12 Amazing Kid-friendly Play Areas in NYC

Kid-friendly areas are in high demand in NYC – you have to be able to sneak away from your little ones for work or fun sometimes, right? Fortunately, there are plenty of spots where you can at least keep an eye on the tykes while getting some me-time.

Thankfully, NYC has plenty of kid-friendly areas that will keep the little ones occupied and happy. Whether you’re looking for a place to beat the heat, play in some water or hang out – here are 12 amazing NYC spots your kids will love:

  1. The Fountain at Foley Square

Stroll around the fountain surrounded by beautiful old buildings and catch a few rays of sunshine! The water is shallow, so it’s great for little ones to cool off.

Location: Worth St & Centre St

2. Brooklyn Bridge Park

There are plenty of spots to sit back and relax at Brookly Bridge Park – you can’t go wrong with any area along the waterfront, but Pier 1 has some swings perfect for your tykes! If they get bored, head on over to Jane’s Carousel.

Location: Cadman Plaza/ Atlantic Ave

3. Grand Central Terminal Play Area

We all know about this one – drop your kids off at the play area right inside of Grand Central and visit the spots we recommend in this article (or elsewhere in the city).

Location: Grand Central Terminal, 42nd Street and Vanderbilt Ave

4. Tompkins Square Park Spray Area

This kid-friendly park is absolutely a great idea for your little ones. Head to 7th St and Avenue A for a little spray area that will keep your kiddos cool and entertained! If you saw the movie Escape from N.Y., this might look familiar, but hopefully, there are no junkies around…

Location: 7th St & Avenue A

5. Hester Street Fair, Essex Street Market & Smorgasburg

There’s no better way to say goodbye to summer than checking out some handmade goods at one of Manhattan’s many street fairs – if you’re local enough, take the kids along! The water fountains around here are perfect for little ones as well.

Location: Hester St & Essex St between Broome & Grand Streets

6. Water Tables at Astoria Park Playground Water Tables at Astoria Park Playground

The tables along the water at this playground are great for little ones to splash around and explore its shaded too, so it’s a nice spot to beat those summer rays! If that gets old, there’s also a play area with swings nearby.

Location: DUMBO between Old Fulton St and Atlantic Ave

7. Prospect Park Splash Pad

Why not beat those summer rays as well as hang out with some animals at the same time? There’s a little water play area for toddlers inside of Prospect Park that has plenty of animals for them to ogle at as well. It’s $5 per child if you want to enter, but they have a few tables outside where you can sit back and relax instead.

Location: Eastern Parkway between Washington Ave & Prospect Park West

8. Brooklyn Children’s Museum Play Area

It’s not free, but it is a great place to let your little ones run and explore without having to wait in line all day! In addition, the museum is right next door to the Brooklyn Public Library – so you can relax outdoor kid-friendly are while they play inside. If you bring them early enough, they might even be able to check the library out for the day (free) before heading over to the BKCM.

Location: 145 Brooklyn Ave (at St Mark’s Place)

9. Hudson River Park Playgrounds

Hudson River Park is divided into two parts; this first playground is on Pier 66 with plenty of running room, slides, swings, and shade. The area nearby has some tables where you can sit back and relax while they run free! You’ll have to connect the West Side Highway during rush hour, though, if you’re heading up north…

Location: West St & 12th St

10. Labadee Beach at Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Labadee Beach at Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship

This is the best way to say goodbye to summer (at least in our opinion!) – your family getaway will be discussed for months after you visit Labadee Beach at Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship, complete with a water slide, another pool, and plenty of other fun stuff. The weather is usually perfect right around now too! If you’re not staying on for a whole cruise, try checking out from one from two weeks before Labor Day to get the most out of this spot before it closes.

Location: 1 Bay Dr, Falmouth, Jamaica W.I.

11. Bryant Park Water Table

We love watching little ones play in the water, especially if cute umbrellas like this one cover theme! Your tyke can splash and play around in this water table at Bryant Park until the crickets come out (the adults will want to stay too).

Location: West 40th and 6th Ave

12. Pools at Rockefeller Center and Thomas Jefferson Park

We love these pools because they’re heated and kid-friendly! You can take a nice dip with your babes here on hot summer days, but make sure you hit up the rock first.. cute umbrellas also cover its.

Location: Rockefeller Center, 49th St & 5th Ave

It might be hard letting go of your kiddos for some me-time, but if they’re occupied with fun things like these, say you deserve it! 

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