Family Fun

Ahoy! Family Weekend Picks in NYC for July 12–14

The 10 best things to do with your kids this weekend.

Photo by David Gonsier/Courtesy of Waterfront Alliance

It’s City of Water Day on Saturday, so get thee and thy youngins to the waterfront!

1. There will be City of Water events happening in dozens of spots along New York and New Jersey’s 1,600 miles of coastline, but our favorite is the Con Edison Cardboard Kayak Race, taking place at Brooklyn Bridge Beach in the Seaport District at 1:30 p.m. Shockingly, some boats sink in dramatic (but safe) fashion. Afterward, go kayaking yourself in a not-made-out-of-cardboard vessel.

2. Occupy the kids with free table-tennis lessons, face painting, KidzBop Karaoke, and mocktails (otherwise known as juice in fancy glasses) while their parents (that’s you) challenge each other to some serious ping-pong at the Spinbledon Kids Day at Spin on Saturday, noon–3 p.m. Oh, it’s on.

Photo courtesy of Spin/Facebook

3. Speaking of spinning…Hudson River Park hosts a post-sunset, outdoor screening of Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse on Friday evening at Pier 46 in Greenwich Village. Webs, spinning webs.

4. Turns out, colonialists were bigger ice cream snobs than today’s foodies. Learn how scoops were churned in the 1700s, when they favored unusual flavors including lavender and Parmesan, and make your own in the colonial kitchen of the Morris Jumel Mansion in Washington Heights on Saturday.

5. Play chess—and explore the Village while you’re at it!

6. Take a dip in the pertiest pool in the city…before it’s too late.

7. Call it Midsummer Afternoon Swing. Lincoln Center has taken all the elements that made its Midsummer Night Swing events so treasured over the years—incredible live music (the Mambo Kings Orchestra, in this case); dance instruction; and tango, salsa, and swing on the lovely grounds of Damrosch Park—and adapted them for tiny dancers on Saturday, 3–4:30 p.m. Swing by the Smith afterward for an early dinner.

Photo courtesy of Midsummer Night Swing/Facebook

8. Kids can stomp their Crocs to the funky Gullah beats—a music genre created by the descendants of enslaved West Africans on the South Carolina coast—of the band Ranky Tanky at SummerStage’s Family Day on Sunday, 3:30–7 p.m. The Charleston-based quintuple will be joined in Central Park by Railroad Earth, a bluegrass jam band, as well as a performance from the CityParks PuppetMobile and Disney-sponsored crafts and games.

Photo by Peter Frank Edwards/Courtesy of SummerStage

9. There are still tents available for weekend glamping on Governors Island. Wake up and wave good morning to Lady Liberty!

Photo courtesy of Collective Retreats/Facebook

10. Watch hundreds of guys lift a four-ton, 72-foot ceremonial spire and a 10-piece brass band and parade the whole thing through Williamsburg on Sunday as part of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Paulinus, an Italian-Catholic festival and 116-year-old tradition. If all that grunting weren’t entertainment enough, there will also be live music and plenty of food.

Discover more of our favorite family events and activities—they’re just a click away on the WSWD app.