Timeout New York Kids

Make the most of your city

Celebrate City of Water Day on Saturday, July 20!

The multi-borough event puts water at the forefront of New York City, touting aquatic-themed activities, boat tours and more.

  • Photograph: Paola Canepa

    City of Water Day

  • Photograph: Elisa Deljanin

    City of Water Day

  • Photograph: Conni Freestone

    City of Water Day

  • Photograph: Magalie Bonhomme

    City of Water Day

  • Photograph: Bernard Ente

    City of Water Day

  • Photograph: Pat Sanders

    City of Water Day

  • Photograph: Conni Freestone

    City of Water Day

  • Photograph: Bernard Ente

    City of Water Day

Photograph: Paola Canepa

City of Water Day


It’s easy to forget our concrete jungle is surrounded by perfectly swimmable, fishable and kayak-able rivers, but this annual multi-borough fest serves to remind families that New York City’s got more than just statues and skyscrapers. While City of Water Day activities span all five boroughs, New Jersey and Yonkers, most of the family fun is centered around the children’s fairs at Governors Island and Jersey City's Liberty State Park (you can even catch a free ferry between the two!)

RECOMMENDED: Free things to do with kids this summer

Expect stand-up paddleboarding, live music, giveaways, a bouncy house, ecology experiments for kids and sand art at Liberty State Park. Meanwhile, there’ll be outrigger paddling, crew, kayaking, collaborative projects led by Children’s Museum of the Arts, improv workshops, Disney-themed activities, fishing, trivia, temporary tattoos, musical performances and a make-your-own cardboard kayak race (kids are allowed, too!) on Governors Island. Of course, it wouldn’t be a summer festival in the city without food trucks: At Governors Island, chow down on fare from Fauzia II, Lonestar Taco, Calvern Catering, Arepa Lady, Coolhaus and Wafels & Dinges; whhile at Liberty State Park, get cold treats from Ben & Jerry’s and Mexican tortas at The Taco Truck.

Families can also leave land altogether and sign up for a free boat tour around the harbor, like the popular Audubon Eco-Cruise, a tour of Sandy-affected waterfronts and a showcase of our city's architecture. But no worries if your crew’s prone to seasickness: City of Water Day will set up outposts in neighborhoods all over the city, with events happening at Hudson River Park, West Harlem Piers, Gantry State Park, Starlight Park and more. We're especially excited for the interactive public boat pond at the Gowanus Canal—there, kids can take turns piloting mini remote-controlled boats and water robots.

For a full schedule of events, cruises, activities and locations, go to cityofwaterday.org.


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