With the end of the school year fast approaching, many city parents are left scrambling to entertain their kids during the 10-week summer vacation. Let's face it: it's only a matter of time before boredom sets.
Looking for ways to keep your little guys busy, happy and amused all summer long? Check out five of the best kid-centered activities NYC has to offer.
GO KAYAKING—FOR FREE
NYC may not be known for its water sports, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Get the kids out and moving with a kayak trip around the city. The best part? It's absolutely free!
With multiple locations throughout New York, kayaking represents an out-of-the-box way to spend the day as a family. (It's also a great workout.) Easily accessible, kayaking offers up both incredible skyline views and a sense of adventure.
Click here for a list of some of the best kayaking resources in NYC.
CHECK OUT A NEW PARK
If you're a creature of habit, try branching out and visiting a park in a different borough. The novelty of exploring a new outdoor space is enough of a draw. Plus, many of NYC's parks offer different family-centered events and activities.
"Bryant park is a great one that has a ton of fun things to do on the weekends and in the evenings as well," says Nellie Acevedo, mother of two and founder of the popular parenting blog Brooklyn Active Mama. "If you're home with the kids during lunchtime, check out Broadway in Bryant Park. It's a fantastic way to expose your kids to some art and culture."
Brooklyn Bridge Park is another standout. With a huge play area, amazing views, a splash area, and a Shake Shack, it's a definite winner.
Click here to find an awesome NYC park to explore this summer.
WATCH AN OUTDOOR MOVIE AS A FAMILY
Forget the IMAX, outdoor movies are where it's at this summer. And, since they're totally free, they'll give your wallet a break. (Plus, can you think of anything better than cozying up under the stars as a family?)
A variety of city parks will be featuring free outdoor flicks this summer. Frozen, Annie, and Despicable Me 2 are only a few of the titles already on the set list.
Click here for a comprehensive roundup of free outdoor movies scheduled to play this summer.
COOL OFF AT A SPLASH PARK
When the city starts to feel like an oven, getting soaked is heavenly. In the old days, this meant breaking open a fire hydrant. Today, we're blessed with a ton of outdoor "spraygrounds" sprinkled throughout the five boroughs. I'm personally a big fan of the one at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. The Pier 6 Playground WaterLab is another great one complete with cool accessories and water games.
Click here to find your nearest splash park.
HANG WITH THE ANIMALS
Looking for NYC wildlife beyond just the subway rats? The good news is that you don't have to schlep all the way to the Bronx Zoo to get the full experience.
"We really love the Prospect Park Zoo because it's quick, easy to navigate, and not as overwhelming as the Bronx Zoo," says Acevedo. "I love the Bronx Zoo, but you can't get through it in a day."
Visiting one of New York City's aquariums is another creative (and educational) way to pass the time this summer. The one at Coney Island is an ideal option because you can make a day of it and spend the rest of the afternoon on the boardwalk.
Click here to find your nearest zoo or aquarium.