Parks & Playgrounds

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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. For times when you want to be your own captain, there are many seasonal opportunities for NYC families to get out on the water by themselves with kayaking, rowing, and canoeing. 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!

Free Water Fun: Splash Pads and Sprinklers at Philly Area Parks

“If they’re crabby, put them in water.” The poem, How to Really Love a Child, offers these words of wisdom to parents of small children, and in the summer heat this couldn't be more true! But thankfully in Philadelphia, kids don’t have to be cranky to love a good splash in the summertime. In addition to being home to more public pools than any other city in the country, new spraygrounds and splash pads seem to pop up every year. These city spaces are a great way to cool off the little ones, get some exercise, and make the most of the hot weather without committing to a pool membership or water park passes. Here are a few of our favorite spots (new and old) in the Philadelphia area, many of which are already open for the season. Go ahead, jump in and prevent those crabby moments from creeping in!

The Best Playgrounds in Queens

Although every pocket and corner of Queens has a neighborhood playground (we frequent Playground Thirty-Five multiple times a week), we’ve taken the time to scout the cream of the crop for NYC kids. From Astoria to the Rockaways, with rope spider webs to kid-sized Ferris wheels, these parks offer clean, safe equipment with innovative and fun details that go beyond the metallic jungle gyms of the past.

Looking to make more of a splash? Check out our roundup on top water playgrounds in Queens, or find more playgrounds across the five boroughs in our NYC Parks & Playgrounds guide.

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