The kids will love posting up under an umbrella on this iconic stretch of sand for prime people-watching between dips in the ocean. Expect the three-mile beach and the boardwalk running its length to be packed on nice days, but with enough adult chaperones, the memories are worth battling the hordes. If you'd rather have more space to yourself, make your way toward the eastern end of the peninsula to find a spot in the sand on Brighton or Manhattan Beach—both of which are on the calmer side. During summer months, stop by on Monday nights to watch family flicks like The Goonies and Mrs. Doubtfire playing on a 40-foot, inflatable screen at West 10th St. Don't miss out on great photo ops like the annual Mermaid Parade and Sand Sculpting Contest.
For the quintessential New York (in summertime) experience, head to Coney Island to play the day away at the New York Aquarium, cruise the boardwalk, grab a sizzling hot dog and, if you play your cards right, even catch some beachside fireworks. Needless to say, Luna Park is also by far one of the best kids' amusement parks in town—and newbies, did we mention that it's right on the beach?
See below for our very favorite things to do around Coney Island during the summer months. It tops our list of amazing summer day trips to take with the kids. And never fear: If it's rainy, you can always hit up some of our favorite local indoor amusement parks.