Summer bucket list for families
This summer, explore the best free kayaking NYC has on its roster. The season wouldn't be complete without a few rowing sessions across the East River. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to enroll the kiddos in sleepaway camps or pack up for family weekend getaways to enjoy a taste of nature. Even the greatest city in the world is home to some of the best outdoor activities for kids! All you need to do is grab a lifevest and hit the water.
There’s nothing quite like New York’s summer heat—but thankfully, the city's best water playgrounds for kids are unmatched! Choose from fun splash pads with sprinklers, playgrounds with water cannons, spots with exciting play structures to climb and other great stuff not far from home.
If you're looking to get competitive with the best mini golf NYC has to offer, you've come to the right place. We've rounded up the very best teeny putting greens in the area, ranging from courses with sophisticated scenery to quirky, kitsch-filled adventures involving plastic animals, statues and tiny windmills.
Kids' playgrounds in NYC are works of art in their own right. Intricate details, whimsical features and scenic locations abound, catapulting these play spaces to a top spot on our list of favorite outdoor activities for kids. As the warm weather creeps in, we're always up for extending our playground visits well into the evening. We've tracked down the prettiest new, renovated and classic spots that are totally worth a visit this summer.
Nothing says summertime like a trip to NYC's action-packed kids' amusement parks! Whether you have tykes in tow who might prefer the gentle rides of Sesame Place and Victorian Gardens, or older kids who love the hair-raising adventure rides at Six Flags New England, Luna Park and Morey's Piers, one thing is certain: There's something on this list for everyone—and a wide range of price points!
The venerable epicurean extravaganza spends Saturdays in Williamsburg and Sundays in Prospect Park. No matter your preference, there's a little something for everyone. While kids can delight in sweets like fried cookie dough, those with a more expansive palate can opt for offerings such as seafood from Lobsterdamus, Boutros' pork shawarma tacos or PopdUp brewed teas, among seemingly hundreds of other dishes. This year, the new Pizza Cupcake and Fluffies Soufflé Pancakes (available Saturdays and Sundays) will be on hand to wow visitors! Note that admission to the food fest is free, but each vendor charges various prices. All ages.
Calling all junior magicians! Illusionists, escape artists, mentalists, and close-up magicians from all over the world will descend on the Coney Island Museum for a full afternoon of mind-blowing tricks and feats. Expect to see plenty of card tricks, levitating objects and perhaps some stuff disappearing right before your eyes. Who knows—maybe someone from your family will have the chance to become to be part of the magic if they’re picked as an assistant for a particular trick. All ages.
This wacky one-wheeled weekend rolls into town and begins with a pitstop in Battery Park (10 am on Aug 29), followed by a ride over the Brooklyn Bridge and ending with a stage show at Coney Island (Aug 30, meet at 2pm in front of City Hall in Manhattan on the base of the Brooklyn Bridge). Don't miss the main event—a giant festival on Governors Island with races, competitions, exhibitions, unicycle sports (basketball, hockey and sumo on wheels!), music, live performances and more one-wheeled activities for the whole family (Aug 31 and Sept 1 from noon–5pm). Learn more about the lineup on the festival's website. All ages.
The New York Hall of Science will take you out of this world when summer begins—and you don't even need to get out of Queens! In honor of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the museum is delving into aviation and aerospace. Visitors can expect a group flying experience via motion-sensing technology, a simulated wind tunnel test, theater presentations and more. This exhibition is presented by Boeing and produced by Evergreen Exhibitions in collaboration with NASA and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. Learn more at nysci.org. All ages.