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The SmartSitting Guide to 9 Great NYC Staycations with Kids!

Are your SmartKids getting bored of the same playgrounds and pools? Luckily, our city is bursting with special adventures that kids will love. If you want to break out of the routine, check out our favorite “staycations” with kids, all easily accessible from the city. Our babysitters and nannies make great adventure companions!


1. Governor’s Island




For a perfect and easy day trip, take the ferry from Lower Manhattan to Governor’s Island! You can rent bikes (or if you’re feeling adventurous, a surrey!) to check out the whole island. Don’t miss the new Slide Hill (pro tip: if it’s a hot day, bring a towel or a T-shirt with you – the slides get very hot!). There are playgrounds all over the island, and great food options too.



2. Roosevelt Island



Probably the most fun transportation to a staycation, the Roosevelt Island Tram is an adventure in itself! Fly over the city to this lovely sliver of land between Manhattan and Queens. There are plenty of kid-friendly activities when you get there, from the Imagination Playground to the beautiful waterfront promenade (pro tip: bikes and scooters are allowed on the tram, so take them along!). They also have a free outdoor summer movie series!




 3. Kayaking on the Hudson River



Every summer, you can go kayaking on the Hudson River for free! There are three different launch points around the city and no signup required (though there can be lines at peak times). Some even offer free or professional lessons! There’s nothing like seeing our beautiful city from the water, and kids will love it.




 4. Wave Hill



One of the best-kept secrets of the Bronx, Wave Hill is a beautiful 28-acre paradise right along the Hudson River. Pack a picnic, bring some outdoor games and books, and take the 1 train up to 242nd Street, where you can hop on a free shuttle to the gardens. Don’t miss the charming cafe, and check out their summer events too!




 5. Brooklyn Botanic Garden



For a more relaxed alternative to its Bronx counterpart, head to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. There are lots of fun play areas for kids, and plenty of space to throw a frisbee or relax in the grass. Don’t miss the super cool Tropical Pavilion – a mini indoor rainforest complete with streams, waterfalls, and three different climates!




6. Queens County Farm Museum



Who knew we had a farm right here in our city? This is the only one left, and it is truly special. It’s been around since 1697 and has a greenhouse, an orchard, livestock, and 47 acres of land.  The kids will love feeding the animals and having wide open space to run around. Check out their events, and be sure to come back in the fall for their massive corn maze!




7. Cold Spring



For a slightly further jaunt from the city, take the Metro North Hudson Line to Cold Spring. This charming town is full of cool shops, great restaurants, a trolley, and beautiful views of the Hudson River. If the kids are up for a hike, check out Breakneck Ridge – the full summit may be ambitious with little ones, but there are plenty of shorter trails to enjoy too!




8. City Island



For a fun and little-known day trip outside the city, take the 6 train all the way up to Pelham Bay Parkway and then hop on the BX29 bus to City Island. This magical island feels like an old-fashioned seaside village, and it’s full of great nautical-themed activities that kids will love!




 10. Sandy Hook



Take the super fun Seastreak ferry over to Sandy Hook! The beach and surrounding areas have lots to offer for kids. There are tons of walking trails, places to kayak and bike, and even overnight campgrounds if you’re feeling adventurous! Check out their upcoming events – the Family Friendly Campfires on the beach are especially great!


Our babysitters and nannies love taking kids on fun adventures. Learn more about us here and get started today with our Family Application!

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