13 ways to enjoy today's beautiful weather with the kids

Today is totally gorgeous! Spend the day outdoors doing one of these fun, family-friendly activities with the little ones

Bryant Park

Nothing beats a perfect summer day for all its potential. With so many outdoor activities for kids happening in (and around) our city (have you been to our favorite kids' playgroundskayaking spots or amusement parks?) you won't have to waste a second of sunshine on planning.

Great activities for families

Beach it

Aside from soaking your city ills in saltwater, your family can cruise Coney Island’s boardwalk for prime people watching, snack on Ample Hills ice cream and tasty sandwiches at the brand new Riis Park Beach Bazaar (riisparkbeachbazaar.com), or venture further afield to the sweet sands of Long Island by visiting Jones Beach or Robert Moses beach.

By: Hannah Doolin

Go green

For such an urban jungle, NYC has green space aplenty. The Brooklyn, Queens and New York Botanic Gardens will surround your family with lush scenery. A stroll across The High Line will lift you high above Chelsea, and the many wonders of Central Park, among them the Victorian Gardens amusement park will keep the kidlets busy for hours.

By: Allie Early

Dine alfresco

Nothing says summertime like a meal enjoyed outdoors. Brooklyn Crab is an all-inclusive kid-friendly mecca, with outdoor cornhole and mini-golf to occupy the kiddos while you take in amazing views of the Red Hook Channel and Hudson River. Or, the 79th Street Boat Basin offers food options kids love and a happy-hour (with nosh) parents love. 

By: Evelyn Derico

See an outdoor movie

This city may be short on old-school drive-ins, but we do a hell of a job mimicking the experience in our public parks—and for free! Pack up a blanket and peruse the G or PG listings offered at Hudson RiverFlicks Family Fridays, or at Pier A Park in Hoboken, NJ and see a great flick with the backdrop of a starry night.

By: Allie Early

Pick your own food

Bring the farm-to-table craze into your own kitchen—and enjoy an awesome day outdoors—by taking the kids to a farm to pick out their own fruits and veggies. Cherries are in season and be plucked (along with peaches and plums) and Prospect Hill in Milton, or drive out to the scenic North Fork for strawberry picking at Patty’s Berries and Bunches in Matituck.

By: Allie Early

Make a splash

On a gorgeous summer day, there’s no better way to cool off than jumping into a chlorinated body of water—and New York has plenty. Renovated in 2012, the McCarren Park Pool has more modern facilities and ample room for swimming. With awesome East River views, the Astoria Park pool can cool over 2000 overheated New Yorkers.

By: Hannah Doolin

Take off for the weekend

Sometimes, taking in the scenery requires a change of scene. Just four hours away by car, baseball aficionados will love the Baseball Hall of Fame in historic Cooperstown. Even closer, a visit to Montauk will soothe the whole fam with majestic ocean views.

By: Allie Early

Get a hole-in-one

Swing a club (and spend a sweet day outside!) and indulge in the decidedly summery pastime of mini-golf. For a for-real setup, Pier 25 has a 13,000-square-foot, 18-hole miniature golf course with a stream, pond, waterfall, several footbridges, sand traps and even a cave!Randall’s Island also has a ginormous mini-golf course -- who knew?

By: Allie Early

Ride a carousel

Compose a killer Instagram opp while amusing your wee-ones with a spin on a carousel. Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park has 48 hand-carved horses and views that memories are made of; the Forest Park Carousel has even acheived designated landmark status.

By: Allie Early

Swing on the monkey bars

Well, your kids will while you sip an iced coffee on a bench or help hoist them atop a slide. Among our city’s best playgrounds: Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 has something for kids of all ages to climb, swing or slide on. Hudson River Park’s Pier 25 has been made over with a jumbo geodesic-dome-inspired climbing net, a skate park and sprinklers galore.

By: Tolly Wright

Take a hike

You don’t need no stinking mountains for your family to enjoy a summer’s day hike in this city. Strap on your sneaks and go to Central Park for a trail that winds from Glenspan Arch toward Harlem Meer, where kids can spy raccoons, squirrels and migrating birds. Staten Island’s High Rock Park winds scenically around the Greenbelt Nature Center’s Loosestrife Swamp. Be sure to brake for chipmunks!

By: Lee Magill

Veg out in Bryant Park

4 out of 5 stars

Between its outdoor reading room, free board games, Broadway in Bryant Park (through Aug 13), famed carousel and art cart (you can borrow colored pencils, markers, paper and more), there’s something for everyone. Check Bryant Park’s website for daily schedules, and be sure to mark your calendars for their free movie nights (through Aug 24).

Midtown West

Nom on cart fare

The tastiest food in New York isn’t always served in a restaurant—you might find it on a paper plate or in a paper cone! Food trucks around NYC are a cheap thrill and totally delicious...that is, if you know where to look. Make a game of becoming “food explorers” to try gourmet grilled cheese, ice cream-covered waffles and more.

By: Hannah Doolin