July is here, and Summer is in full swing, which means time to make a bucket list! If your family vacations are a bit like mine, your time off may mostly consist of visiting extended family that live in other states. This is why during the month of July, when the Summer is still bright and promising, I find it to be the perfect month for fun adventures.
Here are 10 Bucket List worthy things to do with your kids this month.
Take a Ride on a Carousel
This one of a kind carousel is located in the Battery Conservancy. The carousel consists of 30 fiberglass fish that were custom designed and fabricated for SeaGlass by Show Canada. As the carousel goes around the fish illuminate – changing colors and illuminating with color-changing LED light fixtures. The ride isn’t long, but the kids do not care, they love this mystical trip and so do us Instagram overachievers, so have your camera ready. The cost is $5, and we make it a day when we visit this ride making a point to visit The Oculus and stop by Luke’s Lobster for one their yummy lobster roll!
Go to a Musical play!
The Dog Man, the Musical is here! My oldest fell off his chair when I informed him that his favorite book series is now a play in NYC. With tickets cost from $29 to $85 (VIP) this is a play that isn’t going to break the bank. This new production follows the chronicles of Dog Man, who with the head of a dog and the body of a policeman, loves to fight crime and chew on the furniture. Visit this epic musical adventure featuring the hilarity and heart of beloved characters from Dav Pilkey, the creator of Captain Underpants.
Tickets are available by visiting twusa.org/DogMan or by calling (866) 811-4111. Shows run through August 4, 2019.
Tickets for weekend performances are $29 – $85 (VIP) and can be purchased online at twusa.org/DogMan or by calling (866) 811-4111
See Sharks and more Sea Creatures Up Close
I don’t know about you, but the hot summer sun is nice at first until we’re halfway through summer and my kids start complaining about the heat. Summer weather is nice, don’t get me wrong, but it’s important to find that balance between time spent indoors and outdoors so that your kids don’t get tired of the heat too quickly. New York Aquarium is a great place to take your little ones for a fun indoor experience! See a show at the Aquatheater or 4D Theater, spark a little fear at the shark’s exhibit, and check out “Nemo” (otherwise known as clownfish), which your kids will especially love if they’ve seen the movie. The aquarium also offers Summer Nights on Fridays and Saturdays through August 31, in which they stay open until 10 pm and feature animal trivia, music, Cool Science Saturdays, and more! Tickets are $29.95 for adults, $24.95 for children ages 3-12, and children 2 and under are free.
Open play for Babies & Toddlers
The Playroom NYC
Young babies and toddlers only have so much freedom at the playground. And when the temperatures hit towards (or pass) that heat advisory level, it is not exactly pleasant. Especially with very young kids, you want them to work on their gross motor skills, play on the floor, and learn to be social with other kids. This is why The Playroom NYC is on my July bucket list. The space consists of 3,000 square feet of fun where kids can play dress up, run, or shop a bodega and climb the indoor climbing structure.
Visit a National Monument
Statue of Liberty
Visiting the Statue of Liberty is a must for a family bucket list. Long a symbol of New York, this gift of friendship from France, was dedicated to the US in1886 and declared a National Monument in 1924. Visiting the Statue of Liberty consists of the pedestal, the crown and now the new Liberty Museum. Tickets can be purchased in advance with reservations a must to visit the pedestal. Things to keep in mind is that the pedestal is narrow and may not be for everyone, cramp is the best way to describe the stairwell. Children have to be at least 4 feet to climb. The crown you can visit after the pedestal climb. The area is tight but so worth it with gorgeous views, so be camera ready. Another reason a trip to Lady Liberty is on our bucket list this month is to explore the new Statue of Liberty Museum which is perfect for the kids to learn about the rich history on how this statue came to be. Lastly, moms can rejoice for there is now a permanent mamava lactation pod to pump or nurse your baby in comfort.
A Chocolate Theme Park
Hershey Park is a sweet (pun intended) bucket list getaway with a short-ish drive from NYC. The drive is in the range of three to four hours, depending on traffic. We suggest leaving on the early side if you are only visiting for the day. The main attraction is the amusement park, Hershey Park. The park has 70 attractions, 14 coasters as well as a huge water park! Your ticket also includes access to ZooAmerica.
If looking to stay for a few days, book a stay at the Hershey Lodge as the hotel is super kid-friendly.
Visit this unique playground area in Domino Park today! Photo by Mark Reigelman II.
A Park with the Best Views of The East River
Instagram friendly Domino Park. Located in North Brooklyn along the Williamsburg waterfront north of the Williamsburg bridge this park was developed on the site of the old Domino Sugar Refinery. Cool fact, this refinery once produced the most sugar in the world! What makes this park unique is that it has a vibe of modernity while embracing the rich history of Williamsburg. Built to honor the generations of Domino workers as well as families of this neighborhood, the park is five acres of absolute wonder. Although the park is not enormous, it is packed with tons to do. When I take my kids to this park, we stay a minimum of four hours. One can easily spend their entire day at this park for it features an elevated walkway, plenty of grass for picnics, a dog run, bocce ball, beach volleyball, and more. This July make this park your bucket list and visit the cool playground, sprinklers (they light up at night!) and don’t forget to take that family pic by the bridge or water.
A Carousel at Brooklyn Bridge Park
An iconic ride since the late 18th century, carousels have entertained little ones for years. The spin of the ride is exhilarating, but kids get a real kick out of choosing their favorite horse to ride. Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park is opened six days a week (closed on Tuesdays) from 11 am to 7 pm. My kids love hopping on this ride during both the heat of the afternoon and as the sun begins to set in the evening. Tickets are $2 per ride, but you can get a discount if you’re planning on riding multiple times: 12 tickets for $20. Children ages 3 and under ride for free if accompanied by a paying adult. With 48 beautifully carved horses and 2 grand chariots, Jane’s carousel is a must-do this summer! The fun doesn’t have to stop after the vintage carousel – explore attractions in Brooklyn Bridge Park nearby, such as Picnic Grove and Max Family Garden.
A Circus in Brooklyn
If your kids love adventure, like mine, and are always up for trying something new, then The Muse might be your place this summer. As Brooklyn’s home for circus and creative activity, The Muse offers several classes for kids to receive an introduction to circus tricks and techniques. Classes include Aerial Cirque, Ground Cirque, Adventure Play Circus, Family Acro, and Circus Family Room. Classes are weekly, so either sign up for a few or just come for a fun and exciting circus intro. Your kids will gain confidence, use their imagination, make new friends, and above all, have a great time. Summer is the perfect time to try new things and break that routine that your family has during the school year. So try out a class at The Muse today!
An Art Space for Infants and Toddlers
An exciting art and play space for your little ones, SPARK is a great place to escape the heat and engage infants and toddlers, ages six months to six years. Partake in daily art and design workshops, music classes, and an outpost of the Brooklyn Block Lab exhibit. Drop-In Play includes arts and crafts, building activities, and the Discovery Den, a soft play and reading space, complete with discovery drawers with treasure inside. If you’re looking for a more structured program at SPARK, check out their various classes that feature tennis, music, art, nature, and more. And if your little one’s birthday is approaching, book a SPARK party with all of their friends! I love SPARK, because we finally have a place designed specifically for infants and toddlers. It’s a safe space for little ones to explore, create, and learn. SPARK is opened Wednesday through Sunday, $15 per child. A helpful tip: plan your visit for a Thursday, because Thursdays are free admission!
What is on your July bucket list? Tag us on Instagram this month #nyfjulybucketlist , we love to see what you’re up to!
Additional reporting: Mia Salas