Did winter seem like it lasted forever this year? I think we’re safe now to pack up all the puffy jackets for the season. Now if we can just dodge all the rain, there is plenty of stuff to do to get out and make the most of the beautiful spring weather. Sure, there are all your favorite playgrounds to return to and the required Mother’s Day Brunch to attend, but in between, there are lots of great events happening in the borough that will help make even more memories. Spring is such an ephemeral time period and it’s imperative to make family plans before it blows by into the scorching heat of summer, relegated mostly by camp schedules and heat advisories. Here are eight ideas (Pet a unicorn! Fly a kite! Take a ferry ride!) to get you through the month; even if you pick just a few, you’ll be happy you did.
GO: Governor’s Island is now open!
If only there was a wide open space that didn’t allow cars that had green grass for running, playground equipment, hammocks, and great lunch options? There is, of course. Remember Governor’s Island? As of May 1st, the ferries have started up again (but weekends only from BBP) and you and your family can be some of the first to set foot on the grounds in 2019. There are lots of new vendors and a great event lineup this summer, and STEM Kids sessions and the PlaygroundNYC’s The Yard will both be launching this weekend. Or rent a bike and spend the day exploring the whole island, while it’s not too hot. To sweeten the deal, all ferries will be FREE through May 5th, so take advantage and take the trip.
GO: See “Glimpse,” it’s visual music
BAMKids is known for curating interesting programming for kids, and the newest show Glimpse by Oorkaan sounds in that same vein. “What do colors sound like? Who can understand the moon? What does the sun say? How many colors does a dream have?” are the questions that this performance seeks to answer. This is a “visual concert” that imagines what music actually looks like. Running two weekends from Saturday, May 4th through Sunday, May 12th with performances at 10:30 am and 3:30 pm, this sounds like it will be a fascinating way to spend a morning or afternoon. The runtime is only 40 minutes and tickets are only $16, so it sounds low-stake, high-reward. BAM Fisher, BAM Fisher Hillman Studio, 321 Ashland Pl., Fort Greene. Tickets: $16.
GO: Celebrate Mother’s Day early at Holistic Picnic
What do moms need more than some self-care? How about a plant-filled wellness fair devoted to all sorts of wellness modalites including readings, workshops, and drinks? Brooklyn Based is hosting Holistic Picnic on Sunday, May 5th with a line-up of vendors so good, that you’ll want to bring all your friends. Mothers are being celebrated with experts like Mom In Balance New York which runs pregnant and postpartum exercise classes and will run a free HIIT class at 5 pm. Sweet Deliverance offers nutritional support for new moms and Yinova Center, specializes in fertility and family care. Take an aura photograph, try meditation, take a workshop, buy houseplants or mystical wares, or just chill out with a CBD cocktail. To take advantage of it all (and relax!), you’ll probably want to arrange for someone else to watch the kids. Holistic Picnic, The Green Building, 452 Union St., Gowanus. Tickets start at $12-$22 in advance; $15-$25 day of.
GO: Fly a Kite
On Saturday, May 11th, from 12-3 pm, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy will show you and your family how to fly a kite. “Lift Off: A Waterfront Kite Festival,” a FREE event will take place on Pier 5 at Brooklyn Bridge Park. It’s BYOK (Bring Your Own Kite) or you can purchase one at the event. Additionally, there will be Live music, stilt walkers, and face-painters. We suggest bringing a picnic and making a day out of this STEAM-focused educational yet fun event. Pier 5, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn Heights. FREE.
GO: Pet a REAL unicorn
Would your children like to pet a unicorn? Is this a rhetorical question? Also on Saturday, May 11th, from 10am-7pm, the store Brooklyn Owl is celebrating their second anniversary with a Unicorn party. Kids will get a chance to see a real live unicorn that is visiting around 2pm, and there will be plenty of unicorn horns for kids to try on (and purchase.). There will also be a storewide treasure hunt, a glitter table sponsored by Unicorn Snot, a prize wheel and a magic mirror that talks to customers. Basically, it will be an interactive magical day, and very worth stopping by. Brooklyn Owl, 252 Flatbush Ave., Prospect Heights. FREE.
GO: Storytimes at Center for Fiction
You might think that the Center For Fiction is just a new, giant, modern bookstore in Fort Greene. But as I discovered on my recent tour of the non-profit, it is so much more. Their “Kids Read” program brings public school students from all five boroughs into the center to meet their favorite authors. They also have a great monthly newsletter with suggestions for new books for kids, which takes the guesswork out of what to get for little readers. Best of all, there is a great lineup of events like “KidsRead: Bweela Steptoe presents the work of John Steptoe” on Saturday, May 18th at 11am. Carla Cain-Walther, the PR and Marketing Manager for The Center for Fiction, says, “The ideal would be to have a young reader come in here and in like 20 years later be one of our emerging writers. We really want to see the big picture when it comes to a love of literature at a really young age and where it can take you.” Center for Fiction, 15 Lafayette, Fort Greene.
GO: Dance your heart out
A few years ago I stopped by a fun, family-friendly dance class with Debbie Attias, a rock star, healer, DJ, and party starter. This month, on Sunday, May 19th at 2pm (doors open at 1:30pm) is the return of Dancorism, her aerobic dance classes, which are fun for the whole family and require no previous dance experience—just the ability to shake your body, look silly, and follow the moves of Dancing Debbie as she parades everyone around the dance floor. Attias says, “This will be a no pressure experience, you can participate as much or as little as you like, and there is no pressure to dance in any certain way. As long as you are having fun, you are doing it right!” With the inevitably great music, you’ll be feeling the urge to move your body and dance right alongside your kids. Park Church Co-op, 129 Russell St., Greenpoint. Tickets: $25 advance, $30 door, Kids free with an adult. Purchase advance tickets here.
GO: Life’s a beach!
It seems incredible, but the city beaches are going to open at the end of the month. Just in time for Memorial Day on Saturday, May 25th your family can be frolicking on any of the public beaches. Haven’t booked an Airbnb at the Hamptons for the long weekend? Instead, this might be the right weekend to go to Coney Island or the Rockaways (or maybe even glamp out at Camp Rockaway!). Bonus: No insane traffic!