Fun and free/low-cost things to do with kids in Brooklyn this June, including free rides on the Prospect Park Carousel, Coney Island's Mermaid Parade, and Opening Day for the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Song Sung Blue
It’s been said that everybody has a song inside of them—though probably not all of those songs should be heard. But songs written by children absolutely should be, because we all need a reminder of what is pure, true, honest, and real. Russell, my 11-year-old, recently conveyed his dissatisfaction with me by penning “You Are Not My Father,” 30 seconds of discordant guitar rage with a genuine verse/chorus/bridge structure. For kids with the songwriting bug, Rachel Lipson, once a teacher at Brooklyn Heights’ Saint Ann’s School, founded the Blue Balloon Songwriting for Small People school/workshop. The fruits of her young students’ talent and labor can be seen at a showcase June 3 at The Knitting Factory in Williamsburg.
Someday, these kids are going to have their own stars on Hollywood Boulevard. For now, you’ll just have to see their work on the big screen at Cobble Hill Cinema during Big Movies for Little Kids’ second annual Student Film Festival. Which, to be fair, is no small accomplishment. Back in March, the semimonthly film series put out an open call for films made by kids and teenagers, and 20 films were selected from dozens of entries. Last year’s films included some really hilarious examples, including a Star Wars-esque battle for some planet called Owawa, and another about a dog. (Actually, there were several about dogs and sci-fi battle sequences.) All films are shorter than 4 minutes and appropriate for children in the 2-10 age range. Arrive early for a craft-making workshop led by the Children’s Museum of the Arts.
The Prospect Park Carousel we know and love first made its home in Coney Island back when the amusement park was the biggest, shiniest resort around. This month, the carousel celebrates its 100th Anniversary on June 10 with a day of free rides and other fun activities. When you visit, take a closer look at its details and brilliant artwork, including pictures of Brooklyn landmarks and a genuine Coney Island mermaid statue. FREE!
Father’s Day Fun
Is dad the new mom? Is mom the same old mom, and dad the same old dad? Is mom the new dad? Will it be sunny out tomorrow? Who knows, but there seem to be a lot more dads at the playgrounds and pushing the strollers lately. The dads, deservedly, get a day of appreciation this month, and there are some great nearby events that honor them: Check out our roundup of Father's Day fun.
Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Cheer on the Brooklyn Cyclones as our home team takes on the Staten Island Yankees on Opening Day, June 18 at MCU Park in Coney Island.
Only on Coney Island
Coney Island, at heart, is an old seafaring town with plenty of regular freaks who look like extras from Pirates of the Caribbean. During the neighborhood’s rite-of-summer event, the Mermaid Parade, hundreds of mermaids and pirates give self-expression a whole new meaning. Antique cars and marching bands parade in sequence with sea creatures, a few dozen King Neptunes (along with a crowned King Neptune and Queen Mermaid), and a few nuts dressed as a lighthouse. Aqua green is the color du jour, and the beach officially opens for the season. Following the parade, participants throw fruit in the ocean to appease the sea gods. Kid appropriate? All I know is that there are regularly a swarm of children in the march and viewing it, and they seem to truly enjoy it. And if ever there was an excuse to dress up as a SpongeBob character, this is it. FREE!
For even more fun family events in Brooklyn and the NYC area, search our full calendar of events