Our roundup of fun and FREE/low-cost things to do with kids in Manhattan this August includes the FringeJR theater festival, outdoor movies in the parks, and family-friendly concerts throughout the borough.
Aug. 2, 7, 9
It’s been a hot summer, but you know the moment fall rolls around we’ll all regret not spending every second we could have in the great outdoors. Take advantage of the heat and go outside to enjoy things often done inside: picnics instead of dinner at the dining room table, tennis games instead of Wii fitness competitions, and my personal favorite: outdoor concerts. A bright blue sky, energetic (kiddie) rock stars, and all the space you need to have a giant dance party? Bring on the music!
Perfect for the avid concert-goer, Madison Square Park wraps up its 10th season of Mad. Sq. Kids this month with three FREE outdoor performances for children and their families:
Aug. 2: Get ready to dance with Princess Katie & Racer Steve
Aug. 7: Sing along to tunes about real-life kid issues with The Suzi Shelton Band
Aug. 9: Take a musical tour through different cultures with Father Goose
Life on the Fringe
FringeNYC, more formally known as The New York International Fringe Festival, is the largest multi-arts festival in North America. Exploding onto the theater scene in 1997 with its particular brand of weird and wacky entertainment, the festival now spans 16 days and 20 venues, boasting 1,200 total performances.
If that sounds a bit overwhelming for the junior members of your family—or for yourself!—fear not. That’s why there’s FringeJR, which presents shows specifically recommended for families. This year’s FringeJR selections include Blown Away by Poetry, GRIMM: A New Musical, Super Sidekick: The Musical, and The Great Pie Robbery…Or, We Really Knead the Dough.
If your kids like the idea of getting up close and personal with the actors, be sure to attend Fort FringeJR to meet the casts (FREE!).
Pick an Outdoor Flick
Why watch a movie indoors on your laptop or iPad when you can enjoy it on a huge screen under a starry sky (and with free popcorn, no less)? Hudson River Park has teamed up with AT&T to host River Flicks for Kids, a FREE outdoor movie series for pint-sized viewers. This month’s screenings (all rated PG) include:
Aug. 3: Puss in Boots (2011; 90 minutes)
Aug. 10: Rango (2011; 107 minutes)
Aug. 17: Back to the Future (1985; 116 minutes)
Aug. 24: The Smurfs (2011; 103 minutes)
This series is one of many in Manhattan and the other boroughs that boasts cinema under the stars—browse the full roundup here.
Weekends through Sept. 16
99% Reduced Fat, 100% Awesome
Beginning Aug. 4, Theater for the New City’s annual Summer Street Theater Tour will hit New York City’s playgrounds, parks, and streets. The tour’s hour-long original musical, 99% Reduced Fat or You Can Bank on Us, tells the story of a bully named B.C. who falls for activist Suzy in Zuccotti Park. Predictably, the duo encounters some trouble, and B.C. decides to change his ways in the name of love and morality. Along with original choreography, revolving props, and graphic scenery, the show includes five live musicians and 30 actors. FREE!
Find even more family-friendly activities in Manhattan and the NYC area in our full, searchable calendar of events!