Staten Island with Kids: Top 50 Things to Do for Families

Snug Harbor, Staten Island Children's Museum, Staten Island Beaches, Staten Island Yankees, St. George Theatre, 5050 Skatepark, Clove Lakes Park, Staten Island Greenbelt, Carousel for All Children

When you ask most New Yorkers what they know about Staten Island, they name-check the Staten Island Ferry and then just stare blankly. But as a mom raising her two sons in NYC's "forgotten borough," I know firsthand how enriching and fun Staten Island can be for families, both residents and visitors.

St. George, where you disembark from the ferry, is probably the neighborhood that feels most like the rest of NYC, in large part because it offers awesome views of the downtown Manhattan skyline to remind you of where you are. Many borough attractions are located here, including the Minor League Staten Island Yankees stadium, the stunning St. George Theatre, the sobering Staten Island September 11 Memorial, the Staten Island Museum, plus lots of restaurants, quaint Victorian townhouses and the in-development 630-foot-tall observation wheel.

But go further inland and it's not just all malls and suburban sprawl. With almost 12,300 acres of protected parkland, Staten Island is rightly known as the greenest borough and boasts some of the most beautiful parks in the city like the Greenbelt, which is home to living history museum, Historic Richmond Town, and the Carousel for All Children. We also have a lot of drop-in indoor play spaces, including one of NYC's few remaining roller rinks, and even a trampoline park. And there are lots of culture spots, too, like the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden and small, esoteric museums located in lovely historic homes like the Alice Austen House. While a car is helpful in terms of getting around, we actually do have public transportation.

Check out the top 50 things to do in the borough with kids.

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1. 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.


Get geeky at the science festival at Staten Island Children's Museum. Photo courtesy of the museum

2. Explore the interactive Staten Island Children’s Museum, also located in Snug Harbor, which offers FREE admission on school holidays during the academic year.

3. Take a spin on the Victorian Carousel for All Children in the Greenbelt's Willowbrook Park, which lives up to its name by accommodating children with physical disabilities.

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

5. Get out some wiggles at Fly High trampoline park where kids can hit the free-bounce area, basketball dunk zones, foam pits, dodgeball, and more.

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

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

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

9. Rent a rowboat in the 193-acre Clove Lakes Park and then romp in one of the playgrounds.

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

RELATED: NYC Day Trips and Weekend Getaways Guide


Cheer on the Staten Island Yankees. Photo courtesy of the team

11. Cheer on the Staten Island Yankees—there are even fireworks after select home games.

12. Explore hidden passageways and tunnels at the 226-acre historic military installation Fort Wadsworth, you can even camp out overnight.

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

14. Catch a family show by local touring company Sundog Theatre, which performs throughout the borough.


Romp at the renovated Schmul Park. Photo courtesy of NYC Parks

15. Check out the beautifully renovated Schmul Park, which will serve as an entrance to the in-development 2,200-acre Freshkills Park.

16. Speaking of Freshkills Park, once it's completed (many decades from now) it will be almost three times as big as Central Park! You can check out the progress by going on a FREE tour of the site.

17. Staten Island's beaches are loads of fun, especially Midland Beach—kids love the Sea Turtle Fountain, which they can actually play in, and it's home to Back To the Beach, the annual summer festival featuring live music, rides, and games, and fireworks.

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

19. Rainy day? Get your paintball and laser tag on at Indoor Extreme Sports.

20. 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.

21. Try tai chi and meditation sessions at the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art.

22. If you have builders and Lego-lovers in your family, check out Bricks 4 Kidz, a creative and inviting space.

23. 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.

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


Climb the walls at the brand-new Rock 'Em, Not Sock 'Em. Photo courtesy of the gym

25. Come for the rock climbing, stay for the positive, no-bullying messages at Rock 'Em, Not Sock 'Em.

26. Get schooled in Italian-American culture at the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum, which hosts "haunted" tours around Halloween-time since the mansion is rumored to have ghosts.

27. Take a spin on the newish Conservation Carousel at the Staten Island Zoo, which 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.

28. Speaking of the Staten Island Zoo, it is home to monkeys, reptiles, birds and famous weather predicting groundhog Staten Island Chuck—visit on Wednesday afternoons after 2pm for FREE admission.

