Ultimate Family Guide to Summer Fun - 2023

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This summer, get the biggest bang for your vacation buck here in the Ocean State. From the 48-mile Blackstone River Bikeway to the 40-acre Roger Williams Park Zoo, we’ve got more family-friendly activities than states hundreds of times our size. Our 400 miles of shoreline alone have enough adventures to fill several vacations! Plan your summer vacation today at VisitRhodeIsland.com

Photo: GoProvidence


Did we mention the world’s largest collection of toys, dolls, and games? Pack your bags and hit the road for an unforgettable trip in a destination full of surprises. With fun for every family, every season of the year, playtime tends to last a little longer in our backyard.

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4 NewYorkFamily.com | 2023 Share your feedback and ideas about family life in New York! Email us at editorial@newyorkfamily.com and tag us at #newyorkfamily GET IN TOUCH
New York Family is published monthly by Queens Family Media, LLC. Reproduction of New York Family Media in whole or part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. All rights reserved. ©2023 Queens Family Media, LLC 2022 CONTENTS 8 | Travel 16 Amazing road trips for the entire family 26 | Ask the Expert How to capture the best family photos 28 | Family Day Out 10 stunning sunflower spots near NYC 32 | Family Day Out 10 Local Lighthouses 36 | Travel One happy vacation at Aruba Marriott and Stellaris Casino 40 | City Surfs up at Malibu Beach Barbie cafe 42 | Summer Fun Our top picks for inspiring seasonal activities for the whole family
Get ready for Atlantic City’s new premier family entertainment destination. Island Waterpark is the world’s largest oceanfront indoor waterpark and it will absolutely blow your mind. Opening in Atlantic City Summer 2023! IslandWaterparkAC.com
What if we took the world’s LARGEST indoor water park... BEST shopping and dining... COOLEST year-round ski slope... MOST record-breaking-est theme park... and put them all in one AMAZING place? Oh, wait. We already did! It’s All Here! 1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ 07073 Experience it All! @americandream • americandream.com

Family Road Trips

Looking to take a trip with your family this summer? Getting out of the city may be just the thing you need! If you’re not looking to go too far, try a summer road trip. Skip the hustle and bustle of the airport, and make memories on the road towards your destination.

But before you get in the car or train, let’s create your perfect road trip itinerary. Finding a vacation that all of your kids will enjoy isn’t always the easiest task. That’s why we rounded up our favorite summer road trips this year. Read on to find the best destination for your family this summer!

Discover Central Massachusetts

Central Massachusetts offers its warmest welcome to visitors each summer! A road trip to the region will be full of outdoor fun, animal sightings and scenic views.

Kids enjoy New England’s largest zoological experience at Southwick’s Zoo, home to 850+ animal residents in the heart of the Blackstone River Valley.

A few towns over, travelers find sheep, pigs, oxen and cows roaming Old Sturbridge Village, the immersive regional attraction that depicts life as it stood in an early 19thcentury village.

For families who truly love nature, this is the roadtrip for you! There’s the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, designed to ignite children’s imaginations through educational opportunities in a naturalistic setting.

And let’s not forget The Farm at SummitWynds each summer which has workshops, retreats and festivals spotlighting the stunning floral covered grounds.

Start planning your trip today!

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Drift away to 130 miles of famous Jersey Shore. Discover family-friendly boardwalks, seaside amusement piers, theme parks and shopping meccas. Dive into history, art and culture. And take exciting journeys, like our American Revolution and Black Heritage trip Itineraries.

Plan your getaway and access your free VisitNJ.org.

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TRAVEL Dutchess County Fair

Whether this is your first time visiting this famous fair or the one your family has waited for all year, the Dutchess County Fair is among the world’s best fairs. It is familyfriendly, with activities and adventures for all, and it is only a car or train ride away. This year’s 177th fair runs from August 22nd through 27th in Rhinebeck, NY. As the largest agricultural six-day fair in NY, there’s plenty for every member of the family to do– go on rides, eat great food and listen to entertaining music. The fair’s goal is to give visitors an appreciation for agriculture while educating them on where the food we eat comes from, all while having a blast!

Your kids will love meeting farm animals like cows, horses, pigs, chickens, sheep, rabbits and goats. With over 1,000 individual exhibitors, your family won’t know what to do first. Explore 12 acres of livestock, milking demonstrations and sheep shearing, meet costumed storytellers from the early 1900’s, and shop artisanal goods and handmade crafts and quilts. Younger kids (ages 3-10) can visit a hands-on mock farm in the AgVenture Activity Tent while adults will appreciate the horticultural beauty of

dozens of themed garden displays. Be sure to purchase advance discount tickets to secure your spot at a great deal! Dutchessfair.com

Frederick County, Maryland

In need of a peaceful, relaxing and scenic getaway? Frederick County, Maryland can provide just that! History lovers will enjoy learning about Frederick’s part during the American Civil War, including battlefields, Monocacy National Battlefield and South Mountain State Battlefield. Families can take beautiful hikes through Chimney Rock in Catoctin Mountain Park or Cunningham Falls State Park.

You could even spend the day with animals at Catoctin Wildlife Preserve, or ride a themed train on Walkersville Southern Railroad. And with 20 nationally-branded hotels and camping sites nearby, it’s easy to book a stay.

For families traveling in June, check out the Frederick Festival of the Arts on June 10th. There will be outdoor dining, specialty shops and 150+ exhibitors featuring their art. If you’re planning a July visit, don’t miss the National Clustered Spires High Wheel Race on July 15th. The only race of its kind in the nation, this high wheel bike race features racers from all over speeding through the streets of Downtown Frederick. Visitfrederick.org

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Great Northern Catskills of Greene County

Whether you’re looking to chill, seek adventure or both, you can find it all in the Great Northern Catskills of Greene County, conveniently located about two hours north of New York City and a half hour south of Albany.

There’s something for everyone here! Thrill seekers can spend an afternoon at one of North America’s longest, fastest and highest zipline canopy tours – New York Zipline Canopy Tours in Hunter. Outdoor adventures are a given in the Catskills, with 700,000 acres of wilderness and 120 miles of mountain bike trails, there is always something for the entire family.

