New York City

LI Day Trip: Fun Things to Do With Kids on Shelter Island

As if a ferry ride itself isn’t enough excitement for your little ones, there’s plenty more to explore on Shelter Island. Nestled between the two forks on the East End of Long Island, this 27-square-mile island boasts family-friendly activities, spectacular views and a host of wildlife. Just a seven-minute ferry from Greenport or North Haven (near Sag Harbor) will get you there. The north ferry leaves you in Shelter Island Heights while the south ferry drops you off at the opening of Smith Cove. 

Our Hamptons and North Fork Guide is packed with family-friendly activities on Shelter Island and all of the East End of Long Island, including 50 ideas of what to do and where. Drum up ideas for other summer day trips to places like New York City, the Hudson Valley and more. 

Weekend Fun: Powwow, Lincoln Center, Poetry Fest, Sandcastles

It's another jam-packed summer weekend in NYC. The spectacular Thunderbird Mid-Summer Powwow brings over 40 Native nations together for a weekend of dance and celebration, plus there's Lincoln Center Family Day, the High Line July Family Fest, and tons more happening around town.

The 8th Annual New York Poetry Festival on Governors Island takes place Saturday and Sunday: Kids can go on a "poetry scavenger hunt," and teens can register in advance for special day-long workshops with published poets.

On Sunday, head over to the Brooklyn Roots Fest at Lefferts, make stunning sandcastles on Rockaway Beach (or just watch the contest and applaud the results!) or check out the Ballet Folklorico Mexicano's Guelaguetza Festival at Socrates Sculpture Park. Ready to raise your voices to help reunite migrant families? Come to the Beatles Sing-along fundraiser in Park Slope (tickets must be purchased in advance, but 100% of proceeds go to Immigrant Families Together).

Keep an eye on our packed Summer Fun Guide and our NYC Event Calendar for even more fun things to do with the family as we head into August!

Destination Playground: Harlem's Riverbank State Park

If you're looking for an escape from the city that costs nothing more than a MetroCard swipe, hop the bus to Denny Ferrell Riverbank State Park, one of a handful of state parks within New York City limits. Riverbank State Park occupies 28 acres on Manhattan's west side in Harlem, offering beautiful views and tons of options for outdoor fun. An afternoon here feels almost like an out-of-the-city day trip.

Whether you're in the mood for a dip in the pool, a run through the sprinklers, or a twirl around the rink in winter or summer, this complex has it all, plus plenty of reasonably priced classes, sports programs, and even an inexpensive summer camp.

10 Queens Restaurants with Backyards for Kid Friendly Outdoor Dining

Nothing beats outdoor dining in warmer months, especially with kids in tow, and in family-friendly Queens, there are plenty of spots where you can enjoy alfresco eats.

We don't mean a sidewalk table or two—we're talking an actual yard with ample seating and room for families to enjoy a meal. Outdoor dining often provides a more relaxed atmosphere, where kids can be entertained by simple pleasures like a passing butterfly or flowers on a nearby plant, and distant city noises offer cover for little ones who may forget to use their indoor voices.

We've highlighted several NYC eateries with outdoor seating options in the past, as well as exceptional spots where kids and families can eat and play. Now read on to take a closer look at restaurants in Queens with backyards for dining.

New Kidz Fun Palace in Queens Is Hours of Nonstop Indoor Play

In the summer heat, sometimes a playground or park just won’t cut it. Queens has plenty to offer when it comes to places to cool off, whether it be a museum, an indoor playhouse, or a food hall. Corona and Jackson Heights families can add Kidz Fun Palace to that list. Open since January 2018, the cute and fun-packed indoor playspace is a welcome addition to this family-friendly neighborhood.

My son and I found ourselves at the Kidz Fun Palace in Jackson Heights on a blazing June afternoon. Read on to hear about the highlights of our visit.

Best Hudson River Park Playgrounds and Piers for Families

Running 5 miles down Manhattan's west side, the beloved Hudson River Park is the longest waterfront park in the United States (who knew?), packed north to south with parks, playgrounds, and splash pads, and family-friendly activities from bicycling from kayaking. Each pier is unique and worth exploring, and most attractions and activities are open year-round. So, hop on a bike or a scooter and travel along the bike paths to the following piers, our picks for the best of the Hudson River Park for families.

Summer Streets Returns This August: Explore Car-Free NYC with Kids

Summer Streets, easily one of our favorite NYC seasonal festivals, returns for its 11th season of car-free Saturdays on August 4.

The annual Summer Streets event gives New Yorkers three consecutive August Saturdays of car-free summer fun, with a seven-mile stretch of city streets from the Upper East Side to the Brooklyn Bridge closed to cars and open exclusively to pedestrians and bicycles. Sadly, one major change in 2018 is the absence of the giant slide—a big hit of the past few years. But while the slide may not be returning, there is still plenty of fun in store, all aligned with this year's Summer Streets theme, "Finding Joy in Unexpected Moments."

Most of the interactive stations are 100% FREE but some require advance registration. Read on for all the details for this ultimate summer street fest.

Why You Might Enjoy a Disney Cruise to Europe As Much As Your Kids

When my husband suggested a Disney cruise as a way to introduce our kids to Europe, I was doubtful. Our girls had yet to take a plane ride, and we were going to tackle the great cities of Rome, Barcelona, Cannes, Genoa, and others with them? Couldn't we just hit a theme park instead? Ultimately, though, I gave in, even as I imagined dragging a reluctant kindergartener through scenic city streets as she begged to watch "DuckTales" instead. 

50 Fun Things to Do to Cool Off in NYC This Summer with Kids

As summer weather begins to sizzle, there's no denying that the heat and humidity can get under the skin of even the most tropical-weather-loving New Yorker. To beat the heat, my kids (and my inner child) insist any outing includes water, industrial strength air-conditioning, or sweet frozen treats.

While we enjoy hitting our local public pool and running around the sprinklers (oh yes, I get in there, too), lately we've been longing for more diverse destinations. That inspired us to round up our favorite ways to cool off in New York City.

Our list includes a variety of destinations; some are brand-new, while others are old standbys. The list includes outdoor spots like extra-special water playgrounds, awesome pools, and splashy boat rides, and indoor havens such as kid-friendly museums. Many of our suggestions are FREE and we even included exceptional frozen-treat spots, so you can indulge in ice cream and more. So strike while the weather's hot: Here are our top 50 ways to cool off with kids in NYC this summer.


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