51 Top Things To Do in Staten Island with Kids

Breeze through the allee at the Snug Harbor Botanical Gardens. This beautiful tunnel of Hornbeam trees is just one of its stunning feature. Photo courtesy of Snug Harbor
Breeze through the allee at the Snug Harbor Botanical Gardens. This beautiful tunnel of Hornbeam trees is just one of its stunning feature. Photo courtesy of Snug Harbor
2/23/23 - By Nataki Hewling

Staten Island may be a harbor removed from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, but the outer borough packs more than enough fun things to do to fill a day or a week. And, with the FREE Staten Island Ferry, getting there is part of the adventure!

From exploring the beautiful Staten Island Greenbelt to immersing yourself in culture at Snug Harbor and stepping back in time at Historic Richmond Town, here are our top picks for the 51 best things to do on Staten Island with kids.

We've got more picks for family-friendly outings by borough from Brooklyn and Queens to the Bronx and beyond in our Guide to Kid-Friendly Neighborhoods in NYC.


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Top Things To Do with Kids on Staten Island

1. Snug Harbor

Go on a daycation at the attraction-packed Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, home to the serene NY Chinese Scholar's Garden and a Heritage Farm.

2. Garibaldi-Meucci Museum

Get schooled in Italian-American culture at the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum.

3. Staten Island Ferry

A ride on the Staten Island Ferry is a rite of passage for all NYC kids. Snap pics of Lady Liberty while riding the FREE Staten Island Ferry, which we think is still the best and least expensive way to get to the isle.

4. Staten Island Museum

Learn about local science, art, and history at the intimate Staten Island Museum, which also hosts nature walks through the isle's wooded areas.

RELATED: 3 Days in NYC with Kids: Ultimate Itinerary by a Local Mom

Best things to do on Staten Island with kids: Staten Island Children's Museum
Get geeky at the science festival at Staten Island Children's Museum. Photo courtesy of the museum

4. Staten Island Children's Museum

Explore the interactive Staten Island Children’s Museum, also located in Snug Harbor.

5. Historic Richmond Town

Explore NYC's only living history museum, Historic Richmond Town, which hosts lots of special events like the annual Richmond County Fair.

7. Fort Wadsworth

See if you can find the hidden passageways and tunnels at the 226-acre historic military installation Fort Wadsworth.

8. Willowbrook Park

Take a spin on the Victorian Carousel for All Children in the Staten Island Greenbelt's Willowbrook Park, which accommodates children with physical disabilities.

9. Seaside Nature Wildlife Park

Romp in the nautical Seaside Nature Wildlife Park, one of our top playgrounds in NYC, featuring a wrecked ship to explore, a shark to climb, and Staten Island Ferry-themed play units—no wonder locals call it “Pirate Park.”

10. Silver Lake Park

Spend the day in the 209-acre, amenity-filled Silver Lake Park, which includes a playground, ball fields, and a golf course.

RELATED: The Best Zoos and Aquariums in NYC

Best things to do in Staten Island with kids: Staten Island Zoo
The Staten Island Zoo is the perfect size for little ones to explore. Photo by Julien Schaer

11. Staten Island Zoo

Visit and learn about a variety of animals at the Staten Island Zoo, which is home to monkeys, reptiles, birds, and the famous weather-predicting groundhog, Staten Island Chuck. Pro tip: Visit Wednesday afternoons for FREE admission.

12. Conservation Carousel

Take a spin on the seasonal Conservation Carousel while you're at the zoo. It features two dozen mostly endangered creatures to ride, including a Komodo dragon, a koala, a rhinoceros, a polar bear, and a Tamandua, all handcrafted out of wood.

13. 9/11 Memorial

Sit and reflect at the Staten Island September 11 Memorial, which offers poignant views of downtown Manhattan's forever-changed skyline.

14. Sandy Ground Historical Society

Learn about the Underground Railroad and the oldest community established by free slaves in North America at the little-known Sandy Ground Historical Society.

15. Conference House Museum

See where John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and other Founding Fathers tried to broker a peace deal and learn other fascinating facts about the Revolutionary War at the historic Conference House Museum.

16. Borough Hall

Stroll through the lobby of the French Renaissance-style Staten Island Borough Hall to check out the striking WPA murals by Frederick Charles Stahr that depict important borough events.

17. Staten Island Ferryhawks

Cheer on the Staten Island Ferryhawks—there are even fireworks shows after select home games.

18. Alice Austen House Museum

Step back in time at the historic Alice Austen House Museum, a Victorian cottage overlooking New York Bay showcasing the work of the self-taught photographer.

19. Our Lady of Mount Carmel Grotto

Marvel at the workmanship of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Grotto, a concrete and stone religious shrine adorned with shells, bicycle reflectors, and other trinkets.

RELATED: 12 Places to Play Mini Golf in NYC for Families

Best things to do on Staten Island with kids: Schmul Park
Romp at the Schmul Park. Photo courtesy of NYC Parks

Best Outdoor Places to Play on Staten Island

20. Schmul Park

Check out the beautiful Schmul Park.

21. Freshkills Park

Once it's completed—projected to be in 2036—the 2,200-acre Freshkills Park will be almost three times as big as Central Park! Some sections are now open and you can check out the progress by going on a FREE tour of the site.

