Kids and Families

What’s the big orange flower that blooms in the fall and looks like fireworks? Why, it’s the Lion’s Tail (Leonotis leonurus). Do heaths or heathers bloom in the winter? Why, it’s the heaths that lend color during the drearier months. What is that round fuzzy purple flower that blooms in the summer? Now you know: It’s Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro).

Children can learn about the critters and plants of their park in a hands-on, light-hearted and playful atmosphere with educator Julia Attaway’s popular series, “Nature Discovery for Kids”. We even have our own rock star: geologist Sidney Horenstein, whose informative tours will open your eyes to the wonder of the outstanding rock exposures and trees of northern Manhattan.

All of Fort Tryon Park is your family’s back yard. Parents and children from northern Manhattan’s many communities come here for respite from the city’s busy streets. This is where children can discover and explore, listen to music, dance, and play. Generations of New Yorkers from the five boroughs have had their birthday parties here and taken their prom photos as well. Fort Tryon Park has events throughout the year that families can enjoy, from yoga for new parents to educational activities for young naturalists.

Though the whole park has much to offer to families with children, the Anne Loftus Playground at the northeast corner of the park deserves special mention. The Fort Tryon Park Trust has partnered with NYC Parks and local elected officials to expand the cultural, educational and recreational programming at this essential community gathering space offering children’s concerts, children’s science workshops, and festivals.

To be the first to hear about upcoming events for parents and children, visit our Events Calendar.

Natural history events

The Fort Tryon Park Trust holds workshops for children and their families to equip them with knowledge about the abundant natural assets of the park. There are storefront science, bug and animal activities, natural history walks, and art-making with Jenae Smith, as well as wildlife workshops such as Wildlife in Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation. We also have a mixed-age class for infants to six-year-olds and their mothers or fathers. The idea is not just fitness, but bonding between parents and children – and fun.

Community family events

We kick off spring with the annual Shearing of the Heathers, a community parade through the Heather Garden. Local parents can work together on neighborhood events such as an annual egg hunt and an annual Halloween parade.

In the summer, children’s concerts and free children’s dance classes help activate and enliven the Broadway side of Fort Tryon.

Festivals

The trust sponsors Urban Wildlife Appreciation Day in Inwood Hill Park with the Urban Park Rangers each spring, when families can listen to live music, make animal-themed eco-crafts, and interact with hawks, owls, possums, porcupines, and other animals that are being rehabilitated.

During the annual Medieval Festival, Fort Tryon Park is transformed into a medieval village, complete with crafts, demonstrations, performers, a live joust, human chess games, and more. At the annual Harvest Festival, neighborhood parents come together to celebrate with music, activities, crafts, food and fun for the whole family. The annual Battle of Fort Washington reenactment educational is a celebration on the critical battle of the Revolutionary War fought in part in Fort Tryon Park. Families can make Revolutionary War era crafts, write with quill pens, travel back in time to tour the park with Margaret Corbin, participate in Revolutionary War drills with costumed experts, and watch a blacksmith play children’s games from another time.

Classes

Classes include Fort Tryon Kids Art: Sketching and Painting Fall Foliage. Admire the wonderful colors of autumn, peek into the science of trees and learn the different parts of a leaf through sketching, leaf rubbing, and painting with water colors. This free art workshop is for children ages 5 to 12.

Your donations keep Fort Tryon Park beautiful and clean and its playgrounds safe and well-lit. Please consider making a donation to the park today.