Events great for kids, August 20–26



      Summer camp at J. Hood Wright Park includes play, snacks and more, overseen by the park staff.

      Register here.

      Free. Monday through Friday at the park in Lower WaHi.






     One of the best things a parent can do this summer is enroll their child in a Parks Learn to Swim class.

     You can choose between two levels of aquatics training.

     Your child must be 6 years of age on the first day of class in order to participate in the children’s program, and you will need to take a document on the day of the first class to show proof of age.

     Free. An advanced session from August 20 through 24 at the pool in Highbridge Park. The full list is here.



     You don’t need training to learn and enjoy the traditional dances unique to West Africa. African dances are largely participatory, with spectators being part of the performance.

     Free. Monday evening at 6:30 on Pat’s Lawn in Inwood Hill Park; enter on 218th Street. Through August 27.






     In this entertaining and educational class, music is a vehicle for kids to learn about the world around them.     
     The leader’s energetic approach and commitment to engage each and every child creates an atmosphere for singing and moving to become essential elements of life. The goal is to help kids and parents embody music so it can be easily translated to experiences out in the world.

     For families with kids ages infant to 6 years old.

     Free. Tuesday evening at 6 on Pat’s Lawn in Inwood Hill Park; enter at 218th Street. Through August 28.





     The monthly read-aloud program at the Dyckman Farmhouse features arts and crafts relating to the book.

     Wednesday afternoon from 1 to 3:30 at the farmhouse in Inwood on Broadway at 204th Street.





     Come together in a lighthearted environment for family yoga fun.

     These classes feature poses appropriate for the kids’ ages and development and include animated breathing exercises and soothing relaxation techniques.

     Parents and kids of all ages are welcome.

     For more information call (212) 569-4112.

     Free. Wednesday nights on Pat’s Lawn in Inwood Hill Park near Indian Hill Road and 218th Street. Through August 29.




      When a Kansas couple finds themselves in the presence of an alien orphan sent from the dying planet Krypton, the Kents adopt him. 

     Little do they know they boy they raise will become the world’s greatest superhero, Superman. 

     The evening begins with classical and jazz  selections by the Calliope Brass Trio. Take a blanket and a snack to this outdoor show.

     Free. Thursday night at 7 with the screening at dusk at Waterfront Park in Sherman Creek.




     Parents and children are the students in a yoga class  with Christina Shablak, a certified children's instructor. All children are welcome with a parent or caregiver. 

     Please arrive early, and bring a towel or yoga mat.

     The ground is sloped and there are uneven spots. In case of rain or wet ground, this event will be cancelled.

     Free. Saturday morning from 9 to 9:45 in Fort Tryon Park on Abbie’s Lawn, just north of Linden Terrace.




     Get off the island and into the water.

     The Inwood Canoe Club hosts anyone who can swim for a guided, 20–25 minute kayak tour of the Hudson River just north of the George Washington Bridge. No prior experience is needed, and all equipment is provided.

     The open house is first-come, first-served; they don’t take reservations. You absolutely must be able to swim. No pets, please. Wear shoes and clothes that can get wet. Don't bring many valuables; you will need to leave them at the boathouse or supply your own waterproof bag for them or risk their getting wet. More information is here, along with a waiver — sign it in advance to save time.

     Those under 18 must bring a parent or guardian. Whether a minor will be allowed to paddle with us depends on conditions that day and on the discretion of the club.

     Free. Sundays, starting at 9:30, through Labor Day at the club’s marina in Inwood where Dyckman Street meets the Hudson River.



     You live on an island, so take the chance to see it from the Hudson.

     The Hudson River Community Sailing club offers free sails to land-lubbers yearning for open water.

     The club maintains several sailboats Uptown, including a 28-foot picket cruiser and four Hobie Waves.

     Register here.

     Free. Sunday from 10 to 3 at the Dyckman Marina in Inwood.



Planning ahead

     You don’t have to go to Fifth Avenue to see suits of armor anymore.

     This spring and summer a site-specific art project turns the lawn near the Cloisters into a modern display of medieval costume.

     The Icelandic artist Steinunn Thorarinsdottir positions each of three figures in a suit of armor that was cast from a custom 3D scan of a carefully chosen suit of armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection.

     Through September 15 in Fort Tryon Park.

     Take your kids to a community book shop to hear their favorite stories read out loud by experienced, trained readers. Just like their teachers in the classroom, but with new faces and new friends.

