Moving can be tough on anyone, with all the stress of organizing, packing, actual relocation, and settling in a new environment. Moving with kids can be especially hard on them who had to say goodbye to a home they’ve known and friends they’ve cherished. That’s why, when in a new place, parents should pay special attention to helping their kids acclimate. One way to do this is to keep them busy with fun things. Fortunately, if you’ve recently moved to New York, there are tons of things to do with kids—from educational to simply fun and unique events. Here are some activities we recommend for newcomers with kids this summer:
Hit the Playground
Many of our great city’s neighborhoods have playgrounds. And parents and child caretakers really use these spaces. What this means is that when you take your child to your local playground, you and your child are likely to bump into the same people, adults and children, each time and to eventually make some friends. From interacting with people there you can also find out about things going on in the neighborhood, play centers, library activities, and the like. Playgrounds are the kiddie social centers of each neighborhood; make sure to take advantage of them.
Liberty Science Center
Though technically in Jersey City, this interactive science museum is a hop, skip, and a jump away from Manhattan. In addition to all their cool permanent exhibits, LSC holds summer science courses, shows IMAX movies and presents special exhibits. One of their current exhibits, Block Party, has thousands of foam and wooden blocks, which can be used to build houses, rocket and bridges, among other things. Oh to be a kid again!
Spend a Day on the beach
Although we seem to forget it—being in a concrete jungle and all—New York City has several beaches nearby. From Brooklyn and Queens to Long Island and New Jersey, you won’t have to go more than an hour or two to find a stretch of sand that you like. And as mercury rises and moving with kids, this day trip option will look more and more appealing to you and them. If you don’t have wheels, you can always rent a zipcar or take the subway, LIRR, a ferry, or even a car service to get yourself to the Atlantic.
Visit Lady Liberty
You’ve got to see her at least once and while New Yorkers tend to put this activity off until someone visits from out of town. There’s no reason why you and your kids can’t take a day to enjoy one of the symbols of our freedom. The boat ride from lower Manhattan to Ellis Island is very pleasant as you sit back, enjoy the sun on your face, and watch the skyscrapers get smaller in the horizon. Pack a nice lunch and take your time on the island to take in the views and feel the breeze.
Spend Time at the American Museum of Natural History
Listen, there are dinosaurs at the AMNH. Need we say anymore? Okay, we will. How about a planetarium, a history of the Big Bang, and special exhibits like the current one called Mummies? Or Jelly Dome where kids (and you) can learn about jellies and environmental changes that can affect them? Seriously, your kids will love this place. Go now!
Sail a Mini on the Conservatory Waters of Central Park
From April to October, the Conservatory Waters are open to miniature radio and wind-powered boats. You can rent boats at the Kerbs Memorial Boathouse or just go watch them race on Saturdays starting at 10 am. When you’re done with the boats, be sure to visit the famous Alice in Wonderland statue nearby or have a picnic in the park.
Visit a Street Fair or Festival
Just about every weekend you’ll find a street fair or a market or a food fair or some kind of event where you get to spend a few hours (and some money) browsing stalls. From Smorgasburg in Brooklyn to the Feast of San Gennaro and Hester Street Fair in Manhattan and many more, you won’t have a shortage of street fairs to attend. Look online to see which vendors are present at each fair and if the events are appealing to your kids.