Throw banjos, count eels, and ride on a Wild River—it’s just another NYC weekend with the fam.
1. Another reason to love the Hudson River: eels? Apparently, the Huds is teeming with them, especially during this time of year, when they swim-squirm en masse past the grounds of Wave Hill in the Bronx, where, on Saturday, you can meet live specimens, learn about their life cycle, and make eel-y cool art. On Sunday, kids 8 and older can put on waders and get in the water to help environmentalists collect, count, weigh, and release baby eels!
2. Explore Domino Park in Williamsburg and take a few spins on the BMX pump track across the street.
3. Let the season of corn dogs and cotton candy begin! It’s opening weekend at Luna Park in Coney Island. Are your kids tall enough for the Cyclone, Thunderbolt, and Sling Shot yet?
4. If you prefer your carnival rides on a farm instead of at the beach, head to the Queens County Farm for its annual Apple Blossom Festival this weekend and next. Tilt-a-Whirl, midway games, and hayrides!
5. Expose your kids to classical chamber music…on a boat (why not?). Free, family-friendly, one-hour Music in Motion concerts are held every Saturday at 4 p.m. through April and May on Bargemusic, an actual barge docked at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge in Dumbo. Beforehand, explore the lawns and playground of Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1, ride Jane’s Carousel, and get messy slices at Grimaldi’s.
6. See the animated Japanese children’s film, Mirai, which follows the inner life of a young boy who is unsure about his new baby sister…until he magically meets an older version of her. After the Sunday afternoon screening at BAM, grab a few plates of chicken satay and glass noodles at nearby Thai joint National.
7. Climb, zip, dangle, and balance at the Bronx Zoo’s Treetop Adventure.
8. Hee-haw and do-si-do! The 2019 Brooklyn Folk Festival is jamming all weekend long in Brooklyn Heights with dozens of bluegrass, zydeco, gospel, and swing performers; jug bands; square dancing; a banjo-throwing contest; workshops and jam sessions; and kid-favorite Dan Zanes. Don’t worry, there will be food from local eateries to fuel your foot stompin’.
9. Learn about the music and art of Harlem at Carnegie Hall’s Journey to the Harlem Renaissance family day on Saturday, worth it for the performance by the lively jazz and blues band Mwenso & the Shakes alone.
10. Smorgasburg opens for the season this weekend. Eat all the fried cookie dough, raindrop cake, and pizza cupcakes you can handle at East River State Park in Williamsburg on Saturday and Prospect Park on Sunday.