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

RELATED: Summer Fun Guide: NYC Festivals, Day Trips, Free Fun, Pools and Parks


Learn to skate at the indoor 5050. Photo courtesy of the skatepark

30. Pop a wheelie at 5050 Skatepark, NYC's only indoor skatepark where you can skateboard, scooter or BMX bike.

31. Head to UA Staten Island Stadium 16 & RPX for $1 summer flicks.

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

RELATED: Free Outdoor Kids Music Concert Series in NYC This Summer


Grab a kayak in the summer months to paddle for FREE at Conference House Park. Photo courtesy of Kayak Staten Island

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

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

35. Stand in the intimidating shadow of Clove Lakes Park's gigantic tulip tree, which stands 119-feet in height and is 300-years-old, making it the oldest living thing on the isle.

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

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

38. See a spirited revival put on by students in the Wagner College Theatre program—there's at least one family-friendly musical every season.

39. Strap on your skates and head to RollerJam USA, one of the few roller rinks left in NYC. Go on Friday nights for FREE pizza, or check out the mega bounce houses, which can be rented for private events.

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

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

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

43. Or, if it's rainy or cold, head to one of Staten Island's many inside romping spots with drop-in hours like indoor playground Chelsea Playground and indoor gyms Kids 'N Shape and Kidz Rock.

44. Let the kids make their own dinner at Jimmy Max, a local chain that hosts weekly make your own pizza nights for children that are FREE with the purchase of an adult meal.

45. Take a horseback riding lesson or hop on a pony at Get Over It and Ride.

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


The dragons of the St. George Day Festival. Photo courtesy of the festival

47. Celebrate Earth Day at the annual springtime St. George Day Festival featuring live performances, eco crafts, puppet shows and a 35-foot puppet dragon parade.

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

49. Go locavore at the Saint George Greenmarket—there's a kids' area where they can color while you shop.

50. Snap pics of Lady Liberty while riding the FREE Staten Island Ferry, the best and least expensive way to get to the isle.

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

Top photo: Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. Photo by Julienne Schaer/courtesy of the park

