Bronx

9 Play Fountains Where NYC Kids Can Get Totally Soaked

While all three of my kids love to go for a dip, heading to one of NYC's public pools requires advance planning and me donning a bathing suit. Often, our summer fun is more spontaneous. For those hot summer days when we're out and about or need a last-minute distraction, I keep this list of play fountains in the back of my mind.

A more immersive experience than standard sprinkler parks, these play fountains feature shallow pools of water for wading, plus jets shooting H2O sky high. They're the perfect place for kids to frolic and get completely doused without mommy having to go all in—literally. Best of all? They're all completely FREE.

Here are nine fun play fountains in NYC where kids can get absolutely soaked. Most opened for the season over Memorial Day weekend, though some start flowing earlier if temperatures hit 80 degrees.

Orchard Beach with Kids: Swimming, Playgrounds, Sports, and Sun

Affectionately known as the Bronx Riviera, Orchard Beach sits at the northeastern tip of the Bronx, a stone's throw from City Island and part of the larger Pelham Bay Park. This manmade beach on the Long Island Sound stretches just over a mile and spans 115 acres. Love it or hate it, it's the only beach in the Bronx and actually has much to offer families. If you're considering a visit, we've got tips to know before you go, including the best time to visit and what the beach offers beyond sunbathing and swimming.

Free Outdoor Kids Music Concerts in NYC This Summer

What's better than a spectacular, outdoor, family-friendly, FREE music performance? A whole series of free outdoor concerts for kids! We've already told you about the great concerts in June for NYC kids, and now we're rounding up all the free concerts in July and August, to keep the kids grooving all summer.

There are free concert series for kids in parks, playgrounds, piers and plazas across the five boroughs, so scroll, click, and set reminders with your favorites. With top family bands playing annual series like Madison Square Kids and SummerStage Family Workshops, you're sure to find something the whole family can shake a tail feather to. 

For even more free family fun, see our jam-packed Summer Guide and our roundup of 100 free things to do with kids in NYC this summer.

100+ Free Outdoor Family Movies in July for NYC Kids

New York City overflows with no-cost outdoor movie screenings each summer, with at least one FREE flick nearly every single evening in a park or garden this July. While a few series aim specifically for children, including RiverFlicks for Kids, most series sandwich their family films in between grown-up ones.

But it takes a LOT of time to sort through all the different calendars to weed out the movies for kids, so we've done the work for you. Behold: More than 100 FREE outdoor movies this July, all rated G, PG, or PG-13, and all organized by date.

So pack your picnic, grab a blanket, and head out to one of our picks for the best family-friendly alfresco flicks this month. Need more options? Check out our 100 Free Things To Do with Kids This Summer in NYC to save both your wallet and your sanity this school break. And keep an eye on our calendar, too!

Take the Metro-North Train to Family Fun: 7 Easy Day Trips

A ride on the Metro-North can whisk your NYC family away to close-enough-to-see-in-a-day destinations minus the hassle of a car.

Sure, the city makes for a pretty stellar staycation with more family-friendly events and destinations than can be counted. We've got museumszoos and gardensoutdoor movie screeningsboating, and so much more. Even so, it's nice to make a quick getaway with the kids to slow down a little and enjoy a respite from the city buzz. 

Even better, Metro-North offers discount packages and deals for many nearby attractions in Westchester, the Hudson Valley, and Connecticut.

We've rounded up a few of our favorite stops along the three Metro-North lines with ideas for exploring nearby sights and attractions—all under an hour and a half from Midtown Manhattan. For those already living in Westchester, these little mini family day trips are made extra special with the thrill of a ride on a train.

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 Wednesday, June 27 and running all the way through Wednesday, September 5, 2018, 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 events.

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

Best Free NYC Swimming Pools for Toddlers and Kids

It's summertime and the livin' is easy—beaches, sprinklers, and awesome days at the playground. Oh the hard life of a New York City kid. And the NYC Parks Department is poised to open its outdoor pools on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, the day after public schools let out.

We've rounded up our picks for the best free pools in the city. These are all places we've visited personally, or have come highly recommended by families we know. The city hosts more than 50 outdoor pools this summer, so it will be hard not to find one you like. Time to get swimming!

Pelham Bay Park with Kids: Bike, Hike, Play in the Sand

Pelham Bay Park is the crown jewel of the Bronx. At nearly 3,000 acres, Pelham Bay Park is three times the size of Central Park, and packed with awesome family attractions including Orchard Beach, four playgrounds, miles of paths to bike or hike, tennis courts, mini golf, two nature centers, a horseback riding stable, and a historic 19th-century mansion-turned-museum. How many other NYC parks boast all that? None!

My family and I are lucky enough to live nearby, but even though we've been to Pelham Bay Park countless times, we never tire of visiting. There's so much to do here, you can't possibly cover it all in one day. We've highlighted the best activities and attractions in the park for families in our top 12 ways to enjoy Pelham Bay Park with kids.

Register for Free Summer Swim Lessons for NYC Kids

The New York City Parks Department offers FREE aquatic programs for children under 18 all year round, as well as adults, but you have to apply through an online lottery for each session. The FREE summer swimming lessons are on the horizon, and the lottery for registration for all three sessions opens Monday, June 11, 2018, at 7am.

Read on for the details on where to swim for free, or check our directory of paid kid swim classes, and mommy-and-me swim lessons for babies and toddlers, including those in Brooklyn and in Queens.

Free Outdoor Movies for NYC Kids This Summer: Hundreds of Them!

New York City will screen hundreds of FREE outdoor movies this summer, many of them just for kids and families. The popular Movies Under the Stars series, which debuted with screenings in parks and at playgrounds in all five boroughs in 2016, returns—along with many of our favorite annual series.

A few outdoor movie series, such as RiverFlicks for Kids in the West Village, are aimed specifically at children. But even grown-up series, such as those in Bryant Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park, include a few family-friendly screenings. Movies usually begin when evening falls, between 8 and 8:30pm, but plan to arrive early...the well-known series fill up fast, and many parks offer pre-movie entertainment.

Even if your local park is screening a flick you've watched a dozen or so times at home, it's a totally different experience viewing it in the open air alongside several hundred other fans. It's a thrilling, communal event, and a summer rite of passage for New Yorkers of all ages.

So grab your calendars and start plotting your FREE summer of entertainment now. And be sure to check out the other amazing seasonal activities in our Summer Fun Guide.

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