We all love the summer weather and the break from school that allows for lots of family time, but over two months of summer vacation is a long time. As summer camp comes to a close and your island getaways are over, you might be thinking: what are we going to do for these last few weeks of summer? Especially as you’re juggling work, back-to-school shopping and more. We don’t want you to stress about how to keep your kids entertained. We’re here to help with a round-up of things to do with kids! We’ve covered a wide range of activities: arts & crafts, sing-alongs, storytimes, family concerts, movies, active play, cooking and more. With a mix of classic opportunities for fun, like NYC outdoor pools — and ones you’re maybe not that familiar with — like Whole Foods cooking classes. You’re sure to find a few ideas that catch your eye. And the best part about these options for things to do with kids is that many are family-friendly, so everyone can enjoy these last few weeks of summer together!
The end of summer is always a tough time, because not only are you running out of ideas for fun activities, but there’s also the pressure of a new school year starting. Need some help with your back-to-school checklist? Check out our back-to-school labels and backpack guides!
Looking for kid-friendly August events? Check out our round-up of the top August events for kids!
Playday at Gramercy Park and Long Island City
Playday offers several art and crafts classes almost everyday through the last few weeks of summer and into the fall! Classes include Book Making, Little Architect, Painting, Sculpture, Creative Collage, Textile Arts, Embroidery, Origami, Drawing, Charcoal and Pastels, Spin Art, Grown Up & Me Art, Emoji Design, Cartooning and many more. Classes last 45 to 60 minutes and are led by educated and experienced instructors. All classes are for ages 4 and up, while some are for ages 6 and up, with the exception of Grown Up & Me Art and Music, which are designed for little ones ages 12 to 42 months. Each creative activity class is $35 and Grown Up & Me classes are $25. If you plan on going to a number of them, consider purchasing a pack, such as the Grown Up & Me 10 Pack for $200. 5-37 51st Ave., Long Island City, Queens and 122 East 25th St., Gramercy Park, Manhattan.
NYC Outdoor Pools
Since NYC outdoor pools close September 8, get your pool fix in while you can! Outdoor pool hours are open 11 am to 7 pm daily with a break between 3 and 4 pm for cleaning. Take a dip in the shallow end with your little ones or watch your big kids as they venture into the deep end. Outdoor pools are a great opportunity to connect with your community and enjoy the last of this hot, summer weather under the sun! Interested in NYC Parks’ Learn to Swim Program? It’s too late to enter the lottery for this summer, but check out our guide to the Learn to Swim Program to stay informed for next summer!
Library Storytimes, Sing-Alongs, Play, and Crafts
NYC libraries have plenty of free events and classes for enrichment, fun and active engagement. In Manhattan, head to Toddler Storytime on August 28 at 10 am to read a picture book along with a librarian, sing, and do finger plays at Battery Park City Library. Or check out Baby Tummy Time at Hamilton Grange Library, August 28 at 10:30 am, where you can introduce your little one to books, songs, and more activities through music, movement and sensory play. In the Bronx, we love Sing-Along Storytime at Melrose Library on August 29, 11 am and Play-Doh Time at City Island Library on August 29, 11 am. In Brooklyn, get crafty with your little ones at Kids Create! First 5 Years at Clinton Hill Library, 10:30-11:30 am. There’s also Preschool Storytime at Saratoga Library on August 27, 10:30-11:15 am, where kids ages 3-5 listen to a story, sing songs and more. Finally, in Queens, our favorite is Mommy and Me at Cambria Heights, which runs during August and throughout the school year on Fridays, 10:30 am-12 pm. The next upcoming Mommy and Me is on August 30, so head over for playtime with arts & crafts!
CAMP offers lots of exciting classes for kids, all related to the theme of cooking! Choose from Marshmallow Monster Paintings, Scent-sory Ice Cream Cotton Art, Little Maestros, DIY Sushi Candy, I-Scream for Slime Cream, Play-Doh Veggie Sculpting, Illuminated Candy Necklaces, Pesto to Pasta Salad with Chef Aurora Satler and much more! Some classes are for members only, but most are open to everyone. Adults are free, and children are typically $25, but prices vary from class to class. CAMP is also an immersive retail experience, so you don’t necessarily have to sign up for classes. Simply show up and journey through the free food-themed, interactive activities and toys. Trace the route of food from the farm to transport to the grocery store, or follow the alternate path of the farm to the bakery to an NYC Deli. Dance it out at the Ice Box Disco and see what’s going in Camp i-theater. Don’t forget to enjoy a tasty treat at Canteen and Milk Bar, serving classics with an exclusive CAMP-themed sundae. 10 am-6 pm, 110 5th Ave., New York, NY 10011.
Whole Foods Snack Attack and After School Snack Classes
Several Whole Foods in NYC work with The Creative Kitchen Kids Cooking Classes to provide cooking classes for kids, Monday to Thursday throughout the summer and into the fall. There are two classes each day: Snack Attack and After School Snack at 11 am and 4 pm respectively. The only exception is Wednesdays, in which the afternoon class begins at 3:30 pm. The classes teach recipes that focus on kid-friendly themes, colors, numbers and shapes. Little ones create healthy snacks using fresh ingredients, making this a great opportunity to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your kid’s diet. Classes are designed for kids ages 2-6. The schedule of Whole Foods locations is as follows: Monday-Upper West Side, Tuesday-Upper East Side, Wednesday-Tribeca, and Thursday-Upper West Side 11 am, Midtown East 4 pm. If you’re interested in more Creative Kitchen classes, check out the kids cooking classes on August 29 at Essex Market at 11 am and the cooking class with Monica and Andy at Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey Street at 11 am.
