The Coolest Family-Friendly Summer Festivals In NYC


12th Annual KidsFilmFest
June 4, 1pm
Made in NY Media Center, 30 John Street, Brooklyn
All ages
A program of the Brooklyn Film Festival, the KidsFilmFest  consists of short animation, live-action, and documentary films for kids of all ages (all films are rated “G”). Filled with filmmaker Q&As and workshops, the festival is a  fun and an educational introduction to the world of independent short film. Tickets are $12, children 12 and under are free;

World Science Festival
June 1-5, various times
Various locations
All ages
The World Science Festival comes to New York this year with a line-up of kid-friendly events that will delight all ages. On June 4-5, young scientists can design their own products, scan bones from an archeological dig, and geotrack wildlife as they learn alongside leading scientists during the Apprentice Program (tickets required); or join the Great Fish Count, helping ecologists count and release marine critters at 15 sites across the city. Don’t miss the fest’s culminating event, the 9th annual Ultimate Science Street Fair on Sunday (6/5) in Washington Square Park, where you can expect dazzling demonstrations and experiments for all ages, in addition to games, entertainment, and activities from 10am-6pm. The Street Festival is free and open to the public; other events require advance tickets. – Maggie Finn Ryan 

jazz age lawn party LOW RES
Jazz Age Lawn Party; photo courtesy Jazz Age Lawn Party

Jazz Age Lawn Party
June 11-12 & August 13-14; ferries leave Manhattan starting at 10am & Brooklyn starting at 11am
Governors Island
All ages
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 the guests with big band dance numbers, joining an array of other music performances 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 to purchase a ticket, but must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Ferries leave from the Battery Maritime Building, located at 10 South Street starting at 10am, and from Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6 in Brooklyn starting at 11am; -Maggie Finn Ryan 

Museum Mile Festival
June 14; 6-9pm
5th Avenue between 82nd and 105th Streets
All ages
Enjoy a cultural night out on the town! This year marks the 38th annual Museum Mile Festival. With the opening ceremony starting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the festival also includes the Neue Galerie New York, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the Jewish Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, and El Museo del Barrio! Complete with outdoor art activities for children and musical performances, the event is fun, free culture for the whole family! Free;  212-606-2296, – Maggie Finn Ryan

River to River Festival
June 16-26, various times
Various locations in Lower Manhattan
All ages
The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council will host 11 days of contemporary live and visual art on the tip of Manhattan and Governors Island. Be sure to mark your calendar for June 21, when the fest offers its “Night at the Museums,” during which 16 Lower Manhattan museums and cultural institutions offer free admission, and guests can take a walking tour to learn the history of the area. Free,

The 34th Annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade
June 18, 1pm
Parade starts at West 21st Street and Surf Avenue at 1pm; ends at Steeplechase Plaza
All ages
A harbinger of summer, the Coney Island Mermaid Parade is the largest art parade in the country! The parade combines ocean myths and seaside kitsch into a fun-loving procession of more than 3,000 revelers from all five boroughs. Free to attend;

Adventures NYC in Central Park
June 18, 11am-4pm
The Bandshell Area in Central Park (Enter at 72nd Street)
All ages
Calling all outdoor enthusiasts! Explore the great outdoors with Adventures NYC, a day of extreme outdoor fun put on by the NYC Parks Department. Head to Central Park to participate in a variety of outdoor sports. Last year’s fest offered opportunities to paddle, hike, bike, and climb, watch fishing demonstrations, and visit outdoor gear exhibits. Free, – Maggie Finn Ryan

SummerStage Kids Festival
June 19- August 21, various times
Times and locations vary
All ages
Catch live, outdoor performances with your little ones in parks throughout the five boroughs! With over 100 free performing arts events in over 30 parks, the SummerStage Kids Festival introduces NYC kids and families to local, national, and international arts and culture through a diverse lineup of performing artists—including mesmerizing dance, storytelling, acrobatic, music, and theatre performances. Free, – Maggie Finn Ryan

egg rolls & egg creams
Egg Rolls, Egg Creams, & Empanadas Festival; image via

Egg Rolls, Egg Creams, & Empanadas Festival
June 19, 12-4pm
Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge Street
All ages
Honor the Jewish, Chinese and Puerto Rican cultures of the Lower East Side at the Museum at Eldridge Street’s annual block party. Enjoy klezmer and bomba music, Hebrew and Chinese scribal art, Puerto Rican mask making, Mah Jongg games, yarmulke making, and of course, egg rolls, egg creams, and empanadas! Free; 212-219-0302,

