So much fall fun this weekend – cool architecture exploration all over town at the annual Open House New York, awesome family museum programs, tons of fall fairs and festivals and Halloween celebrations. Explore cool public art & pop-ups, see a show and check out fun only-in-NYC events all week long.
Check out our always-being-updated deals listing for savings on shows, clothes, costumes and more.
UPPER WEST SIDE
* Learn about the daily life of New York City Ballet’s dancers at the engaging-for-all-ages New York City Ballet Family Saturday: A Dancer’s Life then try out Jerome Robbins’ dance moves at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, home of interactive exhibition Voice of My City: Jerome Robbins and New York.
* See whimsical giant trees and other large scale fantastical sculptures by Kathy Ruttenberg along Broadway malls on your way to macaroon heaven Épicerie Boulud or head west to Riverside Park for rainbow viewfinders, the beloved Little Engine Playground and healthy food at Pier I cafe.
* Though tickets to Harry Potter: A History of Magic are sold out for this weekend – snag some tix now for weekdays or November – the rest of New-York Historical Society is just a magical with an engaging Children’s Museum, digital customizable Tiffany lamps and chances to meet Harriet Tubman.
* MoMA hosts (free!) family-friendly programming including engaging gallery talks, age-specific art workshops and screenings of short family films (with discussion). Create in the nature-themed art lab and see a real snowman in the Sculpture Garden.
* Sing and dance along to rich harmonies and live African rhythms with Lion, Monkey, Elephant and other inventive puppet animals in Tinga Tinga Tales. Includes interactive pre-show activities.
* Other theatrical options include Pinkalicious, interactive puppet show The Amazing Story Machine and FunikiJam’s “BABY LIKES TO ROCK”.
* Check out free pop-ups Meet Your Genes in NYC and Macy’s Beauty on Display and public art Candy Nations or pay up for more immersive Fairy Island and Candytopia.
* Enter a sidewalk chalk contest, see a new interactive play based on Laurie Berkner’s Pillowland and create silhouette puppets with a MoMA educator.
* Take a walk back in brine time at Lower East Side Pickle Day featuring tasty pickled and non-pickled treats, local boutiques and restaurants, live music, games, activities and dancing pickles.
* See murals of Peanuts characters and interactive dots. Pick up a free neighborhood color walk map at Color Factory – and snag tix for newly released dates. Other pop-up photo-ops include a dystopian Delorean, Viktor&Rolf Masterclass, a fairy-tale themed wonder world in Warhol’s old studios and make-up inspired immersive rooms.
WEST VILLAGE/EAST VILLAGE
* Build with legos at the Center for Architecture Family Day then build an inventive sundae at the new Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream featuring 88(!) unique flavors.
* See classic comic duo Abbott & Costello on the big screen in a 1942’s” Who Done It?.”
* Enjoy mazes, a photo booth, make your own trick-or-treat bags, international foods, face painting, crafts, games and more at The Earth School’s (PS 364) Annual Fall Fair.
* The gorgeous Whitney hosts a family art and technology workshop, drop-in Open Studios and a stroller tour for parents of babies.
* Join Rubin Family Sundays for art-making activity inspired by an immersive lake you can cross via a series of tree discs.
* Explore your magical side at new pop-ups Museum of Illusions and New York Magic Lab, see colorful,thought-provoking art and on the High Line, explore interesting gallery exhibitions and experience dog-centric environments.
UPPER EAST SIDE
* So many amazing museum family programs! Join the free Design Fest at Cooper Hewitt (and experience the interactive Senses: Design Beyond Vision), see the bold Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Futureand take a Guggenheim Family Tour or explore the theme of color in the ethereal works of Marc Chagall then groove to the melodious music of The Moonlights at the Jewish Museum’s Picture This.
* Outdoor fall festivities include a pumpkin patch, live scare crow and puppet shows at Carl Schurz Park’s Harvest Festival and live music, pumpkin decorating, kite flying and chickens at Randall’s IslandHarvest Festival.
* Enjoy good food, live music, a carnival, games, STEAM activities, magic shows and more at Bank Street School For Children’s Fall Fair or tinker away at PS/IS 180’s Kids STEM FEST
* Celebrate autumn and the 80th anniversary of The Met Cloisters (known as ‘the castle’ in our family) with tours, demonstrations, and drop-in art making at Garden Day at The Met Cloisters.
* Make spooky arts and crafts at centuries-old (and possibly haunted) Morris-Jumel Mansion’s Halloween Family Day then stick around for Outdoor World Music Day.
* Sample 20+ NYC dessert vendors in NYC at Dessert Goals in Long Island City.
* Go country at the Queens Botanical Garden Harvest Fest & Pumpkin Patch or wander through the Amazing Maize Maze at Queens County Farm Museum.
* See a science film festival, explore the immersive Connected Worlds and create lightsabers that actually light up at the the interactive New York Hall of Science
* Walk around giant pumpkin-headed scarecrows and see hula and Hawaiian artisan demos among gorgeous tropical flora both painted and real in Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawaii at the spectacular-in-the-fall New York Botanical Garden.
* Try tons of Halloween fun from haunted pirate hayrides, hay mazes, pumpkin carving and creepy animals at Boo at the Zoo or join a Spooktacular Night Walk.
* Work alongside a papermaker extraordinaire to make paper with lavender plus explore gorgeous fall foliage at Wave Hill Family Art Projects.
* Family-friendly film options include a Halloween-themed Wild Kratts screening at Alamo Drafthouse, a sweet German animated film at BAM and Buster Keaton in The General at the Central Library.
* Celebrate the season at Drag Queen Halloween Party Hour and a dog costume parade at festive Luna Park
* PS 10’s Tenstock features bounce houses, live music, crafts, sports, games, face painting and a chili cook-off.