Parks & Playgrounds

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Thrill to Zip Line, Ropes Courses, and More at Jones Beach's New Adventure Park

WildPlay, an adventure park featuring ropes, bridges and tunnels, as well as a 700-foot zip line that runs parallel to the Atlantic Ocean, opened in July at Jones Beach State Park. Whether you're conquering your fear of heights or challenging your physical abilities, there's an activity for every level of intensity. In fact, the whole experience makes for a terrific parenting lesson. Read on for our review of Jones Beach's newest attraction.

There are plenty more thrill-seeking destinations on Long Island. Check out these spots for little (and big) adrenaline junkies in your house. Or visit another state park on Long Island and embark on an adventure of your own.

Top Playgrounds for Toddlers and Preschoolers in Westchester

There are lots of great parks and playgrounds in Westchester, no matter which city or town you live in. But finding a playground that’s suitable for the under-5 set can sometimes be a challenge—you want them to be safe; they want to try that giant, twisty slide with a group of wild 7-year-olds on it.

Happily, there are a number of toddler-friendly playgrounds throughout the area, with plenty of safe options for keeping them occupied and having fun. We've rounded up a few of our favorites.

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25 Things to Do With Kids in Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Expansive and diverse (much like Queens itself), Flushing Meadows Corona Park is arguably the main family attraction among many in Flushing. With so much to see and do here with kids—including the New York Hall of Science, the Queens Museum, a zoo, a botanic garden, a carousel, an amusement park, and multiple playgrounds, plus the famous Unisphere fountains—it's more than a single-day excursion. So pick out a few things to do and save the rest for next time. My family has explored the park time and again, and there is always something new to see and old favorites to revisit. 

The Battery With Kids: 9 Fun Things to Do in Downtown's Biggest Green Space

The Battery, the park at the southernmost tip of Manhattan Island, is to lower Manhattan what Central Park is to upper Manhattan. This welcoming green space has been enlarged twice during its lifetime with landfill, and is now the largest open space downtown—25 acres of waterfront property. The Battery (as it has been renamed—although many people still call it Battery Park) is a beautifully landscaped garden full of family activities, public art, and great views—and not just of the Statue of Liberty, either. The promenade is a perfect place to stroll, ride bikes, scooter or just sit in the sunshine. Most people think of it as the place to get the boats for the Statue of Liberty, but I like to think of it as the “front lawn” for the city and a perfect outing for the whole family.

Read on for how to get the most out of a day out with kids in the Battery.

Things to Do in Bronx Park with Kids: Playgrounds, Zoo, Gardens, Skate Park

Bronx Park might not be the Boogie Down borough's largest park (that honor goes to Pelham Bay Park), but we think it probably has more fun kid stuff to do per square foot than any other. Bronx Park boasts 700-plus acres and features several of the city's top family attractions, including the Bronx Zoo, New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx River, and plenty of playgrounds, green space, and bike paths to keep kids entertained. The park is accessible by car or public transit, making it an ideal location for a day trip or afternoon outing, especially in the summer but really, anytime. Visitors might be surprised by just how diverse Bronx Park is, but locals know it's truly a hidden gem. Read on for the best things to do in Bronx Park with kids.

8 Westchester Parks Perfect for Kids' Outdoor Birthday Parties

Summer is a great time to throw an outdoor birthday party, but if you don’t have the space (or the desire) to host a bunch of high-energy kids at your house, one of Westchester's beautiful parks can be a great alternative.

Whether you’re looking to have a small party or a big bash, there are lots of parks in the area to accommodate your needs—and many have tons of fun amenities too, from splash pads and swimming pools to playgrounds and soccer fields. Here, we’ve rounded up eight of our favorites.

Looking for even more fun birthday party ideas? Check out our Kids' Birthday Party Guide for Westchester Families, and sign up for our newsletters!

NYC Playgrounds With Shade: Play It Cool at These Shady Parks in NYC

Need to find a playground with shade for a hot summer day in NYC? These shady playgrounds in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens offer a break from the sun, but no shortage of fun.

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. They came through with a number of great suggestions.

Please keep in mind that the name of the game here is comfort on a hot summer day; though we have visited plenty of destination playgrounds, with a few exceptions, these shady suggestions tend to be neighborhood standbys and small playgrounds that have plenty of shade, but perhaps not too many bells and whistles. But if you're looking for a cool place to play this summer, one of these spots should do the trick.

Best Parks and Playgrounds for a Birthday Party on Long Island

Birthdays: Our kids all have them. After deciding on the guest list comes the inevitable question of venues. Instead of heading to a party destination or organizing a party at home, did you ever consider a birthday party at a state, county, or community park?

It's true: Long Island is home to a host of beautiful and fun-filled parks that will make it a memorable day for your child whether you're planning a first birthday or a 13th.

And a party at a park means less cleaning for you, no worrying about how many people can fit in your house, or how to magically make it spotless.

So read on for our take on the best parks at which to host a birthday party, and for more birthday fun, check out our Long Island Birthday Party Guide

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