Bronx Park might not be the Boogie Down borough's largest park (that honor goes to Pelham Bay Park), but we think it probably has more fun kid stuff to do per square foot than any other. Bronx Park boasts 700-plus acres and features several of the city's top family attractions, including the Bronx Zoo, New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx River, and plenty of playgrounds, green space, and bike paths to keep kids entertained. The park is accessible by car or public transit, making it an ideal location for a day trip or afternoon outing, especially in the summer but really, anytime. Visitors might be surprised by just how diverse Bronx Park is, but locals know it's truly a hidden gem. Read on for the best things to do in Bronx Park with kids.
Did you know the Bronx Zoo is the largest urban zoo in the United States? Photo by the author.
Head to the Bronx Zoo
Located at the southern end of Bronx Park, the Bronx Zoo is the nation's largest urban zoo. Explore the Children's Zoo, hop on the Bug Carousel, ride the Wild Asia Monorail, and learn about countless animal habitats while getting up close and personal with beautiful animals, including butterflies in the seasonal exhibit. Older kids will love the Treetop Zipline Adventure, while dino lovers won't want to miss the Dinosaur Safari exhibit running through November.
Go for a Hike or Bike Ride
Meander along the picturesque trails (or zip through on your bike or inline skates), paved pathways, and across lovely footbridges as you make your way between playgrounds. The East Coast Greenway also travels through Bronx Park.
Hit the Skate Park
Grab your skateboard, bike, or inline skates to test out new tricks at this 6,000-square-foot skate park, which features a quarter pipe, skate pyramid, bank ramps with ledges, and grind rails. Located at Bronx Park East between Britton Street and Allerton Avenue, Bronx Skate Park is unsupervised, but according to the park's website a signed liability waiver is required, as are helmets, knee and elbow pads, and wrist guards for anyone younger than 18.
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Discover hidden lounge spots and new flora at the Everett Children's Garden at New York Botanical Garden. Photo by Shira Kronzon.
Enjoy New York Botanical Garden
The New York Botanical Garden, adjacent to the Bronx Zoo, is one of my favorite places to visit. The lush scenery, tranquil pathways, and stunning gardens and exhibits make you feel miles from the concrete jungle. Plus, the Everett Children's Adventure Garden features climbing boulders, a greenery maze, and lots of hands-on activities for kids.
Bronx Park boasts multiple ball fields, including two soccer fields, three baseball diamonds, basketball courts, tennis courts, and even handball and bocce ball courts.
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Enjoy free rowing sessions from Rocking the Boat. Photo courtesy of Rocking the Boat.
Take to the Water
If you have your own kayak or canoe, Bronx Park features two launch sites—one at Shoelace Park on the northeastern end of the park, and another at Kazimiroff Boulevard at Bronx River Parkway. Don't have your own kayak? Rocking the Boat, a youth development program for teens, offers FREE community rowing sessions along the Bronx River.
Don't Forget the Playgrounds
With so much to do in Bronx Park, we almost forgot to mention that it features seven playgrounds—several with spray showers.
Bronx Park also boasts Wi-Fi hotspots, nearby food trucks, and dog-friendly areas (though no dedicated dog run). Restrooms are located in many playgrounds, as well as in the Botanical Garden and Bronx Zoo.
Top image: New York Botanical Garden. Photo by Shira Kronzon.
A version of this post was published in 2016; it has been updated for 2019.