Park Avenue/Lafayette is the place to be Saturdays in August at car-free Summer Streets. Whatever neighborhood you end up in, explore cool pop-ups, see some free music and dance around town, or cool off in an air-conditioned family-friendly museum exhibit followed by a splash in the playground

To minimize time on sweaty subways and sidewalks, these neighborhood agendas feature full days of fun within a few blocks. Plus necessary ice cream stops. Click on the '**All Upper West Side... etc' links for handy maps.

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Big Apple Circus

Local troupe Big Apple Circus presents intimate family-friendly shows with clowns, horse-riding dogs, horizontal juggling, aerial duo, flying trapeze and more in a one-ring Big Top tent with comfortable arena style tiered seating. It’s a small venue so pretty much any seat location is great, and there are fun photo ops in the lobby. Schedule…

Very Young People’s Concerts: Strings

Join Philippe the Penguin and musicians of the New York Philharmonic on a musical playground. Enjoy an interactive concert designed by New York Philharmonic musicians together with faculty of Columbia University’s Teacher’s College for age 3–6. At 12:30 pm and 3 pm. Includes musical games with musicians beginning a half hour before concert time throughout…

Holiday Express: All Aboard to Richard Scarry’s Busytown

Celebrate the 100th birthday of Busytown author and illustrator Richard Scarry with artwork and graphics of Scarry’s characters (like Huckle Cat and Lowly Worm) alongside historical model trains, scenic elements and toys. Dynamic displays explore the workings of the railroad, the services it provides, and the jobs required to keep people and goods moving. Hop…

Yeti, Set, Snow!

An original production from the historic, cozy Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre features a young girl who teaches a sweet, snow-hating yeti with a sparkly silver cat the value of snow and friendship. A fun musical with clever staging in a magical Central Park setting. Short and sweet and a good starter shows for toddlers (though…

Stroller Tour Through History

Grownups and their children (up to 3 years old) explore America’s past, present, and future in a lively and interactive tour before the museum opens for the day. Includes singing, movement, texture exploration and art-making in the galleries. First & third Sunday of the month.

By the Way Bakery

A small cute bakery with muffins, cakes, cookies, cupcakes and more tasty treats, all of which happen to be gluten free.

Orwashers UWS

Choose from salads, sandwiches, amazing healthy artisanal bread and not-so-healthy pastries at the new UWS outpost of the 100+-year-old Orwashers Bakery with counter service and seating.

Inside Art

Assemble, create, peek into, crawl under, and walk through one of a kind sculptures and installations. Interactive artworks by eleven contemporary artists include a cylindrical sculpture that encourages pint-sized visitors to crawl under and peek through a panorama of three-dimensional leaves, a hanging imaginary beehive, a massive tabletop mystery puzzle, groundhog burrows built to human…

Winter Village at Bryant Park

* Watch skaters – or skate yourself on the city’s only free rink ($18-33/skate rentals – varies by day, free lockers available, $10/lock or bing you own). Penguin and snowmen skate aids available for wee learners ($22/hour). New this season, reserve your skate time online. * Warm up in the rinkside Lodge by Urbanspace featuring dozen…

Read-to-Skate StoryTime

Read and sing along with Cali Co Cat and earn a free skate rental. Free books from Penguin Random House (while supply lasts). New stories every week. To earn a skate rental, attend 2 StoryTimes plus attend 1 program at New York Public Library Children’s Center at 42nd Street and/or read and enjoy 1 library book.…

Ice Fishing, Tartan Kilt Skate & Read-to-Skate StoryTime

At 11:30 am, read and sing along with Cali Co Cat and earn a free skate rental. Free books from Penguin Random House (while supply lasts). New stories every week. To earn a skate rental, attend 2 StoryTimes plus attend 1 program at New York Public Library Children’s Center at 42nd Street and/or read and enjoy…

Billy Johnson Playground

This rustic playground hosts an amazing 45-foot granite slide nestled into a rocky hill, bucket and tire swings, and an amphitheater and miniature stone bridge made of natural materials like plants, stone, and wood at a child’s scale.

Garden Court Café at Asia Society

Lunch on brunch on seasonal dishes that reflect elements of the diverse cultures of Asia in the modern, glass-enclosed space filled with light, flowering vines, trees, and art. Gorgeous bento boxes. Tuesday—Sunday, 11:30 am—3 pm

Start with Art at the Met/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. The first Thursday of the month features music in the galleries.

Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Rat

May art bring you good fortune! Mark the Year of the Rat, one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, with performances, interactive gallery activities, and artist-led workshops. For all ages. Includes a Lunar New Year Parade with the Chinese Center on Long Island Lion Troupe, Sesame Street Puppeteers, drum and dance performances, a collaborative communal…

Russ & Daughters

Nosh on smoked fish platters, bagels and bialys, knishes, egg creams and more Jewish-American classic foods plus modern salads (and babka french toast!) at the Jewish Museum outpost of iconic Lower East Side appetizing shop. Take it to go to eat in Central Park or relax in the lovely cafe (limited hours). Museum admission not…

Citycakes Bakery

Get some of city’s best cookies – signature half pound size treats can be covered in frostings with sprinkles, halved and filled with two scoops of gelato for an amazing ice cream sandwich, or stacked 3x high to make a unique little cookie cake. No on-site seating available. ⁣

Home Depot Workshop: Mini Hockey Game

Develop hands-on skills with sanding, nailing, painting and more while creating a mini hockey game. Receive a certificate of achievement, workshop apron and a commemorative pin while supplies last. Also at Home Depots on 59th Street/Third Ave, Long Island City, New Rochelle and elsewhere. Part of a monthly series.

Samsung 837

Experience cutting edge technology including virtual reality demos and an immersive, interactive digital art room in a spacious, high-design spot with a French cafe.

The Rink

Eat, dink and skate at a winter dreamscape under the High Line with rainbow trees and a small street-side ice rink. Free penguin skate aids for small beginners and furry blankets for spectators. Easy and fun, though we were warned to watch out for drunk skaters if we come back at night :)⁠ Cozy up…

Sloomoo Institute

Explore a sensory playground centered around slime. Play with beautiful and seemingly endless vats full of slime, relax in an immersive tunnel, enter a glow-in-the-dark cove,  and create at a 150-foot long DIY bar Wear clothes that can get messy. Every ticket comes with an 8-oz. custom slime and other surprises.

Museum of Ice Cream

Celebrate all things ice cream at the return of the sweet pop up that started then trend. This new permanent location has 13 interactive installations across 3 floors, the  biggest sprinkle pool ever, a three-story slide and lots of ice cream to try.

Lunar New Year Family Festival

Join diverse communities from the 5 boroughs to celebrate the Lunar New Year with storytelling, drop-in arts and crafts, teaching artist demonstrations, special guests, and more.    

The Art of Chinese New Year

Explore the Lunar New Year holiday and the related traditional visual and performing arts in a vibrant, interactive art experience for all ages. Experience the sights and sounds of the holiday through displays, artist workshops, and hands-on activities. Learn about nianhua (New Year pictures), spring couplets, and papercutting. A showcase on the art of shadow puppetry will features…

Lunar New Year

Ring in the Lunar New Year with a family-friendly performance presented by Arts Brookfield in partnership with the New York Chinese Cultural Center.  A dynamic Lion Parade led by lion dancers launches an afternoon filled with bursts of energy and color with traditional Chinese dance and music, a martial arts demonstration, and theatrical players in full traditional make-up…

Imagination Playground

This magical interactive, transformable playground lets kids create their own play space with sand, water, giant foam blocks, mats, wagons, fabric, and crates at their fingertips. Great view of the East River and bathrooms.

10 Corso Como

Find striking modern design among historic cobblestones at former editor and publisher Carla Sozanni’s visionary concept store. Atriking interiors designed by American artist Kris Ruhs, host a quirky store, gallery, bar and Italian restaurant.

Wavefield, Variation O

Play on a series of interactive, glowing seesaws designed to bring people together and light up the night. Each of eight seesaws of varying sizes has its own temperament and musical vocabulary, ready to be activated with sound and light by passerbys of all ages.

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Wave Hill Family Art Project: Sleepy Seeds, and Winter Dormancy

Enjoy storytime and nature-inspired art projects in a historic house among gorgeous gardens and trees overlooking the Hudson River. Because winter is a time of rest for many beings, having fun creating masks to mimic dormant seeds, hibernating groundhogs, torporing bats, and more. Take the newly made mask and perform a dreamy tale of what it…