AWNY Mums & Dads July update: Summer School Holiday Activities

Written by Anita Davison

With school holidays upon us thought I would share with you a list of 20 things you can do to entertain the kids in the city this summer. Be sure to share your experiences on the FB page, give your feedback and reviews on events you’ve discovered, loved, and even those that may not have been worth the effort.

If you’re like me, I was ready for September a mere two weeks into the holidays. I have now started working through the list below and I’m enjoying the time much more; an entertained 4 year old is a happy 4 year old! Click the title of each to find out more details.

1. Hudson Riverflicks Family Fridays – There’s something for the whole family on Friday nights in Hudson River Park. Hudson RiverFlicks’ Family Fridays returns to Hudson River Park’s Pier 46 this summer and features recent favorites and many classics. Films are rated PG. Movies begin at dusk (generally around 8:30pm). Free popcorn.

2. Wild Wednesdays at the Highline – I love walking the Highline, especially at this time of the year when it becomes an adventure playground for kids. Wild Wednesdays run in July and August and kids 4+ can learn about the animals and plants that call the Highline home, how they create their homes, find food, and help our city environment.

3. Brooklyn Botanical Gardens – The BBG’s Discovery Garden is now open and offering some great events for kids of all ages. There’s the Family Discovery Weekend events, First Discoveries for Toddlers (2-4), Kids Discovery Stations and more.

4. NYC Public Pools – Public outdoor pools officially opened on June 27, so take the kids for a paddle or enroll in free swimming lessons for all ages. Its a great way to keep cool during the hotter months!

5. Brooklyn Children’s Museum – Open Tuesdays – Sundays, and offering ‘free hours’ every Thursday from 2-5pm (until August 27), this is a great option when trying to escape the heat. Check out the events calendar for info on all the fun events on offer for toddlers through to teens.

6. Urban Farm Exploration Days, Randall’s Island – Every Saturday (until September 26), take the kids to explore and learn about farming. They can hang out with chickens, venture through the grown fruits and veggies and learn about rice paddies on a self guided tour.

7. Summer in the Square – there are over 45 events happening for kids at Summer in the Square presented by the Union Square Partnership. Every Thursday they can participate in events such as Yoga Storytime, Swedish Cottage marionette shows, PopFit Kids FUNctional Fitness programs, Live music performances reading, crafts and more.

8. Revisit Alice in Wonderland – celebrate 150 years of Alice in Wonderland at the Morgan Library & Museum. Ages 4+

9. Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks – Celebrate the 4th of July with a bang!

10. Free Summer Musical Theatre in the West Village – This summer Theatreworks will present Skippyjon Jones Snow What (& the 7 Chihuahuas). 

11. Frolic! at CMOM – The Children’s Museum of Manhattan’s new interactive rock ‘n’ roll-themed pop-up play space dedicated to children 0 – 5 years old is now open. Throw your hands up in the air as you sing, dance and play in this pint-sized rockers’ dream.

12. Broadway in Bryant Park – Check out some Broadway performances, then take a spin on the Carousel – a perfect day out! Beginning July 11.

13. Check out this list of 20 of the best water playgrounds in NYC.

14. Catch and Release Fishing in Harlem Meer – FREE

15. Kids concerts at Madison Square Park – free interactive concerts on the Farragut Lawn every Thursday morning from May 28-July 30 at 10:30am (lawn opens at 10am)

16. Coney Island – Ride the big wheel, eat a hot dog and get some sand between your toes. A day at Coney Island has so much to offer!

17. Ride a Carousel – this list is the pick of the bunch

18. Visit a zoo – there are 5 zoos and an aquarium in NY and if you’re a member of one, you get to see them all!

19. Central Park – I bet you haven’t explored every corner of central park! Take a different path next time you visit, explore the top half, or check out the park’s website to see all the amazing things it has to offer and plan a great day out.

20. Explore a new area – sometimes the easiest activity is just to pick a neighborhood to explore. Some of the best things in NY are the ones you discover on your travels. And don’t be afraid to leave Manhattan!

And Happy 4th of July to all!

Anita