1. Parade of Illuminations: Opening Procession for the PEN World Voices Festival
(April 30, 2012; 7:30pm – 8:30pm)
Beginning at the High Line access point at West 30th Street
Between 10th and 11th Avenues
New York, NY 10011
The High Line, the public park on Manhattan’s website with the beautiful views of the city, is partnering with Processional Arts Workshop for part of the 8th Annual PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature. Pen World Voices is a weeklong NYC literary festival with writers from 25 countries. During this FREE opening procession, visitors of all ages will be able to animate puppets and catch pieces of text during the celebration of words.
2. Bike Expo New York
(May 3, 2012 – May 5, 2012)
299 South Street
New York, NY 10002
May is Bike Month. Does the idea of enjoying a relaxing bicycle ride with your family sound appealing? If so, head over to Basketball City on Pier 36 and enjoy Bike Expo New York. There will be a variety of bike equipment and accessories on display as well as a variety of free cycling related entertainment and activities. On May 3rd, there will be biking classes for adults and on May 5th, it’s time for the kids to learn how to cycle.
Children’s Museum of Manhattan
The Tisch Building
212 West 83rd Street
New York, NY 10024
The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is one of my favorite museums in the city that caters to young kids. Admission fees can add up quickly though. That is why Target Free First Fridays are a great opportunity for families to experience the various exhibits and programs that are offered at the museum. Of special note is the EatSleepPlay™: Building Health Every Day featured exhibit. It helps families create healthier lifestyles by teaching the latest medical and behavioral research in a fun, interactive manner.
4. 2012 Go Green! Greenpoint! Earth Day Festival
(May 5, 2012; 11am – 5pm)
Bayard St to Nassau Ave (between Leonard and North 12 Streets)
Brooklyn, NY 11222
This annual eco-friendly festival is celebrating its 5th anniversary this year. This free event provides a great opportunity for the entire family to enjoy music, performances and educational events (including science contests for kids). Vendors at this popular celebration will also sell arts & crafts. Please note that May 11th is the tentative rain date for this event.
5. 13th Annual Bronx River Flotilla
(May 5, 2012; flotilla: 9am – 3pm/picnic: 12:30pm – 4pm)
Traverse the Bronx River
(Beginning at Shoelace Park end at Concrete Plant Park )
Over 200 participants will join a flotilla of canoes and kayaks that will travel along the Bronx River in this public paddling event. Although contestants must be experienced paddlers who are 18+, friends and families can cheer them on and participate in the picnic. All ages can welcome the participants at the finish line (from approximately 12:30pm – 3:30pm) and are welcome to bring blankets and picnic lunches to enjoy the rest of the day.
7. 150th Anniversary Open House of Flushing Town Hall
(May 5, 2012 – Sunday, May 6, 2012)
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Blvd.
Flushing, New York 11354
(718) 463-7700 (Main Number)
Earlier this year, I visited Flushing Town Hall with my oldest son’s second grade class. I’m so happy that I was introduced to this wonderful gem! It is definitely worth the ride to Queens to introduce your family to this beautiful space during their free 2-day Open House. There will be a variety of fun and interactive programs. An interactive performance with a traditional Korean Marching Band, Cinco de Mayo workshops, giveaways and birthday cake to celebrate their 150th anniversary are just a sampling of the things on the agenda.
8. Eleventh Annual Irish Arts Center NYC Dance Festival
(May 6, 2012; 1pm – 8pm)
Riverside Park South
Pier I at West 68th Street
New York, NY
There is a large, vibrant Irish community in NYC and this festival is a great opportunity to celebrate Irish dance and musical contributions. Take the entire family to Pier 1 on the West Side to enjoy this free annual tradition! In addition to performances from some of the top Irish dance companies from New York and around the country, there will also be dance classes, music sessions, Irish language classes and much more. Don’t forget your dancing shoes!