22. South Beach Boardwalk

Stroll, cycle, or jog along the picturesque South Beach Boardwalk.

23. Clove Lakes Park

Explore the 193-acre Clove Lakes Park, and then romp in one of its playgrounds.

24. Walker Park

Play tennis on the public courts at Walker Park, the former grounds of the Staten Island Cricket and Tennis Club.

RELATED: Enjoy Free Family Camping in NYC Parks with Urban Park Rangers

Things to do on Staten Island with kids: Kayak Staten Island with kids
Grab a kayak in the summer months to paddle for FREE at Conference House Park. Photo courtesy of Kayak Staten Island

25. Kayak Staten Island

Hit the water for FREE kayaking with Kayak Staten Island at Conference House Park, full of sand and shade.

26. Ice Skating Rinks

Go gliding in the winter at the WWII Veterans War Memorial Ice Skating Rink or year-round at the indoor Staten Island Skating Pavilion.

27. Beaches

Staten Island's beaches are loads of fun, especially Midland Beach—kids love the Sea Turtle Fountain, which they can play in.

28. High Rock Park

Put on your sneakers and go hiking in High Rock Park—there are six trails to choose from requiring varying skill levels.

29. The Greenbelt

The well-maintained trails at the Greenbelt are perfect for hikers, joggers, and families looking to spend time in the great outdoors.

RELATED: 12 Top NYC Boat Rides with Kids

Historic Richmond Town Staten Island with Kids
Historic Richmond Town is fun to visit year-round, but fall means you can pick a perfect pumpkin right here in NYC. Photo courtesy of Historic Richmond Town

30. Decker Farm

Hop on a hayride and pick out the perfect pumpkin at Historic Richmond Town's Decker Farm.

31. Local Farmers Market

Go locavore at the Saint George Greenmarket.

32. Willowbrook Lake

Grab your rod and go catch-and-release fishing at Willowbrook Lake in the Greenbelt—remember, children under age 16 don't need a license.

33. Archery Lessons

Make like Katniss and learn how to shoot a bow and arrow with periodic FREE archery lessons at Willowbrook Park's range.

34. Clove Lakes Park's Tulip Tree

Stand in the intimidating shadow of Clove Lakes Park's gigantic tulip tree, which stands 111 feet in height and is 300 years old, making it the oldest living thing on the isle.

Best Indoor Play Spaces and Classes on Staten Island for Kids

35. Staten Island MakerSpace

Build STEAM skills with a workshop at the Staten Island MakerSpace.

36. Kids Club SI

The Kids Club SI has a variety of gym, music, and art classes for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

37. Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

Try yoga and meditation sessions at the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art.

38. Story Time

Enjoy story time for toddlers at the Great Kills Library.

39. Regal Movie Theater

Head to UA Staten Island Stadium 16 & RPX to catch the latest blockbusters.

40. Bowling Alleys

Visit one of Staten Island’s family-friendly bowling alleys for a guaranteed fun time.

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Best things to do on Staten Island with Kids: RollerJam USA
Hit the play zone at RollerJam USA. Photo courtesy of RollerJam USA

41. Roller Jam USA

Strap on your skates and head to RollerJam USA, one of the few roller rinks left in NYC. Check out the mega bounce houses, which can be rented for private events, or have your kid's next birthday party

42. Staten Island Fun Park

Play mini golf, try the batting cages, or hit the go-kart track at Staten Island FunPark, which got a complete overhaul in 2017.

43. Indoor Play Spaces

Head to one of Staten Island's many other indoor romping spots, like indoor gyms Kids 'N Shape and Do Me A Favor.

Family-Friendly Restaurants on Staten Island

44. Jimmy Max

Let the kids make their own dinner at Jimmy Max, a local chain that hosts make-your-own pizza sessions for children.

45. Eggers Ice Cream Parlor

This local institution—a Staten Island staple since 1964—serves ice cream, milkshakes, and old-school candies at three Staten Island locations.

46. Bayou

Enjoy a taste of New Orleans in NYC at this cajun-style restaurant that's got options for even the less adventurous eaters in your party.

47. Pier 76

Just a stone's throw away from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, find this pizza-and-craft-beer joint where you can wash down delicious thin-crust pizza with cold frothy beer or root beer.

Best Staten Island Destinations for Art, Music, and Theater for Kids

48. Every Thing Goes Book Cafe & Neighborhood Stage

Grab a book and a light bite at Every Thing Goes Book Cafe & Neighborhood Stage, which also offers FREE Wi-Fi and live performances.

49. Sundog Theater

Catch a family show by this local touring company, which performs throughout the borough.

50. St. George Theatre

See family-friendly shows, concerts, comedy, and more at this historic performing arts house

51. Summer Concerts

Don't miss out on the FREE Summer Concert Series that take place throughout the summer in various parks across Staten Island.

Read all of our posts about exploring Staten Island with kids.

Originally published in 2017.

Places featured in this article:

Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden

Sandy Ground Historical Museum

Staten Island September 11th Memorial

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Grotto

Every Thing Goes Book Cafe and Neighborhood Stage

UA Staten Island Stadium 16 & RPX