June is LGBT Pride month, building anticipation for Pride Day, June 28th. This day marks the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York, regarded as the official beginning of the LGBT civil rights movement. Coming so far in such a short period, there definitely is a lot to celebrate! But Pride celebrations can often be raucous (not to mention a little raunchy). So, what do you do if you want to have a family-friendly experience where kids can learn a little history, culture, or simply be around other LGBT and ally families?
There are plenty of Pride events that are appropriate for kids, and we’ve compiled some of our favorites from around the United States:
Make your plans ASAP for Denver PrideFest, as it happens a week earlier than many other similar events. Often cited as the most family-friendly Pride celebration in America, Pridefest has called Denver’s Civic Center Park home for over 40 years and so you don’t want to miss it! The best day to go with kids is usually Saturday and a surefire highlight is Family Interactive Center, where visitors can enjoy a kids’ parade, kids’ karaoke, Dogs in Drag contest, and educational activities from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science!
Family Night at New York Heritage of Pride
New York City is the birthplace of Pride, and one of the biggest celebrations in the U.S. The kick-off to their week-long festival is a Family Movie Night at Hudson River Park. Starting with remarks by the Family Equality Council, you can sit back and enjoy a viewing of a classic family film like Finding Nemo and The Lion King. The event is free, and open to all – but premium tickets will get you a reserved blanket space (with a free commemorative blanket), early admission, and a bucket of snacks!
San Francisco’s LGBT Family Garden
Our friends at Our Family Coalition are once again hosting the Family Garden, in Civic Center Plaza, during our Pride Celebration on Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25! Featuring art activities, face painting, and fun, it’s a great time for the entire family! #sfpride #acelebrationofdiversity #ourfamilycoalition
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If New York is the birthplace of Pride, then San Francisco is the heart. One of the biggest pride celebrations in the world, they still made a safe space for families. For more than a decade, the Our Family Coalition, which has a contingent that marches in the parade, has run the Family Garden LGBTQ parents and their young kids. Everyone is welcomed to take part in the activities, have snacks, win prizes, and learn from crafts lessons from the Bay Area Discovery Museum!
Houston Pride Family Fun Zone
While everyone is welcomed at the expansive downtown event — around City Hall, Herman Square and Tranquility Park — Houston has expanded efforts in recent years to be more family-friendly. Their Family Fun Zone features face painters, arts & crafts and other activities. There is also a culture stage with musical performers, many of whom were chosen with families in mind. Kids can also learn at the Houston LGBT History exhibit.
Some areas choose to celebrate Pride at different times of the year. Which is great, because it means you can attend more than one! Organized on Beale Street in downtown Memphis, Mid-South Pride welcomes one and all in the region. It takes place in late September, so it’s a great way to cap off the summer! Best of all, the festivities and parade are all designed to be 100% family-friendly. Follow their blog to hear about events leading up to the festival, and what attractions will be added to the big day.