5 family-friendly outdoor adventures in NYC

At first glance, Manhattan may appear to be an unlikely outdoor destination—but this big city offers an abundance of fun when the temperature rises. Check out these exciting activities that the entire family can enjoy outside, and see why New York City is your next open-air urban sanctuary.

1. Walk the High Line

On the west side of the city, the High Line rises above the pavement, stretching northward from Gansevoort to 30th Street. A railroad track in its previous life, the High Line was reinvented as a mile-and-a-half-long pedestrian walkway and opened in 2009, attracting those who love to stroll and people-watch while soaking in the city atmosphere.

With plentiful flowers, plants, water and art installations, and benches to rest and recharge, the High Line has several staircase entrances along the route, allowing easy access to businesses and restaurants—including the food- and shopping-famous Chelsea Market. And the Hotel Americano, New York, a Member of Design Hotels, is not only a great starting point on West 27th Street, but its modern urban architecture and Japanese-inspired design will continue the day's artistic flair.

2. Bike along the Hudson River

The Hudson River Park is a stunning, well-maintained path that allows visitors of all ages to jog, walk, bike or roller skate against a backdrop of the city skyline to the east and the beautiful Hudson River views to the West.

Even if you don’t own a bike, New York’s Citibike stations are located in neighborhoods throughout the city, offering a convenient and budget-friendly way to pedal around town (day or annual passes available). This walkway starts in Battery Park and reaches 59th street, with the southernmost tip offering jaw-dropping views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  

3. Play ball! Attend a baseball game

Baseball fans adore New York because the city is home to two legendary teams: the Yankees and the Mets. No matter which team is your favorite, a warm-weather afternoon or evening spent soaking in a ball game is always a guaranteed great time.

And with 162 games per season, chances are you'll have the chance to enjoy one while you're in town. Baseball games are a family-friendly activity that provides excitement, fun, and iconic “baseball food”—from hotdogs and pizza to gourmet sandwiches. Best of all, it’s easy and stress-free to reach both teams' stadiums from anywhere in the city by way of public transportation, and tickets can be purchased online in advance.

4. Discover Central Park

In warmer weather, you simply can’t visit Manhattan without taking in the sights of the legendary Central Park.

The park offers something for everyone and attracts almost 50 million visitors each year to its nearly 900 acres of landscaping, lakes, waterfalls and sculptures. One popular highlight is the gorgeous Belvedere Castle, which also functions as a park visitor center. And families love spending time at the area around the model boat pond, where children can sail remote-control vessels.

At the northern end (104th street), the Conservatory Garden features three distinct sections: French, English and Italian, all overflowing with artistically arranged seasonal flowers, plants and trees. The Southern end is home to the Central Park Zoo (along with the expansive Tisch Children’s Zoo and enchanted forest), which attracts visitors to leisurely enjoy an afternoon of learning about animals from around the world.

5. Set sail on the Circle Line

When the mercury rises, it’s always cooler by the water. And after all, Manhattan is an island—so it’s fun to jump aboard the Circle Line for a relaxing sightseeing cruise that offers a unique perspective of the city.

An array of family-friendly cruises (in a variety of lengths) are scheduled every day of the week. The lively cruises include fun facts about NYC as well as historical elements. A few popular cruises are: the “Best of New York” cruise, a 2.5-hour excursion that circumnavigates the city and showcases all five boroughs; the 1-hour “Liberty” cruise that gives you a close-up look at Lady Liberty in all her glory; and the “Harbor Lights” sunset cruise, featuring a stunning nighttime experience.

All Circle Line cruises offer indoor/outdoor seating along with food and beverages so you can snack on board. Tickets available online.


No matter how you and your family explore the Big Apple, find your best rates on New York City travel with SPG Member Exclusive Rates

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