Chelsea Piers with Kids: 10 Things To Do at the Waterfront Complex

Whether you scoot, stroll, run, or ride, a visit to Chelsea Piers is an action-packed adventure full of all-ages entertainment.
Whether you scoot, stroll, run, or ride, a visit to Chelsea Piers is an action-packed adventure full of all-ages entertainment.

When it comes to fun places to play as a family, it's hard to beat Chelsea Piers. This action-packed stretch along Hudson River Park is filled with family-friendly activities. You can easily while a day away here, hitting everything from the destination-worthy Chelsea Waterside Park Playground to teeing off at the Chelsea Piers Golf Center and gliding across the ice at the Sky Rink.

Read on for 10 things to do at this all-seasons entertainment complex, which covers 28 acres from West 17th Street to West 23rd Street, and find more fun things to do nearby on our list of 50 fun things to do in Chelsea with kids.

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1. Hit the Ice at the Chelsea Piers Sky Rink

While NYC is well-known for its collection of outdoor ice skating rinks, the Chelsea Piers Sky Rink offers all-season skating fun. Kids can enroll in lessons in everything from hockey to figure skating. Competitive teams are offered and drop-in skating gives the whole family a chance to hit the ice.

2. Visit the Field House

Situated at Pier 62, The Field House at Chelsea Piers is a year-round athletics facility that caters to everyone from toddlers to adults. Drop-in programming includes everything from time on the rock-climbing wall to stepping up to the plate in the batting cages, or romping in the play space at the toddler gym.

RELATED: 15 Best Places for Family Playtime in NYC

Chelsea Piers with kids gymnastics classes at the Field House
From parkour to gymnastics and more, kids can build sports skills at The Field House at Chelsea Piers. Photo courtesy of the venue

3. Enroll in Classes or a Camp

Looking for a more organized sports experience for your child? The Field House at Chelsea Piers can provide that, too. Its sports camps and classes cater to kids from ages 6 months to 17 years and range from relaxed, recreational programs to competitive travel teams. Come school break or summer, kids can hone their skills in a variety of summer sports camps at Chelsea Piers.

4. Take a Twirl on the Pier 62 Carousel

Wander to the western-most point of Pier 62 to find this beautiful, hand-carved carousel with a Hudson River focus. Thirty-three hand-carved creatures await to whisk you around and around. Most are reproductions of Hudson River Valley wildlife, though my daughter jumped at the chance to ride the rainbow-hued butterfly unicorn, and we've yet to spot one on our upstate travels.

5. Go for Air in the Chelsea Piers Skate Park

Adjacent to the Pier 62 Carousel at Chelsea Piers, find this sprawling skate park, one of our favorite skate parks in NYC. At 15,000 square feet, this FREE skate park offers plenty of space for kids and adults to perfect their tricks.

RELATED: Top Sports Summer Camps in NYC

Chelsea Piers with kids The Golf Club at Chelsea Piers
Hit the driving range at the Chelsea Piers Golf Club in all seasons. Photo courtesy of the club

6. Play for Par at the Chelsea Piers Golf Club

To be clear, Chelsea Piers is big, but not large enough to house a whole golf course, though it's hard to top the view at the driving range at the Chelsea Piers Golf Club. Drop in for a session on the year-round, weather-protected driving range, where you'll practice your drive while overlooking the Hudson. Looking for more than practice? Consider enrolling the kids in golf camps here or sign yourself up for instruction in its state-of-the-art simulators.

7. Hit the Lanes at Bowlero Chelsea Piers

This spot ranks high on our list of the top bowling alleys in NYC thanks to the fact that you can not only hit the lanes, but also the arcade and laser tag while you're there!

8. Scoot, Stroll, or Workout

Thanks to its location in Hudson River Park, Chelsea Piers has plenty of pedestrians- and cycling-friendly paths to explore, so it's a great destination for a walk, run, or scooter session. If you want to burn even more calories, consider signing up for a membership at the state-of-the-art Chelsea Piers Fitness, which offers tons of fitness equipment, a pool, one of NYC's largest rock-climbing walls, a sundeck overlooking the Hudson, a spa-like locker room, and more.

RELATED: 12 Fun Things To Do with Kids in Chelsea Market

Chelsea Piers with kids Chelsea Waterside Park playground
Climb high at the Chelsea Waterside Park's playground with its winding, rainbow pipefish jungle gym, and towering slide.

9. Visit Chelsea Waterside Park

One of our favorite playgrounds in all of NYC, we love the multi-level Chelsea Waterside Par Playground, which received a major makeover in 2018. While construction is still ongoing in the surrounding park, the playground itself is very much open for romping, and on a recent visit, we found it nearly deserted. A temporary entrance on 11th Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets makes it a little tricky to find, but it's worth the search.

10. Take to the Seas

With all the indoor fun at Chelsea Piers, it's easy to forget that there's an entire fleet of boats moored at the Chelsea Piers Marina. The best bets for a family-friendly day on the water include a cruise from City Experiences by Hornblower or Classic Habor Line. Even if you don't want to hit the water yourself, it's fun for little landlubbers to gawk at the yachts, tall ships, and tour boats that stop here.

Family-Friendly Restaurants near Chelsea Piers

There is a selection of restaurants located at Chelsea Piers, including Bluestone Lane at Pier 62. Most of the other dining spots are located within the attractions themselves, including Pizza Piers at the Sky Rink and a snack bar at Bowlero.

If you're searching for something more foodie-inspired, the Chelsea Market is just two blocks south of Chelsea Piers and offers tons of family-friendly eats.

An outpost of City Winery is located at Pier 57 and offers lovely waterfront dining.

RELATED: Kid-Friendly Waterfront Restaurants in NYC for Dinner with a View

Chelsea Piers with kids Pier 57 Rooftop Park
Just south of Chelsea Piers, find the brand new Pier 57 Rooftop Park.

More Fun Things To Do near Chelsea Piers for Families

Want to turn your visit to Chelsea Piers with kids into more of a daycation? Consider visiting one of these nearby locales:

Unless noted, all photos by author

Family Day at the Dairy
The Diary Visitor Center in Central Park - 10:00 AM Pick
Mark Morris Dance Group: Holiday Party on the Plaza
The Plaza at 300 Ashland - 11:00 AM Pick
Zeshan B
David Rubenstein Atrium - 11:00 AM Pick
Holly Jolly Holiday Party
The Hugh - 11:00 AM Pick
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides