Hey! It’s hot outside and you’ve already hit up almost every playground imaginable to keep the kids entertained. Well, I am with you! Here is a list of some of our favorite places to visit in New York City during the Summer months (besides your local park or playground). I have put together a list of what to do with kids in NYC in Summer. It includes a few downtown options and places easily traveled from downtown if you are a downtown Momma like me or just want to venture down! Also, this list is super helpful if you are a traveling Momma and haven’t been to NYC with kids and are looking for some fun ideas on what to do to have fun and make memories while here on vacay!
Governors Island (Open Fridays and Weekends Only)- Looking to take a day trip to escape the city. Enjoy bike rentals, large parks, mini golf, small water area for kids to play (or you to dip your toes on a hot day) food trucks, large slides, rock wall, zip lining. Warning, not a lot of shade. Bike rentals book up early (especially for the family bikes (aka like the ones you rent near the beach). Island Oyster it’s kid friendly and has ping pong, fun food and great view.
Seaglass Carousel- Beautiful and magical. This sea life structure is open 10am to 10pm. So stop by before lunch at Pier A. Note that All children under 42 inches tall must ride on an adult’s lap, with only one child per lap. Both children and accompanying parents must have a ticket. Children under 12 months old may ride for free.
MOI Museum of Illusions - A must see this summer! Its been all over Instagram and I can't wait to take the kids myself. Just waiting for all of them to be home from camp so we can experience it together! This is all about the full of optic illusions. Bring your camera because its a perfect place to take some fun photos.
Dumbo (Carousel, Ice Cream and Playgrounds) Boat from lower Manhattan or accessible via subway. But if you ask me taking the boat is part of the fun! Get tickets at pier 11 and remember the schedule for your return trip! Once in Dumbo you can pretty much spend the entire day. There is the famous pizza place, Grimaldis, the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, Jane’s Carousel (a must) and some really fun parks/playgrounds that you can walk to. No need to pack food (ok, maybe snacks) because this is a foodie area! Tons of great restaunts and indoor shopping at Empire Stores.
Outdoor Movie at the Seaport Pier 17 -Plan ahead with reserving your seat online. Click here and getting there early to secure a good spot. Bring comfy blankets. Even bring toys to play with kids on the mat while you wait for movie to start. Starts very late… after the sun goes down. So bring pillows if kids will want to lay down! Popcorn and candy is a must to bring a mom bag full of snacks!
Rockaway Beach (Boat from Lower Manhattan) Pack food!- This is a fun day trip if you want to head to the beach but don't want to sit in traffic. Make sure to get in line early and get tickets before boarding. This boat fills up! There is light food and drinks on the boat but not a lot when you arrive in Rockaway. There are public restrooms and the beach and that is about it! I noticed one taco stand that was very crowded so if you really need to grab something to eat there is always that one place. The boat ride is fun but plan for at least 40-45 min ride. Also, its about a 5-10 min walk to the beach from the boat. There are free shuttles but I found it easier to just walk with my stroller, child and giant beach bag. I am a New Yorker so walking is sometimes easier.
Trolls experience - Looking to do something inside on those long hot days of summer? Well, then they will love this fun interactive experience. It’s loud, energetic and has face painting, characters from the Troll Movie, a fun gift shop and sweet snack bar! Make memories and take pictures with the kids dressed up as some of their favorite Troll characters.
Pips Island - NO PHOTOS ALLOWED! Well at least not till the very end! I don't want to spoil this experience because it's really so unique and fun for everyone! But plan to enter Pip's Island and go on a mission with a group. Purchase tickets ahead of time and make sure you go on a full tummy. There is no food available and not allowed during the experience.
Picnic in Central Park- Pack up a large insulated bag with drinks and snacks and head over to Central Park. Wear comfy shoes because there will be a lot of walking and running around! Also, bring a ball, sunblock and blanket. You can relax and spend the day here. The park is also filled with tons of other activities if you are looking for more adventure. There is of course the famous Central Park Zoo (watch for long lines and crowds by buying tickets online ahead of time) Also, there are many playgrounds and don't forget to bring cash to get those iconic charcoal drawings done! This is even fun for locals... Who said you can't be a tourist in your own city! The kids will love this. Also, if the kids get board head over to Victorian Gardens a full amusement park right in Central Park!
The NY Aquarium and Coney Island Beach- Accessible via subway or Uber (I have done both and if you an afford to take the uber (appx $40 on weekday) than go for it! The subway from lower Manhattan is about an hour. The aquarium has a new shark exhibit which is a must see! Then bring your suits and head to the beach! There are tons of place to get food and drinks plus Coney Island has the boardwalk and games/rides.