Summertime Family-Friendly Getaways in New York City

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Taking a family vacation to New York City during the summer brings plenty to do to please everyone. Of course you want to see the classics in the heart of Manhattan, but what about exploring the underrated and pleasantly surprising summer hotspots outside of the concrete jungle? Here are our best suggestions to help you better navigate the city and plan some off-the-beaten path activities away from the most common touristy places.

City Island

(Photo by Julienne Schaer/ NYC & Company)

Visit City Island, New York City’s fishing village in the Bronx. Find seafood fresh off the boat here. Spend a day on the water, hit up old-school ice cream shops, stroll the town or visit historic museums. City Island is a charming seaside community and probably a New Yorkers’ best-kept secret.

Tour Harlem

(Photo by David Keith)

Learn more about the neighborhood’s captivating history and dig into its musical heritages by attending a Gospel worship service in a local church. Harlem also offers great dining options, especially if you’re into Soul Food. If you’re not sure where to go, book a Harlem Gospel Tour with Brunch for an unforgettable experience and meals in some of Harlem’s best eateries.

Explore Brooklyn

(Photo by Harlem Spirituals)

From Brooklyn Heights to Williamsburg, you’ll discover one of the most vibrant and trendy boroughs of New York. Visit DUMBO, one of our favorite neighborhoods to go to while in Brooklyn with kids. Both Domino Park and the Brooklyn Bridge Park offer plenty of space for children to relieve their steam while providing amazing views of the skyline. You’ll also find the historic Jane Carrousel as well as countless food selections from Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory to neighboring pizza places. We recommend trying the authentic coal-fired pizzas at either Juliana’s and Grimaldi’s. Want to explore Brooklyn but unsure of where to go? Book a Brooklyn Walking Tour to see the best of the area directed by a knowledgeable guide.

Have a Beach Day

(Photo by Julienne Schaer/ NYC & Company)

Cool off during the hottest of days at Rockaway Beach, Orchard Beach, Fort Tilden, or our fan-favorite Coney Island in Brooklyn. Not only is it only an easy subway ride away, but it also boasts a beautiful boardwalk with plenty of shops and food places like Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs. Your children will get their fair share of old-school thrills at Coney Island Amusement Park, but if the heat is too strong, opt for some indoor fun at the nearby Aquarium.


Visit Red Hook

(Photo by Julienne Schaer/ NYC & Company)

Take the Ikea Boat to Red Hook in Brooklyn. Admire the Manhattan Skyline, then stop for lunch at the Brooklyn Crab where you and your family can hang out on the huge deck and backyard all afternoon. Games, good food and fun- the perfect recipe for a lazy and relaxing afternoon in the sun.


Governor’s Island

 Escape from the hustle-and-bustle from Manhattan by spending a day on Governors Island and enjoy this huge open space complemented with mini games, bikes, food stands, and some historic buildings dating back to 1700’s. Take your family kayaking! A great summer festivity you can do in the city for free at select Piers!


There is so much more to New York City than just Manhattan. Branch out and experience the ocean during our stay here this summer! If you are interested in finding more to do, search through our complete range of tours, attractions and activities. We can also tailor-make programs specifically to match your desires and budgets. Harlem Spirituals is the ideal one-stop-shop to simplify your planning! Find more information on

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