We've handpicked the best things to do with kids in Brooklyn from our September 2011 calendar. Check out this month's best events, including the annual Brooklyn Book Festival, a kids' film festival on Governors Island, the Richmond County Fair on nearby Staten Island, a fundraising walk for Prospect Park, and the Urban Parent Expo in Brooklyn Heights.
As NYC becomes more bike-friendly, it's important to be aware of all the ins and outs of city cycling and bike care. The Bike New York Pedal Stop offers safety instructions, basic check-and-spec bike repair and safety checks, and bike encouragement. Rentals are available. A kiosk offers New York City bike maps, brochures, healthy snacks and water, and various swag. The Pedal Stop is also a great way to learn about Bike New York, an organization dedicated to the greatness of bicycles and their place in New York City. It provides seminars and classes for children and adults addressing riding safety, bike maintenance, how to buy a bike, commuting by bike, and more. September 3-4. 9am-4:30pm. All ages. FREE. Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, 2 Old Fulton Street, DUMBO/Brooklyn Heights.
Fun at the Fair
Check out BMX stunt riders, racing pigs, and more than 100 specialty vendors at the Richmond County Fair, September 3-5. Amusement rides, contests, games, live music, exhibits, and traditional demonstrations are included with admission: $15; $10 seniors; free children under 30 inches. 11am-6pm daily. Historic Richmond Town, 441 Clarke Avenue, Staten Island.
Fans of great literature know about the authors of the Lake District and the Left Bank, the Harlem Renaissance, the Beats, and the stack of books that sprouted from their literary movements. Recently Brooklyn has taken center stage as the home of authors like Jonathan Safran-Foer, Paul Auster, and an endless list of others. So it's only fitting for our borough to play host to New York City's largest free book festival.
Over four days, the Brooklyn Book Festival spreads the love of books through bookstore events, readings, film screenings, and other presentations. For kids and teens, participating authors include Brian Collier, Mo Willems, Jon Scieszka, and Jacqueline Woodson. Adults can expect appearances from Joyce Carol Oates, Pete Hamill, Colson Whitehead, the aforementioned Safran-Foer, and nearly 100 other authors of fiction, graphic books, nonfiction, poetry, and drama genres. The event is based at Brooklyn Borough Hall and spreads borough-wide from there. Consult the festival's website for up-to-date information. September 15-18, 10am-7:30pm. All ages. FREE. Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street.
Lulu Lemonhead appears at the Big Movies for Little Kids' Student Film Festival on Governors Island. Watch short films (four minutes or less) including live action, documentary, experimental, Super 8, and stop-motion animation. Children can also participate in video-making and art activities with teaching staff from the Children's Museum of the Arts. September 17, 11am-3pm. FREE. The free ferry to Governors Island leaves every 10 minutes from Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, located at the foot of Atlantic Avenue (corner of Columbia Street).
Walk that Walk
Compared to Central Park, Prospect Park is an urban oasis of unkempt, overgrown wilderness -- manicured in its more populated places, but resembling a northeastern woodland in the areas that are less travelled. This is partly due to insects that have destroyed some of the trees, but maintenance of 585 acres is also costly. To help cover some of the expense, the Walk for Prospect Park is a 5K walkathon held to raise money for the park, and to maintain its rough-hewn beauty. The event is for all ages and abilities, and presents a perfect way for regular park-users to give back. Those registering for the walkathon can create their own web page and personalize it by adding pictures, videos, and written statements expressing their love for the park. September 18. 9am sign-in; 10am start time. $10; $5 children under 12. Prospect Park, Bartel-Pritchard Entrance, 15th Street and Prospect Park West, Windsor Terrace.
There are reasons why parents choose to raise families in the big city rather than the suburbs. Necessity is one of them, while some believe that exposure to all that the city offers makes their kids more sophisticated. No one can argue that tremendous resources exist here, from arts and culture, to daycare options, to ethnic and cultural diversity in our schools. The Urban Parent Expo provides a venue for parents to connect with businesses and resources in urban areas-in this case, Brooklyn. Featured at the expo will be demonstrations, author readings, children's activities, and vendors including restaurants and shops, sports organizations, entertainment businesses, educational institutions, and even masseuses for tired parents. September 24, 10am-3pm. All ages. FREE. St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights.
For even more upcoming family events in the NYC area, check out our full Calendar of Events