Gwendy Taylor is guest posting today. She’s sharing 5 awesome ideas to keep kids entertained in New York City this summer – without breaking the bank! I haven’t tried most of these (yet!) but now they are all on our list for summer fun!
5 Free (or super cheap) Things to do With Kiddos in NYC this summer
Ah, summer—that beautiful time of year when non-holiday based family trips and outings are the norm…#nopressure. If, like me, you face a small moment of panic when contemplating 1) how you’re going to afford to put food on the table AND do Instagram-worthy family things and 2) how to keep your kids’ interest in something longer than 3 seconds. Here’s my best attempt at saving my sanity (and yours) with 5 fun things in NYC (some of these can actually be done anywhere…just call me Martha Stewart) that won’t cost a second mortgage and/or your dignity.
- Washington Square Park (Greenwhich Village)
(Image courtesy of: CitySights NY)
Washington Square Park is basically the pink-sprinkled doughnut of this list; it’s simply perfection. The park offers something for adults, teens, and young kids alike—and it’s FREE! Washington Square has a bit of a tumultuous past (which makes for an interesting history lesson), but has been most recently known for its abundance of musical entertainment.
You can find artists performing everything from classical pieces to folk music. If the oppressive heat of summer has you feeling like you’d drink out of a puddle on the sidewalk, fear not. Washington Square Park has a fountain—I repeat—a water-driven sanctuary. Bonus: the park is within walking distance of food and shopping!
(Image courtesy of: Washington Square Park Blog)
2. Pool Party! (Literally Anywhere)
(Image courtesy of: Birthday Express)
Maybe your kid has the runs. Maybe your youngest is so sunburned, that just looking at them hurts you. Maybe the mere thought of leaving your air-conditioned home is enough to make your eye twitch.
I give you: the at home “pool” party.
You don’t need a pool or any otherwise contained body of water, and you definitely don’t need to be outside. Whip up some simple snacks that require zero bake time (because ovens are the Devil’s morning breath in summer) like whipped cream topped pudding cups sprinkled with gold-fish shaped graham crackers. Salt-water taffy? That’s a win! Homemade popsicles (which, doubles as an activity for the kids)? Yassss.
If you really want to make a splash, do something artsy and play some Bubble Guppies games!
(Image courtesy of: Homeschooling Mom 4 Two)
3. The Pop Up Pool at Pier 2 (Brooklyn Heights)
(Image courtesy of: Alexa Hoyer)
This pool is so legit I find myself begging my kids to take me swimming. Pretty, pretty please! Brooklyn Bridge Park is home to the (FREE!) Pop-Up Pool at Pier 2, which allows up to 60 swimmers in 45 minute intervals. It is first come first serve, so if you’re going on a weekend, make sure to have the sprinkler park on Pier 6 in your back pocket. If you have to wait a bit to swim, lounge on the beach next to the pool (there are definitely worse ways to wait!).
After swim time is up, there are roughly 1 million different things to do. Pier 2 has basketball, handball, and bocce courts in addition to hopscotch and four square areas (and this is just one pier!). I wouldn’t send you and your kids anywhere without food options, and they abound throughout Brooklyn Bridge Park. Check out Pier 1 for food and a playground.
(Image courtesy of: Julienne Schaer)
4. Hudson Riverflicks (West Village)
Why stay inside and watch a movie when you can sit outside, next to the river, and watch a flick for free (with free popcorn…#popcornislife)?! Hudson Riverflicks hosts Family Fridays, with films that are rated PG (and quite popular ones at that). Pack a picnic and arrive early to get decent seats, and make sure to bring a light sweater, just in case hell freezes over.
There are a variety of local venues that host outdoor movies, and I encourage you to try multiple different locations throughout the course of the summer! If you’re adventurous, aim for hitting a new place each week for a month; or, if you’re a creature of habit, feel free to stick with one.
(Image credit courtesy of: Pictures Dot News)
5. Go Camping!
(Image courtesy of: Mia Style Mama)
Now, usually it’s rain (not incredibly beautiful weather) that drives hopeful campers indoors. However, our friend the AC makes a pretty strong case for staying inside (especially with young kids), and suddenly a living room camping session seems like the best. idea. ever!
It’s crucial that you let this be an all-night ordeal; set up a tent (or a string of blankets that could be tent-like if you were Picasso) and break out the sleeping bags. Tell ghost-stories, sing songs, and make s’mores. Let’s be honest, s’mores are basically the definition of camping. Fortunately, the internet and Pinterest boards alike abound with a multitude of different ways to make these yummy treats indoors; just pick the one that works best for you!
(Image courtesy of: Buzzfeed)
So, what fun, free(ish) plans do you have for your kids the summer?? Have you tried any of these 5 before? Let me know in the comments below!
Gwendy Taylor is a mom that writes to maintain what remains of the frayed bits of her sanity. She loves her kid, her hubby, and her Merlot.