Make Music New York
June 21, 10am-10pm
Various locations
All ages
Celebrate the 10th anniversary of Make Music New York with more than 1,000 free outdoor concerts on the first day of summer! Some of this year’s exciting events include a performance by legendary composer Philip Glass in Riverside Park, a swinging Second Line Parade led by Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jason Olaine, a workshop for budding young electronic musicians at the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza, and the Gauntlet on the High Line, where 60 singers will engage in a musical dialogue as the public is invited to walk through them and experience the piece at their own pace. Free, – Maggie Finn Ryan

Summer Solstice Celebration
June 21, 5pm-dusk
Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City, Queens
All ages
Celebrate the longest day of the year at Socrates Sculpture Park, enjoying beautiful sunset views of the Manhattan skyline! This year’s festivities will include Afro-Brazilian drumming by Batala NYC, a capoiera performance and demos for kids and adults by Capoeira Nago, and Brazilian BBQ! There will also be musical instrument and sculpture-making workshops, telescope “tours of the sky” led by students from LaGuardia Community College, and a special Solstice ritual performed by Urban Shaman Mama Donna. Free,


Fourth of July Celebration With Hamilton 
July 4, 10am-6pm
New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West (at 77th Street)
All ages
Kick off the New-York Historical Society’s Summer of Hamilton with this historical family festival! Meet a Hamilton reenactor, learn a drill from the 3rd New Jersey Regiment, take a tour featuring  artifacts related to Hamilton’s fatal duel with Aaron Burr, test your knowledge at the Big Family Quiz Thing’s Founding Fathers Trivia Contest, make patriotic crafts, and more! Plus, kids 17 and under receive free museum admission all day! Free with museum admission,

Bastille Day on 60th Street
July 10, 12-5pm
60th Street between Lexington & 5th Avenues
All ages
Celebrate France’s national holiday with FIAF’s amazing holiday street fair! In addition to sampling plenty of France’s culinary delights—including crepes, eclairs, cheeses and more—revelers can take in performances by Can-Can dancers, fencing demos, mime acts, and a vintage Citroën car show. Plus, there will be face painting and arts and crafts for kids at the FIAF Language Center booth.

City of Water Day Festival
July 16,  10am-4pm;
Various locations on the NYC & NJ waterfront
All ages
Hop on a boat at the 9th annual City Of Water Day Festival! This family-friendly event takes place along the New York and New Jersey waterfront. As the region’s largest harbor festival, the celebrations span from Governors Island to Maxwell Place Park in Hoboken, NJ, and dozens of other locations in the New York Harbor. Enjoy free boat tours on small and large vessels, including tall ships and tugboats; kayak, paddle, and row; and be sure not to miss the Children’s Activities Fair and Waterfront Activity Fairs, which are lots of fun for the whole family. Free; 212-935-9831,  – Maggie Finn Ryan

Rubin Museum Block Party
July 16, 1-4pm
Rubin Museum, 150 West 17th Street
All ages
Join the Rubin Museum for a family-friendly block party inspired by the exhibit “Nepalese Seasons: Rain and Ritual.” The event will  celebrate Nepal’s festivals, nature, and culture with art making, museum tours and a gallery search, musical and dance performances, and more. Plus, admission to the Museum is free all day! Free,

lincoln center out of doors
Lincoln Center Out of Doors; via

Lincoln Center Out of Doors Family Day
July 23, 11am
Josie Robertson and Hearst Plazas at Lincoln Center, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza
All ages
Enjoy a day of the arts at Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors Family Day! This year, kids and families can get down during a Family Dance Party with Philadelphia collective Illstyle & Peace Productions, watch a performance by the Dance Theatre of Harlem, and hear chart-topping stars and new voices sing classic American song styles together during the Girl Group Project concert. Free,

Animation Block Party
July 28-31, times vary
BAMcinématek, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn; and at the Waterfront Plaza at Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey Street
[Ages vary based on the event]
Celebrate all-things animated at the Animation Block Party, the largest animation festival on the East Coast. Cartoon fans can expect to see student, professional, and independent animated films of all genres. This year, the festival will include Animation Features screenings for kids at 2pm on Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31 at BAMcinématek. Opening Night at Rooftop Films at Brookfield Place is free and open to the public, and will also be kid-friendly. The fest’s complete schedule will be released on June 24. Ticket prices vary; – Maggie Finn Ryan

