New York summer activities for kids that are both affordable and fun

Posted at 12:48 PM, Jun 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-27 12:48:08-04

(PIX 11) — Rory Halperin, editor of Time Out New York Kids, has many ways to help parents keep their children occupied and happy during the summer months. Her many activity suggestions include public pools and free outdoor concerts. All of her activities are conveniently located in NYC and are very affordable.

Free Summer Activities:

Governors Island:

Tons of free activities, including mini golf, art workshops, special festivals—upcoming ones include Come Out and Play Festival (7/13), City of Water Day (7/20) and the awesome Fete Paradiso (a vintage carnival ride festival) which starts on July 6 and last all summer (Admission is free but rides cost money)

Free outdoor concerts: / Madison Square Park Kids Concerts

There’s tons of free concerts for families. Some of the big ones are SummerStage Family Days (Global Family Day takes place July 7 in Central Park) and the weekly Madison Square Kids Concerts, which include  some of the best names in children music for a special series of free outdoor entertainment for kids and their families. Catch KBC Kids (6/27) and Big Bang Boom (7/2).

Free outdoor films: / Syfy Movies With A View.

From East River State Park to the Intrepid, the city is full of outdoor movies for families. One of our favorite series: Syfy Movies With A View. Set against a spectacular view of lower Manhattan, this outdoor movie mainstay at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 seems to garner a larger following with each passing year. That being the case, be sure to arrive early to beat the massive crowds—you’ll stay entertained with pre-movie sets by local DJs as well as a short film. While this is not a strictly family-friendly series (many flicks are rated R), this year’s more kid-friendly picks include Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (July 11), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (July 25), Roman Holiday (Aug 8), Rocky (Aug 15) and Vertigo (Aug 22). Music starts at6pm, movies begin at sundown.

City pools: / Brooklyn Bridge Park pop-up pool

They open on Thursday, June 27—all free! We’re big fans of Brooklyn Bridge Park pop-up pool (which opened in the summer of 2012). They have a new lemonade stand this summer. The pool offers families a free and fun way to cool off but also one of the best views in the city—plus the option of morning kids’ swimming lessons during the week. Slated to remain in the park through 2017, the swimming hole is 30 by 50 feet and 3.5 feet deep and holds a maximum of 60 people, so keeping an eye on the littlest swimmers will be easy. After a dip, families can dry off on one of the lounge chairs dotting the artificial sand beach while marveling at their proximity to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Free festivals: / River Fish Celebration

There are so many free family festivals this summer, starting with this weekend’s River Fish Celebration on the Hudson River. Explore the marine life swimming in the Hudson River at this day dedicated to fishing and community. Borrow a pole or bring your own and spend the afternoon waiting for a bite; then, dive into the river-related games and activities.

Free theater! / Making Books Sing’s My City Park

This original musical stars a few eco–conscious puppets. My City Park tells the story of Milo, a civic–minded youngster who sets out to save his favorite park from being torn down and replaced with—you guessed it—a massive shopping mall. Following the free summer tour in various public libraries throughout the five boroughs, Making Books Sing plans to continue bringing My City Park to city kids via schools and community centers.

For more information you can visit the Time Out website at: