TOP PICKS: PRESCHOOLERS

While we are missing being on the town with our kids in NYC, we've found ways to bring the fun & culture home during this crazy time.

We'll keep updating and expanding these carefully curated listings so subscribe to our email list and follow us on insta for updates (and please share your favorites with us).

Wake Up, Daisy!

The historic, cozy Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre is back in action with modern take on Sleeping Beauty. Marionettes and music tells the story of Daisy, a lively little girl living in the heart of New York City in an apartment overlooking Central Park. At Daisy’s much-anticipated birthday party, she encounters three special guests, known as…

Social Dance at The Oasis

Rejoice in the healing power of movement with a free Social Dance series in the Lincoln Center Plaza. The summer-long celebration of reconnection and ecstatic motion is held on the city’s new largest outdoor dance floor, The Oasis. Try Merengue Tipico, Bachata, Salsa, Lindy hop, Western swing, Tango, The Hustle, Freestyle, Ballroom, and more. All…

Free Ballet Hispánico Dance Classes

Take free dance classes with acclaimed local dance troupe  Ballet Hispánico in a lush three-acre green space by a new luxury apartment building.

On Saturday mornings, kids ages 3-10 can learn styles ranging from Rumba Flamenca to Afrobeats. On Thursday evenings, adults learn salsa, Afrobeats, hip-hop and more.

 

Lincoln Center Family Workshops & Shows

Join all-ages music and dance workshops followed by performances by diverse, international musicians and dancers.

The workshop and performance are general admission, first-come first-served. Limited advance reservations will also be available for the performance at 12:00 pm on the Monday before.

Also check out the gorgeous installation GATHER throughout Lincoln Center.

Columbus Ave Open Streets

Dine on fare from local restaurants and tables set up in car free streets. Enjoy activities for all ages including kids music, artmaking, live music, store discounts, food samples, sidewalk chalk, games and more.

Also look for art installations in storefronts.

Independence Day Family Celebration

Celebrate Independence Day at the New-York Historical Society with a fun-filled day of learning about America’s past through crafts, stories, and objects in the galleries.

Explore a statue of Thomas Jefferson with a costumed interpreter and dig into his legacy—both as a Founding Father and as an enslaver.  Write a letter to Jefferson telling him…

July 4th at CMOM

Celebrate Independence Day with themed art projects.
Contribute to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan’s collective American Dream Quilt by expressing what freedom and happiness mean to you, make Independence Day origami fireworks and use your fingers to blend, smudge and smear the colors of the American flag on the Red, White and Blue Mural…

Free Waterline Square Park Concerts

Enjoy free music and dance performances at a lush three-acre green space. On Mondays, classical cellist Luke Krafka perform; a variety of talented artists take to the stage on Wednesdays.

Seating is first-come, first-served; the lawn opens at 5pm. Bring your own blankets and picnic.

New York Classical Theatre: Cymbeline

Enjoy the intrigue and drama of William Shakespeare’s 1611 romantic adventure Cymbeline, performed outdoors by seven energetic actors.

The audience moves along with the actors during the performance—once for each scene change. Picnics and/chairs blankets welcome.

Start with Art/Art Trek

Fabulous museum educators engage children in conversations and activities related to a few works in the vast collection. Share ideas and enjoy stories, sketching, singing, and other gallery activities that bring works of art to life. Share ideas and enjoy stories, sketching, singing, and other gallery activities that bring works of art to life.

This…

Start with Art and Music

Explore art and music in the galleries while you look, move, and sing. Fabulous museum educators engage children in conversations and activities related to a few works in the vast collection while listening to live music. Share ideas and enjoy stories, sketching, singing, and other gallery activities that bring works of art to life. Share…

Piano in Bryant Park

Visit the Bryant Park Upper Terrace to hear New York City’s finest ragtime, stride, and jazz pianists. Different musicians featured weekly.

See our guide to Bryant Park.

