Free Family Events This Weekend! (August 17-19)

The Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest will take place this Saturday along the Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk! Photo via

Have an amazing weekend without opening your wallet! For even more activity inspiration, check out our Weekend Planner.

Through Wednesday, September 5

“Wake” Art Installation
All day
Times Square
All Ages
Check out Times Square’s newest art installation by Mel Chin entitled Wake. Modeled off of the USS Nightingale, Wake features a mysterious figurehead leading the wreckage of a ship.

Through Friday, August 17

Central Park Conservancy Film Festival
Central Park
All Ages
Enjoy a selection of iconic films including Crooklyn and The Muppets Take Manhattan during the 16th Annual Central Park Conservancy Film Festival.

Friday, August 17

Picnic & Play
Randall’s Island
All Ages
Gather with a picnic—or buy a burger—and spread out on the grass with your friends and family in the East River Picnic Area! Randall’s Island will provide all sorts of games, like giant Connect 4, Jenga, hula hoops, and endless board games. The artsier kids will also have plenty of opportunities to create with the projects on-hand.

Family Fridays: “The Art of Symmetry”
National Museum of Mathematics
All Ages
Learn how symmetry can be found in the world around us with Albion College mathematics and computer science professor David Reimann. Pre-registration is required.

Friday, August 17-Saturday, August 18

Emerging Music Festival
Bryant Park
All Ages
Want to hear live music in the park? The Emerging Festival, now in its fourth year, offers two days of free concerts performed by up-and-coming bands. Genres include indie rock, soul, R&B, and more; check their website for a full lineup of bands playing the festival.

Saturday, August 18

3rd Annual NYC Math Festival
Fosun Plaza
All Ages
Mathematical games, intriguing puzzles, and brainteasers will be available for families and kids all day!

28th Annual Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest
Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk (between W. 10th and W. 12th Streets)
All Ages
Take your family’s creativity down to the shore this Saturday for the 28th Annual Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest. There are various categories of competition in which the whole family can compete as a team or against each other to see who has the best sandcastle-building skills. Don’t worry if each of your kids has a different vision—past creations have ranged from traditional castles to extravagant skylines and designs. Make sure to pre-register in order to ensure your spot in the competition.

FlyNYC Festival
Riverside Park
All Ages
Since 2009, the soaring FlyNYC Kite Flying Festival has brought families from all over the city to Riverside Park! With kite-making kits for the kids, kites available for purchase, and plenty of sky for everyone, this festival is a great way to enjoy the last few weeks of summer. Other attractions include a variety of food vendors, live music, and more.

Rite of Summer: Collaborative Arts Ensemble
Governors Island
All Ages
Head to this concert featuring the Collaborative Arts Ensemble, a group determined to use art to create further discussions about the world around us through a blend of text, music, and physical movement.

Saturday, August 18-Sunday, August 19

Harlem Week’s NYC Children’s Festival
West 135th Street
All Ages
Head uptown this weekend for Harlem Week’s NYC Children’s Festival! The specific children’s portion of Harlem Week includes a “Back-to-School” kids’ fashion show, as well as dance and spoken word performances, a double-dutch competition, games, sports clinics, face painting, and plenty more activities for the entire family.