Tribeca Film Festival wants to give you and your family something very special. Throw your hands up and say “yes” because it’s free and that’s great news, considering we live in one of the most expensive cities in the world. 

The better news is that it’s a carefully crafted lineup of events designed to bring together community and family. These signature programs just keep getting better, and with the continued sponsorship of AT&T and others, the cost is something everyone can afford—zip, zero, nada, not a single cent—free!

At the start of the festival is the throwback to yesteryear with the Tribeca Drive-in (April 16 to April 18). You don’t need a car to enjoy these classic films because the showing takes place at the waterfront plaza at Brookfield Place. There is also the Tribeca Family Screenings series (April 19 and 25), which will offer a solid collection of classic films for family viewing fun. 

I’m not athletically inclined, but Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day (April 25), sponsored by Mohegan Sun, is so well organized that I secretly wish I had one hidden talent in that area. In it’s ninth year, this event brings “sports to the street.” I do plan to adopt a family from Harlem and take them along for the fun because everyone is invited to participate in activities that are presented by many of New York City’s professional sports teams and leagues.

On the same day (April 25) is the Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair, located on Greenwich Street between Hubert and Chambers streets, which is packed with arts, crafts, food and games.

This year, the festival will also feature live Broadway performances, along with the signature experiences such as the Tribeca Food Feast, the Games for Change Public Arcade featuring, the Kidz Block Party, a special screening of “Back to the Future” and a program of family friendly short films. In the spirit of storytelling, the Tribeca Kids Access reporter program will be in full force.

I’ve attended these events two years in a row, and I’ve watched Peter Downing, creative director and producer of the Tribeca Family Festival, in action. He reminds me of a big kid. Perhaps that’s why these events are such a big success?

When asked why this event was started, Downing said, “The Tribeca Family Festival is the party of the year and a wonderful way to bring people of all ages together.”

His colleague Genna Terranova, the festival director, added, “We have a long tradition at TFF of curating experiences that are accessible to all. This year is no exception, with free and community-focused events that highlight what make downtown Manhattan special, from outdoor screenings of beloved classics to sports and innovation.”

For more information, visit