Outdoor Spaces in New York


Creative Sitters Top 5 Kid-friendly Outdoor Spaces in New York
Close your eyes...Imagine the words: outdoor, play, & New York City

What comes to mind?  For many it’s taxis, skyscrapers and Central Park. It almost seems that us New Yorkers are against outdoor playtime and instead our focus is on academics! There is, however; an underground movement crying out for the need for outdoor spaces in New York City for our children. Outdoor play helps support children in giving the brain a reset in more ways than one. In recent years, New York has responded by creating spaces to ride your bike without any car traffic and by creating places to grow your garden.

Here are our top 5 kid-friendly outdoor spaces in New York:

1. Fishing in New York. The Harlem Meer aquatic ecosystem on Central Park, at 110th St. runs a free catch-and-release program. Hours: Tues-Sat, 10am-3pm; Sun, 10am-1pm. You can also bring your own gear to the East River Walk (enter at 63rd, 70th, 78th or 82nd St.) for river herring and striped bass. Check out their website for fish licensing details.

2. Imagination Playground at the South Seaport gets a big thumbs-up from parents, educators, and children alike! This playground is like no other, asking children to create their personal playground with form blocks and by creating dynamic water play that hides math and science skills within play.  It’s not a wonder why it has grown in popularity since it opened!

3. Wave Hill Gardens. New York City has many infamous gardens, and I just love this hidden gem located in the Bronx ~ one would never suspect such beauty in a borough that has been know for crime. Wave Hill has uplifted the Bronx and its nature beauty with its lushes gardens and engaging education program for children and adults.  This is a must see!

4.  Renee’s Personal Fave ~ Governors Island is a safe heaven for children and adults alike to learn to ride their bikes/scooters without the hassle of cars or rude pedestrians in their way. I, myself, often love to ride endlessly in loops while taking in the Hudson views of the Lady Liberty. Insider tip: take a picnic to watch the boats on the Hudson when you tire of riding in circles.

5.  Children Museum of Manhattan, (84th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave) The City Splash Exhibit is New York City’s best answer to a Water Park! This is a wonderful way to cool down during those August heat waves while staying safe, keeping it fun and educational!

What are your favorite places to play outside with the kids in New York City?

Renee E. Pena is the founder of Creative Sitters and lives in New York City. Creative Sitter use creativity while sitting to promote learning, exploration, and growth – while keeping it fun, engaging and affordable.

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