Children’s Poetry Festival
July 30-31, 11am-5pm
Governors Island
Ages 2-18
During the Children’s Poetry Festival, ages 2-18 are invited to Governors Island for a weekend of literary fun and inspiration. They can share their poetry on the Kids-only stage, and younger children will love hearing readings and adding original poems and illustrations to the Poetree Forest. Sponsored by Writopia. Free,


Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
August 6-7, times vary
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
All ages
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in NYC! Dragon boats are traditional Chinese boats that are powered by a crew of around 20 people. Typically, a drummer leads the team as the drumbeat helps the crew synchronize their strokes. Watch a multitude of different dragon boat races and traditional music and dance performances from around the world at the Dragon Boat Festival. The opening day parade takes place on Saturday, August 6, at noon. Free;  718-767-1776,

New York Renaissance Faire
August 6-October 2, 10am-7pm
600 Route 17A, Tuxedo Park, NY
All ages
Mingle with court jesters, fair maidens, and feudal lords at the New York Renaissance Faire every Saturday and Sunday, as well as Labor Day, from August 6 through October 2. Watch jousting matches and music and dance performances! Gnaw on a turkey leg as you enjoy magic and storytelling performances. Wander around the Artisan Marketplace, where your kiddos can get their face painted and their hair braided. There are even games and rides for the little ones! Adults: $25, Children (ages 5-12): $12, Children 4 and under are free; 845-351-5171, – Maggie Finn Ryan

FringeJr Festival
August 12-28, showtimes vary
heater at the 14th Street Y, 344 East 14th Street (at 1st Avenue)
Ages 5-12
Now in its 20th year, the New York International Fringe Festival boasts over 1,000 performances, 200 shows, and spans 16 days. Now your kids can join in on the fun! Bring your little ones to see new theatrical works at FringeJR, FringeNYC’s offshoot for the whole family. Take your kiddos to see new musicals, plays, and comedies at this celebrated indie theater festival. Ticket pricing and showtimes vary and are TBD, – Maggie Finn Ryan

