Weekend Fun: Blessing of the Animals, Kids Theater, Halloween

A long weekend is on the horizon for NYC kids. If you’re planning to skip town, we’ve got lots of day trip and weekend getaway ideas to consider. If you’re staying close to home, this weekend is packed with annual favorites like the Chili Pepper Festival in Brooklyn, Honey Weekend in the Bronx, and Blessing of the Animals and Feast of Saint Francis in Morningside Heights.

Hoping to catch a show this weekend? Consider Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea at the New Victory Theater, Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities by Cirque du Soleil on Randall’s Island, or Pete the Cat in Queens.

And if you’re already in the Halloween spirit, head to opening weekend of Boo at the Zoo, join in a Ragamuffin Parade, or get up close and personal with Creepy Creatures of Halloween.

Read on for our top weekend picks. For even more options, check out our NYC Staycation post and, as always, remember to peruse our Event Calendar.

All Weekend

Chili Pepper Festival — Prospect Park
Enjoy live entertainment as six bands from around the globe descend on the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for a day of family fun. While there, feast on fiery cuisine from more than 60 vendors and pot your own chile plant to take home.

Honey Weekend — Riverdale
This sweet annual event invites guests to meet local beekeepers, enjoy honey tastings, get creative with family art projects and candle-making workshops, see honey extraction demos, and more at Riverdale’s picturesque Wave Hill Garden and Cultural Center.

exciting exhibits
One of many exciting exhibits at last year’s Maker Faire.

Maker Faire New York — Corona
Maker Faire is one of our favorite annual events. This family-friendly affair on the grounds of the New York Hall of Science encourages kids to create, build, invent, and learn more about science, technology, and engineering. Explore robotics, computers, crafting of all kinds, and more. Check out our in-depth review from past visits.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea — Midtown West
Enjoy a new spin on Jules Verne’s 19th-century sci-fi novel at the New Victory Theater. In this reimagined tale, a modern-day fan magically delves into the world of his favorite tale and joins Captain Nemo on his epic journey. Expect impressive special effects and stunning visuals.

Cabinet of Curiosities
Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities by Cirque du Soleil on Randall’s Island.

Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities — Randall’s Island
Cirque du Soleil is at it again! Mind bending feats and gorgeous props and costumes make their way to Randall’s Island. The show has gotten rave reviews and we can’t wait to check it out! If you can’t make it this weekend, the show runs through November 27.

Boo at the Zoo Opening Weekend — Bronx Park
It’s opening weekend for Boo at the Zoo. The Bronx Zoo’s annual Halloween makeover includes a hay maze, costume parade, Jack O’Lantern exhibit, pumpkin carvings, creepy crafts, and more.

Saturday, October 1

Ragamuffin Parade — Bay Ridge
Don your Halloween costume early this year and join in celebrating this parade’s 50th year! This annual procession takes place on Third Avenue between 76th and 92nd Streets. Make it all the way to the end and kids receive a complimentary gift! Prizes are also awarded to kids with the most creative costumes. FREE but registration is required.
Harvest Festival — Randall’s Island
Enjoy the harvest season with live music, face painting, self-guided tours of the Urban Farm, and more. FREE

Creepy Creatures of Halloween — Bronx Park
Get up close and personal with creepy critters during live animal presentations at the New York Botanical Garden’s Clay Family Picnic Pavilion. While you’re there, be sure to check out Scarecrows: From the Heartland to Horror and Pumpkins: Playful & Plentiful—check out our full review. Included with All-Garden Pass.

Blessing of the Animals
Blessing of the Animals.

Sunday, October 2

Blessing of the Animals and Feast of Saint Francis — Morningside Heights
All are welcome to the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine of for its annual Feast of St. Francis festivities. Passes for the morning service have sold out but onlookers can still catch the procession of exotic animals (expect a camel, alpacas, and more) as they head into the church. Bring your furry (or not) animal friends and have them blessed at the Pulpit Green starting at 1pm. Other festivities include face painting, family-friendly performances, food, dancing, and more. FREE

Rí Rá Children’s Festival of Literature — Midtown West
This children’s book festival celebrates some of the best Irish children’s authors and illustrators. Enjoy readings, discussions, and crafts with the authors and illustrators and discover new books, including titles for all ages.

Pete the Cat — Corona
This hour-long musical inspired by the popular Pete the Cat book series follows the title character as he’s sent to live with the Biddle family and helps reluctant Jimmy tackle second grade art.