12 Kid-Friendly Earth Day Events in New York City

Celebrate the planet at one of these fun local events for the whole family.

Earth Day kidSaturday, April 19
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Come celebrate Earth Day with the Jackson Heights Beautification Group at J.H. Scraps (69th Street and 35 Avenue, SW corner). The open house will feature compost demonstrations, worm bins, seed bomb making, pots made of newspaper, and more. Free.

Sunday, April 20
1 p.m. Join the Urban Park Rangers and engage your creative side to breathe new life into reusable items at its Earth Day Upcycling Ideas and Crafts event at Fort Totten Park. Free. (Check out more kid-friendly Earth Day and Arbor Day events held by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation here, including an Alliance at the Audubon Center event in Prospect Park and a celebration at the Anne Loftus Playground in Fort Tryon Park, both on Sunday, April 27.)

Tuesday, April 22
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Celebrate nature at Alley Pond Environmental Center‘s Earth Day program where children ages three to seven will learn how they can become stewards for our planet. Stories, crafts, and snack are included in the two-hour drop-off program. Meanwhile, for children ages eight to 12, the Animal Care Club program teaches them about the job of being an animal caretaker. Children will get hands-on experience feeding, brushing, cleaning, and learning about the needs of Alley Pond’s animals. Both programs are $15 for members and $21 for non-members. (Also, check out Alley Pond’s Arbor Day planting event on Saturday, April 26.)

1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Check out the Earth Day Festival at Flushing Town Hall for an afternoon of events, including Srijan dance lessons, recycled paper art projects, henna making and painting, and educational workshops about developing your green thumb, bee-keeping, and healthy cooking with organic foods. Plus, students from Flushing Town Hall’s sculpture camp will reveal their outdoor sculptures of giant sea stars created under the instruction of master Taiwanese sculptor Chun-Sen Yang, in partnership with Taipei Cultural Center. Free.

11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Travel to Union Square in Manhattan for Earth Day New York‘s day-long celebration that will include kids’ activities and entertainment, environmental exhibits and green product samples, and recycling stations for clothing, textiles, and electronics.

Saturday, April 26
12:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. Visit the Green Festival at Pier 94 (55th Street and West Side Highway) where the New Amsterdam School Children’s Corner will offer crafts, puppet shows, storytime, and seasonal songs. Adult tickets to the entire festival are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Children 16 and under are free.

Sunday, April 27
11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Check out the Arbor Festival at the Queens Botanical Garden for a variety of activities for all ages, including a petting zoo, arts and crafts, live music, face painting, tours, food and craft vendors, and more. Free with garden admission of $4 for adults and $2 for children; extra fees for certain activities.

12 p.m. – 1 p.m. At the Family Fun Stage at the Green Festival at Pier 94 (55th Street and West Side Highway), author Pamella Lessero will read her book Pammy Pea, a fun and friendly educational picture book for children teaching the importance of healthy eating. Adult tickets to the entire festival are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Children 16 and under are free.

1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. The New York Chinese Cultural Center will take to the Family Fun Stage at the Green Festival at Pier 94 (55th Street and West Side Highway) with Chinese dance performances and workshops on Chinese calligraphy and paper-cutting. Adult tickets to the entire festival are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Children 16 and under are free.

Saturday, May 3
12 p.m. – 4 p.m. Celebrate at the 8th Annual Earth Day Festival at Rockaway Beach, held by the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance. The day will include live music and food along with activities like kite-making, recycling olympics, mock dolphin rescue, plantings, composting, face painting, water testing, raptor demonstration, a firehouse safety obstacle course, and art-related booths to learn how to better appreciate and conserve the Earth’s resources. Free.

May 3 – 4
Celebrate our planet’s animal friends at Sheep Shearing Weekend at the Queens Zoo. Watch an expert shearer help the fluffy sheep out of their winter coats, learn all about sheep and wool, and make a felt bracelet or necklace to take home. Free with zoo admission of $8 for adults and $5 for children. Zoo hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

May 4
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Welcome springtime at the Queens Farm Museum‘s celebration of the season. Watch sheep shearing and spinning demos, take a hayride, go on a farmer-led tour, and enjoy live music and locally made food. Admission is $5.

Ellen Sturm Niz is an editor and writer parenting, living, and working in Jackson Heights, Queens. Follow her on TwitterPinterestTumblr, and Google+.

Photo: Courtesy of Cayusa via PhotoPin CC