Free Activities

Free Kayaking, Canoeing, and Rowboat Options in New York City

With all the water surrounding New York City, it's no wonder there are so many sightseeing cruises and fun ferry rides to great kid destinations. If you want to be your own captain, NYC offers many seasonal opportunities for NYC families to get out on the water by themselve—kayaking, rowing, canoeing, and sailing. Much of the fun kicks off Memorial Day weekend or early summer.

We've rounded up 11 great New York City organizations that offer boating sessions on our wonderful waterways—and they're all FREE. Ahoy!

Enjoy Free Family Camping in NYC Parks with Urban Park Rangers

Contrary to what you might think, you don't need to invest in expensive equipment or even leave New York City to pitch a tent and camp this summer. The Urban Park Rangers offer FREE overnight family camping in city parks at select times and locations throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Bonus: They bring almost everything you need for a night spent under the stars, including the tent!

The annual program kicks off a little before Memorial Day and although it's FREE, advance registration is required for all campouts. Read on to find out how to snag a spot at one of these cool camping trips—including some signup periods that open this week!

10 Free Pools in Houston Kids Will Love

I grew up in Northern Michigan in a town that often makes the news for beating the record for the most snowfall and the coldest temperatures, and somehow I was lucky enough to have a pool in my backyard. I loved jumping into that pool after working out or having friends over to swim, and now that I live in a city with weather that could accommodate an almost endless pool season, there is, unfortunately, no pool outside my back door. Instead, we take advantage of Houston's many free community pools.

The city of Houston has 37 FREE community pools open June 1- Aug. 11 (in the 2019 season) from 1-8 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday and from August 17- Sept. 1 on Saturdays and Sundays only, and 29 water spraygrounds that are open year round.

Without further ado, here is a list of some of the best FREE pools with great features and amenities. And be sure to check out our recommendations for Houston splashpads and playgrounds, as well as our Summer Fun Guide, which has water park recommendations, parks with shade, and more!

Free Summer Sports and Outdoor Programs for NYC Kids

Just because we live in a concrete jungle doesn't mean our kids can't enjoy a summer filled with athletic activities outdoors. The best news: You don't need to be a banker to afford it.

New York City offers many opportunities for kids to learn team sports and to try swimming, tennis, golf, fishing, kayaking, camping, and more for FREE. Of course registering for these FREE programs takes a little legwork and (since many are first-come, first-served) punctuality. We've got the scoop on what's available, and how your kids can vie for spots. You can find more no-cost activities in our Free in NYC Guide, or check out these FREE or inexpensive summer camp options around NYC.

Almost 50(!) Free Things to Do in May With NYC Kids

This month is all about outdoor spring fun, and we've got the lowdown on all the great FREE events happening in NYC, including some stellar street fairs and festivals, and even the start of outdoor movies and music. There's also the opening of Governors Island, a Memorial Day Weekend concert, and Kids Food Fest. With most of the events happening alfresco, New York City families will have a bit more space to spread out, throw down a blanket, and enjoy the (late!) arrival of the warmer temps.

Read on for more than 50 FREE things to do this May in New York City, including in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Find more top events in our May GoList, or our always packed daily NYC Event Calendar.

Finally, get ready for the summer season with our roundup of the city's best beaches (opening Memorial Day), and a handy list of nearby water parks.

Free Things to Do With Houston Kids in May

It's one of the best times of the year! School is wrapping up, summer is on the horizon, and we're all ready to indulge in some family fun. Our event calendar is jam-packed with events every day of the week this time of year, and we're ready to highlight the best activities happening that don't require you to pull out your wallet. Let's dig in to some FREE family fun this month.

Free Things to Do on Long Island in May

Keep your wallet tucked away when you head out for these FREE fun family activities in May.

Enjoy nature walks, cultural celebrations, Mother's Day activities, even the start of a three-day celebration of Long Island's favorite sons, legendary poet Walt Whitman.  

For more fun activities that won’t cost you a penny, check out our lists of biking trailsrestaurants where kids can eat free; and even the best places kids can get a free birthday treat on their special day. And we didn't forget Mom: See our annual list of Mother's Day freebies and giveaways. And don’t forget to check out our events calendar and May GoList for more seasonal inspiration.

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