To cool off after a bike ride, head over to New York’s #1 family waterpark—Zoom Flume Water Park in East Durham. Once your family tires out, take a breathtaking scenic skyride to the top of the Hunter or Windham Mountains. On a clear day, the summits offer panoramic views of the Catskill Mountains and beyond.

And if you’re looking to stay a few days, head over to one of the classic Catskill allinclusive family resorts!

The Kartrite Resort

Want an all-in-one destination that will guarantee endless family adventures this summer? The Kartrite Resort located in the Catskill Mountains is home to NY’s biggest indoor waterpark and much more. Spend an entire day at the 11 waterpark attractions just a 90-minute drive from the city, then check into one of the new and modern resort suites to get some rest. All suites (available as 1, 2 or 3 bedroom) come with 4 passes for the waterpark for the day of check in and check out. Beyond the water fun, enjoy The Kartrite's 7 eclectic eateries and bars, arts & crafts, archery, goat yoga, pony rides and hiking. Plus, if you want to escape the heat, head indoors to endless fun at Playopolis arcade, laser tag, ropes course, rock climbing, bowling, virtual reality and more. You could even plan your trip around one of the themed weeks: June 15-19: Adventure Week, July 2-8: Independence Week, or August 20-26: Superhero Week. And if you have a special occasion coming up like a summer birthday or bar/bat mitzvah, exciting promotions and packages await!

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New Jersey

New Jersey summers are action-packed and full of family-friendly activities, especially for the beach lovers! With 130 miles of the Jersey Shore, your family can walk the boardwalk, build sand castles and enjoy delicious food by the water.

Take a trip to one of the zoos in the area— Cape May County Park & Zoo, Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange and Cohanzick Zoo in Bridgeton.

Get active by kayaking, horseback riding, hiking and biking at New Jersey’s recreational hot spots and calm waterways.

You can even get your dose of arts and culture at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City and Newark Museum of Art.

Paterson Great Falls Historic Park and Liberty State Park offer a glimpse into the past and Black Heritage itineraries stop at must-see sites running through the heart and soul of the state. New Jersey has a lot to offer families, especially being so close to NYC!


Only 24 miles north of NYC on the banks of the Hudson in beautiful Rockland County, the village of Nyack is perfect for your next family road trip. Nyack offers hundreds of experiences and events that make for great day trips, weekend getaways and longer stays – a treasure trove packed into just over one walkable square mile.

Take a walk on one of the many local hiking trails, bike across the Governor Mario Cuomo Bridge, and take in all of the incredible views of the river. If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the boat charters and water sports in the river itself. For a more peaceful itinerary, enjoy the arts by visiting the Edward Hopper House Museum, theaters, music and comedy shows.

You may even want to plan your trip around one or more of Nyack’s many signature events, including street fairs, classic and exotic car nights, the African American Day parade, LGBTQ+ promenade, 4th of July fireworks, outdoor concerts and food tours. Your family will also love the weekly Farmer’s Markets, which feature live music, fresh goods from local farms and artisans, and plenty of kid-friendly activities. Make memories this summer in Nyack!

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2023 | Summer Fun 15 moment MAKE YOUR Make moments that matter in hip and historic Frederick County, Maryland. Wander quaint downtowns where historic buildings host locally-owned shops. Indulge in world-class restaurants and embrace our lively arts scene. Venture outdoors in National and State Parks and experience our storied past at Civil War battlefields. Unwind at dozens of family-friendly wineries, breweries, and distilleries. visitfrederick.org • 800-999-3613

TRAVEL Playland

The name “Play” land should say it all! Not too far from Manhattan, Westchester’s top park for the last 94 years says: “It’s time to play.” There is something for all ages, from the littlest ones to tweens and teens. With famous rides, midway games and new thrills, you’re guaranteed a day filled with fun, laughs, and unforgettable memories.

In addition to regular live entertainment and shows, this season the brand new Fountain Plaza will bring even more excitement to the park, where families can dance along with synchronized lights and music.

Once your family gets tired of the rides, head to the famous boardwalk -shop for souvenirs, and visit the Westchester Children’s Museum. Grab a bite at one of the many restaurants, like burgers at Jack Burger or yummy tacos at Taco Casa. Cool off at Playland Beach, featuring a new waterfront slide, at the Playland Pool or even hop on a paddle boat. Your kids will be plotting their next visit to Playland!

Putnam County Country Fest & 4-H Showcase

Don’t miss out on the country festival families love, happening July 29th to 30th at Veteran’s Memorial Park this summer!

Just an easy car drive away, the 4-H fair brings thousands of locals and visitors to enjoy this eclectic mix of traditions where little and big kids will have fun adventures at the Putnam County Country Fest & 4-H Showcase.

There are food trucks, treats, countrythemed vendors, games, demos, exhibits, magic shows, inflatables and more. Listen to live music, watch the classic car show, and even attend the Duck Derby fundraiser.

Kids will leave with full stomachs, mini artistic masterpieces and many memories to last a lifetime. There’s free parking and admission, so grab your sunscreen and get going!

By car or by train, take a day trip to Putnam County, where there’s always another reason to say “I Love New York.” Be sure to visit iloveny.com for more information about a New York State getaway.

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resort & indoor waterpark

555 Resorts World Dr. Monticello, NY 12701 www.thekartrite.com

An easy 90-minute car ride from NYC lands you here, The Kartrite Resort.

New York’s newest and biggest indoor waterpark. Modern and stylish suites. Hi-Tech Adventure Zone. 8 eclectic eateries and bars. Daily activities schedule, bowling, a ropes course, and laser tag. Gorgeous hiking trails. 11,000 square feet of meeting space to accommodate large or small groups.

And much, much more. Just a short walk to the spectacular Resorts World Catskills Casino Resort!

Located in the heart of the beautiful Catskills.

Rhode Island

Plan a summer family getaway and see why they call Rhode Island “The Ocean State!” Here are some top family-friendly attractions throughout each of the state’s six regions.

Blackstone Valley. Blackstone Valley is home to the fastest indoor karting track in the country. Head to Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket for a mix of art studios and retail shops. Blackstone Valley’s hiking and biking paths are perfect for exploring this beautiful region.

