Weekend Planner: Fun Family Activities in NYC (October 17-19)

For even more weekend events, plus local family-friendly events and activities all week long, check out our full calendar!


Lois Lowry, the author of the bestselling The Giver quartet and Number the Stars, will be a special guest along with actor and director Sean Astin at Symphony Space’s Thalia Kids’ Book Club on Sunday, October 19. Check out our exclusive interview with Lowry here. Page-turner! 

Best-selling author and artist Hervé Tullet is coming to New York this weekend for events at the Guggenheim (Saturday) and at Brooklyn Public Library (Sunday). Check out our interview with Tullet, in which he discusses his whimsical sensibility, his creative process, and creating a dialogue between children and adult readers. Mix it up!


Enjoy live music at the Wave Hill Enchanted Weekend celebration! Photo via wavehill.org

Be amazed by Big Apple Circus’s all-new show, METAMORPHOSIS, featuring wonders from the Flying Trapeze to Quick-Change conjurors to contortionists! Even better, no one sits more than 50 feet from ringside at this two-hour-long show. (Through November 20) Clown around!


Join Madison Square Park for its Fall Kids Fest, sponsored in part by New York Family. Enjoy face painting, storytelling, arts & crafts workshops, lawn games, live music from Songs for Seeds, and more. Little ones can also claim a pumpkin in the park’s pumpkin patch and dress in costume for the Halloween parade. (Saturday) Madison Square madness! 

Massive pumpkins–some weighing more than 1,800 pounds–will arrive at the New York Botanic Garden this weekend to be transformed by master carver Ray Villafane and his team. Enjoy daily Q&A sessions with the carvers, and tasty snacks provided by Whole Foods during Giant Pumpkin Carving Weekend. (Saturday-Sunday) Super squash!

Enjoy the magic of autumn during this special Enchanted Weekend at Wave Hill. Create fairy houses and tiny wands with your little ones, and catch a special concert by the Metropolitan Four or hear some fairy tales at this enchanted seasonal celebration. (Saturday-Sunday) Frolic with fairies! 

The Museum of the Moving Image will honor master illustrator Chuck Jones at Chuck Jones Family Day. Visitors can participate in a scavenger hunt, animation activities and hands-on workshops led by teaching artists and screenings of Chuck Jones cartoons in the Redstone Theater throughout the day. Free cookies provided by Whimsy & Spice and Amy’s Bread. (Saturday) Get animated!

Join a dad and his young daughter as he tells the story of “The Snail and The Whale,” an action-packed, musical tale of a tiny snail with wanderlust, opening at the New Victory Theater this weekend. To see the world, the itchy-footed invertebrate hitches a ride on the tail of a giant humpback whale and forges an unlikely friendship. (Saturday-Sunday) It’s showtime! 

El Museo del Barrio’s free Super Sabato event celebrates the 3,000 year-old tradition of Dia de los Muertos. Get your face painted, enjoy the musical procession and concert from Pistolera, make some spooky crafts or visit the storytelling section! (Saturday) Time to party!

Hungry for some new flavors? Head over to South Street Seaport for the 5th annual Taste of the Seaport. More than 25 restaurants will be participating in this year’s fest including Ambrose Hall, Barbalu, The Capital Grille, Pita Press, and others. There will also be a Kid’s Zone featuring games, arts & crafts, face painting, and tennis and soccer clinics. Proceeds will benefit the Spruce Street School (P.S. 397) and the Peck Slip School (P.S. 343) (Saturday) Take a bite! 


Have no fear pickle lovers! The Lower East Side’s annual Pickle Day is back this Sunday! All ages can show up for food, shopping, a home pickling contest, DJ lessons, pumpkin face painting, animal adoptions, and much more. Plus, of course, sampling the city’s best pickles. (Sunday) They’re dill-icious! 

Legendary children’s singer and songwriter Raffi will perform live in concert this Sunday at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College! Fans of all ages will be treated to favorites such as “Baby Beluga,” Down By The Bay,” and “Corner Grocery Store.” Recommended for families with children ages 2 and up. (Sunday) Clap along! 

The music of South Africa can be heard at Carnegie Hall when Ladysmith Black Mambazo performs on Sunday in a special family show. The Grammy Award-winning group will be singing their hits including “Music Knows No Boundaries” and the Nelson Mandela-inspired “Long Walk to Freedom.” (Sunday) Magical melodies! 

Join the Union Square Partnership and Fox5 NY for Modern Family’s Fall Day for all! This free, family-friendly Halloween event will include an interactive corn maze–over 60 feet long and 8 feet tall–and a pumpkin patch! As visitors work their way through the maze, they’ll be tested with “Modern Family” trivia and an augmented reality experience. Plus, there will be face painting and candy giveaways from Hershey! (Sunday) Family festivity!

Come to “Kid Row” on the Upper East Side for the second annual Octoberfest celebration! This afternoon of fall fun will feature face painting, glitter tattoos, mini-manis, a DJ for dancing and karaoke, refreshments, multi-sport activities for children, free art projects, raffles, and more! (Plus some discounts at local businesses!) (Sunday) Rockin’ on Kid Row!