With temperatures rising, finding family activities that will keep children cool and busy can be a challenge. Here are a few options of affordable activities where you can take your children to escape the heat:
Venture to Coney Island for a fun-filled day. Rides from Luna Park’s Sling Shot, which throws people 150 feet into the air, to the beloved Cyclone rollercoaster are all along the shores of the Coney Island beach. New rides this summer include Magic Bikes and Water Mania, where each passenger sits in front of a water blaster. Last but not least, the newly revitalized historic B&B Carousel boasts 50 revolving, hand-carved horses.
Kids and parents can explore the world of music through dancing, reading, playing instruments and singing outside through ABC Do-Re-Me. The music and movement program is for young children from newborn to 6 years old, and it offers summer classes in parks across the city, from Brooklyn Heights to the Upper West Side. Programs include “Musical Stories,” featuring belly buttons and hippos.
Expand your yoga practice to your children with the Lil Yogi's summer options, offered around Central Park through August. Geared toward kids ages two to teen, children and yoga enthusiasts can interact and play while learning the fundamentals of the meditative exercise. Options include single class, five-class pack and a 10-class pack.
If yoga is not your jam, what about seeing a shark's jawbone or an Egyptian scarab? Kids can find these along with almost 30, 000 more items in the permanent collection at the Brooklyn Children's Museum, the world's oldest museum for kids founded in 1899. Children can also step along with an August African drums and dance performance or enjoy the Free Friday Family Jam series. The museum is opening Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
And if your kids are adventure lovers, how about trying free kayaking in the Hudson River? Volunteers from the Downtown Boathouse train families with brief boating instruction and provide all necessary safety and first aid equipment – even sunblock. Kayaking is until October at each of four locations—Pier 96, Pier 40, 72nd Street and Governors Island.
Instead of hiding in the air conditioning waiting for the heat wave to snap, locals can take advantage of the CityParks Tennis through free tennis lessons in more than 36 parks in all five boroughs. Organizers promise the program is a fitness and confidence builder for children ages six to 16 of all skill levels. Aside from beginner lessons, experienced juniors can try out tournaments and special events.
Want that iconic photo of your child holding a fish on a line? Catch-and-release fishing is available at the Harlem Meer in the northeastern corner of Central Park. The program runs from until Oct. 5. Learn to be a professional angler in a leisurely summer afternoon fishing for largemouth bass, pumpkinseed sunfish and bluegill sunfish. Fishing poles are free, and instruction and bait are provided. Recommended for children ages 5 to 15 and accompanying adults.