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Dedimus Potestatem

<p>Dedimus Potestatem provides fun, engaging, academically challenging programs to students in primary, middle, and high school. Programs include Leadership, Debate, Model United Nations, Computer Programming, Financial Literacy, Filmmaking, Philosophy, Model Congress, Mock Trial, Etiquette, Bioethics, Stem and Bioethics, and more. We currently offer both virtual and in-person private, semi-private, and group sessions and after-school programs. Contact us to bring us to your school today!</p> <p>Sessions</p> <p>We currently offer both virtual and in-person private, semi-private, and group sessions as well as after-school programs. To register, visit <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> </a>or email us at <a href="mailto:[email protected]?subject=REGISTER" target="_blank" rel="noopener">[email protected]</a></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Leadership: Middle School ages 10-13, High School ages 14-18</a></p> <p>This is a unique leadership course that gives students the skills they need to succeed in life. Using an activity-based syllabus centered around character traits most sought and admired in leaders (initiative, honesty, self-control, adaptability, empathy, persuasiveness, resourcefulness, diligence, tolerance, determination, generosity, punctuality, courage, reliability, endurance, deference, creativity and integrity) students learn how to deal with situations they encounter in life. These building blocks will ensure they grow to become the leaders so sought after by our burgeoning society. Our grading rubric was adapted with the permission of Neil Mercer, the Director of research and Head of Faculty at The University of Cambridge.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Little Leaders: Primary School Ages 6-9</a></p> <p>Developed by former pre-school and elementary teachers, this ethics-centered program utilizes a play-based method to encourage students to explore and apply soft skills in their daily lives. While cultivating the skills they will need to build strong, successful relationships, they will learn how to find their voice and showcase themselves in the best way. Students will learn to communicate and negotiate so they can be better team leaders and team players. Students will learn how to deal with situations they encounter in life, such as bullying, cheating, conflicts between two or more parties, and more. The inculcation of these values in our children's formative years will ensure they grow to become the leaders so sought after by our burgeoning society.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Speech & Debate</a> (competitive and non-competitive programs available)</p> <p>This online after-school program prepares students for formal and informal presentations. Participants learn to craft and present arguments and inform, persuade, and motivate an audience in a variety of ways. According to the English Speaking Union, debate is a natural fit for students and compliments common core standards. Debate builds literacy and multi-media research skills, fosters critical thinking and expanded perspectives, enhances public speaking skills, increases confidence, trains students to listen effectively, supports diverse learners and strengthens civil engagement and discourse. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Model United Nations (Ages 11-18)</a></p> <p>Model UN simulates the six major organs of the United Nations. Students role play as delegates from a country of their choosing and learn to write and present resolutions based on topics they are passionate about-just as if they were representing member states of the United Nations. We utilize materials from National Model UN and video tutorials to teach students how to write and present position papers, working papers, and draft resolutions. Students use debate and negotiation to enlist the support of other delegates for their resolution. Model UN is a great way to teach students leadership skills like communication, conflict resolution, negotiation, and delegation.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Self Defense and Empowerment</a></p> <p>Developed by a veteran Krav Maga specialist, this self-defense program will focus on the principle of healthy minds in healthy bodies. Students will focus on de-escalation techniques as well as safe and active means of self-defense. Through active games and fun drills, students will learn the disciplined focus, critical thinking, adaptability, and resilience necessary to achieve goals, as well as gain valuable social insights into leadership and teamwork. Students will expend energy and reduce stress while learning to stand and present confidently.</p> <p>Mock Trial (<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Fairy Tale Mock Trial for ages 7-9</a>, regular <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Mock Trial Ages 10-18</a>)</p> <p>Mock trial is a hands-on simulation of the American judicial system. The goal is to help participants acquire a working knowledge of our judicial system, develop analytical abilities and communication skills, display leadership in a court of law, and gain an understanding of their obligations and responsibilities as participating members of our society. Materials for this course are provided by The American Bar Association.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Model Congress: Ages 10-18</a></p> <p>This civics course simulates the legislative process. Students will learn about the electoral process, lobby for issues they are passionate about, draft and deliver bills, amend legislation, debate international policy, and learn how to effectively represent a constituent body of their choosing. We utilize materials from The Constitutional Rights Foundation, ICivics (founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor) and the National Model U.S. Congress. These resources have been proven to improve students’ civic knowledge, presentation, and core literacy skills. New research has also shown that the use of the aforementioned materials has also led to increased participation in the democratic process. Our objective in this course is to educate the next generation, nurture and inculcate a passion for civics and history and encourage young people to advocate for themselves.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Philosophy</a></p> <p>The focus of the Philosophy class is to examine and understand the ideas behind the most popular philosophies embraced throughout the world. To do this, students examine ethical situations through the lens of these philosophies and engage in a Socratic style debate. Students are presented with an ethical question and they must identify stakeholders and players within the dilemma, discuss the key moral issues and present opposing viewpoints. This class was built for students who wish to <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">compete in the middle or high school Ethics Bowl</a>. </p> <p><a href="">Money Matters: Financial Literacy for Students</a></p> <p>The Money Matters course is built to help students manage their personal finances, from building credit and loan applications to interest rates and investing strategies. This class will cover the basics of financial health, savings, spending habits, and budgeting. After learning how to store, track, and spend responsibly, students will learn about risk management, APRs, and tax preparation. This class will use real-life examples and teach students how to set and achieve financial goals. This course is ideal for middle and high school students.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">STEM and Bioethics: (Ages 10-18)</a></p> <p>Our STEM program will give kids the opportunity to think critically about science and society, and to practice communicating scientific topics in ways everyone can understand. To be a successful scientist in our modern world, one must not only have a broad understanding of scientific material learned at school, but also the ability to communicate effectively and share that knowledge with others. Each week of this program will build on the previous while also introducing new scientific topics for discussion.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Etiquette (Ages 5 and up)</a></p> <p>Due to increasing popular demand from groups and individuals, we have decided to offer our etiquette course as an eight week after-school class. Students will not only learn how to introduce themselves and their friends, they will explore appropriate language for quotidian and special occasions, how to enter and leave conversations, proper table behavior for different scenarios, effective strategies for conflict resolution and negotiation, the importance of tone, expression, and body language in every social interaction and why manners and soft skills are essential to a successful life.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Speech and Essay Writing: Ages 10-18</a></p> <p>This group class includes eight one-hour online sessions focused on the creation, development, and delivery of informative and persuasive speeches. This program is tailored to the needs of the individual(s) in question and can include essay writing, use of stylistic devices, and persuasive rhetoric and/or instructions on how to craft and deliver a persuasive or informative multidimensional presentation with compelling slides, audio, and videos.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Visual Storytelling</a></p> <p>Multimedia platforms have increasingly become more popular for educators, artists and businesses. Young people all over the world have begun using media to amplify initiatives, educate, share science, poetry, art, movement, culture and more. In this class students will learn to capture brief videos that share their voice and vision with the world.</p> <p>College application course </p> <p>Discover the fundamentals of style, narrative, and theme for the ideal college application essays! In these sessions, you will begin by examining outstanding Personal Statements and by brainstorming your own. Then, move on to draft and edit the specialized supplemental essays for each college on your list. Space is limited to ensure personalized attention.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Academic writing</a> </p> <p>These are sessions focused on academic writing. Our tutors have years of experience in drafting, editing, and teaching essay writing. Each package will include a consultation with our tutors to assess individual needs. </p> <p><a href="">Test Prep: SAT, SHSAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, ASVAB, TACHS + more</a></p> <p>These classes are focused on identifying the quickest and most efficient path toward improving students' standardized test scores. Starting with a diagnostic practice exam, this program will target the key subject matter your students need to master while integrating timing, triage, and practice strategies. We aim to regularly emulate the real-life conditions of tests until students are comfortable working quickly, accurately, and efficiently. Sessions can be one hour or two hours in length, as needed.</p> <p>Computer Programming: Coding for Kids</p> <p>In these sessions, we start by discussing the basics of computer programming, what it is, what it can do, and what it was built on. Then we will begin experimenting with block-based programming languages. Students will learn the basics of computer architecture, binary code, compilers, and algorithms. By the end of the course, students will be able to produce small programs of their own. The cost of materials is not included. This class is available to younger students (Ages K-1) and middle and high school students. </p> <p> </p> <p> </p>