Winnie the Pooh

Featuring songs by the Sherman Brothers and by A.A. Milne, this beautifully crafted musical stage adaptation set deep in the Hundred Acre Wood is told with stunning life-size puppetry through the eyes of the Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin, and their best friends Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit and Owl (and Tigger too!).

By the…

Manhattan Kayak

Rent single and tandem kayak and paddle boards for boat rides with magnificent midtown views (and maybe some dead fish). Kid sized equipment available for easier maneuvering. Life jackets and Ziplock baggie for face covers and phones provided. BYO water bottle and lock for lockers.

All rentals stay in the supervised cove. To go into…

MoMA UNIQLO NYC Nights

Visit MoMA for free the first Friday of every month. Tickets must be reserved in advance (up to two adults, unlimited kids) and are released one week before each event. Proof of residency required.

See our guide to MoMA.

Bryant Park Picnic Performances

Enjoy live and in-person music, dance, and theater events produced in partnership with a diverse and storied lineup of New York City’s performing arts institutions including Carnegie Hall, Jazzmobile, New York City Opera, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Joe’s Pub, Emerging Music Festival, Accordion Festival, Asian American Arts Alliance, Steinway Artists and more.

Limited capacity on…

Bryant Park Moves with Limón Dance

All levels and ages are invited to experience the joy of movement and dance in weekly free classes led by former and current members of the internationally renowned modern dance company Limón Dance accompanied by live drumming.

Bryant Park Movie Nights

Bring a blanket and sit on Bryant Park’s lawn to enjoy great food, friends, and a feature film.

The gravel area surrounding the Lawn opens 4 pm. Be prepared right to rush for a seat right at 5 pm when the Lawn opens. Films start at 8 pm.

Food and beverage curated by Hester Street…

Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks

Watch Macy’s annual spectacular fireworks show on the East River. Go early to nab spots in stands along the elevated portion of FDR Drive, with entrances at East 23rd, East 34th and East 42nd Streets, or at Gantry Plaza State Park in Queens or Transmitter PArk, Bushwick Inlet Park, and Marsha P. Johnson State Park…

Math Discovery

Join one of MoMath’s specially trained educators in, a series of hands-on classes exploring intriguing math topics like the mathematical theory of knots and graphs of the rainbow.

For students and their families/caregivers. Recommended ages vary by program, form pre-K to 8th grade. Limited space available.

Proof of full COVID vaccination required.

First Friday at Poster House

Get free admission to this unique museum first Friday of every month. See current exhibitions including The Utopian Avant-Garde: Soviet Film Posters of the 1920s and Ethel Reed: I Am My Own Property and join activities, workshops, and performances throughout the day (reserve in advance).

Pick up a scavenger hunt and find interesting items…

Whitney Museum Open Studio

All ages are invited to get creative in the Laurie M. Tisch Education Center. Make wn art inspired by works on view in the collection and current exhibitions. Each week is a different artmaking project.

See our complete guide to the Whitney Museum.

Live Music at Chelsea Market

Enjoy live music from local musicians outside Chelsea Market, which also has great food options.

MakeInspires STEAM Makerspace

Experience 3D Printing, Coding Video Games with Scratch, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence hands-on with MakeInspires Instructors.

A great perfect activity for kids 6 and up while the family explores Chelsea Market; kids under 6 are welcome with adult supervision.

All activities can be completed in 15 minutes. Book more time for more exploration. Across from…

Rubin Family Sundays: Coloring Outside the Lions

Contribute to a group project and explore how these feelings of envy might motivate you to be a team player.

Pre-registration is required for either the 1 pm or 2 pm. Free tickets include free access to the Museum galleries. Each month explores a new theme, with an art-making activity centered around that theme. A…

Hudson Riverkids: Pier 63

Sing and dance on a scenic pier overlooking the Hudson River (Mondays at HRPK’s Pier 25, Thursdays at Pier 63). This free family-friendly series brings together interactive activities and live entertainment, from hands-on learning to catchy sing-alongs from favorite kindie musicians.

