Okay, so swimming in New York’s waterways may not be the most hygienic idea. But there’s plenty of fun to be had on top of those murky currents! July 16 from 10am to 4pm, City of Water Day takes over all five boroughs with free water activities, from sailing to kayaking to paddle boarding.
Head to the main hubs on Governors Island and Hoboken’s Maxwell Place Park to do some serious splashing. At both locations, boathouses from around the city will be on hand to get paddlers of all skill levels out in a kayak or a canoe. Grab a seaworthy bite from the on-site food vendors like Waffle de Lys and Green Radish while you check out the waterfront activity fairs, where you can learn how to get involved with organizations such as the NYC Audubon, Gowanus Dredgers and the Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy. At Governors Island, landlubbers can cheer on the cardboard kayak race at Kayak Hill at noon to see whether each team’s self-made boat (all created with tape and cardboard during one hour of design and construction time) sinks or swims; kiddos can join in on the fun with face painting, fishing and more. And if you’d like to hub-hop, take a free ferry between Governors Island and Hoboken.
If Jersey and the island are a bit out of reach, there are activities going on near your neighborhood, too. Catch a boat tour of the harbor (register online) from piers around the city on a schooner, fireboat or a yacht, or go to waterfrontalliance.org to see the full list of locations and activities in every borough.
Come sail away!