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Get your kids off their electronic devices—it’s time for some real-life adventures!

Dachshund puppy jumping excitedly on a tablet screen

Tablets and other screen-based electronics can be wonderful learning tools—just make sure you get those little paws to touch grass every once in awhile!

As we begin the second half of August, it’s becoming crystal clear that the start of the 2022–23 school year is coming fast. If you’re not paying attention, summer will soon be over before you know it!

Fortunately, there’s still time this season for great family adventures right here in New York City. So whether you’re seeking places to take a dip, cast a line, or listen to great music, the City is full of great locations and seasonal experiences for you and your family to enjoy!

Below, we’ve collected a list of some of our favorite local late summer activities that we think you and your family may enjoy—check out our suggestions, and let us know in the comments section below how you’re going to be spending the time we have before we all head back into schools next month!

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NYC Summer Adventures for the Whole Family

The Met Fifth Avenue
Exhibit Runs Through October 23, 2022

Over the past 15 years, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has teamed up with the NYC Department of Education to highlight the artwork of talented City public school students in its annual P.S. Art exhibition at the Met. Featuring over 120 works of art from students across the five boroughs, P.S. Art 2022 celebrates the artistic achievements of City public school students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. The exhibition features collages, drawings, paintings, photographs, prints, sculpture, and mixed-media works—each demonstrating students’ personal expressions, imagination, and an overall understanding of artistic processes.

Learn more about the exhibition on the P.S. Art 2022 webpage.

Choose from pools run by NYC Parks or NY State
Season ends Monday, September 5

Enjoy a great pool day at any of the outdoor public pools located across the five boroughs! NYC Parks oversees dozens of outdoor public pools across the City that are free to enter and offer amenities like bathrooms, lockers, sunscreen, and more. Typically, pool hours at NYC Parks pools are from 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. daily, with a break for pool cleaning between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

As an alternate option, NY State oversees the public pools available at Riverbank State Park in Manhattan and Roberto Clemente State Park in the Bronx. Outdoor pool hours at these facilities are from 10:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m. daily, and a small fee is required for admission ($1 for 4–15 year olds; $2 for 16 and up).

We strongly recommend that you bring your own pad locks when visiting any of these public pools.

For more information, visit NYC Parks’ “Free Outdoor Pools” webpage or check out the State Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation’s “Swimming” webpage.

Select New York Public Library Branches
Through August 31, 2022

Throughout the season, the New York Public Library has been hosting “Summer Cruises” at its branches across the City for children seeking free, collaborative, and hands-on learning opportunities. Children participating at these events can be a part of exciting activities like craft-making, read alouds, singing/rhyming, scavenger hunts, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) experiments, and more!

Visit NYPL’s Events page and search for “Summer Cruise” to learn about the Summer Cruise events happening at an NYPL branch near you!

Select NYC Parks Across the City
Through September 29, 2022

Whether you’re into the sounds of jazz, hip-hop, rock, reggae, opera, or folk music, or you’re interested in watching popular, family-friendly movies outdoors, NYC Parks are hosting dozens of family-friendly outdoor events at parks across the five boroughs. And the best part—all of these events are free!

Check out NYC Parks’ listing of their outdoor entertainment events by visiting their “Free Summer Concerts” webpage—there, you’ll be able to identify events near you that you and your family may be interested in!

Child holding up a fishing rod while at Pier 5 in Brooklyn Bridge Park

Photo credit: Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy

Various locations across NYC

With over 520 miles of shoreline and several inland lakes, New York City provides anglers of all ages with great opportunities for catch-and-release fishing!

NYC Parks’ “Fishing in New York City Parks” webpage provides an overview of what one needs to start fishing in New York City, including a New York State fishing license for freshwater fishing for anyone 16 years of age or older, barbless/non-stainless steel hooks, lead-free sinkers, and more. In addition, you’ll also find a link to NYC Parks’ “Fishing Events” list, where you’ll see info regarding the Hudson River Project’s Wetlab Look-Ins, the Billion Oyster Project, and freshwater fishing with experienced Urban Park Rangers.

Also, on Sunday, August 21, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy is providing a Citizen Science Fishing Clinic at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 5 from 4 p.m.–7 p.m. for anyone interested in learning the basics of rod and reel fishing, including how to bait a hook, drop a line, and reel up some fish!  All ages are welcome, and fishing equipment will be provided on site.

Likewise, on Wednesday, August 26, anglers aged five and up can participate in Hudson River Park’s “Big City Fishing” program at Pier 26 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. The Hudson River Project team will provide participants with all the equipment they’ll need to get started and an on-site fishing tutorial.

Open daily, 7:00 a.m.—11 p.m.
Park runs from Gansevoort Street to 34 Street on Manhattan’s West Side
Free Admission

Since it opened back in 2009, the High Line has become one of City’s most well-regarded public spaces. Originally an elevated freight rail line, the High Line was converted into a hybrid, 1.45 mile long public park that combines over 500 species of plants and trees, art, and modern industrial design for an experience unlike any other in the City. Featuring unrivaled views of Manhattan’s West Side, cleverly designed areas for picnics, people-watching, and play, and innovative urban landscaping, the High Line can be the perfect place to take the family for a nice, breezy afternoon/evening summer stroll.

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On behalf of the NYC Department of Education, we wish you all a safe, relaxing, and adventurous remainder of summer!


Banner photo by Zen Cheung. Used under Creative Commons license. Original can be found on Flickr.

Official blog for the NYC Department of Education, home of a million students across 1,800+ schools

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NYC Department of Education, 2019