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50 things to do with kids in NYC this summer

From outdoor movie screenings to Arthur Ashe Kids Day, we’ve found the 50 best things to do this summer in New York City.

  • Phyllis B. Dooney

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    Museum Mile Festival

  • Photograph: NY Hall of Science

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    Rocket Park mini golf at the New York Hall of Science

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    Hip Tot Family Days

  • Photograph: Courtesy New York Transit Museum

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    100th Birthday of Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit at the New York Transit Museum

  • 50 things to do with kids in New York City in summer 2014

    Make Music New York

     

  • Photograph: Etienne Frossard

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    Syfy Movies with a View

  • Photograph: Scott McDermott

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    The Golf Club at Chelsea Piers

  • Photograph: Rosalie O'Connor

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    American Ballet Theatre presents Cinderella

  • Photograph: Constance Faulk

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    Adventures NYC in Central Park

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    Jacob Riis Park Beach

  • Photograph: Grace Chu

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks

  • Photograph: Dominic Perri

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    SummerStage Family Days

  • Photograph: Joan Marcus

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    TheatreworksUSA presents Skippyjon Jones Snow What

  • Photograph: Courtesy of Matt Murphy

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    Victory Dance at the New Victory Theater

  • Photograph: Sasha Arutyunova

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    Bastille Day

     

  • Photograph: Luciana Golcman

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    Come Out and Play Festival on Governors Island

  • Photograph courtesy CMOM

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    Frolic! Pop-Up Playspace at the Children's Museum of Manhattan

  • Photograph: Magalie Bonhomme

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    City of Water Day

  • Photograph: Evi Abeler

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    Block Party at the Rubin Museum of Art

  • Photograph: Courtesy of Courtesy of QCFM

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow Wow

  • Photograph: Courtesy Waterfight NYC

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    Waterfight NYC

  • Photograph: courtesy Children's Poetry Festival

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    New York City Children's Poetry Festival

  • Photograph: Jonathan Barkey

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    Kayaking on the Hudson

  • 50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

  • Photograph: Alex Strada

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    Sand Sculpting Contest on the Coney Island Boardwalk

  • Photograph: John Haeger

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    The Great New York State Fair

  • Photographer: Jena Cumbo

    50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

    Brooklyn Bridge Park Pool

Phyllis B. Dooney

50 things to do with kids in NYC in summer 2015

Museum Mile Festival

Welcome, summer—we’re so happy to see you! NYC families, get ready to spend your days hanging at the coolest NYC beaches, splashing around at top-notch local swimming pools and dining out at the best kid-friendly rooftop restaurants NYC has to offer. It’s also a great time to chill out at nearby splash parks, water parks and amusement parks—after all, what says “New York Summer” more than a trip to Coney Island? To make sure the season is full of family adventures your kiddos won’t soon forget, check out some ideas for the best family vacations near NYC and track down these 50 essential summer happenings going on right in the city.

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  2. 11–20
  3. 21–30
  4. 31–40
  5. 41–50
1

Explore NYC's Museum Mile for free

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Now in its 37th year, New York’s biggest block party hits town once more, offering free access to nine museums (from the Met to the Guggenheim) along a car-free mile sprinkled with music, art and entertainment. Kids can color up the sidewalk with chalk, attend live model drawing classes, get their faces painted, and enjoy performances by clowns, magicians, jugglers, musicians and more. The festival starts on the steps of Cooper Hewitt's landmark building at 91st St and Fifth Ave. All ages.

  1. Various locations
  2. Until Tue Jun 9
More info
2

Take a tour of an urban farm

  • Free

Every Saturday this summer, you and your little ones can take a break from the city streets and learn all about farming at the Urban Farm on Randall's Island. Chill with the chickens, learn about the rice paddies, and venture through all sorts of fruits and veggies on your self-guided tour around the grounds. There will be Urban Farm experts on site to answer questions along the way. All ages.

  1. Urban Farm in Randall's Island Park Wards Meadow Loop, at Hell Gate Cir, 10035
  2. Sat Sep 26
More info
3

Play some space-themed mini golf

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Beneath the shadow of two retired NASA rockets, kids can tee off at this real outdoor course that mimics the path of a complete space flight. As they play the nine holes, little ones must take careful aim to avoid gravity wells, wormholes, warped space and asteroids; they'll also learn about the laws of motion that move spaceships through the air. The final hole, called "Splash Down," has players putt at a target on a rotating model Earth. Ages 6 and up.

