The Best Boat Rides for Families in NYC

Going out on the water in New York lets you see the city from a whole new perspective. Whether you're sailing down one of the rivers, taking a FREE kayak out for a spin, or cruising on the ocean looking for whales, it's relaxing, refreshing, and a great way to stay cool on a summer day with the kids.

While there are all kinds of boat tours on offer around NYC, from the Circle Line to the citywide ferry service, the question for parents is, which ones are truly family-friendly? After all, once you're on the water you're committed to the ride regardless of tantrums, seasickness, or boredom.

To help you figure out which NYC boat rides will work best for your family, we've highlighted some personal favorites, and broken down the best options by type, including the best boat rides for wildlife watching, best for would-be pirates, best for your budget, and more. Discover even more family-friendly things to do this summer in our Summer Fun Guide

Best Carousels in NYC: 13 Merry-Go-Rounds City Kids Love

There's something wonderfully nostalgic about kids getting a thrill from a ride on a carousel. It's the simplest of amusement park attractions, and there are more than a dozen merry-go-rounds in New York City alone. It's easy to stumble upon them on your next park outing.

Each city carousel offers a unique spin on this traditional kiddie ride, from harbor views to a ride inside an iridescent fish. We've rounded up the best merry-go-rounds in all five boroughs.

59 Things To Do with Orange County Kids Before They Grow Up

Orange County may sometimes be considered second fiddle compared to Los Angeles for fun eats, kid-friendly parks, family outings, and outdoor adventures; but the OC has plenty of all of these—with the benefits of better air and less traffic (sorry, Angelenos!). If your kids are growing up the OC way, here are some key places to take them for the ultimate childhood experience behind the Orange curtain.

50 Free Things to Do With Long Island Kids This Summer

Does the thought of a full summer vacation make you think of empty pockets?

In between camps, parties, sitters, and trips, the next two months can get costly. And for a family with more than one child, even a trip to the water park can add up. But summer doesn’t have to drain your wallet.

We've compiled a list of 50 FREE things families can do together. From outdoor concerts and movies, to museums, classes, and festivals, Long Island has something going on all summer long.

Check a few more things off your bucket list with our Summer Fun Guide. Feeling really ambitious? Here are 100 things to do with Long Island kids before they grow up. See our guide to FREE family activities on Long Island for even more inspiration.  

100 Free Things to Do This Summer with Kids in New York City

Summer is the season of FREE in NYC—and here it comes. There's no-cost fun everywhere you turn, from festivals, outdoor movies, and concerts, to kayaking and fireworks. With the public school break upon us, and the kids itching to play (and swim), we've rounded up FREE things for families to do every single day of summer vacation. Starting with Thursday, June 27 and running all the way through Wednesday, September 4, we've compiled the best FREE things to do with kids in NYC all summer!

Of course, this list isn't comprehensive. There are literally hundreds of FREE fun events happening across our city this school break. You can find more cool seasonal activities and destinations in our Summer Fun Guide, including beach day trips, FREE splash pads, and more. Check out our Events Calendar for more fun happenings.

Still searching for a summer camp for a week or two? Check out our NYC summer camp directory and guide.

50 FREE Things to Do This Summer with Westchester and Hudson Valley Kids

Summer is here, and while the end of school can be a relief, the new challenge is to keep the kids busy seven days a week! Filling those long days can get pricey—fast. But fear not: We’ve been hard at work identifying tons of FREE things to do with the kids that will keep them entertained all summer long—and we're not just talking about crafts. We found multi-cultural festivals, admission-free days, magic shows, outdoor yoga, astronomy nights, animal encounters, 18th-century games, and loads more.

Read on for 50+ of our favorites below—and also note that our Event Calendar is your BFF all season, because we keep adding to that frequently, so it’s always worth a gander. Want more that’s FREE? Bookmark our guide to year-round FREE things to do and sign up for our newsletters.

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