April showers bring May flowers! Our expansive list of entertainment for the month of May covers outdoor events and activities for families to enjoy, with even a few indoor programs in the event of rain.
May 5th to May 7th
Little Guggs is a program designed for children ages 2-4 and is held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on certain Wednesdays and Saturdays through June 2017. As part of the workshop, participants will explore one or two pieces of artwork in the galleries and then construct a work of art in the studio. The hour also includes a short story. It is $30, $15 if you are a member, to register your child for the event. The price also includes museum admission art materials and snacks!
The Kidville Center in the Financial District is hosting its’ own version of a Cinco de Mayo festival on Friday, May 5th. Guests can enjoy a variety of treats, design their own sombrero, and take advantage of the bouncy castle gym. Admission is $30, $25 if you are a member of Kidville, and you can find the space on Gold Street between Fulton and John Street.
The Lincoln Center is putting on a production of In a Pickle, a performance inspired by Shakespeare’s The Winter Tale. In the show, the Shepherdess discovers a lost baby, and it is up to her and her flock of little sheep to reunite the child with its parents. Performance dates include May 6th, 7th, and 13th. The show runs for about an hour and is specifically geared to an audience of 2 to 5 years of age.
The grand opening of Dumbo Boulders by Brooklyn Bridge Park is on Saturday, May 6th. Stop by the Cliffs with your children to enjoy a fun, hands-on adventure that is a break from the normal routine. Please keep in mind that all attendees must sign a waiver prior to participating in any climbing activities. Dumbo has climbing opportunities for all children 6 and older and even offers an orientation for first-time climbers.
The Hippo Playground is an Upper West Side institution, and on Sunday, May 7th, the venue hosts its’ annual spring fair. There will be pony rides, bouncy castles, a petting zoo, and other entertainment designed to support the family favorite area. The project will also be offering additional activities in the coming months including Summer Art in the Park; Children’s July Concert Series; Fall Pumpkin Carving; and a Halloween Parade.
On Sunday, May 7th, the NYC Donut Dash 5K Run/Walk takes place at Pier 62, along the Hudson River Greenway. All proceeds go toward Ambassadors for Sustained Health, a non-profit organization geared towards maintaining and improving the health of communities. You may register individually for $40 a person or for $35 a person if you put together a group of 5 teammates participate alongside.
This year’s Spring Sheep Shearing at the Queens Zoo takes place on Saturday, May 6th, from 11am to 4pm. During this annual event, families can partake in in-depth tours with the farmers, learn about recycling, and enjoy local food. Additional events taking place at the zoo include the Seasonal Farmstand Opening Day on May 17th, where families can purchase over 50 types of vegetables and learn more about making easy and healthy meals.
The 92nd Street Y is holding story hour on Thursdays throughout the month of May. During the sessions, children can listen to stories, construct art projects, and dance together as the books spring to life. You can buy tickets on the Y’s website for May 4th, May 11th and May 18th.
May 12th to May 14th
The 3rd annual Hudson River Park Games take place on Saturday, May 13th at Pier 26. Spectators can peruse organic and healthy eats from participating vendors and sponsors. There will also be family-friendly activities at exhibits and booths at the Health and Wellness Zone.
The Old Stone House gardens at Washington Park and MS 51 are hosting Make Your Own Pizza Day on Saturday, May 13th. The brand-new oven will be lit at 9am, and from noon to 2pm, there will be toppings for families to use to make and bake their own pizzas. It’s $5 per pizza and all the proceeds go to the Old Stone House Oven Fund.
Snag tickets to Prospect Park’s Mother’s Day Breakfast while they’re still available. Visitors will possess the chance to enjoy breakfast, and help prepare special treats for some of the animal moms before the zoo opens to the public. The Queens Zoo is holding a Family Breakfast Club program on May 21st, also known as Bird Migration Day. If you have other plans for Mother’s Day, both Prospect Park and The Queens Zoo have plenty of upcoming family-friendly events this summer.
The New York Botanical Gardens are hosting their biggest garden party yet. This Mother’s Day weekend, visit the venue to watch live music, play games, and have a picnic set against New York’s spring landscape. Additional Mother’s Day events will be held at Alley Pond Environmental Center. Purchasing an All-Garden Pass on the day of the event will grant you access to all events and exhibitions on the grounds and kids under 2 are admitted for free!
May 19th to May 21st
The 9th Avenue Association is hosting its annual Food Festival on Saturday, May 20th and Sunday, May 21st on 9th Avenue between 42nd Street and 57th Street. Attendees can enjoy arts and crafts, plus live performances from local entertainers, and various types of food.
Fleet Week in New York kicks off on May 24th and runs through May 30th. Events during the week include a free Navy band concert in Central Park and Times Square. Details are not live yet on their site, but flipping through the photos from last year’s events certainly got us excited for what is to come!
Gruff! is an interactive, family-friendly reimaging of The Three Billy Goats Gruff, the Norwegian fairytale. In this production, a young goat named Gruf discovers the magically hidden Troll Valley, the only surviving oasis of natural plant and animal life on Earth and tries to convince her fellow goats to come live with her there instead of drilling for fuel in Troll Valley. This eco-friendly musical employs puppetry, magical laser effects, unforgettable songs, and a call to action in the fight against climate change. It runs until Sunday, May 28th.
To celebrate a change in locations, the Essex Street Market is hosting a Birthday Block Party on Saturday, May 20th. The festivities include face-painting, temporary tattoos, and balloon-making artists. Check-out the website for a list of participating vendors as well as the line-up for live music performances.
May 26th to May 29th
The Gallery at BRIC House is hosting Family Day on Saturday, May 27th. BRIC has a variety of programming that is geared toward family-friendly fun, including dance classes and parties that both parents and children can engage in. An additional Family Day workshop will be held on Saturday, June 10th. It is free to RSVP, and you can find the BRIC House on 647 Fulton Street.
Stop by Prospect Park on Monday, May 29th to celebrate Memorial Day with various family-friendly activities and events. These include nature education programs, a ride on the carousel, and the annual Memorial Day potato planting.
The Urban Farm is located at the southern end of the island, and has been constructed to provide students with the chance to plant, harvest, compost, and learn about sustainable gardening practices. Each year, ten baby chicks are purchased and raised in the garden. Find out more about Randall’s Island Park’ upcoming family-friendly events for the Spring and Summer of 2017 on their website.
On Sunday, May 28th, visit Governors Island for its season opening. All performances and activities are geared toward parents and children and free to the public. Entertainment includes improvising with Story Pirates, magic tricks by Mario the Magician, and a visit from Loony Toony the Clown.
Cirque-tacular Entertainment is a New York City based acrobatic specialty company. This season, visit the 14th Street Theater and enjoy astounding circus, dance, and other specialty acts at their spring performance of A Circus Like No Other.
Child Care Professionals Who Know NYC:
Some of our favorite spring activities can be found here. At the Nanny Authority, our nannies are knowledgeable in age-appropriate seasonal activities and programs, so parents can feel at ease knowing that their children maintain a cultural, educational lifestyle when they’re not around. To learn more about how we can assist you in your search for a professional nanny, contact us via e-mail or at 973-466-2669!