Free Things To Do with NYC Kids Anytime During Summer 2016

Best Free Summer Festivals, Concerts and Events for NYC Families

Free Things To Do Anytime in Summer 2016

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Many of the events we highlighted for June, July, August, and September occur on multiple dates, but you can enjoy the activities below all summer (although not necessarily every single day).

See NYC from an elevated angle as you stroll the High Line. FREE

Ride the Staten Island Ferry for that great view of the Statue of Liberty, then stay awhile and explore. FREE

Visit activity-packed Randall’s Island to picnic, play ball, and check out the interactive art exhibition FLOW.16. FREE

Frolic at Coney Island's beach and boardwalk. FREE

Enjoy face time with live critters and other eco-fun at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Environmental Education Center. FREE

Explore all of the attractions on Governors Island, including the amazing new adventure playground, Hammock Grove, a play lawn, climbing structures, and no-cost mini golf. The isle is open daily through September 25. FREE

Play on car-free streets and meet the members of your community at one of NYC's Weekend Walks, which take place in various neighborhoods throughout the summer. FREE

Check out one of NYC's great museums at no cost during free visiting hours. FREE

Catch a movie under the stars—there are no-cost outdoor family flicks almost every day of the week throughout the season. FREE

Go kayaking, canoeing, or rowing on one of NYC's rivers or ponds. FREE

Chill out with books, movies and games at New York Public Library's Children's Center at 42nd Street. FREE

Visit the always-free National Museum of the American Indian. FREE

Enjoy free fishing at various Hudson River Park piers and at Central Park's Harlem Meer. FREE

Splash around at a cool water playground. FREE

Catch free fireworks shows in all five boroughs. FREE

Beat the heat with a romp in a local splash pad or water playground in NYC. FREE 

Go hiking in the Staten Island Greenbelt. FREE

Explore Battery Park parks, from South Cove to Nelson A. Rockefeller Park (aka Penny Park). FREE

Swim at one of NYC's many fine public pools, which stay open through Labor Day. FREE

Hit a NYC beach. All you need is a MetroCard (and your beach gear, of course). FREE

Explore the Children's Library Discovery Center at the Queens Library's Central Branch in Jamaica. FREE

Go bird-watching in the Central Park Ramble. Don't forget to pick up your complimentary Discovery Kit at Belvedere Castle. FREE

Head to South Street Seaport's amazing Imagination Playground or one of the city’s other destination playgrounds. FREE

See what's going on at one of the many NYC Parks Department Nature Centers. Enjoy fun hands-on activities such as tours, crafts, and face time with the animals. FREE

Get active with a no-cost field day kit courtesy of Central Park's North Meadow Recreation Center. FREE

Explore funky outdoor art at Queens' Socrates Sculpture Park, which also hosts no-cost art workshops for kids on Saturdays through September 24. FREE

Play chess or checkers in Central Park. FREE

Try one of these 100-plus classic summer play ideas like catching fireflies and telling ghost stories.

Tour Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park. FREE ($3 suggested donation for adults).

Visit Castle Clinton or one of the other intriguing attractions in Battery Park. FREE

Hit one of NYC's many family-friendly cycling routes. FREE

Go on a DIY tour of a new-to-you area with our in-depth Kids Neighborhood Guides. We recently explored Long Island City's waterfront and found 40-plus things to do at Coney Island and Brighton Beach. But we have lists of the top things to do with kids in many neighborhoods in uptown and downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. FREE

Play tourist in your hometown with our NYC Kids Visitors Guide. FREE

See June & July events I See August events l See September events

Check out our Summer Fun Guide and Event Calendar for additional suggestions.