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50 things to do in the summer with the kids in New York City 2013

From MoMA PS1's Party Wall to City of Water Day festivities, we've rounded up the best things to do this summer with the kids in the New York City.

  • Photographer: Jena Cumbo

    41. Dive into the Brooklyn Bridge Park pop-up pool, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

  • Photo: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    44. Plan a day trip to Governors Island, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

  • 42. Introduce kids to Willy Wonka at Syfy Movies with a View, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

  • Photograph: Neil D. Tyson

    43. Witness Manhattanhenge, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

  • 45. Bring Potterheads to see Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

  • 46. Take an evening bat walk through Central Park, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

  • Courtesy NYC Parks and Recreation

    47. Go fishing at the River Fish Celebration, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

  • Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castell

    49. Ride an old-fashioned subway, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

  • Photograph: Daniel Avila

    49. Explore the urban wilderness of Central Park at Adventures NYC, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

  • Photograph: Darial Sneed

    50. Boogie down at the Downtown Dance Festival, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

     

     

Photographer: Jena Cumbo

41. Dive into the Brooklyn Bridge Park pop-up pool, one of the best things to do in the summer with the kids.

41

Dive into the Brooklyn Bridge Park Pop-Up Pool

  • Free

Brooklyn Bridge Park's pop-up swimming pool is back for a second season (it opens on Thursday, June 27 along with the rest of the NYC public pools). The spot not only offers families a free and fun way to cool off but also one of the best views in the city—plus the option of morning kids' swimming lessons during the week. Slated to remain in the park for five years, the swimming hole is 30 by 50 feet and 3.5 feet deep and holds a maximum of 60 people, so keeping an eye on the littlest swimmers will be easy. After a dip, families can dry off on one of the lounge chairs dotting the artificial sand beach while marveling at their proximity to the Brooklyn Bridge or enjoy a snack from the new artisanal lemonada stand Lizzmonade Brooklyn.

  1. Pier 2, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Furman St, (between Clark and Pierrepont Sts)
  2. Opens Thu June 27
More info
42

Plan a day trip to Governors Island

  • Free

The magic starts as soon as you board the ferry—is that dude riding a unicycle? Why are all those people dressed like extras from The Great Gatsby? Do I smell barbeque? In the eight minutes it takes to journey (for free!) from Battery Park or Brooklyn to Governors Island, families are transported to a world a million metaphorical miles away from the bustling city, where lush green lawns are dotted with quaint Victorian homes, giant outdoor sculptures beg to be climbed on, car alarms are replaced by jangling bicycles, and there’s always a quirky festival—think Come Out and Play Festival (July 13), Jazz Age Lawn Party (Aug 17, 18) and the NYC Unicycle Festival (Aug 31–Sept 1). With a full roster of free kids’ activities, including arts and crafts and mini golf (this year's theme is "State of the Art,") you can save your cash for the gourmet food trucks and ice-cream stands.

  1. Governors Island
  2. Open through Sept 29
More info
43

Introduce kids to Willy Wonka at Syfy Movies With A View

  • Free

Set against a spectacular view of lower Manhattan, this outdoor movie mainstay at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 1 seems to garner a larger following with each passing year. That being the case, be sure to arrive early to beat the massive crowds—you'll stay entertained with pre-movie sets by local DJs as well as a short film. While this is not a strictly family-friendly series (many flicks are rated R), this year's more kid-friendly picks include Ferris Bueller's Day Off (July 11), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (July 25), Roman Holiday (Aug 8), Rocky (Aug 15) and Vertigo (Aug 22). Music starts at 6pm, movies begin at sundown. All ages.

  1. Brooklyn Bridge Park Main St, at Fulton Ferry Landing, 11201
  2. Thu Jul 11 - Thu Aug 29
More info
44

Witness Manhattanhenge

  • Price band: 2/4

Learn the history and astronomy behind "Manhattanhenge," a phrase coined by Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson that describes the unique event when the sun aligns with Manhattan's gridded network of streets and avenues. You and the kids can join astrophysicist Jackie Faherty for a special presentation (using the Planetarium's Digital Universe Atlas) before going outside to see the spectacular view of Manhattanhenge itself. Registration required at amnh.org/calendar/event/Manhattanhenge. Ages 10 and up.

  1. Various locations Central Park West, at 79th St, 10024
  2. Thu Jul 11
More info
45

Go fishing in Manhattan

  • Free

Explore the marine life swimming in the Hudson River at annual River Fish Celebration, a day dedicated to fishing and community. Borrow a pole or bring your own and spend the afternoon waiting for a bite; then, dive into the river-related games and activites. All ages.

  1. Riverside Park Riverside Dr, between 72nd and 158th Sts
  2. Until Sat Jun 29
More info
46

Ride an old-fashioned subway

Throughout the summer, your family can take a journey back in time with rides from the New York Transit Museum to Coney Island, Orchard Beach and Van Cortlandt Park on 1930's R1/9 cars from the Independent Subway System and WWI-era IRT subway cars. Once you get to your destination, you can either de-board and explore (take a spin on the B&B Carousell at Coney Island, stroll the coastline at Orchard Beach, or explore the Van Cortlandt House Museum at Van Cortland Park), or you can stay on the train for additional rides. All ages.

  1. New York Transit Museum Boerum Pl, at Schermerhorn St, 11201
  2. Sat June 29, Sat July 13, Sun Aug 25
More info
47

Explore the urban wilderness of Central Park

  • Free

Experience the great outdoors without leaving the city at Central Park's bandshell at Adventures NYC 2013. Kids and families will enjoy kayaking, fishing lessons, a rock climbing zone and snowboard demonstrations at the North Face's Winter in the Summertime area, plus live music, free bike rentals and bike helmet giveaways. Be sure the check out the Lumberjack Show, where burly experts will roll logs and climb trees before kids' very eyes. Ages 4 and up.

  1. Naumburg Bandshell, Central Park 72nd St, at Fifth Ave
  2. Until Sun Jun 22
More info


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