Conference House
298 Satterlee Street
10307 Staten Island , NY 40° 30' 8.6868" N, 74° 15' 5.346" W
New York
RollerJam USA
236 Richmond Valley Road
10309 Staten Island , NY 40° 31' 16.032" N, 74° 14' 12.1596" W
New York
Historic Richmond Town
441 Clarke Avenue
10306 Staten Island , NY 40° 34' 12.6408" N, 74° 8' 42.6192" W
New York
Alice Austen House Museum
2 Hylan Boulevard
10305 Staten Island , NY 40° 36' 55.7424" N, 74° 3' 48.096" W
New York
Willowbrook Park
1 Eton Place
10314 Staten Island , NY 40° 36' 16.6356" N, 74° 9' 44.1288" W
New York
South Beach
Father Capodanno Blvd & Seaview Ave
10305 ‎ Staten Island , NY 40° 34' 45.0084" N, 74° 4' 39.9864" W
New York
Staten Island Museum
75 Stuyvesant Place
10301 Staten Island , NY 40° 38' 39.336" N, 74° 4' 40.5192" W
New York
Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
338 Lighthouse Avenue
10306 Staten Island , NY 40° 34' 35.1336" N, 74° 8' 17.5344" W
New York
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
1000 Richmond Terrace
10301 Staten Island , NY 40° 38' 37.77" N, 74° 6' 6.9372" W
New York
Clove Lakes Park
1150 Clove Road
10301 Staten Island , NY 40° 37' 4.5084" N, 74° 6' 19.9836" W
New York
Sandy Ground Historical Museum
1538 Woodrow Road
10309 Staten Island , NY 40° 32' 28.3308" N, 74° 12' 59.4756" W
New York
Staten Island Yankees
75 Richmond Terrace
10301 Staten Island , NY 40° 38' 41.388" N, 74° 4' 36.6816" W
New York
Fort Wadsworth
210 New York Avenue
10305 Staten Island , NY 40° 36' 12.9312" N, 74° 3' 31.7124" W
New York
Sundog Theatre
370 St. Marks Place
10301 Staten Island , NY 40° 38' 26.2788" N, 74° 4' 39.648" W
New York
Schmul Park
Wild Avenue and Pearson Street
10314 Staten Island , NY 40° 35' 26.2824" N, 74° 11' 18.33" W
New York
Midland Beach
Father Capodanno Blvd & Lincoln Ave
10306 ‎ Staten Island , NY 40° 34' 11.9136" N, 74° 5' 28.0968" W
New York
High Rock Park
Nevada Ave & Sloane Ave
10306 Staten Island , NY 40° 34' 57.0648" N, 74° 7' 34.9608" W
New York
Latourette Park
Forest Hill Rd & Richmond Hill Rd
10306 Staten Island , NY 40° 34' 50.2104" N, 74° 9' 9.0972" W
New York
St. George Theatre
35 Hyatt Street
10301 Staten Island , NY 40° 38' 31.1136" N, 74° 4' 39.0576" W
New York
Staten Island Zoo
614 Broadway
10310 Staten Island , NY 40° 37' 31.0368" N, 74° 6' 54.072" W
New York
Staten Island September 11th Memorial
1 Bank Street
10301 Staten Island , NY 40° 38' 49.4772" N, 74° 5' 21.0984" W
New York
5050 Skatepark
354 Front Street
10304 Staten Island , NY 40° 37' 41.268" N, 74° 4' 28.1928" W
New York
Blue Heron Park Nature Center
222 Poillon Avenue
10312 Staten Island , NY 40° 31' 51.168" N, 74° 10' 40.1196" W
New York
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Grotto
36 Amity Street
10305 Staten Island , NY 40° 36' 44.3448" N, 74° 4' 31.1088" W
New York
Staten Island Borough
10 Richmond Terrace
10301 Staten Island , NY 40° 38' 33.5832" N, 74° 4' 32.0772" W
New York
Walker Park
Davis Ave & Delafield Pl
10310 Staten Island , NY 40° 38' 37.7592" N, 74° 6' 38.3652" W
New York
Wagner College
1 Campus Road
10301 Staten Island , NY 40° 36' 52.5384" N, 74° 5' 27.1356" W
New York
Seaside Wildlife Nature Park
Nelson Ave & Tennyson Dr
10308 Staten Island , NY 40° 32' 25.8144" N, 74° 8' 36.6972" W
New York
Silver Lake Park
Forest Ave & Silver Lake Park Rd
10301 Staten Island , NY 40° 37' 54.2028" N, 74° 5' 45.3156" W
New York
Staten Island FunPark
215 Schmidts Lane
10314 Staten Island , NY 40° 36' 34.2072" N, 74° 7' 11.1072" W
New York
Chelsea Playground
400 Chelsea Road
10314 Staten Island , NY 40° 36' 26.7804" N, 74° 11' 18.9276" W
New York
Fun Station USA
3555 Victory Boulevard
10314 Staten Island , NY 40° 36' 4.3344" N, 74° 10' 34.572" W
New York
Kids 'N Shape
153 Main Street
10307 Staten Island , NY 40° 30' 39.9456" N, 74° 14' 55.806" W
New York
Kidz Rock
8 Johnson Street
10309 Staten Island , NY 40° 32' 44.8584" N, 74° 13' 50.9196" W
New York
Jimmy Max
280 Watchogue Road
10314 Staten Island , NY 40° 36' 57.6756" N, 74° 8' 19.2192" W
New York
Get Over It and Ride
2498 Veterans Road
10309 Staten Island , NY 40° 31' 58.7064" N, 74° 13' 29.1612" W
New York
Every Thing Goes Book Cafe and Neighborhood Stage
208 Bay Street
10301 Staten Island , NY 40° 38' 13.2504" N, 74° 4' 35.4288" W
New York
St. George Day Festival
Tompkinsville Square
10301 Staten Island , NY 40° 36' 38.0664" N, 74° 6' 14.1768" W
New York
Staten Island Ferry
1 Bay Street
10301 Staten Island , NY 40° 38' 36.5172" N, 74° 4' 21.036" W
New York
Staten Island Skating Pavilion
3080 Arthur Kill Road
10309 Staten Island , NY 40° 32' 37.9788" N, 74° 13' 56.5608" W
New York
UA Staten Island Stadium 16 & RPX
2474 Forest Avenue
Staten Island , NY 40° 37' 33.3228" N, 74° 10' 22.1988" W
New York
Fly High Indoor Trampoline Park
501 Industry Rd
Staten Island , NY 40° 36' 11.7576" N, 74° 11' 26.718" W
New York
Indoor Extreme Sports
501 Industry Rd
10314 Staten Island , NY 40° 36' 7.146" N, 74° 11' 30.57" W
New York
Bricks 4 Kidz
72 Sharrott Ave
10309 Staten Island , NY 40° 31' 19.992" N, 74° 12' 49.5432" W
New York
Rock 'Em Not Sock 'Em
3801 Victory Blvd
10314 Staten Island , NY 40° 35' 48.8616" N, 74° 10' 56.2944" W
New York