Providence. Rhode Island’s beautiful capital features can’t-miss attractions like WaterFire Providence, where one hundred bonfires blaze majestically on downtown rivers, and Roger Williams Park Zoo and Carousel Village, home to exotic species from across the globe. Block Island. Take a short ferry ride to Block Island for natural beauty and small-town charm. Families can join the Block Island Glass Float Project, part art installation, part scavenger hunt, then check out 1661 Farms and Gardens, a small hobby farm with lemurs, kangaroos and more.

Warwick and West Bay. Warwick and West Bay feature incredible shopping and scenic beauty. At Goddard Memorial State Park, active families will find a golf course, horseback riding, game fields and more. Head to Oakland Beach to enjoy a public waterfront, fishing and swimming.

South County. Hit the beaches in South County for a sunsoaked afternoon of swimming, relaxation and fun. Adventureland in Narragansett features go-karts, batting cages and bumper boats. In Charlestown, The Fantastic Umbrella Factory is a go-to for

adventurous shoppers. Newport County. At Historic Newport, tour the Newport Mansions and lighthouses and watch centuries of history unfold, then visit Rail Explorers for a scenic ride on a custom-built rail bike. Visit Bristol County for stunning coastal views at Colt State Park and see wildlife at the Audubon Society of R.I. Nature Center and Aquarium. Find more ideas for your family summer vacation today at VisitRhodeIsland.com.


As the third largest metro area in NY and just under 6 hours by car from NYC, Rochester is an ideal destination for families. Rochester is one of the most family-friendly cities in the country, with more than 75 experiences for families.

Kids of all ages love The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester. The Strong Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated to play, and is home to the National Toy Hall of Fame, the Toy Industry Hall of Fame, and the World Video Game Hall of Fame.

There’s also the Rochester Museum and Science Center, which features a planetarium and nature center, and the oldest photography museum in the world, the George Eastman Museum.

Plus, your family can visit the largest living history museum in New York at the Genesee Country Village and Museum, which depicts a 19th century village brought to life.

At Rochester’s Seneca Park Zoo, you’ll see Red Pandas, Masai Giraffes and Zebras!

With more than 12,000 acres of parkland, 100+ miles of trails,

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and extensive waterways, Rochester is a great destination for active families who enjoy hiking, biking, fishing and more.
2023 | Summer Fun 19 It’s time to Play Get your thrills on new and classic rides, make a big splash at our beach and pool, and create unforgettable memories all day long at Playland. Get your tickets today at playland.com. Playland © 2023 All rights reserved.

Rockland County

Rockland County is a hidden New York gem that’s only 30 miles north of New York City. Offering stunning views of the Hudson River as well as access to quaint villages, outdoor activities, a bustling craft food and beverage scene, rich history, and non-stop shopping and entertainment, there’s something for everyone in Rockland County.

Start your day by walking or biking across the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. With access and parking points in Nyack and Westchester, you and your family can enjoy six scenic overlook points, public art across the path and historic touchpoints. At 3.6 miles and the longest biking and pedestrian path in the county, the path is also a great way to get in some exercise. For a connection to nature, enjoy access to over 200 miles of trails and parks. Great for hiking, exploring, and swimming as well as boating, kayaking, watersports, and fishing in Nyack, Piermont, Haverstraw, or Stony Point.

Take in a game and enjoy some baseball fare by watching the New York Boulders, a professional minor league baseball team with a stadium right in Rockland. Add some history to your trip by checking out the Stony Point Battlefield State Historic Site. This is the location of the last major Revolutionary War battle in the north with a museum, interactive programs, reenactments of battles, cannon musket firing, and more.

This is also the location of the Stony Point Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse on the Hudson River. For some indoor fun, visit Palisades Center and enjoy tons of activities and entertainment, such as Space Adventure Glow in the Dark Mini Golf, Palisades Climb Adventure, Au-

tobahn Raceway, 5 Wits Escape Room, the Palisades Climb Adventure Ropes Course, ice skating, movie theater, bowling at Lucky Strike, and tons more.

Make sure to include walking through one of Rockland's many waterfront villages as a part of your trip as you check out a waterfront restaurant, breweries, boutiques, and Torne Valley Vineyards, Rockland’s only winery. Located in the Ramapo Mountains, this quaint winery offers tastings, live music and Friday night concerts in the summer. Complete your stay with a great night of sleep at one of the area’s sweet bed and breakfasts, hotel, or local inn. explorerocklandny.com

Showboat Resort, Atlantic City

Take a splash this summer at Showboat Resort, Atlantic City, home to the world’s largest beachfront indoor waterpark with 12+ slides, a 1,000 square-foot surf simulator, nightlife entertainment for adults, a retractable roof for year-round fun and much more.

The famed Atlantic City boardwalk will enter a new era this summer with the early summer debut of The Showboat Resort, an expansion and re-imagining of the existing Showboat– and your family is invited! “There is nothing I love more as a grandfather than watching my grandkids play and have fun. That’s really the inspiration behind the mindblowing experience that Showboat Resort brings to the boardwalk,” said Bart Blatstein, Tower Investments CEO and Showboat owner.

There are adult and kid areas, making it easy for both parents and children to have fun this summer. Plus, a fan favorite among all ages, Showboat Resort includes Lucky Snake Arcade–the largest arcade in the world. The more than 200,000 square-foot venue features the 40,000 square-foot Raceway Go Kart Track and more than 600 games, including pinball, virtual reality, and bowling. There will be even more activities this year, like discothemed roller blading, a state-of-the-art, classic movie-themed miniature

golf course, a 40-foot-tall climbing wall, and the largest Zoltar fortune teller in the world.

Want to stay after a long day at the resort? Not to worry– the transformation into The Showboat Resort will also mark the completion of the iconic Showboat’s first phase of hotel renovations, including 477 guest rooms, among which are 36 Balcony Suites.

