Pelham Bay with Kids: Top 25 Things to Do in This Corner of the Bronx Including NYC's Largest Park
Nestled in the northeast corner of the Bronx, Pelham Bay is a working-class neighborhood with a rich history dating back to the mid-1600s, when Connecticut doctor Thomas Pell purchased more than 9,000 acres of land from the Siwanoy Native Americans. It included parts of modern-day Westchester along with the Bronx's City Island and Pelham Bay, which became a burgeoning residential neighborhood in the 1920s as European immigrants settled in the area.
Located at the last stop on the 6 train (a station made famous in the classic 1974 movie The Taking of Pelham One Two Three), today's Pelham Bay is a cultural melting pot with an incredibly diverse population. It's also extremely family-friendly, which I know firsthand as a local mom raising three kids here. Our crown jewel is indisputably the 2,765-acre Pelham Bay Park, NYC's largest green space, featuring an equestrian center, bike trails, playgrounds, two golf courses, Orchard Beach and the historic Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum. But my family also moved here because we love the suburb-in-the-city vibe conjured by lovely single-family homes on tree-lined streets, longtime ma-and-pa businesses and neighbors who know your names.
Throughout the month, we'll be highlighting all Pelham Bay has to offer families including the best places to eat, play and experience with kids. For the purposes of our posts, our geographic boundaries are Middletown Road to the Westchester County border, Hutchinson River Parkway to Eastchester Bay. We kick off our our coverage with the top 25 things to do with kids in Pelham Bay.
- Take multiple days to explore NYC's largest green space, Pelham Bay Park, featuring tennis and basketball courts; baseball fields; biking and hiking trails; and four different playgrounds
- Tour the historic 19th-century Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, which hosts fun First Friday celebrations every month featuring live music, self-guided tours and light refreshments
- Go fishing along 13 miles of coastline surrounding Pelham Bay Park
- Hit the jungle gym, basketball hoops and game tables, or experience the Sensory Garden at the Playground for All Children, all part of the Aileen B. Ryan Recreational Complex
- Hop on a horse at the Bronx Equestrian Center and go for a trail ride in Pelham Bay Park—kid too young? Pony rides are also available
- Frolic on the beach or stroll the promenade at "Bronx Riviera" Orchard Beach
- Learn about local wildlife from the Urban Park Rangers at the Pelham Bay Park Nature Center—it's a great location for seal spotting in winter and bird watching in spring
- Get in touch with the great outdoors on the Kazimiroff and Siwanoy Nature Trails
- Hop the FREE Bronx Seaside Trolley from the Pelham Bay 6 subway station to City Island the first Friday of every month
- Hit the monkey bars in Colucci Playground, which also features basketball and handball courts, and baseball fields
- Pop into regular storytimes for various ages, and arts and crafts at the Pelham Bay Library
- Try the rainbow cookies, pastries and other Italian goodies at the locally owned Pelham Bake Shop
- Enjoy a game of miniature golf at the Turtle Cove Golf Center
- Head to casual Italian restaurant Lucca on Tuesday evenings when kids eat FREE
- Chow down on all-you-can-eat sushi at Shangerila Restaurant
- Kids prefer traditional diner food? Head to longtime family favorite George's Restaurant, which has a massive menu
- Enjoy rides, delicious food, music and more at the annual St. Theresa's Feastival held every July
- Get fresh baked bread, doughnuts and other carb-heavy treats at Zeppieri & Sons Italian Bakery founded back in 1968
- Take the tot for a no-tears haircut by the pros at The Kid's Kut
- Enroll in kids' ballet, hip-hop, tumbling and other high-energy classes at the Fancy Feet Dance Studio
- Introduce preschoolers to martial arts with the Little Dragons program at Pelham Bay Karate Academy
- See traditional performances and storytelling at the annual Bronx Native American Festival in Pelham Bay Park every fall
- Indulge in authentic Italian ices and other desserts at Teresa's Gourmet Italian Ices
- Drop in to a kids' yoga class at Excel Yoga Dance & Fitness
- Pick up educational toys, books and school supplies at Teacher's Stuff, Inc.