Summer Activities

New York City Kids Weekend Events for August 21-23: Last Outdoor Movies, Free Dance Classes, Shows & Plays, Festivals & More

If you’re looking for ways to beat this (albeit, late) summer heat, you could head to one of the top 5 beaches near NYC, but hurricane Bill is predicted to make the water a bit rough, and in some cases, un-swimable. So maybe head over to one of these free and cheap city pools or water playgrounds instead, or cool off at a free dance show or music festival, or any of these true “New York Summer” events, like meeting Robinson Crusoe, or seeing generations of writers come together at the Fort Greene Park Literary Festival. 

Or maybe you want to head out of the city to some of our New Jersey Weekend Events...or Long Island. Plus don't forget to check our event calendar for even more fun stuff to do. Whatever you do, we’ve been asking for this heat, so get out and enjoy it!

The Best Places to Go Stargazing in New York City

On any given night, it can be hard to find a visible star, let alone a constellation, here in the City. With all of the ambient light, you might think it's near impossible to do any star gazing at all. But even with the neon signs and lights, there are amateur astronomy clubs that gather weekly and find wonders in the nighttime skies, not to mention the university observatories that are open to the public.

Weekend Events for NYC Kids July 17-19: Water, Drawing and Music Festivals, Free Shakespeare, Fishing and More

Imagine a New York where people flock to visit not for skyscrapers and luxury shopping, but gorgeous sand and beach front fun; a New York where "staycation" really takes on a new meaning. This weekend, you can get a glimpse of that version of the City with the City of Water Day festival--a celebration of our waterfront's potential. But until we rival the beaches of Capri (hey, it could happen), there's other things to keep us occupied, like turning the streets into a drawing canvas, saws making music, fishing contests and kid-friendly Shakespeare.

We also have weekly listings for Long Island events and New Jersey events on their respective pages (whether you live there or are looking for a day trip). And of course, our event calendar is jammed with even more things to do, as is our Summer Activity Guide.

Things to Do on a Family Beach Vacation in The Hamptons

Jill has spent alot of time in the Hamptons with her kids over Summer vacations. Here are her ideas for the best kid-friendly places to check out- Thanks, Jill!

Yes, the Hamptons get a lot of hype for being the playground of the rich and famous, but you don't have to be rich or famous or fashionable to enjoy these beautiful beaches. The Hamptons are a great family vacation destination, close to New York City, with some of the best, sandy beaches anywhere.  Plus, there's lots of fun activities, and places to eat, off the beach that make the Hamptons the perfect place for a family vacation getaway.

We've scoped out the best ideas on where to play, learn, and eat your way through  The Hamptons this Summer with your kids:

Bayville Adventure Park-the Perfect One Day Amusement Park Vacation on Long Island

Around my house, these few weeks before my kids’ Summer camps officially start can be tough. The Summer weather seems to have arrived finally and the kids are anxious to take advantage of it. With plenty of beach days ahead, I wanted to do something special to celebrate today being the first official “day I don’t have to go to school” this Summer.  So, we  headed to Bayville this afternoon and hit the best mini-amusement park on Long Island-the  Bayville Adventure Park. 

For young kids, really, nothing could be better. First of all, there are lots of parking spaces right up front or just across the street, and you don’t even have to take a train to get into the park, like you do at Disneyland or those other big amusement parks. There is just enough activities to keep them from getting bored, but also the right amount to squeeze into the average young child’s visit without missing any (which I’d say is a few hours). 

Get Your Game On at Come Out and Play Festival

Experience random acts of fun at the Come Out and Play Festival, a free New York City street game festival running from June 12-14. This event turns the city into a giant playground, with everything from a photo hunt to a jump roping contest. It's not about winning, but about rediscovering the city through play and play through the city. Although Come Out and Play isn't just for kids, there's lots of fun family friendly games that kids will enjoy as much as you will.

Here are some games from the Come Out and Play Festival that are fun for kids: 

15 Festivals for this Weekend with Kids in New York (Mostly Free)

Summer in New York City means festivals and this summer the city isn't wasting any time jumping head-long right into the festivals. There are over 15 festivals for NYC families going on just this weekend. There are arts festivals, a fish parade, an Italian extravaganza, a pooch parade and bike parade and more than one Strawberry Festival. (So, if a big festival is a"palooza" does that make this weekend a "palooza-palooza"?) Of course, don't forget the summer music festival season has started too. So go get paloozapaloozing. 

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