Summer in NYC
Fun in the sun and relief from the heat in the big apple. #summer #nyc #kids
While kids can always cool off in NYC's many sprinklers, there's no reason for us parents to get stuck baking in the heat. A few NYC playgrounds are known to offer exceptional amounts of shade—Hippo Playground in Riverside Park and Discovery Playground in Fort Washington Park come to mind—but we asked our readers if they knew of any super-shady playgrounds in New York City, and they came through with several great suggestions.
Movies usually begin when evening falls, and as summer turns to fall, take note, showtimes begin earlier. Plan to arrive early to stake out a good viewing spot. Even if your local park is screening a flick you've watched a dozen times before, it's a totally different experience viewing it in the open air alongside other fans. It's a thrilling, communal event, and a summer rite of passage for New Yorkers of all ages.
Summer is traditionally the season for spending as much time outside as possible. Except sometimes it’s just so…hot. Our top picks to beat summer's heat include indoor play spaces, museums, and local shopping destinations where kids can play—all while enjoying some industrial AC. Find more fun things to do inside—in any season—in our Guide to Indoor Fun.
It's hard to believe August is upon us, ushering with it the last gasp of summer activities and fun. Yet, fun we shall have. Late-summer festivals in NYC are returning in a big way, and we've found nearly a dozen August festivals nearby and city street fairs—as well as a couple of bonus Labor Day weekend picks—worth penciling in on your calendar.
Families with toddlers in tow aren't looking for big slides or big waves, though, so we've rounded up our top water parks for the preschool set. Prepare to find toddler-sized attractions, along with perks such as nursing stations and FREE mini life jackets—and don't worry, there's plenty of big-kid fun to go around, too. So read on for details on 14 parks within two hours of New York City catering to the littlest water explorers.
Our list includes a variety of destinations; some are brand-new, while others are old standbys. We've included outdoor spots like extra-special water playgrounds, awesome pools, splashy boat rides, and indoor havens such as kid-friendly museums. Many of our suggestions are FREE, and we even included exceptional frozen-treat spots so you can indulge in ice cream and more.
One of our most anticipated openings of 2021, Little Island is set on tulip-shaped platforms adjacent to 13th Street in the Hudson River. Its structure is meant to look like a floating leaf, and crossing the bridge from the mainland to the park transports you to an entirely different world, with winding paths, stunning landscaping, and plenty to explore, see, and do.
It is officially summer in the city, and there’s no better way to kick off the season than by having a barbecue. While most New Yorkers don’t have the outdoor space (or grill, for that matter) to host a cookout at home, there are plenty of parks that offer beautiful picnic areas and public grills to gather around with family and friends. And thankfully for those traveling with little ones, many of these parks are near our favorite playgrounds.
Summertime means beach time, and while there are lots of beaches near and even in NYC, some are more family-friendly than others. After packing up your gear and schlepping the kids by car, train, bus, or ferry, the last thing you want to find out is your chosen beach has no bathroom, or bathing suits are optional. Skip the guesswork with our roundup of eight easy-to-reach beaches for NYC families, including detailed info on attractions, food, bathrooms, and hidden costs.
The summer season is young but action-packed. So far, we've shared our picks for FREE outdoor movie screenings and FREE things to do every day with kids in New York City. Now we're rounding up our favorite and (mostly) FREE summer festivals and street fairs hitting the city this July. Annual favorites like City of Water Day return, while the Little Island Storytelling Festival is an exciting new addition to the scene. So, grab your calendar because these are the best sizzling summer fests.
If you're itching to get the kids out of the city to enjoy a swim in the great outdoors, what better place than one of our area's beautiful, tranquil, freshwater swimming lakes? We've rounded up the best swimming lakes near NYC. Some are even close to our favorite family-friendly campgrounds, making them perfect for a weekend getaway.