     Free. Saturday mornings at 11 at the Word Up Community Book Shop/Librería Comunitaria, in Lower WaHi on Amsterdam Avenue at 165th Street.



     Do you have a child who’s interested in soccer? The Uptown Soccer Academy has what you need.

     The group meets twice a week on the Dyckman Fields for practice. Children ages 6 through 16 learn the basics and hone their skills. In the winter, practice moves indoors. There’s a summer camp, too.

     Free. Monday and Friday afternoons from 4:30 to 6.



     Discover the authentic nightlife of New York in its only remaining natural forest.

      Take the kids camping with the Urban Park Rangers and learn how to put up a tent, start a campfire and roast marshmallows outdoors.

      Free. Saturday night through Sunday morning, September 8 and 9, in Inwood Hill Park.       

     Participants are selected by lottery. Registration opens on Wednesday, August 29. To enter your family, visit




     The garden gnomes Gnomeo and Juliet recruit renowned detective Sherlock Gnomes to investigate the mysterious disappearance of other garden ornaments.       

     Sherlock Gnomes (2018) is rated PG and runs 1 hour 26 minutes.    

     Take a blanket and a snack, and get there early to enjoy activities related to the film.

     Free. Friday night, August 31, at dusk on the Peninsula in Inwood Hill Park.



     The Indian dancer Gaurav Ajmera invites you to a devotional and musical interlude as he performs Arangetram , the debut of his classical Indian dance.

     This devotional form concentrates the body, soul and spirit into a spiritual rebirth through balance, posture, mudras (forms), and bhavas (feelings). The dance form has its origin in Indian mythology and through history is believed to be the dance form to show devotion to lords. A meal precedes the performance.

     $25 (meal included). Saturday afternoon, September 1, at 2:30 at the United Palace Theatre in Lower WaHi on Broadway at 175th Street.



     The Washington Heights Music Fest in collaboration with W.H.A.M. hosts a monthly open mic for artists, poets, singers, writers and performers. Refreshments will be provided.

     All ages are welcome, so the acts should be appropriate for everyone. 

     The first monthly musical open mic will be followed by session on the first Friday of the month. Hosted by Jason Rosario.

     $5. Friday night, September 7, from 6 to 9 at the Word Up Community Book Shop in Lower WaHi on Amsterdam Avenue at 165th Street. On the first Friday of the month.



     Led by professional ride leaders and master trailbuilders, orientation day lets bike readers learn what it takes to build and ride the most progressive urban bike park in America, in Highbridge Park.
     Participants earn their turns through the valuable experience of volunteering and riding. There will be light trail maintenance tasks for all ages in the morning, followed by free guided rides for all volunteers, including use of bikes and protective gear, after lunch.

     Be sure to take a snack, water, sunscreen, bug repellant, and sturdy shoes or boots.

     Free. Saturday, September 8, from 10 to 3. Meet in the Fort George portion of Highbridge Park at the terrain park trailhead, located 200 feet southeast of 131 Fort George Avenue. Every second Saturday through December.



     Discover the authentic nightlife of New York in its only remaining natural forest.

      Take the kids camping with the Urban Park Rangers and learn how to put up a tent, start a campfire and roast marshmallows outdoors.

      Participants are selected by lottery. Registration opens on Wednesday, August 29. To enter your family, visit

     Free. Saturday night through Sunday morning, September 8 and 9, in Inwood Hill Park.



     Whether you have a green thumb or just a curiosity for what makes the garden grow, all are welcome to volunteer in Roger Morris Park under the supervision of NYC Parks. 

     All tools and instructions are provided, just bring a willingness to get a little dirty tobeautify a special garden.

     Close-toed shoes are required. Volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.  

     Free. Sunday, September 9, from 10 to 1 on the grounds of the Morris-Jumel Mansion on Jumel Terrace. Also on October 7 and November 4.



     Need volunteer hours for school or work? Want to help out in your neighborhood? Fort Tryon Park welcomes you.

     Help prep the park by assisting the Friends Committee and NYC Parks staff by painting, planting, weeding, and more.

     Wear long pants and sturdy shoes. Tools and gloves will be provided. Groups must register by emailing by September 10. Volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.   

     Free. Sunday, September 16, from 10 to 2; enter through Margaret Corbin Circle in Hudson Heights.



