Our hand-picked list of fun and free/low-cost family events happening in Brooklyn this August includes kid-friendly concerts and outdoor movie screenings, a reenactment of the Battle of Brooklyn, and a birthday bash for Michael Jackson.
Aug. 4 and 11
Coast as Classroom
The City Parks Foundation is involved in all types of entertainment events, from outdoor movie screenings to Central Park’s SummerStage concert series. But it also has its hands in educational efforts like the Coastal Classroom program, which is a tremendous learning opportunity for kids in fourth grade and higher. Participants learn about marine life, water resources, environmental issues, urban waterfront restoration, and more through hands-on experiences. At Coastal Classroom Family Day, kids 8 and older (with parent supervision) are given the opportunity to wade into the water at Kaiser Park and learn more about the world beneath the waves. FREE!
Paddling Around Aimfully
New York City’s waterways are the setting for the Global Autism Project’s Paddle for Autism Awareness fundraising event. Paddling, in this case (not to be confused with the stand-up paddling that has become the rage recently), means kayaking. One needn’t be an experienced kayaker, as event staff will be on hand to help out. And the fun stuff is hardly limited to adults, as the ultimate goal is to get kids with autism out on the water to experience this sensory activity. Proceeds from the event benefit its sponsor, Global Autism Project, which provides training for personnel at existing autism centers in places like India, Peru, and some countries in Africa.
The Dirty Sock Funtime Band gives new meaning to the expression “rock your socks off” with its up-tempo, neo-punk rock songs for kids that are both witty and musical enough to rock the socks of parents, too. Ska, reggae, and many other influences are at hand on songs that are out-and-out funny, like “Baby Spies” (whose accompanying music video is cute beyond belief). It’s interesting to note that some band members hold advanced degrees in childhood education and music, and some hail from indie-rock type bands and musical theater—a combination that explains the group’s knack for understanding children and making them laugh. See them perform at Martin Luther King Jr. Park. FREE!
Don’t Stop/Won’t Stop
What does Spike Lee do when he’s not making films? Besides sitting courtside at Knicks games, he throws an annual birthday bash for the King of Pop. Brooklyn Loves Michael Jackson celebrates the enigmatic and brilliant entertainer. Lee’s been hosting this event since 2010, as a memorial of sorts but also as a celebration of Jackson’s greatness. Lee and various guest artists (past lineups have included Snoop Dogg) emcee the event, which features food, music, and non-stop dancing. Guests should be forewarned that Lee will be filming the party for inclusion in an upcoming motion picture—so be sure to strut your best moonwalk. FREE!
The Battle of Brooklyn, a major battle in the Revolutionary War, will be commemorated at Green-Wood Cemetery on Aug. 26 with a trolley tour, concert, ceremony, and reenactments.
Good Enough to Eat
Rolie Polie Guacamole dips into the Brooklyn Children’s Museum to perform a high-energy, interactive show featuring songs from the group’s latest album.
It’s summer and you want to be outside—understandable. At events like summer concerts and Shakespeare in the Park performances, being outdoors adds another dimension to your entertainment. Movies are no exception to this mix, and recent years have seen our urban surroundings filled with screenings throughout parks and other outdoor locations. Here’s a roundup of this month’s family-friendly big-screen events with a starry backdrop.
For even more fun family activities in Brooklyn and the NYC area, head to our full, searchable calendar of events!