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It here.happens

2023 | Summer Fun 21 Turn the Hudson-Athens lighthouse into your North Star. Feel the thrill of summer’s setting sun and the chill of a night spent on the mountain. Embrace your forever wild side by exploring the uncharted hidden gems, spirited main streets, and unique events that await in The Great Northern Catskills this summer... #FindYourCatskills
Feel it. Breathe it. Live it. GreatNorthernCatskills.com

TRAVEL Smugglers' Notch, Vermont

Those looking for more than a day trip the mountains of Vermont may be the adventure you need. Smugglers' Notch, Vermont is worth the drive, with plenty of scenic spots to stop along the way.

Spend a few days in the mountains biking, swimming and zipping through the trees. There are mountain waterslides, pools and reservoirs, and even the Kids Day Camp which has mountain biking, arts & crafts, STEM, wildness & survival, or high adventure.

Let your kiddos enjoy a day at one of the specialty camps while you relax or go on an outdoor date.

Families enjoy taking a turn through the treetop obstacle course or two worldrenowned Disc Golf courses, and kids love the FunZone, which has indoor climbing, inflatables laser tag, arcades and more.

You don’t want to miss family fun in Smugglers' Notch! Mountainside lodging packages with all the resort amenities fill up quickly for summer fun so plan your vacation at www.smuggs.com.

Sweet Summertime in Westchester County

As summer vacation begins, travelers will be ecstatic to find there is so much to see and do in Westchester County. Bordered by the Hudson River and Long Island Sound, Westchester has more than 500 square miles of space, ensuring families can maximize their time and budgets while making memories that are priceless.

Families looking for epic play will find it in abundance at Rye’s very own amusement park, Playland, featuring exciting rides like the iconic Dragon Coaster and 108-year-old Grand Carousel. For more adrenaline, Boundless Adventures in Purchase is where adults and kids can crawl, swing and climb over obstacles at this aerial adventure park. Other fun attractions to consider include a visit to Legoland, Westchester Children’s Museum, and Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts for incredible outdoor performances and picnics.

Boasting 24,000 acres of parkland spread over more than 25 parks, Westchester is the perfect place for fresh air beyond the city. Visit Lasdon Park with its Dinosaur Garden and Chinese Friendship Pavilion. Croton Point Park offers expansive parkland and outdoor swimming in the summer, and Muscoot Farm’s Sunday Farmer’s Market is always a family favorite.

Eating is one of the wonders of Westchester County with an

abundance of dining options. For breakfast, fuel up near the Long Island Sound shore at Stanz Café in Larchmont. Lunch at Walter’s Hot Dogs is another can’t-miss experience, and dinner at River Outpost Brewing will have the perfect something for both kids and adults. For dessert, the Bigfoot Creamery in Ossining offers tasty flavors and unique floats.

When the time comes for rest, Westchester offers a variety of hotels, allowing families to choose accommodations based on budget and proximity to their plans. Parents will find all the tools they need to plan the perfect itinerary by visiting www.visitwestchesterny.com.

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family fun



the perfect weekend away

Fly, drive or take the train to Central MA this summer for a weekend away your whole family will enjoy. The City of Worcester has lots of family-friendly experiences, plus great local dining. Explore the surrounding towns to discover a zoo, botanic garden, living history museum, farms and excellent hiking trails. For upcoming events, visitor tips, & so much more, consider us your local guide to the heart of Massachusetts.

DISCOVERCENTRALMA.ORG start planning at on social media and on our app

Pow! Wow! Worcester Murals Brookfield Orchards Ecotarium
New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill Worcester Art Museum WooSox at Polar Park Old Sturbridge Village Brush it Off Southwick’s Zoo The Hanover Theatre

Wild West City

Wild West City is a western theme park located in the beautiful, scenic Skyland’s Region of Sussex County, New Jersey. Your family will love this unique 1880’s theme park, a place where guests can step back in time, disconnect from the modern world and reawaken the spirit of the American West. Live action shows and reenactments of the west are performed on the ‘Main Street’ in town throughout the day.

There are plenty of things for families to see and do here, from popping into town shops and museums, to riding the Stage Coach through town, to boarding the Wild West City Train. Enjoy new and special events happening in 2023, like the latest Billy’s Great Escape production! And don’t miss out on Wild West City’s National Day of the Cowboy and Cowgirl, Civil War reenactments, and Native American events.

Wild West City is one of the most unique things to do in New Jersey, making it the perfect day trip for families, friends, couples and groups.

Purchase tickets in advance online, or consider a membership if you’ll be visiting often. Memberships include unlimited visits

throughout the 2023 season, admission to all special event days, bring a friend ticket, souvenir WWC Cup, discounts at food and retail shops and more! www.wildwestcity.com.

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TRAVEL Tickets discounted online! Now open for 2023! 2023 season passes are now available for purchase. Order online at

Your Next Family-Fun Getaway...

is just 30 minutes away!

You don’t have to travel far to enjoy the beauty of the Hudson Valley.

Rockland County offers a wealth of attractions and activities easily reached by car, train, or boat. With a mix of bustling towns, great outdoor adventure, creative culture and more, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy.

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How to Capture the Best Family Photos

Spring is in the air and summer is on the way and it’s the perfect time to capture the best family photos in our beautiful city. We sought expert advice to get the best family photos this season.

Great photography is an art – like a dance between shooter and subject, and the finished photos reflect that dance with simple, brilliant harmony.

McKay Williamson helps families to create images that are not only personally cherished, but also creatively exceptional. They shared their top tips for the best family photos:

Set the Scene. Location is key. Before the shoot, have a think about places to explore on the shoot whether you stay at your home, visit a local haunt, or jet off to somewhere iconic.

Dress Code. Wardrobe is super important. What would you wear if you were going

to lunch with Harry Styles? That’s your wardrobe for this shoot. Have fun and don’t take it too seriously.

Hobbies and Props. Your shoot should reflect your family and what really matters to you, so why not bring some props? Whether you’re musical, arty, sporty or academic, show everyone what’s important to you.

Weather Alert. Bright sunshine is great for a picnic, not a photo shoot. Overcast days allow for softer light, which is more forgiving. This is why we go for Golden Hour.

Be Brave and Accessorize! Sometimes it’s hard to let our hair down, but if you have a favorite hat, sunglasses, boots – anything –then bring it along and unleash the inner diva.

