So you don’t have a fabu house in the Hamptons, or a country retreat on a lake somewhere upstate. No need to worry. Sometimes, the best time to be in New York City is when everyone else is gone. Like Labor Day Weekend. Just try to get a table at a restaurant in Easthampton next weekend – ha! But here in the city, the world is yours! Here, things to do with the kids for every day of one of the emptiest (of natives, anyway) weekends of the year in NYC.
1. Friday: Fireworks – Start off your weekend with a bang, at the final Coney Island Friday Night Fireworks display of the summer. Head to the boardwalk anywhere between 5th and 21st Sts, and get a great view. Fireworks start at 9:30 – a bit late for some kids – but hey, it’s the last weekend of the summer. Live a little. Click on coneyislandfunguide.com for more ingo
2. Saturday: The NYC Unicycle Festival – What’s cooler than unicycling? LOTS of people unicycling. This annual festival is a blast for kids and grown ups alike. And while it goes on all weekend, the events on Governors Island on September 3 from noon to 5 pm are your best bet with the kids. Plus. Governor’s Island is just waaay cool.
This year’s Governors Island festivities include:
- Unicycle basketball and hockey.
- Learn-to-ride sessions.
- Races and competitions.
- The Hell on Wheel Unicycle Trials Course
- A Unicycle Basketball match featuring NYC’s own King Charles Troupe vs. The Puerto Rican Nationals.
- An exhibition game presented by the Unicycle Football League
- World Record Attempts
- Public show featuring the best unicycle entertainers from around the world.
To get to Governors Island you can take a free ferry from Manhattan or Brooklyn.
The Governors Island ferry departs from the Battery Maritime Building located at 10 South Street, adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry in Lower Manhattan. For subway, bus, or Brooklyn Ferry information visit http://govisland.com/html/visit/directions.shtml
3. Saturday or Sunday: Big City Fishing – True, this has been going on all summer, but Labor Day weekend is your last chance to go fishing on the Hudson with gear and instruction provided by the NYC Parks department.
Kids (and adults) age five and up with not only learn to fish, but will also learn about the Hudson River environment. In a typical session, Trust staff offer a brief introduction to ecology and water quality, followed by an overview of the many fish species that live in Hudson River Park’s Estuarine Sanctuary.
But it’s more than fishing – view plankton through microscopes, examine live specimens – caught that morning, either in traps or on someone’s line; and identify species from the Hudson River Park’s signature Fish Poster.
4. Monday – The Richmond County Fair – Yes, a county fair in NYC – because Staten Island, is (I swear) part of NYC. Some call it the forgotten borough. But I call it the greenest, most family friendly part of the city. Here’s what you can find at the fair:
Amusement rides, County Fair contests, crafts, magic, farm animals (you read that right), pig races (you read that right, too), classic cars, live music, food, rides – even pony rides – and lots more on 25 acres. Admission is $15 per person, and kids under 30” tall are free! For more info, click here.
5. Monday Night – The weekend is almost over (and then school starts – yay!) but there’s still time for one big party: Nickelodeon’s Mega Music Fest featuring celebrities like Colbie Caillat, Wyclef Jean, and The Roots. But if that doesn’t sound kid friendly, consider this: they’ll all be performing never-before-seen duets with Dora the Explorer, the cast of Yo Gabba Gabba!, and Kai-lan. Plus there will be special appearances by The Laurie Berkner Band, The Fresh Beat Band, and even a few surprise cameos. Host John Leguizamo will make your preschooler’s first big concert a night to remember.