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Summer Must-Do’s in NYC with Your Toddler

Summer Must-Do’s in NYC with Your Toddler - Playgarden NYC

As the weather gets warmer and the school year at all the best preschools in NYC comes to a close, summer activities start to pop up all over New York City! Schedules begin to free up, and time with family is more important than ever. Getting outside, or inside, and enjoying the family and preschool activities available throughout the city is a great opportunity to create core memories, and maybe even start new summer traditions.

Below you will find some of our must-do’s with little ones over the summer while they’re away from their best preschools in NYC!

NYC Parks Activities

NYC Parks offers plenty of free programs and events throughout the summer. From swimming pools to movies in the park to camping with the family, the summer fun is never ending. Check out their website for more potential preschool activities for your little one!

NYC Parks Free Summer Activities 

Playgrounds at the Pier

For a free and fun-filled sunny afternoon, check out the many playgrounds across the piers on the West Side. One of our favorite places for preschool activities is Pier 6, where little ones can cool off in the Water Lab, with exciting water features, like sprinklers and a stream with stepping stones. For more fun in the sun, you and your little one can check out the slides at Slide Mountain! For info, check out the link below:

Water Lab at Pier 6 

Museums

Especially on those summer days when you need a break from the heat, a museum day is a fun educational adventure for the whole family (and will only benefit your little one’s experience at their best preschool in NYC)! The American Museum of Natural History walks you and your family through the history of our planet, with exhibits exploring oceans, insects, and plants. They also have a butterfly vivarium and other exhibitions at additional cost.

American Museum of Natural History 

The first museum in the country dedicated to children is the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. The interactive exhibits let little ones explore a New York City that is their size, as well as encouraging physical, social, and emotional development with preschool activities. These are only two of the many museums you can explore with your toddler! For more info, check out the links provided.

Brooklyn Children’s Museum 

The Aquarium

This one is my personal favorite summer activity – a trip to the aquarium! On the boardwalk in Coney Island, The New York Aquarium is the place for undersea exploration for you and your family. A part of the Wildlife Conservation Society, the New York Aquarium offers educational programs, summer camps, and more to teach people of all ages about the importance of protecting our oceans and the animals that inhabit them. The Playquarium is a great preschool activity designed for little ones to explore coral reefs and learn about underwater animals. With a touch pool, bilingual placards, sensory-friendly lighting, and wheelchair accessibility, every little one from every best preschool in NYC can enjoy the ocean adventure!

The New York Aquarium 

Botanical Gardens

Summer is in full bloom at NYC’s botanical gardens. Enjoy the sunshine and learn about plant life through self-guided or live-guided tours through the grounds of the New York Botanical Garden. Now through June 14th, you can explore plants used to make salads, including a take-home rainbow salad seed mix, so the gardening and growing can continue as an at-home preschool activity after your visit.

New York Botanical Garden 

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden offers kid-friendly exhibits that let them explore habitats and wildlife right there in the garden. Play “I Spy” with your little ones as your inner scientists try to identify the many plants, insects, and animals you may see! For more information, check out the links provided.

Brooklyn Botanical Garden 

BONUS TIP:

Make a Summer Bucket List

To ensure your summer family activities are prioritized, decide with your family what activities you really want to do over the summer and put them on the top of a list. From “a trip to the zoo” to “get ice cream from the Mister Softee truck,” fill your list with all the fun your family would like to do. Adding family trips you have planned are great for this list, too! Continue down the list with as many activities as you think are possible during your summer. Then, as you complete activities on the list, your little one can check them off and, at the end of the summer when it’s time to head back to their best preschool in NYC, they will have a visual reminder of how much fun they had!


Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, and heartwarming summer filled with the best preschool activities, and we look forward to seeing everyone again at our best preschool in NYC come fall!

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Miss Julia - Playgarden NYC
Hi, I'm Miss Julia!

Miss Julia has been an early childhood educator for 5 years, with over 10 years of experience working in childcare. She has been teaching at Playgarden Prep since 2017, and is happy to share ideas on some of her favorite early education topics with you! Miss Julia has a BA from UC Irvine, and uses her experience in performing arts to inspire little ones every day in her enrichment classes at Playgarden. In her free time, Miss Julia loves enjoying nature, cooking, and creating with friends.