Getting Creative. Sometimes clients come to us with some really creative ideas for shoots. We love making ideas happen.

Photo Tips:

• The concrete jungle is our home so find a location that is special and meaningful to your family

• Prepare a play list to set the tone and help everyone to relax and have fun

• Bring snacks (and eat beforehand) so everyone is full and happy

• Be true to your family, show all the love, and let the good times roll and the camera will capture all of these special moments

• Remember that less is often more – keep sessions short so it’s sweet for the whole family

Most Importantly – Have Fun! Relax, enjoy your family time, and have fun!

Don’t worry about the shots – just focus on spending time with your loved ones and doing the things that you enjoy.

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Beyond center stage

No matter where you go in Westchester County this summer, an experience is sure to follow.

Embark on an outdoor adventure, tour historic homes and gardens, grab a seat at a table to sample the best food and beverages our region has to offer—or simply relax and enjoy the show.

Go to VisitWestchesterNY.com to find more summer destination ideas and upcoming events.

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® I LOVE NEW YORK is a registered trademark and service mark of the New York State Department of Economic Development; used with permission.
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts | Photo by Gabe Palacio

10 Stunning Sunflower Fields Near NYC

Sunflower season is right around the corner! While there aren’t many farms with sunflower fields in NYC, there are plenty of choices in the surrounding areas to see these towering-tall flowers.

These fields provide the perfect photo opportunity for you and your family. Plus, many of these farms host sunflower festivals full of activities perfect for a summer afternoon.

Water Drinker Family Farm and Garden

663 Wading River Road, Manorville, NY

This sunflower maze in Manorville is the perfect photo op spot for you and your family.

Water Drinker’s Sunflower Festival is open seven days a week, with extended “Sunset Saturday” hours on Saturday evenings. When you’re not taking pictures with the beautiful flowers, play a round of mini golf on the nine hole course, meet some of the farm’s barnyard animals or jump on the farm’s jumbo jump pad. Water Drinker Family Farm is also pet friendly, so it’s sure to be a fun time for the whole family.

Sunflower Valley Farm

366 County Route 12, New Hampton, NY New Hampton’s Sunflower Valley Farm begins their season for the year in August. Visit the farm and maybe even take home some sunflowers of your own: admission to the farm includes three cut flowers. For a

family photo op featuring the whole entire family, bring your pooch! Leashed pets are allowed on the farm. How cute!

Rottkamp’s Fox Hollow Farm

2287 Sound Avenue, Baiting Hollow, NY

The sunflower maze at Rottkamp’s Fox Hollow Farm in Calverton is the perfect place to spend a summer day. There are plenty of spots in and out of the maze for photo opportunities. Relax among the flowers with some Hershey’s ice cream (sold on the farm) and maybe pick up some fresh produce from the farm stand while you’re there. The farm is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm.

Garden of Eve

4558 Sound Ave., Riverhead, NY

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2023 Signature Events | May - September


Parents, mark your calendars for this monthly playdate experience designed to help kids expand their imaginations while engaging in themed crafts, games and more!


Take your yoga routine outdoors and enjoy a complimentary, weekly session on the Town Square Lawn. Take advantage of the loyalty rewards program and earn exclusive prizes for every five classes attended.

& Brews


Grab your furry best friends and make your way to the Ridge Hill Dog Park for the doggone happiest hour of all.


Enjoy a season of exciting, action-packed, family-oriented movies on the big screen in Town Square.


Start your weekends unwinding with a variety of live musical performances in Town Square.

For event details, visit RidgeHill.com | @shopridgehill

2023 | Summer Fun 29
b Se 202 ature

Garden of Eve’s Sunflower Fest on Long Island will be happening throughout the month of August and for as long as the flowers are in bloom. The 5 acre field holds over 100,000 flowers, and it’s the only certified organic U-Pick sunflower field on Long Island. Admission includes unlimited access to the sunflower field as well as photo ops, pedal karts, farm animals and more.

Lyman Orchards

105 South Street, Middlefield, CT

Visit Connecticut’s original sunflower maze and find your way through 350,000 vibrant flowers, Every visitor gets a Maze Passport, which features fun trivia questions that will help you find your way through the maze. The orchard also includes a 10-foot viewing platform, perfect for scenic views and unbeatable group photos.

The Farm Woodbury

281 Weekeepeemee Rd., RT 132, Woodbury, CT

The Sunflower Fest at the Farm Woodbury is in full swing in August. Walk through 18 varieties of flowers over four acres of land,

maybe even take a few home for an additional charge. There are plenty of other offerings included in the festival as well. Buy produce or plants from the farm stand, stop by the food trucks stationed at the festival on weekends. Take part in some of the other experiences offered alongside the festival, like knitting classes, yoga and painting classes.

Alstede Farms

1 Alstede Farms Ln, Chester, NJ

The sunflower trail at Alstede Farms in Chester is open everyday throughout the season, typically through October. Admission to the trail is included in the farm’s pick your own admission. Take a scenic tractor-drawn wagon ride around the farm and learn about how plants and food are grown.

Ort Farms

25 Bartley Road, Long Valley, NJ

The flower season at Ort Farms in Long Valley is due to begin at the end of August. Take a relaxing trip through the farm’s

sunflower walk and take advantage of the Instagram-worthy backdrop. While your there, stop by the farm market to see what’s new.

Von Thun Farms

25 Bartley Road, Long Valley, NJ

A ticket to the New Jersey Sunflower Trail at Von Thun Farms in Washington gets you access to gorgeous photo op areas, the farm’s animal barnyard area, a hayride around the farm and admission to the picking fields. There are also some amenities available for an additional cost, like food from a selection of rotating vendors and face painting.

Holland Ridge Farms

86 Rues Road, Cream Ridge, NJ

If you’re looking for a sunflowers in the fall, look no further than Holland Ridge Farms in Cream Ridge. The Fall Flower Festival, opens in September. There will be plenty of photo opportunities with the farm’s flowers and an abundance of photo props. Certain weekends of the festival will feature trucks, crafts, a live music festival and more.

This summer at the Pequot Museum we will be offering a variety of culture-filled fun and educational programs, workshops and events for families and friends of all ages. Join us each Wednesday–Saturday in July and August for some of the best experiences that Mashantucket has to offer at the largest Native American museum in the world!