     Youv’ve never seen an arts venus like the one for the third annual Danza Highbridge Festival.

     Held in the drained Highbridge swimming pool, it features dozens of performances and a dance party too.

     Saturday, September 22, at a time to be announced later at the pool in Highbrodge Park.



     Get out and enjoy the autumn warmth while you still can with a festival on the shore.

     Celebrate Manhattan’s only remaining lighthouse with readings of The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, fishing clinics, live music, food and art vendors.

     The Urban Park Ranger will offer presentations and activities for all ages.

     Free. Saturday afternoon, September 29, from noon to 4 on Jeffrey’s Hook in Fort Washington Park.



     The Medieval Festival is the most famous event in the Heights, drawing tens of thousands of visitors to the neighborhood.

     Lords, ladies, knights and commoners converge in Fort Tryon Park in the area around the Cloisters.

     Free. A Sunday, September 30, from 11:30 to 6 in Fort Tryon Park.   



     Hear the most beloved music and songs from Metal Gear performed live, with the most memorable moments from the video game projected on a giant screen.

     More than 70 musicians will perform on stage, plus giant screen HD game video projection, with singer Donna Burke.

     The show features more than 70 musicians on stage, and debuted in Japan before moving to Los Angeles. After the Washington Heights performance, it moves to Paris. For ages 13 and up.

     $44 to $119. Saturday night, October 13, at 8 at the United Palace Theatre in Lower WaHi on Broadway at 175th Street.



     Join the Friends Committee of the Fort Tryon Park Trust at its monthly beautification day, this time planting bulbs for spring blooms.

     Wear long pants and sturdy shoes. Tools and gloves will be provided. Groups must reserve their spots by sending an email to by October 15. Volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.   

     Free. Sunday, October 21, from 10 to 2; enter from Margaret Corbin Circle in Hudson Heights.



     The Feast of St. Frances Cabrini honors the patron saint of immigrants, who welcomed newcomers to Upper Manhattan and whose remains are venerated in a shrine in Hudson Heights.

     Over a weekend, the St. Frances Xavier Shrine hosts a series of masses for several nations’ communities, in French, Italian, Filipino, Spanish and English.
     The highlight of the feast is a procession, led by an Italian band, on Saturday at noon. 

     Free. A weekend in early November at the Shrine in Hudson Heights at 701 Fort Washington Avenue near Margaret Corbin Circle.



     Holiday shopping invariably means higher prices. What if you bought for your true love everything mentioned in a famous carol?

     The good news for traditional shoppers last year: the price of the gifts mentioned in The Twelve Days of Christmas increased only 0.7 percent, despite the surge in cost of turtle doves. (Really!)

     Prices for drummers and gold rings go up and down. Here’s where to find the prices for 2017.



     Music is the theme of the rechristened Washington Heights Salsa, Blues and Shamrocks 5K.
     The route is Fort Washington Avenue from Lower WaHi to the Cloisters and back, so prepare for a busy street. In 2015 more than 6,000 runners finished the 3.2-mile race. An separate start for kids is part of the Rising New York Road Runners program.
     Fee varies by age and classification. A Sunday morning at 9 starting at J. Hood Wright Park in Lower WaHi.



     The three-acre Heather Garden is the site of an annual rite of spring: the Shearing of the Heather by members of the Northeast Heather Society and Heather Garden staff.

     Led by a bagpiper, a community parade through the garden delights children, who are invited to take an instrument with them (adults are, too). Throughout the morning you will learn why Fort Tryon Park has the largest heath and heather collection in the northeast, and how to propagate your own heathers with clippings from the shearing.

     Free. A Saturday morning in early April in the Heather Garden in Fort Tryon Park, near the entrance at Margaret Corbin Circle in Hudson Heights.



     The annual Drums Along the Hudson began in 2002 as a traditional Pow Wow to celebrate Native American heritage and culture, and also to commemorate the Lenape people who first inhabited Inwood Hill Park, or Shorakapok (“edge of the water”).

     The event features dancers and drummers from around the world, combining Native American heritage, culture and art with the diversity of New York City. Activities include a Tree of Peace planting, international cuisine, Native American storytelling, a Pow Wow and crafts.
     The event has attracted a growing audience, numbering from 400 in the first year to over 8,000 in recent years.
     Free. A Sunday in June in Inwood Hill Park at Indian Road and 218th Street.



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