Great FREE (or low-cost) summer events for baby (July/August)

Car free strollering
Sun Aug 4 - Sun Aug 18
From Park Ave at 72nd St to Centre St at Brooklyn Bridge; visit for details. For this three-Saturday event, nearly seven miles of NYC turf from the Brooklyn Bridge all the way to Central Park will be cleared of vehicles, creating a pedestrian paradise complete with food and entertainment. This edition’s offerings are still being finalized, but previous years have included free bike rentals, a rock-climbing wall, a zip line and picnics along the route. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for outdoor art installations. All ages.

Summer Stage Global Family Day
Sun Jul 7
There are tons of concerts for adults at SummerStage, but this show is geared to the peanut gallery. Headlining the Central Park mainstage's family day is a street-theater collaboration between the Carpetbag Brigade and Colombia's Nemcatacoa Teatro, blending Andean music, spoken word elements, acrobatic stilt walking, butoh dance and contact improvisation. Folksy songstress Elizabeth Mitchell, Caribbean percussion group Natural Expression Rhythm Band, and African diaspora arts groups ASE Dance Theater Collective and Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy round out the lineup. Nearby, the Radio Disney Road Crew will be entertaining the youngest set with a pirate and princess costume party, complete with photo ops alongside Pirate Jake and Princess Sofia. For a complete schedule, visit All ages.

Wave Hill House reopens
Mon Jun 17 2013
Help herald the reopening of historic Wave Hill House after a two-year renovation with house tours (Sat, Sun 11am-1pm), free activities like collaborative tapestry-making (Sat, Sun 1-4pm), live music from Mary Courtney and Morning Star (Sat, Sun 1:30-4pm), and a special edition of Wave Hill's Family Art Projects: "Pinapple Welcome Wishes," in which kids make and decorate silly paper pineapple hats (Sat, Sun 10am–1pm). All ages.

Madison Square Park hosts some of the best names in children music for a special series of free outdoor entertainment for kids and their families. Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band (6/25), KBC Kids (6/27), Big Bang Boom (7/2), Alastair Moock and Friends (7/9), David Weinstone and the Music for Aardvarks Band (7/11), Recess Monkey (7/16), Robbi K & Friends (7/18), The Rockdoves (7/23), Songs for Seeds (7/25), The Dirty Sock Funtime Band (7/30), Billy Jonas and the Billy Jonas Band (8/1), The Suzi Shelton Band (8/6) and Shine and the Moonbeams (8/8). Free. All ages.

Why Books Matter
Mon Jun 17 - 30 2013
The main branch of the NYPL is playing host to an exhibit that celebrates the rich history of children's literature. Curated by scholar Leonard Marcus, the show in Gottesman Hall draws together more than 200 items from the NYPL collection, from medieval European manuscripts and Hans Christian Andersen works to original drawings for The Wizard of Oz, a collage paper sample by Eric Carle and banned children's books from around the world. All ages.

Beach Fun!
All Summer
One of your best bets for a staycation this summer—take a day trip to one of the city's best beaches (or another nearby shores) to enjoy sand, surf and more. Dine at a local Russian eatery while visiting Brighton Beach, run through the sprinkles at the Sea Turtle Fountain on Midland Beach and enjoy acres of sand at Rockaway Beach, which reopened after being hit hard by Sandy earlier this season (the boardwalk and area's playgrounds are still in the process of being rebuilt but there are temporary concessions and bathrooms set up). Best of all for all round fun is Coney Island set up with new bathrooms, easy stroller access and brand new eateries. If baby is up to it Luna park boasts lots of slower toddler rides, and check out the restored carousel on the boardwalk. 

Playground Fun
All Summer
It’s a rare thing in the city to have a spot where one sibling can play in the toddler area, while the other kicks around a soccer ball on the grass—all in one enclosed setting. That’s just what Tribeca residents enjoy on a daily basis at Washington Market Park. Its tripartite playground has climbing structures for every age kid, including the “steerable” ship for tots by the entrance; the adjacent park consists mostly of an expansive field of green surrounded by benches and a gazebo that morphs into a perfect castle with a little imagination. Greenwich St between Chambers and Duane Sts (

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