Free NYC Activities for Kids This Summer

Want to keep your kids busy in the city this summer but don’t want to go broke doing it? We feel you. Below are free NYC activities geared specifically toward the little ones. Because we know the playgrounds and parks can get rather repetitive.

These free NYC activities geared specifically toward the little ones will help you have fun this summer without going broke. Of course, playgrounds and parks are always free (and we’ve got so many wonderful ones), but here are some things you may not have known about.

Union Square Events
On Thursdays, Union Square holds concerts, story times, and fitness classes for kids — all for free. Check out the schedule here.

Madison Square Park Concerts
Every Thursday through July 30, Madison Square Park hosts an interactive kids concert. Check out the schedule of performers here.

Fishing at the Harlem Meer
Bet you didn’t realize you could go fishing (catch-and-release) for free in the middle of Manhattan. Fishing poles are available to borrow at The Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, on the north shore of the Meer. Picture ID is required; instruction and bait (corn kernels) are provided with poles. It’s one of those unique (and lesser known) free NYC activities which you can brag to your friends about having done. For more, read here.

Enjoy High-Tech Fun at Sony Wonder Technology Lab

On really hot days, you can escape the heat of your NYC home and venture into the air-conditioned Sony Wonder Technology Lab in Midtown, which has lots of interactive exhibits for older kids (and adults) to explore.

Free Movies in the Park
Parks in each of the boroughs offer free movie screenings. On Friday nights, for example, Hudson River Park’s Pier 46 hosts Hudson RiverFlicks Family Fridays. Upcoming movies include The Boxtrolls and Annie. Popcorn is free, too.

Ride the Staten Island Ferry and Peek at the Statue of Liberty
Skip the pricey Circle Line and get a boat ride — and a view — for nothing. It’s one of those free NYC activities you’ve always been meaning to take advantage of — now’s the time to do it.

Children’s Museum of Manhattan
Run out of creativity around 5 p.m.? This children’s museum has a cure for your — and your kids’ — boredom. Admission is free on the first Friday of every month, from 5–8 p.m.

Bike Down the West Side Bike Path
You can pedal your way alongside the water — all the way from Inwood to Battery Park City. We suggest ending at Battery Park City, where the water views are great, and the playgrounds — run by the Battery Conservancy — are top notch. You can even play ping pong by the water.

Image Source: Flickr/Mike Steele


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