NYC Outdoor Summer Movies
Enjoy your warm summer evenings watching a movie outside with your family! We’ve round up Free Movies for Families this Summer in New York, but many of these movies have passed, so check out the ones coming up:
Movies With A View 20th Anniversary at Brooklyn Bridge Park: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on August 29 (1971)
Habana Outpost Movie Nights: Jurassic Park (1993) on September 1 and Fifth Element (1997) on September 8
Parklife Outdoor Cinema: Beetlejuice (1988) on September 4
Sunnyside Outdoor Movie Nights: West Side Story (1961) at Noonan Playground on September 6
Skyline Cinema at Hunters Point South Park: Mary Poppins Returns (2018) on September 7
NYC Parks Movies Under the Stars: Beauty and the Beast (2017) at Nathan Straus Playground on August 27, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) at Commodore Barry Park on August 27, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) at Col Charles Young Playground on August 28, Star Wars Attack of the Clones (2002) at Wolfe’s Pond Park on August 29, Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) at Grover Cleveland Park on August 29, and Incredibles 2 (2018) at Bayside Fields on August 30
Kids Summer Morning Recreation
Spend the last few weeks of summer doing active play and exercise! In Kids Summer Morning Recreation, kids get to play tabletop games and physical activities. This is also a great way to ease kids back into waking up early for when school starts. If your kids still have a lot of energy afterwards, head to the Poe Park playground for some more outdoor fun. Not only is Kids Summer Morning Recreation free, but the event repeats every week, Tuesday to Friday, through September 28, so you have plenty of opportunities to make it over to the park! Poe Park Visitor Center, 2640 Grand Concourse, Fordham Manor, Bronx.
Domino Park offers several free events throughout the summer, including Domino Kids! On Sunday, September 1, head over to Domino Park for Domino Kids! Featuring Scott Klopfenstein. This interactive sing-along session is great for little ones and their parents. Afterwards, spend an hour or two on the playground, elevated walkway, and fountain & seating steps. Grab a bite at Tacocina to conclude your action-packed day at the park. Be sure to check out our guide to How to Visit Domino Park With the Family before you go! 300 Kent Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
NYC Unicycle Festival
Taking place on Labor Day Weekend, August 29 to September 1, the NYC Unicycle Festival is a great way to spend your last few days of summer with your family (for free!). Watch world-famous riders show off their unicycle skills and even try out a unicycle yourself! There will be races, competitions, exhibitions, workshops, performances and unicycle sports. Dance to music by a DJ and watch the magnificent parade of unicycle riders. Even if you’ve never ridden a unicycle, your kids will surely get a kick out of watching these one-wheeled rides. August 29: Battery Park to Central Park, August 30: Brooklyn Bridge to Coney Island, August 31-September 1: Governor’s Island.
The Rock & Roll Playhouse
The Rock & Roll Playhouse presents family concerts for everyone to enjoy! These engaging concerts involve music, games, movement and stories — providing enrichment and an outlet for creative expression for kids ages 10 and under. Look forward to rainbow streamers, a rock and roll jump, a hello song, freeze dance and a giant parachute for kids to run under and play. Don’t miss out on the free family concert in Industry City: Music of Reggae for Kids ft. David Langlois and the Brooklyners. There are also Sunday concerts throughout the fall, beginning September 8, at the Brooklyn Bowl. These shows are $12 and free for little ones, age 1 and under. 238 36th St., Industry City, Brooklyn, and 61 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn.
Summer Fun at NYC Museums
While you may want to soak up the last of the summer sun outside, NYC museums also provide a great opportunity for family fun. You can often spend a full day in a museum because of all the exciting exhibits and activities that it has to offer. Before the summer is over, be sure to head to Dynamic H2O at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, where kids cool off through an interactive water table that teaches them about the flow of water through NYC. We also love stART Studio at Children’s Museum of the Arts, where little ones ages 5 and under play, create, and sing through crafty and creative activities. Finally, Exploreum Hall at Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum is a kid-friendly classic. Kids of all ages love to explore all that this interactive room has to offer, including steering the wings of an airplane and navigating through a submarine! Looking for more activities and exhibits at museums? Check out our guide to Summer Fun at NYC Museums: The Best Exhibits & Activities for Kids.
Rock-N-Roll Sessions at Chelsea Piers
Designed for kids ages 5 to 16, Rock-N-Roll Sessions are great opportunities for some drop-in, active sport and play. Expert instructors lead your kids through 45 minutes of gymnastics and 45 minutes of rock climbing. Sessions are offered Monday to Saturday, typically 4-5:30 pm on weekdays and 12:30-2 pm on Saturdays. If you have kids of different ages, Rock-N-Roll Sessions are perfect, because they keep preschoolers and kindergarteners age 5 to preteens and teens age 16 entertained! Each session is $32. Though the sessions are drop-in, they tend to fill up quickly, so you can reserve up to four spots prior to your visit! Chelsea Piers Field House, 62 Chelsea Piers, Chelsea, Manhattan.
Walk The High Line
What better way to enjoy the last of the summer weather than by embarking on a journey on The High Line? Take in the beautiful nature and gardens, appreciate the artwork, and enjoy a bite to eat along the way. A family favorite destination is Diller-Von Furstenberg Sundeck & Water Feature between 14th & 15th Streets, which lets little ones and their caretakers dip their toes into the water. 10th Avenue Square & Overlook is also a great spot for families. Kids love watching the city unfold beneath them, through the window that peeks down to the street. The 23rd Street Lawn & Seating Steps provide a place to picnic and catch the annual mural on a neighboring building. Finally, Pershing Square Beams at 30th Street is a safe area for kids to run, climb and play! These are just a few of our favorite spots on The High Line, and there are plenty more.