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2023 | Summer Fun 31

10 Local Lighthouses

you need to visit this summer

Summer is right around the corner, meaning it’s almost time for sand, sun and fun! And while the beach is totally tubular on a hot summer day, there’s something else by the water your kids will enjoy: A visit to a local lighthouse!

You can get up-close-and-personal with a local lighthouse, or see some from afar on an exciting boat ride or tour. The New York metropolitan area is home to many lighthouses—over 35—all of which have guided ships and vessels into New York Harbor and surrounding waterways for centuries. As cool as they are to look at, our local lighthouses each resonate a deep history that goes beyond their unique architecture and marvelous engineering. This holds true for lighthouses in NYC and around the world.

“They were crucial to building the economy of the world as they served to assure safe passage of seamen and their cargo,” said Linda Dianto, executive director of the National Lighthouse Museum, which is located by the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, St. George. “Lighthouses are icons in our country, many located in some of the most magnificent locations along our waterways. Lighthouse history needs to be preserved for generations to come.”

While a lot of lighthouses are defunct, many are still in use. Browse this list of 10 historic lighthouses in NYC and nearby that families can visit or see from a ferry or tour boat, and get ready for a summer filled with lots of learning and family fun!

The Statue Of Liberty

WHERE IS IT? Liberty Island

HOW TO GET THERE: Book a boat ride at Statue City Cruises or call 877-523-9849.

Let’s start with the most famous lighthouse of all—The Statue of Liberty. This beautiful monument was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States. Made of copper, she was dedicated on October

28, 1886, and designated as a National Monument in 1924. Today, you can visit the pedestal of the statue, which has 215 steps, or approximately 10 stories, to its top. A visit to Liberty Island is a classic NYC way to spend a summer day with the family!

Titanic Memorial Lighthouse

WHERE IS IT? South Street Seaport Historic Seaport District; Fulton and Pearl Streets

HOW TO GET THERE: The best way to get there is by Staten Island Ferry. It’s a 15-minute walk from the Whitehall Ferry Terminal. This beautiful lighthouse is a memorial dedicated to the RMS Titanic’s passengers, officers and crew who perished when the ship sank on April 15, 1912, after colliding with an iceberg on its way to New York City. Placed on the roof of the Seamen’s Church Institute, it was officially dedicated in 1913. Although it served as a memorial, it had a practical use as well. Its signature green light could be seen by vessels 10

miles out. When the Seamen’s Church Institute relocated, the old building, along with the lighthouse, was set to be demolished. Thankfully, it was donated to the Seaport Museum and erected in its current location in May 1976. Today, people can stop by and reflect on the Titanic tragedy and think about the over 1,500 people who lost their lives that fateful day.

Robbins Reef Lighthouse

WHERE IS IT? Located between Staten Island’s North Shore and the Statue of Liberty.

HOW TO GET THERE: While the lighthouse isn’t open for visitors, you can see it along the Staten Island Ferry ride.

Staten Island’s Noble Maritime Collection owns this adorable “sparkplug” lighthouse that you can see from the Staten Island Ferry. Kate Walker was the lighthouse keeper here for 33 years. The museum is working on restoring the lighthouse and hopes to one day make it possible to open for visitors. In the

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Family day out
Little Red Lighthouse
2023 | Summer Fun 33 The 177thDutchess County Fair
August 22 - August 27 Advance Discount Tickets For Admission, Ride All Day Wristbands & Concerts Are Available At dutchessfair.com KIDS UNDER 11 FREE ADMISSION AT ALL TIMES FREE PARKING! Tuesday, August 22 • 7:30pm FREE With Paid Admission WithGuestSpecial Wednesday, August 23 • 7:30pm Concert & Admission Combo - $65 Friday August 25 • 7:30pm Saturday August 26 • 7:30pm FREE With Paid Admission Sunday August 27 11am - 6pm FREE With Paid Admission FREE With Paid Admission Thursday August 24 • 7:30pm Journey Former lead vocalist STEVE AUGERI
Rhinebeck, NY

meantime, you can see a wonderful exhibit dedicated to Robbins Reef Lighthouse at the museum, which is located at Snug Harbor, and discover its fascinating history!

The Little Red Lighthouse

WHERE IS IT? Fort Washington Park, Manhattan. Underneath the George Washington Bridge

HOW TO GET THERE: Head to Fort Washington Park along Manhattan’s West Side. Access is by the Hudson River Greenway, a waterfront walking/biking path.

This cute lighthouse was erected in 1921 as a navigational aid for ships on the Hudson River. When the George Washington Bridge opened in 1931, the brighter lights of the bridge made the lighthouse obsolete. The U.S. Coast Guard planned to auction off the lighthouse, but an outpouring of support saved it. The heartwarming children’s book, The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, tells the story of how there’s still a place in the world for an old lighthouse, and it resonates with an inspiring message of perseverance for readers of all ages. Today, The Little Red Lighthouse is owned by the NYC Parks Dept. and is a great place to visit. While tours of the interior are limited, there is still lots to do throughout Fort Washington Park to have an afternoon filled with fun.

Fort Wadsworth Lighthouse

WHERE IS IT? Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island

HOW TO GET THERE: Driving directions can be found here.

Visitors to the Fort Wadsworth Lighthouse enjoy an amazing view of New York Harbor. It was constructed in 1903 and sits atop of Fort Wadsworth’s Battery Weed (another interesting structure). Similar to the Little Red Lighthouse’s story, the Fort Wadsworth Light became obsolete after the Verrazano Narrows Bridge opened in 1965. Years went by and it became abandoned. A restoration effort led by Staten Island resident, Joe Esposito, was ultimately able to save the lighthouse. Today, the lighthouse isn’t open to the public, but visitors can admire its beauty from the outside.

Staten Island Rear Range Lighthouse

WHERE IS IT? Lighthouse Hill, Staten Island

This 90-foot tower is located on Richmond Hill, at a point that is 145 feet above sea level. It’s a wonderful part of Staten Island’s history. While it’s not usually open to visitors, it’s still great to know this beautiful lighthouse exists on Staten Island.

