Free Things to Do with Your Kids in New York City This Summer

Free Things to Do with Your Kids in New York City This Summer

Summer in New York City is a magical time, especially for families looking to enjoy the city without breaking the bank. From exploring world-class museums to splashing around in the city’s numerous parks, there’s something for every family. If you’re a parent of school-age children, this guide is your ticket to a fun-filled summer packed with free activities. Here’s your ultimate guide to free things to do with your kids in New York City this summer.


New York City is home to some of the world’s best museums, many of which offer free admission on specific days or times.

American Museum of Natural History – Every kid loves dinosaurs, and the American Museum of Natural History offers a pay-what-you-wish admission policy. While the suggested donation is higher, you can still enjoy this treasure trove of exhibits on a budget.

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) – MoMA is free for children under 16, making it a perfect spot for a family visit. Plus, on the first Friday of every month, admission is free admission for New York City residents from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

Brooklyn Museum – This museum offers free admission on the first Saturday of every month, from 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM. It features a range of family-friendly activities, including art workshops and live performances.


NYC’s parks offer a plethora of free activities that are perfect for kids.

Central Park – Spanning 843 acres, Central Park is a massive playground for kids. With its numerous playgrounds, open spaces, and trails, there’s no end to the adventures you can have here. Don’t miss the free performances at the Delacorte Theater or a leisurely stroll around the picturesque Bethesda Terrace.

Brooklyn Bridge Park – This waterfront park offers stunning views and plenty of space for kids to run around. The park also hosts free events throughout the summer, including outdoor movies and concerts.

Prospect Park – Located in Brooklyn, Prospect Park is an urban oasis complete with a zoo, playgrounds, and a scenic lake. During the summer, you can catch free concerts at the Prospect Park Bandshell.


Believe it or not, you can go kayaking for free in New York City!

Downtown Boathouse – This organization offers free kayaking on the Hudson River at Pier 96, 72nd Street, and Governors Island. It’s a fantastic way for kids to enjoy the water and get some exercise.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse – Another great spot for free kayaking, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse offers kayaking sessions on the East River. Make sure to check their schedule online, as the sessions can fill up quickly.


For a relaxing day by the water, try some free fishing spots in NYC.

Central Park’s Harlem Meer – Located in the northeastern corner of Central Park, Harlem Meer is a great spot for catch-and-release fishing. The Charles A. Dana Discovery Center even offers free fishing poles for loan during the summer.

Prospect Park Lake – This lake is another excellent spot for catch-and-release fishing. The park provides free fishing clinics and has a Fishing Tackle Loaner Program where you can borrow equipment.


Encourage your kids’ creativity by exploring NYC’s free art offerings.

Socrates Sculpture Park – Located in Queens, Socrates Sculpture Park features large-scale installations and offers free art-making workshops for kids during the summer.

The High Line – This elevated park features public art installations and offers free family activities, including art workshops and nature tours. The views alone make it worth a visit.

Splash Parks

Cool off this summer by visiting one of NYC’s many splash parks.

Pier 6 Waterlab in Brooklyn Bridge Park – This interactive water play area is perfect for a hot summer day. Kids can splash around and cool off while you enjoy the beautiful views of the skyline.

Imagination Playground – Located in South Street Seaport, this playground features water play areas and movable parts that kids can use to create their own play structures. It’s a fantastic spot for creative and active play.

New York City offers an array of free activities that will keep your kids entertained all summer long. Whether you’re exploring a museum, splashing in a park, or enjoying a family kayaking trip, there’s no shortage of fun to be had without spending a dime. So pack your sunscreen, grab some snacks, and get ready for a summer of adventure in the Big Apple!

For more fun things to do with your kids this summer visit our calendar – lots of free and low cost activities to discover.

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