Great activities for families
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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).
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.