Play Outside in Brooklyn Bridge Park
There are few better ways to take advantage of a beautiful day in New York City than spending an afternoon at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Stretching across 1.3 miles of the East River coastline, this park is both family friendly and budget friendly. You could easily while away an afternoon by casually strolling along the waterfront, stopping to admire the Manhattan skyline, enjoying a picnic on the grass or in the designated picnic areas, or letting the kids loose on one of the playgrounds along the way. They’ll love taking a ride on Jane’s Carousel and grabbing an ice cream cone from nearby Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. For a more active family outing, there are bikes available for rent.
Explore Governors Island
Want somewhere a little offbeat to take your family? Head to Governors Island, a former military base turned urban playground just a quick ferry ride from Lower Manhattan. Just steps from the ferry landing you’ll find Governors Beach Club, a lovely spot to grab a table in the sand and eat a burger (or nurse a Corona) with the city skyline as a backdrop. For a little more action, start a game at the beach club’s ping pong or foosball tables, head into the island to tour Castle Williams and Fort Jay, or rent a two-wheeler or surrey bike and cycle around the island’s 30 acres of green space. To escape the sun for a bit, check out the historic buildings along Colonel’s Row, which host a smattering of workshops, art galleries, and other activities for children.
Attend a Baseball Game
A day at the ballpark is a classic New York experience and makes for a great day out with your family. Snag tickets to a weekend day game at either Yankee Stadium or Shea Stadium and spend an afternoon cheering on one of New York’s baseball teams. If you’re lucky, they’ll be giving out a promotional item at the game (e.g.; key chain, teddy bear, baseball caps) for kids to enjoy. Either way, you can’t go wrong treating yourselves to hotdogs and ice cream at the game.
Tour the American Museum of Natural History
You’re absolutely spoilt for a choice of museums in New York City, but if you have time and patience for just one, let it be the American Museum of Natural History. The plethora of genuinely interesting exhibits does not bore adults or children. Kids love the 94-foot-long blue whale statue hanging from the ceiling, the massive dinosaur and elephant models, and the hands-on Discovery Room, while adults are bound to enjoy Hayden Planetarium and the offering of IMAX films. And as an added bonus, the museum is across the street from Central Park and near a high concentration of excellent New York City hotels, making it a convenient stop on a family outing in the city.
Fun and Games at Coney Island
Few visitors make it to outer Brooklyn, but those willing to make the trek to Coney Island are scarcely disappointed. There’s more than enough there to entertain the family: carnival rides and games at Luna Park, sea-lion shows and a 3D movie theater at the New York Aquarium, and boardwalk strolling and swimming at Coney Island.