Summer time is festival season and no matter where you live there’s bound to be something nearby. However not all festivals are family friendly. Your county or state probably has an annual fair that’s attended by locals. These are often a really great event for children of all ages. But, beyond these local festivals there are some bigger events that may be worth checking out.
Summer on the Hudson
Every year the New York City Parks Department holds an outdoor arts and culture festival. This mix of concerts, dancing, movies at sundown, dance parties, kids’ shows and other special events takes place in Riverside Park along the Hudson River. The events are always free to attend and even include wellness activities like yoga, kayaking, and soccer. There are some all day events. No matter when you’re visiting check out the Parks Department calendar to discover what’s going on.
Northern California Pirate Festival
There’s something happening in Vallejo on Father’s Day weekend. Over several days the town is transformed to a pirate village! There’s entertainment for the whole family such as musicians, sword fighting, and more. You can dress like a pirate – in fact it’s encouraged! Nautical music, sailing, cannon battles, and crafts are all part of the festivities. The best part? You don’t need to part with any of your golden doubloon; it’s free!
Smithsonian Folklife Festival
The nation’s capital opens up the National Mall in June and July for the folklife festival. Each year the lineup changes but always features artisans, performers, talks by scholars and other interactive ways to immerse your family into other cultures. This year countries and cultures highlighted include Kenya and China. Because the event is spread over several days you’ll want to check out the schedule ahead of time to see what is going on the day you plan to attend. Don’t forget the event is free to attend!
The city of Barnesville, Minnesota is home to the potato days celebration every August. This small city of just 2,400 people draws in a crowd of over 20,000 for Potato Days! If you are a fan of the mighty spud this is the place to be. With events like mashed potato wresting, potato sack fashion shows and the crowning of Miss Tater Tot, what more could you want? Maybe a bite to eat? You’ll be able to find dozens of potato inspired dishes to feed your hunger.
Watermelon Park Festival
Berryville, Virginia hosts the Watermelon Park Festival each year in September. The festival is a family-friendly concert weekend. Along with lots of music, that is safe for all ears to hear, there are other kid activities, food and craft vendors, dances, and workshops to keep busy. Bring a tent and you can camp for free all weekend long.
Grant Park Summer Shade Festival
In Atlanta, Georgia, this isn’t just a festival kids will just enjoy attending, it’s a festival designed specifically for them! Storytellers and performers create an experience children of all ages can enjoy. There are plenty of craft activities and hands on music fun. The events are all completely free. Join families the last weekend in August to participate in this festival.
New Orleans offers many family friendly festivals. In fact, we tend to have a food or music festival almost every weekend. The hardest part of choosing a New Orleans festival is trying to schedule more than one every weekend.
Are you attending a festival this summer? What is your favorite local festival?