Beaches & Lakes

Visiting Sandy Hook Beach with Kids

There is no shortage of options for NYC beach-goers. We have the Rockaways, Coney Island and Jacob Riis all within city limits, plus the Jersey Shore and the often-overlooked beaches in Staten Island within day-trip distance. Each beach has its own special vibe and its own reasons to put on your flip flops and head to the ocean.

Sandy Hook is another kid-friendly beach destination that's just a short ride away from NYC on the Jersey Shore. And best of all: No car? No problem! A ferry can take you right to Sandy Hook beach from Manhattan. Bring your boogie boards and beach blankets and make your way to Sandy Hook for an unforgettable afternoon at the seashore: Here's what to know before you go.

New Splash Pad at Jones Beach is Sure to Delight

Let your kids spray away the heat and sprint away their energy against a sapphire horizon studded with beach umbrellas at Jones Beach State Park’s new splash pad. The facility is located at the Central Mall area by Parking Field 4 and opened in late June.

Toddlers, school-aged kids, and tweens will revel in their ability to push the round buttons and send water cascading through stalk-shaped pipes and pattering to the ground, where it gurgles up around their feet. 

This showery diversion is a great addition to Long Island's top sprinkler parks for kids and another reason why Jones Beach, in central Nassau, is one of our favorite Long Island beaches for families.

Rockaway with Kids: 25 Things to Do at the Beach and Beyond

Why schlep to the Hamptons? Thanks to its weekend-getaway vibe, Rockaway, Queens, is a popular family staycation destination in summer, and with the Rockaway ferry making daily round-trips, it's easy to get to.

Rockaway's beautiful beaches have soft sand and formidable Atlantic Ocean waves—it's the only shore in NYC where you're allowed to surf. Although this area was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy, the boardwalk and Rockaway Park have been renovated with amazing playgrounds and water play areas. Read on for all you need to know to get to and enjoy this NYC summer favorite. 

Family Fun at Port Aransas: Clean Beaches, Fishing & More

When it comes to beach getaways, we regularly pack up and head down to nearby favorites like Surfside and Galveston Island, sometimes for a day trip, other times for a longer weekend stay. However, it rarely feels like an actual vacation because it's so close to home and so easy to do. So when we're in the mood for a longer family-friendly beach vacation, our destination is always the same: Port Aransas. Clocking in at almost four hours away, it's far enough from home to truly feel like we're getting out of town and packed with plenty of coastal town charm and activities that appeal to all family members.

Top Swimming Lakes and Rivers for Westchester Families

Pools in Westchester: check. Splash Pads to take the kids: check. Here's one more fun option to add to your list: lakes. While you won’t find many in Westchester, the Hudson Valley in general offers plenty of places to jump in and go for a swim, including some that merit a day trip—or even an overnighter. Here, we’ve rounded up several options, from the Hudson River to Lake Taghkanic.

Looking for even more fun in the sun? Check out our full summer guide for great ideas for the whole family.

13 Exciting Boat Rides for Families in New Jersey

Adventures abound on the high and low seas of New Jersey throughout the summer. Young pirates can dress up for a real pirate adventure; sailors can man the rigging aboard the historic A.J. Meerwald; and young naturalists will feel at home in the Meadowland marshes aboard specially rigged pontoon boats. Whalers will enjoy riding ships on the high seas in search of whales and dolphins, and adventurers can always ride the wild white waters of the Delaware River either on rafts or tubes. Who knows when you may regain your land legs?

For more warm-weather fun, check out our New Jersey Kids Summer Activities Guide.

Top Beach Playgrounds on Long Island

Long Island beaches offer the opportunity for memory-making experiences. Some of the best include those times spent frolicking on the playground to the soundtrack of crashing summer waves.

We've rounded up some of the best beach spots to play in Nassau, Suffolk and the East End. So pack a lunch and plan to spend the day enjoying these destinations. Make sure to snap pictures of the smiles from a fun day in the sun.

And remember Long Island has plenty of family-friendly beaches. While you're at it, why not check off a few activities on our list of 25 things we can't wait to do with Long Island kids this summer.

On a budget? See our list of 50 FREE things to do with kids on Long Island this summer. 

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