Sail Pioneer

See the sights of New York Harbor, the magnificent Lower Manhattan skyline, and Governors Island from the decks of the historic 130-year-old schooner Pioneer. Grab a halyard to help raise a sail or simply sit back and enjoy the view. Bring a picnic lunch or dinner, afternoon snack, beverages, or a bottle of wine to…

Museum of Ice Cream

Explore a sweet pop-up with 13 interactive installations across 3 floors.

Eat as many ice cream treats as you want in 5 different shapes and forms, plus play with a three-story slide, hula hoops, a game room with mini golf and jungle gyms, a rainbow sprinkle pool with a slide and platforms and more interactive…

Seaport Discovery: Exploring our Waters with Eric Carle 

Visit a discovery room of maritime-themed art by the late Eric Carle, beloved creator of picture books for young children, at The South Street Seaport Museum.

Huge immersive murals bring families into Carle’s book, A House for Hermit Crab, and the cargo-ship adventures of 10 Little Rubber Ducks. Activities include meeting a live hermit…

Tall Ship Wavertree

Visit the 130-year-old tall ship Wavertree with self-guided tours along a set route include access to the main deck and quarter deck. Learn how people worked and lived aboard a 19th century cargo sailing vessel, from the captain to the ship’s officers, cooks, and crew. Then visit the cargo hold and stand atop the viewing…

Tugboat Rides on W.O. Decker

Take an exciting 75-minute ride on the last surviving New York-built wooden tugboat W.O. Decker. Explore New York Harbor with views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Battery, and Governors Island.

Tours depart at 1:15pm, 2:45pm, and 4:15pm. Advance reservations recommended.

For ages 10+. Access to W.O. Decker requires climbing angled…

Smorgasburg WTC

Sample creative global treats from 10 vendors at an open-air food market flanked by colorful murals.

Seaport Beach Fest

Play on a shorefront pop-up sand beach with lounge chairs, umbrellas, and sand toys in the historic Seaport. enjoy live music performances, pop-up bars and food trucks. Listen to buskers and a series of tribute bands singing summer beach tunes.

See our guide to more fun, food and maritime activities in the Seaport.

Playscape Performs: Paper Heart Puppets & Bruce Cannon

Playscape Performs continues with puppetry in this unique playground. “Cardboard Explosion!” by Paper Heart Puppets brings four original stories to life using nothing but cardboard and the power of your imagination. On Saturday, witness a classic style of marionette puppetry when Bruce Cannon presents “The Magic of Music.” On Sunday, enjoy West African music, games,…

Brooklyn Bridge Park Summer Fridays

Each first Friday of the summer months, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Greenway Terrace is activated with performances, meditations, and other expansive experiences held throughout the space. With the theme of “Release, Restore, Rejoice” each Summer Friday provides a unique experience and fresh line-up, all curated by singer-songwriter Madison McFerrin.

Grab a drink and enjoy the beautiful…

Putting Green

Play an 18-hole golf course on the Williamsburg waterfront showcasing problems and solutions for climate change issues facing our planet.

Each of the 18 holes has been designed by a community partner, including artists and designers, community and school groups, environmental advocacy organizations and public agencies. The designs focus on a broad range of climate…

Family Movies at Skyline Drive-In

Watch favorite family movies outdoors on the Greenpoint waterfront with killer views of the Manhattan skyline. Screenings include first run family movies like Jurassic World and Minions; The Rise of Gru plus occasional classic faves like The Goonies, Back to the Future and other classics.

Lawn chair seating available for those without cars.…

Live Music at Industry City

Enjoy socially distanced live music – Irish Bossa Nova, Jazz, Funk, 90s covers and more  – Wednesday-Friday evenings and Saturday & Sunday afternoons at this public art & high design hub.

BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival

New York’s longest-running, free outdoor performing arts festival returns to the Prospect Park Bandshell. See free, outdoor music in a range of diverse styles, plus dance, spoken word and theater at a historic outdoor venue.

Some chairs available, or bring your own chair or blanket.

Presented by BRIC in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance.

