New York City

Island Beach State Park: A Haven for Nature-Loving Beachgoers

There's more to the Jersey Shore than rides, salt water taffy, and (let's face it) crowds. Island Beach State Park (IBSP) may well be one of NJ most beautiful and unique beaches, drawing thousands of nature enthusiasts every year.

Though you'd get to Island Beach from the same Garden State Parkway exit as Seaside Heights, the two beaches are worlds apart. Ten-mile long Island Beach is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay and is one of the last few undeveloped barrier beaches on the North Atlantic Coast. From hiking to bike riding, and, of course, swimming, here are some things outdoorsy families will love about Island Beach.

New Mini Golf Course Set to Debut on Governors Island This Weekend

Putt-putt lovers take note: A brand new, 18-hole mini golf course on Governors Island is set to debut Saturday, June 23, just in time for the Figment Art Festival this weekend.

Brought to life by the folks behind Adventures at Governors Island (which also introduced a zip line and climbing wall to Governors), the new miniature golf course is located on the island's western shore, with breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor beyond.

Weekend Fun: Figment Fest, Pride, Free Outdoor Plays & Movies

NYC's beloved family art festival Figment Fest takes over Governors Island this Saturday and Sunday. Don't miss the Jacob Hashimoto exhibit and the Guerilla Sense Sensorium while you're there!

Two terrific versions of Shakespeare's most kid-friendly comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream, hit the stage this summer solstice weekend at Castle Clinton and at Smith Street Stage in Carroll Gardens. Or, celebrate the longest day of the year at the Inti Raymi Festival of the Sun at the National Museum of the American Indian.

June's month-long Pride celebrations culminate in the Manhattan Pride Parade this Sunday, and kids and teens can check out Youth Pride on Saturday, an afternoon of games, performances, and dancing.

Our encyclopedic Free Outdoor Movie guide keeps growing: So far, Coco fans can catch 10 screenings around town! And if you love Jumanji (13 screenings) or Black Panther (11 screenings—and counting), you're in luck, too. This weekend, just a few of the FREE outdoor movies under the stars include the LEGO Ninjago Movie in Queens, Despicable Me 3 in Brooklyn, or Moana in the Bronx.

Heat getting to you? Check out our parent-tested list of great water parks for toddlers or best water playgrounds and sprinklers. And, as always, scroll through our calendar to find ALL the best things happening near you and around NYC.

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn with Kids: Fun Things to Do as a Family

From the quiet, tree-lined brownstone streets to the bustling business districts along Fulton Street and Nostrand Avenues, Bedford-Stuyvesant has something for everyone. Young families in NYC are discovering Bedford-Stuyvesant as one of the best corners of Brooklyn to settle, drawn by its rich cultural history, beautiful architecture, and close-knit community.

Bedford-Stuyvesant is bordered by Flushing Avenue to the north, Atlantic Avenue to the south, Classon Avenue on the west, and Broadway on the east. Most of the neighborhood is easily accessible by the A and C trains, along with several bus lines. But one of the best ways to experience Bed-Stuy, as it is affectionately known, is on foot. You can find yourself in Bed-Stuy with just a short walk from nearby Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, or Williamsburg. And once you have a chance to experience the sights and sounds of this vibrant community, you may never want to leave.

Even as gentrification brings new real estate developments, coffee shops, and wine bars to the neighborhood, Bed-Stuy is committed to maintaining its unique neighborhood identity. From creative classes to free activities to family restaurants, here are some of the best things to do in Bed-Stuy with kids.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Plans to Install a Permanent Outdoor Pool

Brooklyn Bridge Park is getting a new, outdoor public pool—eventually. After years of the public enjoying what was supposed to be a temporary pop-up pool in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the park has launched a fundraising campaign to fund the construction and operation of a permanent pool.

While the new pool won't be in the same spot as the pop-up pool, swimmers will still enjoy Manhattan skyline views from its location in Squibb Park, a portion of Brooklyn Bridge Park just above Pier 1 that sits in Brooklyn Heights at the entrance to the bouncy Squibb Bridge, which connects the promenade to the park. The construction of the new pool is expected to cost between $10-$15 million, according to park organizers. Admission will be FREE, as with the current pool.

Fans of the current pop-up pool may be wondering what this means for swimming in Brooklyn Bridge Park while the new pool is being constructed. The news is mixed.

Best Brooklyn Splash Pads and Water Playgrounds for Summer Fun

When the sticky NYC summer heat sets in, kids need fun things to do to keep cool (bonus points if the kiddos also get a chance to burn off some energy). There’s no better solution than water playgrounds—get cool in the water, dry off to hit the other playground equipment, rinse and repeat. All afternoon.

And best of all, hitting a water playground is a FREE summer activity you can do every day. We’ve rounded up the best water features and playgrounds around Brooklyn so that you and the little ones can try a new place to spray and play every day of the week. 

It's a long summer! Find more ways to keep cool with our NYC Beaches, Pools, and Water Parks Guide, which includes splash pads in other boroughs too!

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.

Best Water Parks for Toddlers Near NYC

When temperatures soar, there's always New York's FREE neighborhood pools or sprinklers for a quick cool down with the kids, but on particularly hot summer days, nothing beats the heat like a splashing out on a trip to a water park near NYC

Families with toddlers in tow aren't looking for big slides or big waves, though, so we've rounded up our top splash pads for the preschool set. Prepare to find toddler-sized attractions, along with perks such as nursing stations and FREE mini life jackets—and don't worry, there's plenty of big-kid fun to go around, too. So read on for details on 11 parks within two hours of New York City that cater to the littlest water explorers.

Check out our NYC Beaches, Pools, and Water Fun Guide for more family-friendly ideas on how to cool down in the city.

Cabo with Kids! All Inclusive Decadence at Mexico's Grand Velas Resort Los Cabos

Sometimes as parents we're happy to plan the family vacation around theme parks and cartoon characters; other times we want to be pampered like a real princess, not a Disney princess. A vacation that provides grown-up decadence and luxury with fun and entertainment for kids (including time supervised by someone else)—that is the ultimate family getaway. And that is what we found in Los Cabos at Grand Velas' new seaside resort.

Best Beaches Near NYC for a Summer Family Staycation

Summertime means beach time, but while there are lots of beaches near and even in NYC, some are more family-friendly than others. After packing up your gear and schlepping the kids by car, train, bus, or ferry, the last thing you want to find out is that your chosen beach has no bathroom or that bathing suits are optional. Skip the guesswork with our roundup of eight easy-to-reach beaches for NYC families, including detailed info on attractions, food, bathrooms, and hidden costs. Most are within two hours of Manhattan by car and are easily accessible via public transportation as well, so you can plot a great staycation for your family.

Find more beach fun in our Beaches, Pools, and Water Playgrounds Guide, or check out these summer day trip ideas.

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