TADA! Youth Theater

<div> <p dir="ltr"><strong>TADA! Youth Theater Summer Camps (July 10-August 25, 2023)</strong> Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance! TADA! is excited to be back in person with our popular Week-long Musical Theater Summer Camps!  Every week your child will:</p> <p dir="ltr"> </p> <ul> <li>ENGAGE IN MUSICAL THEATER TRAINING</li> <li>CREATE, REHEARSE & PERFORM AN ORIGINAL MINI- MUSICAL</li> <li>EXPLORE THEIR INTERESTS AND IDENTITY</li> <li>SHARE THEIR VOICE AND BE HEARD</li> <li>RECEIVE INDIVIDUALIZED ATTENTION AND SOLO OPPORTUNITIES</li> <li>EXPERIENCE ENSEMBLE-BASED INSTRUCTION BY TWO PROFESSIONAL NYC TEACHING ARTISTS</li> <li>MAKE CONNECTIONS WITH NEW FRIENDS</li> </ul> On the last day of camp, we invite friends and family to attend the debut of your child’s original mini-musical!<br /> <p> </p> <p dir="ltr">Limited spots available! All of our classes take place in-person at 15 W. 28th Street (between Broadway & 5th) and culminate in a final sharing for an invited audience.  </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>For more info or to register for our Summer Camps, visit our website <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="">HERE!</a></strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Looking for a sample class before registering?</strong> Join us Saturday, June 3rd for an in-person sample class, Q&A, and the best discount of the summer!  Registration required to attend! </p> <p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><strong>For more info. or to register for our Summer Open house, click <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="">HERE!</a></strong></p> <p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><strong>No child should be turned away because of their inability to pay. </strong></p> <p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="">Financial Assistance available. </a></strong></p> <p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><strong>Questions?</strong></p> <div style="text-align: center;"><strong>Email us at <a href="mailto:[email protected]" target="_blank" rel="noopener">[email protected]</a></strong></div> </div> <div> <div dir="ltr" data-smartmail="gmail_signature"> <div dir="ltr"> <div dir="ltr"> <div dir="ltr"> <div dir="ltr"> <div dir="ltr"> <div dir="ltr"> <div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

Plugged in Band

<div>Plugged In is a nonprofit program that offers online programs to student musicians (Ages 10-18) in a non-competitive environment and provides band and individual performance opportunities in support of community and charitable causes.</div> <div> </div> <div>Our programs include:</div> <div> </div> <div>Rock Band Classes</div> <div>Private Music Lessons</div> <div>Summer Camp</div> <div>Digital/Audio Production</div> <div>Songwriting and Recording Workshops</div> <div> </div> <div>Oh and hey parents, we are now offering private music lessons and our rock band program for adults too. Reach out to us for more information. </div>