly a kite at the FlyNYC 2014 Festival in Riverside Park this Saturday; photo via riversideparknyc.org

    HOT OFF THE BLOG

    Ever wonder what historic masterpieces would look like on the billboards in Times Square? Now through 8/31, the iconic NYC spot is displaying over 50 works of American art, officially marking the start of Art Everywhere U.S. Totally Cool!

    August is the perfect time for families to play tourist in their own city–check out our fave hot spots for sight-seeing! Tourist Time!

    WEEKEND PLANNER

    FRIDAY

    Learn how birds construct their nests and then create a nest of your very own using recycled materials during the Bird Nesting workshop at the New York Hall of Science. Part of the hall’s Little Makers series, this family program will leave young crafters chirping. Take to the skies! (Friday and Sunday)

    Enjoy the sounds of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra when it performs at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall this weekend. The orchestra will play works by Gluck, Berlioz, and, of course, Mozart. Flutist Magali Mosnier will be making her U.S. debut. Listen up! (Friday and Saturday)

    The Children’s Museum of the Arts in association with the Bronx Zoo invites ages 5 and up to the zoo for an afternoon of ornithology and crafts! Participants will learn about the American Goldfinch and then use milk cartons donated by Organic Valley to create unique bird feeders. Feed the birds! (Friday)

    SATURDAY

    In conjunction with Harlem Week, summer-long programming celebrating the unique history and culture of the neighborhood, the two-day NYC Children’s Festival holds many treats for families. Highlights include games, exhibits, arts & crafts, live music, dancing, free health testing, and sports clinics. Plus, don’t miss a special “Back to School” theme on Sunday, featuring a fall-themed fashion show. Get festive! (Saturday and Sunday)

    Head back to the Roarin’ Twenties with a Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island! A celebration of the Jazz Age era, this colorful event will host activities like dance lessons (to learn popular steps of the time), a close-up look at gramophones, a pie contest, and much more! For foodie families, a themed “Taste of the 20′s” menu will even feature specialized food and drink. And don’t forget about Kidland, a special area for children with carnival games and prizes. Jazz it up! (Saturday and Sunday)

    Little ones can make their own kite or fly one with parents at the FlyNYC 2014 Festival in Riverside Park. Guests will also enjoy live musical performances from Batala NYC and Shinbone Alley Stilt Band. All ages are welcome during this high-flying fest. Let’s go fly a kite! (Saturday)

    Watch 12 NYC skateboarding teams battle for a shot at a championship title in the Rider Cup NYC Finals  at the Lower East Side Skatepark.  Teams  from every borough will compete for a $10,000 cash prize and a trip to South Africa to compete in the Rider Cup Championship in October. Come out and cheer! (Saturday)

    Spend a sandy afternoon on Coney Island at the Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest. Put your sandcastle sculpting to the test against other families or watch professionals create fun and beautiful works of art on the beach! All proceeds, including sponsorships and donations, from the contest will go to support families who were impacted by Superstorm Sandy. A (sand)storm is a-brewin’! (Saturday)

    Bring the whole family to the Center for Architecture on Saturday for a Family Day workshop. During this two-hour program, guests will learn about different types of bridges and then construct their own model bridge to take home. It’ll be a bridge bonanza! (Saturday)

    Budding butterfly enthusiasts should head to Wave Hill on Saturday or Sunday for a butterfly-filled Family Art Project. All ages can learn about and sketch these delicate fluttering creatures while young ones make a butterfly hat. Wings will flap! (Saturday and Sunday)

    SUNDAY

    Dance lovers should check out the 33rd Annual Downtown Dance Festival in lower Manhattan. Featuring dance genres ranging from Indian dance to tap to contemporary ballet, NYC’s longest running dance festival will host performances from over 200 companies this week. Be sure to stay for “Everybody Dance Now!” at 7:45pm every day. Dance your cares away! (Sunday through Thursday, August 21)

    Parents’ Choice Gold Award-winning band Lesley and the Flying Foxes will put on quite a show at the South Street Seaport this Sunday. Part of the Seaport’s Kid/Around series, this two-hour musical performance will provide answers to age-old questions such as “why do we have eyebrows?” and “what does a turtle singing opera sound like?” Get ready for some silliness! (Sunday)

    This Sunday, all ages are welcome to attend Harlem Family Day in Marcus Garvey Park. The afternoon’s festivities will include live performances from Shine and the Moonbeams, Moona Luna, Kojo Odu Roney, and others. The best part? Admission is free. Pay nothing! (Sunday)