Parks & Playgrounds

20 Best Water Playgrounds and Sprinklers for Kids in NYC

When we were growing up, New York City playgrounds had sprinklers. Now parks and playgrounds across the five boroughs possess "water features"—fountains, geysers, rivers, pumps and beautiful spraying statues. Kids just love them, and we parents prefer these newfangled playgrounds because they're pretty and cool, and make us feel as if our exorbitant NYC housing costs are justified.

As the city's sprinkler season gets into gear, it's good to know where to find the wildest and wettest playgrounds around. There are hundreds of water features in NYC parks. Some are cooler (literally and figuratively) than others, and more amazing ones seem to open every year. When we first published this article in 2008, we had five favorite splashing spots. Now we're up to 20 fancy playgrounds where kids can get wet in NYC. See if your favorites made our list (and if not, clue us in).

Check Out the 57-Foot Mega Slide and More at Governors Island

If we were giving out rewards to “most improved” NYC park, surely Governors Island would blow the competition away. The trust that operates 150-acres of the island under the direction of the city continues to open new parklands, add more kid-friendly features and expand hours, making it a must-do on every New Yorker’s summer bucket list.

Summer 2016 will see the addition of an entire hill of slides, including one that will reportedly be the longest in the city at 57-feet-long, a brand-new treehouse and the debut of the city’s only “adventure playground,” a free-for-all, kids-only build and destroy space. Oh, and it is all FREE, our favorite kind of summer fun.

Governors Island opens for the season on Saturday, May 28, Memorial Day weekend and hosts its annual Family Fun Day that Sunday. Not all the features will be ready for opening day, but some will.

Here’s a breakdown on what’s new and when it will be available for family fun on this car-less isle.

More Than Swan Boats: Things to Do in the Public Garden With Kids

You've walked into Boston's Public Garden and taken the kids for a ride on the Swan Boats. You can check that off your list of things to do with kids in Boston before they grow up,  but now what? Well, there's good news: Families can actually enjoy a lot more in the Public Garden. The 24-acre park – which lies between Arlington and Charles Streets, and across from Boston Common – is a stroller's delight, with winding paths among tremendous horticultural sights. 

Top 10 Things To Do with Kids on the Red Line

One of the perks of living in a big city is being able to leave the car at home and get around via public transportation instead. Whether you take the T's Green, Blue, Orange or Red Lines, there are plenty of fun stops to make along the way, especially with kids in tow. On the Red Line you can do everything from bask in nature and tour some of Boston’s most historic sites to visit several terrific museums. Here’s what we recommend for making the most of taking your kids on the Red Line.

10 Things To Do at the Brooklyn Salt Marsh

It's easy to forget that living in New York City doesn’t have to mean severing ties with Mother Nature. After years of exploring outdoor spaces in our urban landscape, we had a blast putting together our top 25 places to thrive outside

On that list is the Brooklyn Salt Marsh, 530 acres of a grasslands ecosystem located within Marine Park. The marsh is home to birds, including egrets, red-winged blackbirds and the impressive marsh hawk, and is such a treasure the Urban Park Rangers have established one of its 10 citywide nature centers there. So on your next visit, stop by the nature center and let a friendly ranger educate your children on the powerful role the marsh plays in the local environment.

In the meantime, here are 10 great things we discovered during our recent visit.

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