10 Affordable (Or Free!) Kids Activities You Can’t Miss This Summer!

14th Street Y fans, we know you love spending time at the Y. We also know there’s a world outside of the East Village!  Our friend Shani Silver put this list together for us, and for you to enjoy with your kids this summer. 

It’s summer! Put down the iPad, shut the laptop, and take to the city with your family. Enjoying the best of our boroughs is so much fun in summer, and it can also be truly affordable, too! Fill up your subway card and check out our top 10 budget-friendly ways to have a blast with your kids this summer!

1) Children’s Museum Of The Arts: On extra hot days, take the little ones inside and let them get their hands dirty! Admission is $11 for ages 1-65, and free if you’re younger or older than that! Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, this museum offers daily craft workshops to spark the creativity of your kiddos (and their parents!).

2) Tour An Urban Farm: And this one’s free! Explore an urban farm in Randall’s Island park for a break from the hot city streets and a chance to learn a little, too! Saturdays only, and admission is free! Urban Farm in Randall’s Island Park

3) Theater Tickets Under $30! Did you know the Manhattan Theater Club offers patrons under 30 years of age tickets for $30? And it’s a welcome, air conditioned way to take in a bit of culture. More info here.

4) Prospect Park Zoo: You’ve hit up the Central Park Zoo already, this summer let’s head to Prospect Park! With children’s admission just $5 (and adults only $8!) a day exploring the zoo and learning about it’s residents is an affordable way to enjoy a gorgeous summer day. Make sure you check the zoo’s daily schedule to catch a sea lion training session!

5) Roller Skating At Le Frak Center: Does your crew need to burn off a little energy? Head to Brooklyn to skate it out! The Le Frak Center offers a covered roller skating rink with $6 weekday admission ($8 on the weekends). Closed Monday & Tuesday, you’ll save an extra $6 on skate rental if you bring your own. Bonus: Le Frak also has a free “splash pad” for water play on super hot days!

6) Ice Cream at Jahn’s: Sometimes you just need some ice cream. It’s summer! A trip to Jahn’s is like going back in time to a true soda fountain. Family friendly and very well priced,  this spot is well worth a day trip to Queens. (Full diner menu available, too!)

7) Free Mini golf! :Figment NYC is an innovative mini golf course that changes themes each year. This year’s theme is ‘From Here To There’. Located on Governor’s Island, the course is free and open seven days a week, provided the island is open to the public.

8) Free Outdoor Movies: A tip, no matter which film you’re going to, get there early! Pack a cooler, bring the blankets, and maybe a pre-film distraction or two. Something about watching a movie outdoors creates memories no theater can touch! Full NYC schedule here.

9) Children’s Museum Of Manhattan: This is a MUST. Interactive and focused on education and play, if you only visit one children’s museum this summer (and let’s face it you’ll probably visit more!) make it this one. Check out event schedules to find the activities your kiddos will love best. $11 admission, open 7 days a week!

10) FlyNY Kite Festival: Kids can create and fly their own kids during this festival on August 15th. (We’d bring a backup store bought kite just in case!). Event admission is free!

shaniShani Silver is a writer and social media strategist living in Brooklyn, NY. Shani has held writing and editing roles at Refinery29, Free People, Keep.com, and is now the Director of Digital Content at domino.com. Her first love is writing, and she’s found a home for doing what she loves in web-based content. She is originally from Texas visits her family there often. 

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