Sandy Hook Lighthouse

WHERE IS IT? Fort Hancock, NJ

HOW TO GET THERE: You can drive or take NJ Transit. Seastreak also offers visitors a highspeed ferry to Sandy Hook from Manhattan. This national historic landmark is owned by the National Park Service. The New Jersey Lighthouse Society is a partner. The lighthouse is one of many things to check out in Sandy Hook. After viewing the lighthouse, families can enjoy a blanket picnic on the beach, take a stroll around Fort Hancock and enjoy many other recreational activities in the area.

Fire Island Lighthouse

WHERE IS IT? Robert Moses Causeway, Suffolk County, NY

HOW TO GET THERE: You can take a ferry

ride from Bay Shore to Kismet. You can also drive to Robert Moses State Park.

Owned by the National Park service, the Fire Island Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in Long Island, standing at 168 feet. It’s so tall, you can even see the NYC skyline in the distance! The lighthouse is open daily, and tours are usually available.

Montauk Point Lighthouse

WHERE IS IT? 2000 Montauk Hwy., Suffolk County, NY

HOW TO GET THERE: Accessible by car via Long Island Expressway; Long Island Railroad; and Hampton Jitney.

Plan a summer weekend of fun at Montauk Point, located on the eastern end of Long Island. You’ll not only see the historic Montauk Point Lighthouse, a beloved Long Island icon, but enjoy many other family-friendly activities, too. Explore Montauk State Park, stay at one of the many waterside hotels, eat at fine seafood restaurants and do so much more in this popular NYC getaway spot.

The Great Staten Island Lighthouse Hunt

WHERE IS IT? Two starting points to choose from: Conference House Park, 298 Satterlee St; National Lighthouse Museum, 200 The Promenade at Lighthouse Point

HOW TO GET THERE: This is a car, bike or motorcycle tour.

Want to see a whole bunch of lighthouses during one trip? Join the Great Staten Island Lighthouse Hunt, organized by the National Lighthouse Museum! Follow a map, and see lighthouses right from your car!

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Rear Range Lighthouse
Fort Wadsworth Lighthouse
2023 | Summer Fun 35

One Happy Vacation at The Aruba Marriott

is my favorite!”

“Most beautiful place I’ve ever seen!”

“Been there three times!”

This was my inbox ten seconds after posting my first picture from Aruba. People really LOVE Aruba. I always heard it was a gorgeous place, but I had no idea just how breathtaking until I finally made the trip myself. I already want to go back!

Aruba is a tiny island – just 19 miles long and six miles wide – located in the southern Caribbean. The weather is spectacular all year round. Unlike most tropical countries, the climate is dry and arid. You might be surprised to learn the island is laden with cacti and desert areas. While it certainly gets hot, it doesn’t get very humid. My curly hair and I can attest to that; All of my other trips to the Caribbean have resulted in the same “hairstyle” I’d have in an underground NYC subway station in the middle of July. Not this time!

Aruba is known for its refreshing trade

winds, which cut through the dry heat and provide constant relief from the sun. As you might imagine, the sand is white and the ocean is sparkling, tranquil, and so clear you can spot small fish as they swim by your feet.

The Stay

A quick car ride from the airport brought us to our hotel, The Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. Located in the Palm Beach area of Aruba, the oceanside resort serves as a top choice for travelers of all ages and stages. I saw families, couples old and young, and I even got to see a wedding – the resort is a popular spot for those who desire a beachfront destination for their nuptials.

Rooms at the Aruba Marriott are modern, spacious and impeccably clean, and the staff is as pleasant as one might hope in a country with the moniker “One Happy Island.” Every room boasts a scenic balcony as well as a convenient walk-in closet.

The resort has two pools, one just for adults. As a parent, I appreciate the separation. While I certainly wouldn’t advise

your child to do cannonballs into the water, at least you know the guests who would be the most bothered by such a thing (and any other vacation shenanigans your kids get up to) will likely be at the other pool anyway.

The main pool features cascading waterfalls and a swim-up bar. Reserve a cabana for extra privacy, or snag a palapa right on the beach to enjoy the Aruban sun and surf. For a little added fun, pop-up activities are scheduled daily by the pool or beach. Jewelry-making, family zumba, seashell hunting, giant games and dance-offs are just some of the offerings your family will enjoy.

The resort offers tennis, basketball, and beach volleyball, plus pool games and aquarobics. There is also a bi-level, airconditioned health club at the resort, with exercise equipment and a sauna. At the 6,500 square-foot Mandara Spa, guests (exhausted parents, perhaps?) can destress with soothing facials, bath and shower treatments, full body massages, and deep cleansing body scrubs and wraps.

Where there’s water, there’s water sports! Resort guests can go paddleboarding, boating, sport fishing, snorkeling, scuba and snuba diving.

If your tropical getaway is a kid-free one, test your luck at the 15,000 square-foot Stellaris Casino. Open 24 hours, the casino

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2023 | Summer Fun 37

has 500 slot machines and 32 gaming tables. The lobby comes alive at night with music and live entertainment as well.

Family Fun in Aruba

If you’re staying at the Aruba Marriott, you’ll likely find everything you need for a relaxing vacation without going far. But if you are looking to add more excitement to your visit, there are several excursions to look into, including family-friendly ones.

One of the highlights of my trip was an exciting off-road UTV tour of Aruba’s sandy deserts and rugged coastline. Guided by De Palm Tours, we blazed through the rough and rocky terrain, stopping at some of the most scenic points to explore and snap photos. Kids ages 12 and up are welcome to ride as a passenger.

We also checked out the local art scene with Tito Bolivar of Aruba Mural Tours. Tito’s inspiring passion for the island’s largerthan-life street art is a joy to see, along with all of the magnificent murals adorning the San Nicolas area.

Other off-resort experiences your family

will love include submarine excursions to underwater shipwrecks, coral reefs and marine life, hiking at Arikok National Park, cave exploration and even a donkey sanctuary where kids of all ages can meet, feed and learn all about the friendly animals.

