Summers should be filled with fun, sun and a multitude of exciting activities for the kids to enjoy all day long. There is so much to do in New York City that will keep your children engaged and active during the season. Here are some of our favorite places that you should add to this summer’s bucket list.
Our Favorite Parks in NYC
- Central Park has 843 acres of grass, woods, parks, paths, ponds and even a zoo to explore. Make sure you check out Heckscher Playground– it is a top-rated park to frolic at. One of the oldest and largest parks in Central Park, it includes a water sprinkler to cool down from the summer’s heat.
- When you want to introduce more greenery into your life but don’t want to head uptown to Central Park, visit the Highline located on the Lower West Side. This is an elevated park that runs along an old train track. It is 1 ½ miles long, featuring a variety of beautiful gardens as well as areas for families to stop and rest.
- Learning doesn’t stop just because school isn’t in session! Pack bagged lunches and head over to Battery Park City to have a picnic with riverside views. Jump on the ferry to take a tour of the Statue of Liberty. Make sure you buy a ticket in advance as the line is typically long during the summer. (Children under 4 are free!)
- Head over to Brooklyn to spend the day at Coney Island eating hotdogs, running along the boardwalk and beach, and riding every ride at Luna Park. Coney Island has many activities that will keep kids smiling from ear to ear.
- Pack a swimsuit, sunscreen and towel and head over to one of the outdoor city pools to cool down at. Outdoor pool hours are 11am to 7pm with breaks around 3pm to clean the pool. Admission is free. All children should know how to wade in the water as floatation devices are not permitted in the pool. Claremont, Crotona, Floating, Haffen, Mapes, Mullaly and Van Cortlandt are pools that are wheelchair accessible.
Indoor Summer Fun in NYC
When the summer heat is taking a toll on you, there are ample indoor activities that will help keep you and the kids cool all summer long.
- New York City is Museum heaven! The Museum of Natural History, Children’s Museum of Manhattan and National Museum of Mathematics are all fun and educational places for children to discover while keeping cool from the summer’s heat. Prior to visiting a museum, make sure to browse the calendar to take advantage of any events, workshops or programs. Some museums even offer free days.
- Taste Buds Kitchen is a creative cooking class located in Chelsea that allows the children to whip up sweet and savory treats. They have a summer program that runs for 4 weeks as well as drop in classes.
- Sit in on story time at your local library. This is a great event that takes place weekly allowing the children to befriend other children in the neighborhood and find reading buddies.
- Soccer, gymnastics, bowling, ice-skating – so many fun activities to partake in at Chelsea Piers. They offer summer camps that run from 3-6 weeks long, as well as drop in classes.
- A quick train ride on the Path brings you to Hoboken, New Jersey where they have the Gravity Vault which is an indoor climbing gym. They offer 2 hours drop in classes for children, no reservation required.
Escape NYC with These Family-Friendly Locations
As much as we all love New York City, summer is about adventure and exploring. When your family wants to venture out of the city for a weekend, check out some of these fun and close-by attractions.
- Hershey Park, Dorney Park and Sesame Place are amusement parks that are located a few hours’ drive from Manhattan.
- Mohonk Mountain Inn located in New Paltz, New York and is easily accessible via the Port Authority bus. Pack a bag and head to New Paltz to get your outdoor fix. They have wonderful trails to hike and a quiet, cute Downtown area filled with small cafes, art shops and kid friendly restaurants.
New York is a magical place to explore. No matter what activity your family chooses to partake in, we know it will be one filled with fun, smiles and memories that will last a lifetime.