Family-Friendly Black History Month Celebrations

February is Black History Month, and New York has long been a center of African-American arts and culture in the US–and fittingly hosts a wide variety of Black History Month celebrations. Check out some of our top picks for fun and educational family-friendly events!


Tour the Louis Armstrong House
Tuesday – Friday: 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday – Sunday: 12 pm – 5 pm
Stop by the Louis Armstrong House in Queens and tour the celebrated jazz trumpeter’s home. Meander through this vibrant home, and listen to recordings of Armstrong’s work. Tours are held every hour. Adults $10, seniors, students, and children: $7, group rate: $6, children under 4: Free, members: free; 37th Avenue, Queens.

george washington carver.jpg
The Queens Botanical Garden will host a George Washington Carver workshop on 2/16.

The African Drum” with the Shadow Box Theatre Company
Weekdays  through March 10
Experience the humor, wisdom, and wit of “The African Drum.” Enjoy these lively African folk tales, as they are woven into shadow puppet storytelling. $10 in advance, 15 at the door; location varies. For more information/reservations call: (212)724-0677.

Jazz for Kids at the Jazz Standard
Sundays at 2 pm
Enjoy a barbecue brunch from Blue Smoke as you listen to classic jazz tunes! On Sunday afternoons, The Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra, with musicians from age 11-18, hosts a musical brunch at the Jazz Standard. Listen to these talented young musicians play hits from the jazz greats including Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and George Gershwin. Suggested donation: $5, food and drink not included; 116 East 27th Street.

America: The Legacy of African American Service at the Central Park Arsenal
Through February 26
9am- 5pm
This family-friendly exhibition features works depicting African-Americans in public service throughout history. Free, 64th and 5th Avenue inside Central Park, 3rd floor of the Arsenal Building.

Saturday, February 6

Target First Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum
Head to the Brooklyn Museum and enjoy interactive activities, a book talk with Revolution Books, a screening of The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, and musical performances for this Radical Black History-themed Target First Saturday. Free, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY.

Black History Month Family Activity Day at the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Roger Morris Park
11am-2 pm
Storytelling historian Cheyney McKnight, of Not Your Momma’s History, will bring this Colonial Kitchen to life as she leads an interactive lesson on African influences in colonial cuisine. Come hungry! There will be plenty to taste along the way. Adults $10, Children under 12: free; 65 Jurnel Terrace, Manhattan.

Saturday, February 6-Sunday, February 7

Open House Weekend at at The Apollo Theater
The Apollo Theater is hosting a free weekend of events in celebration of Black History Month. This year’s Open House weekend will explore the role of the arts in activism through musical performances by rising stars such as Chris Rob and Lynette Williams, and a screening of “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” followed by a panel discussion. Free, RSVP required; 253 W 125th Street.

Makers Making History: Black History Month at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan
Workshops start at 11am, performances start at 2pm
Head to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan to celebrate the African American community’s contribution to the arts with painting workshops inspired by Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series, and performances by Wéma Harris of Bridges: A Pan-Afrikan Arts Movement. Free with museum admission, sign-up required; 212 West 83rd Street.

Tuesday, February 16

George Washington Carver Workshop at the Queens Botanical Garden
1-2:30 pm
Learn how plants played an integral role in George Washington Carver’s early life and career. Kids will create a “healing lotion” out of botanical ingredients to take home with them. Children must be accompanied by an adult; ages 5-12, $6 per child, registration required; 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, NY.

Saturday, February 20

Dance of the African Diaspora at the Brooklyn Public Library
Head to the Brooklyn Public Library for an interactive dance tour! Starting in West Africa, this dance tour will lead guests through the Caribbean, Latin America, and will conclude  in the United States. Free, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY.

Saturday, February 27

It Starts With Just A Seed at Brooklyn Library
1-2 pm
Join author and illustrator Bryan Collier for a reading of some of his recent works including Rosa, Trombone Shorty, Dave the Potter, and Knock Knock. Collier will also read from his first published piece, Uptown, which is about growing up in Harlem. Free, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY.

8th Annual Black History Month Celebration at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
Head to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church for the 8th Annual Harlem Chamber Players Black History Month Celebration. This performance features soprano Janinah Burnett and pianist James Davis, Jr. as well as the Harlem Chamber Players. Enjoy music by Chevalier de St. George and Nkeiru Okoye. $15 General Admission, $10 student/senior discount in advance, $20 general admission, $15 student/senior discount at the door; 521 West 126th Street.