It’s summer family festival season! From now until September, end all of your weekend days scrubbing face paint off of your crying kids’ cheeks. (Pro tip: Baby oil makes it easier.) Enjoy!
1. Take the F train or the ferry to Roosevelt Island for an “explosion of creative energy,” aka the trippy Figment Festival, where kids can join others in building giant sculptures out of swim floaties, share art, climb a pirate ship, and explore dozens of large-scale immersive art installations.
2. Boogie with your preschoolers to the catchy tunes of our favorite kids’ band, the Pop Ups, at Lincoln Center this Saturday at 11 a.m. (Full disclosure: My kid has a cameo in one of their videos!)
3. Tour science labs with your daughter, learn about the surprising intelligence of animals besides humans, stargaze at Brooklyn Bridge Park with astronomers, and try on an astronaut’s space suit. It’s all part of the last weekend of the World Science Festival 2019.
5. Celebrate Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday and introduce your kids to the beauty of poetry at More or Less I Am, a musical theater performance based on Whitman’s seminal poem, “Song of Myself,” on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. If the kids get antsy, there’s always ping-pong, the Art Cart, board games, and Le Carrousel in the park, plus the Kinokuniya bookstore across the street.
6. Pop an antihistamine tab and snuggle the clowders of kitties—that’s groups of cats, for you dog people—at Jackson Galaxy’s Cat Camp all weekend long at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan. Galaxy is the feline expert on the Animal Planet show My Cat From Hell, but all the tabbies, Persians, and tuxedos up for adoption here are heaven sent, of course.
7. After a visit to the New York Hall of Science or the Queens Zoo, stay for dinner at the outdoor Queens International Night Market, which opens at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
8. Bring ya kids—and your best knock-knock jokes—to the Bring Ya Mamma family stand-up comedy show at the Lantern Comedy Club in the West Village. The 2 p.m. Sunday performance features professional comics doing their best to keep it clean. Afterward, indulge in safe-to-eat cookie dough at the nearby Do.
9. Kayak in the harbor to the samba reggae beats of the all-female percussion group Batala at the annual Red Hook Fest of music and dance—there’ll also be T-shirt decorating and face painting—on Saturday at Valentino Park and Pier. Don’t miss the chance to try one of Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies while you’re there.
10. Another Brooklyn fest we love: The Go Green! Brooklyn Festival in Williamsburg’s McCarren Park, taking place on Saturday, where kids can learn about sustainability and environmentally friendly practices with a little help in the form of free snacks, live music, bubbles, games, art projects, and more. Visit Domino Park and its tasty Tacocina taco stand afterward.