There’s no place like the Big Apple in the summertime! Full of parks, musicals, museums, opera, art, landmarks, and outdoor events, New York City is a visual and intellectual feast for parents and kids alike. Your kids might get the biggest kick out of just wandering around the various neighborhoods, straining to see the skyscraper tops, or soaking in the multicultural, international impact of one of the greatest cities in the world.
But if you’re on a tight schedule, check out these three fun summer activities for kids.
The biggest green space in Manhattan, this is where Manhattanites go to jog, skate, bike, walk, and bask in the summer sun. For kids, there’s Central Park Zoo, a 57-horse carousel, a kiddie amusement park on the Wollman Ice Skating Rink, a Marionette Theater, an ancient playground inspired by the Egyptian wing of the Metropolitan Museum, and a pond where your child can rent a model boat to sail. If your child gets bored with all that, they can work off extra energy in a playground with a water area as well as tunnels, moats, and bridges. Consider climbing Belvedere Castle, a whimsical folly sitting atop Vista Rock. From the ramparts, enjoy a lovely view of the city.
Broadway In Bryant Park
Who would visit Manhattan and not attend a Broadway show? Your kids, perhaps, especially if they’re too young to sit still for three hours. Fortunately, NYC has an option for that. Broadway in Bryant Park performs snippets of popular musicals at 12:30 pm outdoors on select days all through the summer (make sure to consult the online schedule before you plan).
The program is free and located in midtown right behind the gorgeous public library. After the music, consider checking out the front, flanked by two famous stone lions, Patience and Fortitude.
Museum of Natural History
The site of the movie “A Night At The Museum,” NYC’s Museum of Natural History is a wonder for any child. If you can tear them away from the life-size T-Rex in the cavernous entrance way, there is room after room of fascinating interactive exhibitions, including a replica of a blue whale, Egyptian mummies, meteorites and gems, continually new exhibits, Hayden Planetarium shows, giant-screen 2- and 3-D movies, and dinosaurs galore. It’s a perfect place to escape if the summer heat is oppressive, or rain precludes outdoor events.