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  1. Jack's Bait and Tackle

  2. Johnny's Famous Reef Restaurant

  3. Johnny's Famous Reef Restaurant

  4. Kaleidoscope Gallery

  5. Kaleidoscope Gallery

  6. Lickety Split Ice Cream Parlor

  7. Lickety Split Ice Cream Parlor

  8. P.S. 175's nautical-themed playground

  9. City Island

  10. City Island

City Island

A slice of New England in the Bronx beckons families.

Written by
Alison Lowenstein

Tiny City Island has such quaint, anachronistic charm, it's a wonder it's within NYC limits. Take a daycation here by hopping the 6 train to Pelham Bay Park (the last stop on the line) and transferring to the BX29 bus, which takes you directly into town.

Stop one: Sugar and Spice (536 City Island Ave, 718-885-9229,, a cozy caf that serves pastries for the kids and coffee for you. Next up: fishing. At Jack's Bait and Tackle (551 City Island Ave, 718-885-2042,; $60 for 12 hr rental on weekends), families can rent a four-person fishing boat. Rods are available for purchase.

After you've caught (or at least pursued) some flounder and bass, make your way to P.S. 175's nautical-themed playground (200 City Island Ave). (Bring a small cooler to keep your catch fresh.) Tykes can steer a fake ship and splash around in an anchor-shaped sprinkler while younger visitors lay claim to the baby swings.

Grab a picnic bench overlooking the water at Johnny's Famous Reef Restaurant (2 City Island Ave, 718-885-2086). Clam chowder and fried calamari make great lunch picks.

Stroll down City Island Avenue, the neighborhood's main drag, and hit Kaleidoscope Gallery (280 City Island Ave, 718-885-3090); it sells Melissa & Doug toys, jewelry, art supplies and a big collection of kaleidoscopes (and kits to make your own). A few doors down is local fave Lickety Split Ice Cream Parlor (295 City Island Ave, 718-885-9195). Treat Junior to a cone, then let him play with the eatery's Hula Hoops and sidewalk chalk.

Learn a bit of the area's history at the free City Island Historical Society and Nautical Museum (190 Fordham St; 718-885-0008, Sat and Sun 1--5pm), which is housed in a 19th-century building that was a school until 1976. Check out the display of wooden boats and the original school desks. The community room is another kid favorite—you'll find an old typewriter and sewing machine and a topographic map of the area.

Stick around for fresh lobster and king crab legs at Sammy's Fish Box (41 City Island Ave, 718-885-0920, Kids under ten eat free from the children's menu—they should love the fish and chips.

Take an after-dinner walk down one of the many residential, bungalow-lined side streets, where you can watch the sun set over the water.

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