June has arrived, and with it sunshine, tourists, and plenty of heat. The kids are off school now, which means plenty of free time for family activities. Having a hard time finding new ideas to entertain your little ones? Here is a short sample of 10 things you can do with your kids this summer in New York City!
1. Cool Down at the Beach
The heat can be unbearable in the city, and as New York gets really humid and hot in the summer, it is the best time of the year to take your children to Coney Island or Rockaway Beach. Both have now been renovated and opened after the massive storm ravages, making them exciting, and soon to be crowded, summer destinations. If you’re there, don’t forget to take part in the mermaid parade on June 22nd or the sand-sculpting contest on Saturday Aug 17th. For an exciting excursion for the older kids, take a ride on the Cyclone!
2. Escape the Heat at a New York City Museum
If you and your family need to escape the oppressive summer heat, head to one of the many museums New York offers. Although, with the plethora of options available to you, it can be hard to choose which one. Take a look at the short guide we have suggested:
▪ For the little biologist – The Natural History Museum and its many dinosaurs.
▪ For the future artist – The Children’s Museum of the Arts, that even has an Open Arts Studio from Wednesdays through Sundays.
▪ For the passionate engineer – 4 floors of technology at the Sony Wonder Technology Lab.
▪ For the very little one – the Children’s Museum of Manhattan or the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum that have more of a “play and learn” approach to keep their attention while providing valuable information.
3. Outdoor Movie
If you’re looking for a great evening getaway, grab a blanket and spread out under the starry sky at a family movie screening. Every Friday from July 12 through August 23 a different film will be featured for you and your family to enjoy! More information, visit RiverFlicks for Kids, Pier 46.
4. Fairytales from Around the World
New York offers plenty of free outdoor storytelling events in the summer. Our favorite by far is Storytelling at the statue of Hans Christian Andersen (Conservatory Water, Central Park, enter at Fifth Ave and 74th St.) that runs from June through September, every Saturday starting at 11 am, rain or shine.
5. A Sporting Good Time
On weekends, take your children on a bike ride around Governors Island, which is only a seven-minute ferry ride away from lower Manhattan! If you are trying to escape from the New York craziness, this island is the place to be, as cars and other motorized vehicles are not permitted. You’re rewarded for making the trip with amazing views of the Harbour, a gigantic, beautiful park and a historic district renowned for its forts! Make a day of it and tour Governor’s island with your family.
6. Family Reunion
Gather for a family picnic in Central Park or Prospect Park! Don’t forget the blanket, snacks, and some sunscreen as the sun can be unrelenting on a bright summer day. For a dose of culture, don’t forget to visit the Natural History Museum, conveniently located by Central Park. Or try the Brooklyn Museum, located at Prospect Park’s main exit.
7. Kayak the Hudson River
Looking for affordable, exciting water sports? Until October, the Downtown Boathouse gives kids the opportunity to paddle on the Hudson River. And even better? It’s totally free!
8. Go Fishing
If you’re an avid angler, or just looking for a fun family excursion, there are plenty of options to go fishing in every borough! Check out Orchard Beach (Bronx), Prospect Park lake (Brooklyn), Harlem Meer (Manhattan), Kissena Lake (Queens) and Great Kills (Staten Island). This year, the ‘Free Fishing Days’ will take place on the 29th and 30th of June, which means free fishing everywhere in New York with no license required! So grab your bait and head to the waters this summer for fishing in NYC.
9. The City’s Flora and Fauna
The Brooklyn Botanical garden offers you and your children the chance to explore nature, in an urban setting. Enjoy the rich diversity they have to offer in exotic plants and familiar flowers. Many tours and discovery workshops are offered in the summer! While it is closed on Mondays, from Tuesday-Sunday it is free for members and kids under 12! Visit http://www.bbg.org/visit/hours for more specific information on hours and admission.
10. Musical Excursions
Throughout the summer, several free music festivals take place in New York City, and many are created specifically for your kids! Among others in the amazing lineup this year, there is Madison Square Kids (every Tuesdays and Thursdays), Summer in the Square Festival (Thursdays) and the Carroll Park Concert Series in August for all the little Brooklynites out there! This is a great way to enjoy free entertainment with your kids this summer.
We hope at least one of these ideas strikes your fancy this summer, and the whole Le Studio NYC crew wishes you a very happy, healthy summer, whether working or relaxing! Do not hesitate to comment on this post to give us feedback on our suggestions!
–Lea of Le Studio NYC
Our professional family portrait studio has some great ideas to make this summer with your family the best one yet!
If you’re interested in having a portrait of your children taken, we encourage you to read our about page. You can also see some of Lea’s professional children’s portrait work. Don’t forget to stay in touch with us on Flickr and Facebook.