6 Staycation Ideas for Summer in New York

So you’ve already taken your family vacation, or maybe it’s not until later in the summer. Or maybe this year you’re opting to stay in the city. Whatever your situation, why not get creative and take advantage of all that New York City has to offer to create your own family staycation?


We love being part of the community, and today we’re introducing five of our top picks for a customized family staycation. All are budget-friendly, close to home, and a great way to get out and explore!


1. A day at the zoo

Here in New York, we’re lucky to have multiple options for family trips to the zoo. We recommend checking out the Queens Zoo, where you can watch sea lions do tricks as their trainers feed them fish. The aviary is another great attraction. A glass dome built for the 1964 World’s Fair, it is home to birds from all around the Western Hemisphere. This zoo is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon, and is easily seen within half a day. Plus, the zoo also runs summer day camps for kids who just can’t get enough of the animals!


2. The Brooklyn Museum

It’s a pretty safe bet that there’s at least one art lover in your family. Why not take the opportunity to check out some unique art at the Brooklyn Museum? Here you’ll find art from around the world, ranging from pieces from Ancient Egypt to modern, attention-grabbing photography. There’s sure to be something to everyone’s taste here, and will give kids of all ages plenty to explore and talk about. Our tip: Save this one for a hot day for a break from the sun!


3. Free kayaking

Yes, you can go kayaking for free! At the Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse, visitors can rent kayaks for free on a first-come, first-served basis. The park offers rentals June through August on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Kids age 14 or older can grab a solo kayak, and younger paddlers can double up in a tandem kayak with an adult. Even if you’ve never picked up a paddle before, they’ve got you covered. Staff members are always around to give lessons and refreshers.


4. Splashing out to cool down

The city has a number of splash parks for kids to let loose and enjoy the summer weather. One of our favorites is the Domino Park Fountain in Williamsburg. It features a number of jets that kids can run around in. There’s also a great cafe with fresh, Mexican-inspired fare for when everyone works up an appetite.


5. Family movie night—al fresco!

On beautiful summer evenings, what better way to enjoy family time than an outdoor movie? Several venues host these events throughout the summer, and one of our favorite picks is the one at Hudson River Park. They have a great lineup of movies this summer, and the event takes place on Friday nights in July and August. We can’t wait to see How to Train Your Dragon 3 under the stars!


6. Bugs, boats, giant games, and more

The Staten Island Children's Museum is a hub of educational fun for kids of all ages. Safety is a priority here, so little ones can play to their heart's content. The exhibits include a giant bug environment (pretend, of course), a firefighter learning experience, a theater with costumes to try on, a play area with boats and a lighthouse, and giant games like dominoes, bowling, and chess. The museum isn't huge, but it's a great place to let the kids explore their creativity for a couple of hours.


We can’t think of a better place to be for a family staycation, even if it’s just for a day! What are your favorite family-friendly picks for fun days in the city?


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