Before it’s time to get the kids ready for back-to-school season, take advantage of the warm weather – and free time – in New York City together. These family friendly activities are great ways to get your kids out and about before the fall arrives. By Sarah Shaker.
Golden Ticket, Affinia Manhattan
Madison Square Garden, Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building are just a few iconic locations on the scavenger hunt checklist for Affinia Manhattan’s new “Golden Ticket” package, perfect to invite or host out-of-town family to experience a fun summer adventure. This Midtown hotel recently completed the final phase of a top to bottom, two year renovation. The hotel’s “Golden Ticket” package unlocks New York City treasures, including tickets to tour the city, Wonka® Everlasting Gobstoppers, I Love NY t-shirts, and In-room viewing party of “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” or “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.” Guests are encouraged to share their city – or staycation – adventures during their hunt on Instagram and Twitter with #AMGoldenTix for a chance to win a new iPod Touch.
Get your kids away from their computer screens with some hands on fun. Make Meaning is the ultimate creative destination where children can create memories and mementos with over 50 Creative Experiences ranging from Cake Decorating and Candle Making to Jewelry Design, Soap Creation and Ceramics. Visit Make Meaning’s two NYC locations on the UES or UWS for fun classes and events as well as private party rooms to host a fun birthday celebration for your little ones.
Stargazing On The High Line
Bring your aspiring scientists stargazing with astronomers on the High Line every Tuesday throughout the summer for free. You’ll enjoy gazing at the stars, planets and Moon through the high-powered telescopes of the Amateur Astronomers Association, while encouraging your kids to chat with the experts. Stargazing at the High Line takes place every Tuesday, beginning at dusk until Tuesday, October 29. Stay for dinner and dessert on the High Line after checking out the celestial sites with choices like tacos and gelato, as well as offerings from Terroir at The Porch, a full-service, open-air café serving beer, wine and small plates.
The New York Botanical Garden
Take advantage of the season’s sunshine at the New York Botanical Garden. Grounds-only admission is free all day on Wednesdays and 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays year-round, but summer is the best time to see the sights in full bloom. There are special exhibitions to check out as well, like Mario Batali’s Kitchen Gardens for foodies and Wild Medicine, covering healing plants from around the world.
Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day
Help kick off the U.S. Open at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on Saturday, August 24 on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows. Families can enjoy free tennis clinics, meet the pros, enter to win prizes and get in on the action to play a game or two. All tennis activities are free, but concerts costs extra for those who want a full day. Performance lineups and celebrity appearances include teen sensation Coco Jones, breakout UK band Lawson, as well as world No. 1s Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, five-time US Open champion Roger Federer and world No. 1 wheelchair tennis champion David Wagner.
Sarah Shaker is the founder of the blog Bright Lights, My City.