Family Fun

Mooncakes and Soft Serve! Family Weekend Picks in NYC for September 7 and 8

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

Photo courtesy of Mister Dips/Facebook

Celebrate the many cultures of NYC—Greek, Chinese, Native American, and, of course, drag—this weekend.


1. Even if your kids don’t like baklava and almond cookies (are you raising monsters?), they’ll still love the Staten Island Greek Festival, an end-of-summer carnival—complete with carnie rides and carnie games—that is a meaningful cultural celebration of all things Hellenic, including music, dance, and lots of incredible food.

2. You dig the avant-garde sculptures and site-specific works at Portal, Governors Island’s annual art fair; the kids dig the ferry ride over and the giant slides. Win-win.

Photo courtesy of 4heads- Portal Governors Island/Facebook

3. Don a giant wig and work it, boys and girls. RuPaul’s DragCon sashays into town with queens and glitter galore. Meet your favorite stars, compete in a lip-sync battle, learn fierce makeup tips and tricks from the pros, and catch plenty of live performances.

Photo courtesy of RuPaul’s DragCon/Facebook


4. The killer waffle fries and dipped soft-serve creations are reasons enough to visit Mister Dips, the vintage Airstream food truck on the patio of the William Vale, but it’s also offering a few more at its third annual block party, noon–5 p.m.: face painting, live music, carnival games, and prizes.

Photo courtesy of Mister Dips/Facebook

5. Gorge on mooncakes—sweet, pasty pastries made and consumed in honor of the lunar goddess—at the Mid-Autumn Moon Family Festival at the Museum of Chinese in America. Little kids will also enjoy the arts and crafts, shadow puppetry, scavenger hunt, and storytelling. (Send your tweens or teens on a mission to find unicorn taiyaki just a few blocks away.)

6. Wonder at the immersive art installation, Tepkik, inside Brookfield Place’s Winter Garden, then stay to make jewelry and learn indigenous dance at the Native Arts Celebration, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., presented by the always excellent Redhawk Native American Arts Council.

Photo courtesy of Brookfield Place/Facebook


7. Pray for clear skies because the annual Washington Square Park Folk Festival is just too toe-stepping to stop for rain. This so-much-fun celebration features an old-time string band, a bluegrass fiddle player, a Latin American folk band, and square dancing!

Photo courtesy of Washington Square Park Conservancy/Facebook

8. Finally, a bird walk that doesn’t happen at the crack of dawn! This nature walk for families with naturalist Brad Klein, 11 a.m.–noon at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, will track up to 100 species of migrating birds as they head south for the winter.

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden/Facebook

9. Celebrate (grieve?) the end of summer at the Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT) Block Party, noon–6 p.m. The terminal is located in a sweet spot—with a pier for waterfront frolicking—on the East River in Sunset Park. In addition to the great views and cool breezes, there will be food trucks, a climbing wall, kite making, yoga, a beer garden, and an appearance by Talib Kweli!

10. Indulge in bonbons, ganache tarts, and macarons from Confectionary—and don’t tell the kids that all the treats are vegan.

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