Pools & Spray Parks

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Register for Free Fall/Winter Swim Lessons for NYC Kids

The New York City Parks Department offers FREE swim lessons for children and adults all year round, but you have to apply through an online lottery for each session. The FREE fall/winter swimming lessons are on the horizon, and the lottery for registration opens Monday, October 1, 2018, at noon.

Read on for the details on where to swim for free, or check our directory of paid kids' swim classes, and mommy-and-me swim lessons for babies and toddlers, including those in Brooklyn and in Queens.

Destination Playground: Hippo Playground on the Upper West Side

New York City doesn't lack for spectacular destination playgrounds, but Hippo Playground is more than a great place to play. Nestled among honey locust trees and a stone's throw away from the Hudson River in Riverside Park, Hippo Playground serves as the heart of the community for this slice of the Upper West Side and countless tots have grown up playing in the cool shade of its trees.

What the Hippo Playground may lack in modern bells and whistles, it makes up for in community and character, starting with the playful pachyderms who form the centerpiece of the playspace.

Beyond Splash Pads: 8 Places for Year-round Water Play in Los Angeles

It can be hot anytime in Los Angeles, so there’s almost always a good reason to look for splash pads, pools, and beaches when the mercury rises. In summer, you can rely on our list of splash pads in Los Angeles or the water play parks in Orange County, but what about the rest of the year? There is always somewhere to beat the heat in LA. The following eight places offer much needed water activities at any time of year.

Indoor Swimming Pools in NYC That Offer Day Passes

There are plenty of FREE swimming pools in NYC for kids during the summer months, but if you're looking for year-round options, or less crowded waters, the options are a bit limited. We've rounded up the best bets, from private pools offering day passes, to off-the-beaten-path community spots. All are kid friendly and welcome families for swimming and other water fun.

Read on for where to get swimming in NYC now.

Destination Playground: Harlem's Riverbank State Park

If you're looking for an escape from the city that costs nothing more than a MetroCard swipe, hop the bus to Denny Ferrell Riverbank State Park, one of a handful of state parks within New York City limits. Riverbank State Park occupies 28 acres on Manhattan's west side in Harlem, offering beautiful views and tons of options for outdoor fun. An afternoon here feels almost like an out-of-the-city day trip.

Whether you're in the mood for a dip in the pool, a run through the sprinklers, or a twirl around the rink in winter or summer, this complex has it all, plus plenty of reasonably priced classes, sports programs, and even an inexpensive summer camp.

New Spray Park Splashes Into Elwood in Suffolk County

Get soaked and stoked at Long Island's newest water park, the Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo Memorial Spray Park. A first in the Town of Huntington, this water play area is small in size, but pours out big fun. 

Check out more super sprinkler parks on Long Island here.

To splash into other watery fun, take a peek at our guide to Long Island amusement parks and water parks. For even more kid-friendly activities, check out our Summer Fun Guide and our recommendations for the best beach playgrounds as well as other top playgrounds and parks on LI

Slip, Slide, and Splash at Strawberry Water Park in Pasadena

For us, summer is all about seeing how many water activities we can pack in to a three month span. Neighborhood pools and splash pads are always on our to-do list! We also love a good water park trip during the hot summer months, but sometimes the crowds, long lines for rides, and admission costs make trips to Schlitterbahn or Splashtown something that we tend to only do once or twice per year. Luckily, we recently discovered a hidden gem in Pasadena where we can squeeze in some waterslide fun for a fraction of the cost of a day trip to a bigger water park. We can get our slide and lazy river fix in and our littlest guys even have their very own space to splash and play on a kids structure. We've discovered that this park has so much to offer, and is a great way for families to play together and beat the Texas heat.

50 Fun Things to Do to Cool Off in NYC This Summer with Kids

As summer weather begins to sizzle, there's no denying that the heat and humidity can get under the skin of even the most tropical-weather-loving New Yorker. To beat the heat, my kids (and my inner child) insist any outing includes water, industrial strength air-conditioning, or sweet frozen treats.

While we enjoy hitting our local public pool and running around the sprinklers (oh yes, I get in there, too), lately we've been longing for more diverse destinations. That inspired us to round up our favorite ways to cool off in New York City.

Our list includes a variety of destinations; some are brand-new, while others are old standbys. The list includes outdoor spots like extra-special water playgrounds, awesome pools, and splashy boat rides, and indoor havens such as kid-friendly museums. Many of our suggestions are FREE and we even included exceptional frozen-treat spots, so you can indulge in ice cream and more. So strike while the weather's hot: Here are our top 50 ways to cool off with kids in NYC this summer.

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