Luna Park

Visit Coney Island’s iconic seaside amusement park, home of the historic Cyclone and Thunderbolt roller coasters, dozens of family-friendly and thrill rides, dining, carnival games shops and more.

Buy unlimited-ride 4-hour wristbands (buy online to avoid lines) or pay per ride at the park. Some attractions only available for riders over 48 inches tall.

🍽…

Pinocchio: Collodi’s Adventures of a Marionette

Adapted by Puppetworks’ Artistic Director, Nicolas Coppola, Pinocchio features traditional hand-carved wooden marionettes, an original song score, the Blue Fairy, and a “live” actor as Stromboli the Puppet Master.

Six colorful scenes range from the excitement of Boobyland with its Donkey Machine to the eerie glow of the undersea where the Whale lives.

Also at…

Rock And Roll Playhouse at Industry City

Rock out to tunes from a rotating roster of rock n’ roll greats – the Grateful Dead, the Beatles,  Tom Petty, Aretha Franklin and others – played live by local musicians in a cool courtyard. Expect dancing, interactive games and loads of fun.

All are welcome. The core audience is children 10 years and under.…

Wave Hill

Explore 28-acre of gardens and woodlands with more than 4,000 varieties of trees, shrubs, vines, and herbaceous plants and dramatic views of the Hudson River.

* Join nature-inspired outdoor family art projects on Saturday & Sunday mornings.

* Visit indoor rotating nature-inspired multimedia art exhibits in the Glyndor Gallery.

* Free admission on Thursdays.

Wave Hill Family Art Project

Enjoy nature-inspired art projects among gorgeous gardens and trees overlooking the Hudson River. Themes change weekly.

Takes place indoors, but there is some outdoor walking to get to the project.

The number of families able to participate at any given time will be limited to about nine. If you arrive and capacity is full, program…

Free Admission Noguchi Museum

On the first Friday of every month, enjoy  free admission to a serene museum and gardens  founded and designed by internationally renowned Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi. Advance reservations are highly recommended; tickets are released two weeks before each date.

Housed in a repurposed 1920s red brick industrial building, with an attached concrete pavilion designed and…

Hands on History: Botanical Illustration

The home-turned-museum of Rufus King – Founding Father and early voice in the anti-slavery movement- hosts free family programs the first Saturday each month with seasonal themes.

Enjoy King Manor’s teaching garden, planted and tended this spring by students at Growing Up Green Charter School. Learn about and make botanical illustrations in the style of…

Queens International Night Market

Sample cuisine from around the world at a large, family-friendly open-air night market in Queens. Shop around 100 independent vendors selling merchandise, art, and food. Also enjoy live music and cultural performances celebrating the rich cultural diversity and heritage of NYC and Queens. Dine in a large picnic area.

Parking is extremely limited available, visitors…

Noguchi Museum Open Studio: Gallery Kit

Families and visitors of all ages are invited to pick up a Gallery Kit filled with art materials from museum educators, and explore internationally renowned Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi’s work through art-making.

See our guide to the Noguchi Museum.

Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks

Watch Macy’s annual spectacular fireworks show on the East River. Go early to nab spots in stands along the elevated portion of FDR Drive, with entrances at East 23rd, East 34th and East 42nd Streets, or at Gantry Plaza State Park in Queens or Transmitter PArk, Bushwick Inlet Park, and Marsha P. Johnson State Park…

Museum of the Moving Image Free Hours

Explore film, TV and video games from nineteenth century optical toys to the latest in digital art with lots of hand-on exhibits in a spacious, modern building.

* The hands-on core exhibition Behind the Screen features over 1,400 artifacts including early cameras, a real Chewbacca mask from the Star Wars films, footage of silent adventure…

Metropolitan Opera/ABT Rush Tickets

Get $25 rush tickets online for Metropolitan Opera and American Ballet Theatre performances. Available online, first-come, first-served, same day at for Monday through Friday evening performances, four hours before curtain for matinees and at 2 pm for Saturday evenings.

* Create an account and log on before the tickets go on sale, they go quickly.