Family Fun

Small Steps and Giant Leaps! Family Weekend Picks in NYC for July 20 and 21

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

Photo courtesy of Blue Man Group/Museum of the City of New York

It’s going to be hot. Thankfully, there are plenty of events happening indoors this weekend, and the ones that aren’t involve lots of watery fun. If all else fails, just jump in a public fountain (no really, you can!) to cool down.

1. Journey to the moon and back at the 50th anniversary party celebrating the Apollo 11 lunar landing—the first time humans set foot on the moon—at the American Museum of Natural History on Saturday. SpaceFest will include performances, talks, movies, and more, but we’re most excited to check out the 15-minute virtual reality experience To the Moon by Laurie Anderson. Trippy!

Photo courtesy of American Museum of Natural History

2. Speaking of trippy….On Saturday night, take the kids to the turf field at Washington Park in Park Slope to join in—or just gawk at!—a family-friendly silent disco. That’s where everyone wears provided headphones and dances to the same deejayed tunes while looking like a very quiet flash mob to outsiders. Get gelati in kooky flavors—lavender! green beans and mint! chocolate eggplant!—at L’Albero dei Gelati across the street on Fifth Avenue afterward.

3. You and your kids are totally allowed to play in these splash-worthy public fountains.

4. Saturday is Sprinkler Day at Asphalt Green’s large athletic field on the Upper East Side, 1–3 p.m. It’s exactly what it sounds like: High-powered sprinklers soak the entire field—and all the shrieking children frolicking on it—for two glorious hours. Have lunch before or after at the famed Mansion Diner.

Photo courtesy of Asphalt Green/Facebook

5. Hopefully the temperature will retreat to nonsauna levels by 8 p.m. on Saturday when How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is screened outdoors at Tompkins Square Park. Grab a picnic dinner from Superiority Burger, a vegetarian fast-food spot that might actually make your kids like veggies.

Photo courtesy of Superiority Burger

6. The Rubin Museum hosts its annual block party, Power Play, this Sunday. Instead of cornhole and dunk tanks, though, this event will feature guided meditations, DIY stress balls, a “power painting jam,” and origami lessons. There will be food trucks on-site, but for a sit-down meal, try El Cocotero for arepas, tostadas, and other Venezuelan classics.

Photo courtesy of Rubin Museum of Art/Facebook

7. Sip mocktails on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art as you gaze at the planetary installation work by artist Alicja Kwade.

Installation view. / Photo by Hyla Skopitz/Courtesy of Metropolitan Museum of Art

8. If you’ve ever taken your kids to see the Blue Man Group (and you should!), check out its just-opened exhibition, “Ready…Go!,” at the Museum of the City of New York, where you can bang on a three-part percussive piece made out of PVC tubing that the blue baldies used on stage for 27 years. Refuel with incredible sandwiches (grilled Brie and apple on walnut raisin bread? Yes, please!) and pastries (cinnamon challah knots and cherry cream scones) at the Amy’s Bread–run museum café before a romp in Central Park just across the street.

9. Delight your train-obsessed kiddos with a Nostalgia Ride to Coney Island. The New York Transit Museum is breaking out train cars from the 1910s and 1930s for this one-time-only beach trip, boarding at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning at the 96th Street/Second Avenue train station on the Upper East Side. Warning: The ride is two hours’ long, so pack snacks, water, books, and toys.

Photo courtesy of New York Transit Museum‎

10. Look out, it’s an ice cream blizzard! The weekly vintage and crafts market Grand Bazaar NYC on the Upper West Side (conveniently located right near the American Museum of Natural History) hosts dozens of artisanal ice cream makers in honor of National Ice Cream Day on Sunday.

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