25 Fun Things to Do in Manhattan this August

Find the top things to do this month with kids in the NYC area in our Calendar of Events

Our list of fun things to do with kids in NYC this August includes family shows, concerts, festivals, and more, happening everywhere from Governors Island to Lower Manhattan, Bryant Park, Upper East Side, Harlem, and throughout the borough.


fete paradisoVisit Governors Island

Throughout Sept. 29

Governors Island is open every weekend and holiday Monday from 10am-7pm through Sept. 29, and if you haven’t made the trek there yet with the kids, you absolutely should. Here's what's happening there this month:

Aug. 10-11: Civil War Heritage Weekend

Aug. 17-18: Jazz Age Lawn Party

Aug. 24 and 31: Vintage Baseball

Through Sept. 2: Children's Museum of the Arts Free Art Island Outpost

Through Sept. 29: Shipwrecked! A History of Maritime Disasters in NY Harbor

Through Sept. 29: Fete Paradiso, a festival of vintage French carousels and carnival rides

The best part: All events are FREE! To get to Governors Island, take the free ferry from the Battery Maritime Building, on the corner of South and Whitehall streets; see govisland.com for the ferry schedule.


coney island flicks on the beachWatch an Outdoor Movie

Bellevue South Park, Bryant Park, Hudson River Park, J. Hood Wright Park, Riverside Park, St. Nicholas Park
Throughout August

It’s still summertime, and the lineup of outdoor entertainment continues. Check out our roundup of outdoor movies to find where you can spread your blanket, settle in, and watch a free flick in the open summer air.


monkey monkey music with meredith levandeMonkey Monkey Music Concerts

Throughout Manhattan
Aug. 10, 14, 20, 27

Meredith LeVande is the woman behind Monkey Monkey Music (monkeymonkeymusic.com), and on the off chance you haven’t already been introduced to her songs, prepare to enjoy an upbeat and original performance when you see her rock out. Started in 2001, Monkey Monkey Music came from LeVande’s (who is an educator as well as a songwriter and performer) desire to engage the whole child in her music. Her songs are created with the explicit goal to encourage kids to pursue their natural curiosity and desire to learn. Fittingly, Monkey Monkey Music will be performing at several New York Public Library locations this month, with a playground concert thrown in for good measure. All shows are FREE!

Aug. 10: West Harlem Piers Park, West 125th Street, Harlem

Aug. 14: New York Public Library Grand Concourse, 155 E. 173rd St., Bronx

Aug. 20: New York Public Library, 67th Street branch, 328 E. 67th St., Upper East Side

Aug. 27: New York Public Library, Ottendorfer branch, 135 Second Ave., East Village


downtown dance festival nycDowntown Dance Festival

Batter Park, Lower Manhattan
Aug. 11-15

The 32nd annual Downtown Dance Festival will feature a roster of extraordinary domestic and international talents. Hosted by Battery Dance Company, the festival is a manifestation of the company’s goal to connect the world through dance. Constantly pursuing artistic excellence and social relevance by creating vibrant new works, performing on stages all over the world, presenting dance in public spaces, and teaching people of all ages about the magic of movement, BDC has been an integral part of the New York City dance community for 37 years. The annual downtown festival will showcase dance from nations around the globe, including Spain, Greece, France, Great Britain, and New York City.


Visit a Greenmarket or Flea Market

Throughout Manhattan
Throughout August

Open-air markets such as these greenmarkets, farmers' markets, and flea markets in Manhattan can provide free fun for the whole family. In addition to being convenient, buying from a local market means you're buying from your neighbors, including local farmers and artisans, who form our area's economy. So before you battle the lines at the grocery or department store, consult our comprehensive list of the city’s seasonal markets.


ballet academy eastBallet Academy East Auditions

Ballet Academy East, Upper East Side
Aug. 28

If your boy is serious about ballet and you’ve been considering where he can learn to hone his skills, you’ll want to look into Ballet Academy East’s new scholarship program specifically for young boys. The school, which trains dancers for professional careers in ballet, has just created a new full-year tuition boys’ scholarship program to begin in the fall. Now, talented boys who may not otherwise be able to afford the program can audition for one of eight scholarships and begin the journey of becoming the next Billy Elliot. Auditions for the scholarship will be held for male students ages 7-18 on Aug. 28, 4:45-6:45pm. To apply for an audition, call 212-410-9140 x17 or visit baenyc.com.


penguins movie'Penguins' in IMAX

American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side
Showing daily through Jan. 9, 2014

A new giant-screen adventure hit the American Museum of Natural History’s IMAX theater last month, and it’s the perfect excuse to bring the kids inside for an engaging and educational movie experience to beat the heat of August. Penguins features a young male King Penguin living in Penguin City, a location on the remote island of South Georgia in the southern Atlantic Ocean. The locale is home to hundreds of albatrosses, fur seals, and brawling elephant seals, as well as six million penguins, and the young penguin at the center of the film must earn his place among the island inhabitans while finding a mate and raising a family.


More Fun

It's still summer! Visit a nearby beach

Head to a miniature golf course for some friendly family competition

Search for more fun family activities in our full calendar of events