  1. New York Hall of Science 47-01 111th St, at 47th Ave, 11368
  2. Sat Nov 7 - Sun Dec 27
More info
4

Journey into the deep blue sea

  • Price band: 1/4

Embark on a journey into the depths of our planet's oceans during "Water World: Immersive Dome Experience" in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. Inside the Geodome, curious kids can take a ride through the solar system before diving underwater where they'll see high-res video and scientific visualizations of the oceans and marine life. Ages 5 and up.

  1. American Museum of Natural History Central Park West at 79th St, 10024
  2. Until Sat Jul 11
More info
5

Jam out at Hip Tot Family Day

  • Free

Celebrate the end of each month with Hip Tot–quality entertainment. In June, bring the kiddos to enjoy a few scenes of The Lion King Jr., performed by the students at Brooklyn's Community Roots Middle School before jamming out to tunes by Father Goose (June 14), then hit up a concert from Rolie Polie Guacamole and Dogs on Fleas, featuring Grammy-winning songwriter Dean Jones (July 12). Stay tuned for details on August's gathering (Aug 9), but make sure to come back in September for a fun-filled performance by The Trummytones (Sept 14). Ages 2 to 5.

  1. Lakeside at Prospect Park Prospect Park, enter at Lincoln Rd and Ocean Ave, 11215
  2. Until Sun Sep 13
More info
6

Celebrate summer in Union Square

  • Free

Summer in the Square is a great reason to visit Union Square Park on Thursdays. Get in some early-morning fitness with Yoga Storytime at 10am hosted by Karma Kids, followed by performances by popular kid's musicians at 11am, like Kidville Rockin' Railroad (June 18) and Sweet Beatz (July 25). Settle in for Storytime with The Strand each week at 2pm. On July 2, kids will be mesmerized by intricate puppetry at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Show. Watch your little ones play at the Children's Activity Pavillion each week, and leave time to play with ArtFarm Animals' furry friends throughout July. See the website for a complete schedule. All ages.

  1. Union Square 14th St to 17th St, between Broadway and Park Ave South
  2. Until Fri Aug 14
More info
7

Build a LEGO masterpiece

  • Price band: 1/4

LEGO fanatics, rejoice! The New York Hall of Science is hosting a week full activities, all surrounding those colorful bricks you love. Build and race a custom LEGO derby car, add your creative touch to LEGO cities, play video games in the gaming area, design an eye-popping mosaic and answer trivia questions. Don't forget to bring your cool masterpieces to the Glow Zone where you can put it under UV light. On weekends, youngsters can shop around for LEGO products. Want to win free tickets? Submit a name for Brick Fest Live's adorable LEGO mascot or upload a photo of your top-notch LEGO creation before June 14. All ages.

  1. New York Hall of Science 47-01 111th St, at 47th Ave, 11368
  2. Until Sun Jun 28
More info
8

Look back on 100 years of Brooklyn-Manhattan transit

To celebrate the 100th birthday of Brooklyn-Manhattan transit, little ones get the chance to ride historic trains, pose for vintage family photos, try cool mosaic crafts, hear live music and meet train conductors from the past. An extra perk? They’ll also enjoy bagels and chocolate birthday cake for breakfast…it is a birthday, after all. The proceeds from this fundraiser will directly benefit the Transit Museum's education programming.

  1. New York Transit Museum Boerum Pl, at Schermerhorn St, 11201
  2. Sat Jun 20
More info
9

Hear live tunes during Make Music New York

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Musicians flood NYC's public spaces during this daylong, citywide, entirely free festival. For tot-friendly tunage, make sure to catch kid-friendly acts like Amelia Robinson of Mil's Trills (2:30pm and 6pm) Laurie Berkner in Herbert Von King Park (4pm) or Lily Rose & Keith on Great Oval Hill in Central Park (11am and 1pm). Little ones can join free song and movement sessions in Bryant Park and big kids can pick up harmonicas, recorders and more to join in on group jam sessions alongside the pros. Visit makemusicny.org for the full lineup of events and happenings spanning the five boroughs (you can even search by 'hood!) All ages.

  1. Various locations
  2. Until Sun Jun 21
More info
10

Watch a movie under the stars

In summertime, free outdoor movies are a great new twist on your usual living room movie nights! Pack a picnic and your folding chairs and head for these amazing parks, piers and rooftops to see family favorites under the stars! Free outdoor movie picks include the likes of Frozen and classic Robin Williams movies, plus new takes on old favorites like Quvenzhane Wallis' Annie (2014). Keep checking back for more updates-we'll be adding events throughout the summer!


  1. 1–10
  2. 11–20
  3. 21–30
  4. 31–40
  5. 41–50

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