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Photograph: Shutterstock

The best outdoor activities for kids in NYC

Even when the temperature dips, NYC has plenty of outdoor activities to keep your little ones busy

Written by
Danielle Valente
,
Allie Early
&
Time Out editors
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After what feels like an eternity of hibernation (we're, of course, referring to 2020), New Yorkers are ready to bust loose. Fortunately, we've rounded up the outdoor activities for kids that will keep families socially distanced and sane.

From sledding hills and ice skating spots to public art and parkour, this list doesn't miss a beat. While our typical routines might be altered, these suggestions will keep you busy, even if you're six feet apart. 

Bundle up in your winter coat, fuel up with hot chocolate and get ready to enjoy a day out (safely). You've earned it.

Best outdoor activities for kids

  • Things to do

'Tis the season to skate! Grab your warm-weather gear and get ready to hit the ice. Things might look a little different this winter—between new health requirements, reduced capacity, and so on—but the fun will go on. Your favorite family attractions like Industry City and Prospect Park are ready to welcome athletes who want to perfect their moves. Always make sure to plan ahead, as reservations are often required. 

 

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  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies

New York, New York, it's a wonderful biking town! From protected bike paths on the Bronx waterfront to the low-key cycling in Battery Park City, we'll help you find the best places to pedal. (Training wheels welcome!) 

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  • Things to do

Just because you live in the Big Apple doesn't mean you can't spend time in the great outdoors. There are amazing family-friendly hikes close to NYC—in fact, the Bronx River Greenway and Inwood Hill Park are right in the middle of the city! So: Check the weather, bundle up and make plans to visit Mother Nature with the fam.

Public art
Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

6. Public art

Although NYC's art scene is difficult to beat, you don't actually have to step foot in a museum to experience some of its most creative pieces. Public art abounds from every corner of the city, and it makes for some Instagrammable family shots along the way. 

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • The Bronx
  • price 1 of 4

Everyone needs a few hours of calm now and then—kids included—and you'd be hard-pressed to find a more serene spot within city limits than Wave Hill. A few stops on the Metro-North Hudson line brings you to the sprawling grounds perched above the Hudson, boasting 28 acres of public gadens, plus woodlands and lawns to wander. You’ll find an elegant 19th-century mansion surrounded by meticulously groomed gardens, featuring abundant wildflowers and shady pergolas. Jump in on nature walks, story times and family art projects, often led by local artists and usually free with grounds admission. 

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  • Attractions

From cool family attractions to beloved kids' museums, New York scavenger hunts allow you to explore a go-to spot in new ways, working together as friends and family to uncover the clues. Run through Central Park, hit the Museum of Natural History and so much more! Plus, there are fun themes that'll appeal to all interests. Grab your best buds, a smart phone and wear comfy sneakers. It's time to super sleuth by cracking the code of our favorite scavenger hunts in NYC! Always plan ahead before making a trip, as reservations and new rules are likely in place. 

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  • Things to do
  • Markets and fairs

These exciting famers' market NYC picks are pretty spectacular. You get get everything needed for a farm-fresh meal, including eggs and dairy, freshly-picked fruits, freshly-picked veggies...even freshly-caught fish and locally-made wine (for Mom and Dad, of course)! Farmers' markets in NYC are the best way to get your greens—your kiddos can even meet real farmers!

 

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