Pools & Spray Parks

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Jones Beach: A Family Staycation at LI's Kid-Friendly State Park

The jewel of Long Island state parks, Jones Beach is a popular beach day destination. And with a whopping 6 million visitors each year, it’s the second most-visited state park in New York State (after Niagara Falls).

Many Long Islanders have fond memories of spending time at Jones Beach with family and friends, walking the boardwalk, taking in a concert, or enjoying the surf and sand. A visit to this beach feels like being on vacation without ever leaving the Island. It’s so much more than a beach, and we’ve got the rundown on what to do, see, play, and even eat at Jones Beach to get the most out of your visit.

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.

7 Destination Swimming Pools with Slides or Special Features for Boston Families

We all could use a dip in the pool during Boston's humid summertime. If you're looking for a little more than the basics you'll find at Boston's free or nearly free pools, you might want to consider paying for a day pass or a seasonal membership at one of the splashier aquatic centers around town or the 'burbs. Here are seven gloriously refreshing options, many with slides and spray features that will keep kids entertained all day. On a scorcher of a long day, the fees—and a bit of a drive, in some cases—will feel well worth it.

11 Queens Water Playgrounds and Sprinkler Parks

Let’s face it, sometimes you just don’t want to live by the schedule of open swim hours at your local NYC pool. Sometimes you just want to tire your kids out so they sleep until 6 (or even 7) in the morning. And sometimes you just want to relax outdoors with iced coffee and a book, but your children aren’t as into that idea as you are. This is why water playgrounds were invented...we're pretty sure, anyway.

While we already have profiled some of the top water playgrounds in other parts of the city as well as some of the top fountains for splashing, we realized we had neglected our Queens families. So in the interest of parenting solidarity we’ve put together a list of eleven spraygrounds or water playgrounds in Queens. They’re all FREE, and as an added bonus most usually have an ice cream truck in the area—for the children, of course, totally for the children. 

Check out our NYC Beaches, Pools, and Water Parks Guide for more summer splashing, or our Summer Fun Guide for more seasonal activities for the kids.

15 Parent and Me Swim Classes To Keep LA & OC Babies and Toddlers Afloat

Kids dig water, and the younger we start them in it, the earlier they build the skills needed to swim confidently and safely. Mommy and Me – or Daddy and Me – classes are a fun and bonding introduction to a lifelong love of swimming. And lucky for us and our tots, there are classes galore all around the Southland. We know some Great Private Swim Classes for LA Kids, but the classes below are all about taking the plunge alongside your wee one. Dive into our extensive list of area Mommy or Daddy and Me classes.

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