The Food

The spectacular weather and the sparkling sea might be what draws people to Aruba in the first place, but the food might be what keeps them coming back. I thoroughly enjoyed every last bite of food I tasted while on the island of Aruba. There’s a variety of dining options at the resort from which to choose, and no shortage of fantastic eateries throughout the island.

At Tex-Mex themed Campeones, there’s a chips and guac bar you’ll want to hit a few times while you wait for your entree, along with an entire wall of hot sauce options to spice up your meal. At Atardi, guests will enjoy a unique and picturesque dinner experience right on the beach, savoring a gourmet meal while watching the sun slip beneath the horizon.

Kids will want to stop daily at Gelato & Co. (it’s heavenly, trust me) and parents won’t mind a trip to the lobby for some fresh sushi, a signature cocktail or some Starbucks. Beachside and poolside dining is available daily, and there’s also a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse at the resort.

Just a few short minutes away from the Aruba Marriott, Brutto serves up an eclectic array of dishes in a chic atmosphere. With options from fresh sushi, paella, and fish tacos to truffle fries and tasty sliders, we had to go family style! Everything was amazing. We also stopped at Zeerover, a popular fisherman’s wharf frequented by both locals and tourists. The menu is mostly fried but super simple - we literally ordered everything on it - and the seafood is as fresh as it gets. From the front, the place could be a dive bar. But head out back to the dining area and your jaw will drop taking in the stunning nautical views. You couldn’t be any closer to the sea if you were on an actual boat.

Ready to book your trip? Go to arubamarriott. com.

38 NewYorkFamily.com | 2023 Just Minutes Away from the Long Island Expressway in Riverhead, NY! 431 E. Main St., Riverhead • 631.208.9200, ext. 426 | www.LongIslandAquarium.com *Admission must be used within 7 days of your birthday. No exceptions and no refunds. Valid ID is required or no admittance. d MEET NEW FRIENDS

Surfs Up at Malibu Barbie Cafe

Malibu Barbie has been making waves since 1971, and we’ve been along for the ride ever since. Now is your chance to enter her world with the inspired Malibu Barbie Cafe, presented by Bucket Listers. Just steps away from South Street Seaport, this pop-up restaurant allows families and fans to live out their Barbie-inspired fantasies while dining on a diverse-themed menu.

As soon as you step into the Cafe, you’ll instantly feel like you’ve been transported to the west coast and into the world of Barbie. From the colorful stairs leading to the second floor emblazoned with inspirational

words, to the mini beach with real sand, to the life-size display box allowing you to step inside to create your own iconic moment, the thoughtful details in the decor were designed with the true fans in mind.

Be sure to head to the second floor for even more Instaworthy activations with a chance to test your balance on a surfboard or sit on the swing bench and take it all in.

But the Malibu Barbie Cafe isn’t just a feast for the eyes. Master Chef Finalist, Chef Becky Brown, created offerings to please any palette and also kept to the theme with menu items like the “Surf’s Up Spinach Artichoke Dip,” “Live Your Dream Grilled Cheese,” and “Pacific Paradise Rainbow Pancakes.”

There are also fun drinks like the “Think Pink Margarita” for the grown-ups and the “Vitamin-Sea OJ” for the kiddies.

The Malibu Barbie Cafe is a must for Barbie fans of all ages and offers visitors a fun and fully immersive dining experience on two floors with additional outdoor seating. Make your reservations now for this one-of-a-kind event.

The Malibu Barbie Cafe is located at 19 Fulton Street in Downtown Manhattan. The Cafe is open through September 15, making it a great summer activity. Reservations are a must; pricing starts at $22-30 for kids and $39-$49 for adults. Visit bucketlisters. com to book your spot and follow @ BarbieCafeOfficial on Instagram.

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Summer Fun!

Our top picks for inspiring seasonal activities for the whole family

Summer is one of the best times to enjoy all that the East Coast offers, from hopping on the train for a day trip or packing up the car to check out a museum or an amusement park or eat some good food. Here are some unique things for families to do during the summer in and around New York:


2245 Broad Hollow Rd. in Farmingdale, NY

Adventureland is open daily during the summer, which is good because you may want to visit more than once. There are over 30 fun rides and attractions, so plan to spend the entire day there, as the kids will want to hop on one of the three roller coasters or the two log flumes and chill out at the indoor arcade. There are plenty of spots to eat delicious food at the full-service restaurant and more! The great part is this fun spot is located only 30 minutes east of New York City, even closer if you are in or near Long Island.

American Dream

1 American Dream Wy, East Rutherford, NJ

Visit the Great Indoors this Summer at American Dream – the weather’s always

perfect here! Ride record-breaking coasters at the nation’s largest indoor theme park and ride the waves of the world’s largest indoor wave pool. Plus, you can shop hundreds of stores and dine at dozens of eateries.

Bronx Zoo

2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx

The summer isn’t complete without a trip to the zoo, and lucky for us, we have the one of the best zoos in the country right here in NYC. With over 265 acres to explore and over 10,000 animals to visit, there’s always something new for your family to do at the Bronx Zoo. Go for a spin on the famous Bug Carousel, check out a sea lion or penguin feeding, pet the farmyard animals, get up close and personal with butterflies, and see animals from all over the world!

Chuck E Cheese

Families looking for a great deal this summer should check out the new Chuck E. Cheese Summer Fun Pass (chuckecheese.com/summerfun-pass) that starts at $59.99 and offers up to eight weeks of play time and up to 40% off pizza at fun centers across NY and NJ. Also, this

summer select Chuck E. Cheese fun centers in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island and Queens/ Long Island City will debut Trampoline Zones for kids to enjoy active play.

Cross County Center

8000 Mall Walk, Yonkers, NY

Summer fun is happening all season at Cross County Center in Yonkers, NY. Join them for Outdoor Concerts, Family Cooking Workshops, Sip & Paint Nights, Zumba Classes and so much more.

Dave & Busters Atlantic Center

625 Atlantic Ave. Suite 311, Brooklyn, NY

Parents know that summer days can feel long, and the kids, especially if you have tweens and teens, adore a good Dave and Busters. We love that it is perfect for day or night (not too late, kiddos) and will entertain the family with stateof-the-art arcades and virtual reality games. And no need to head out for food; there are plenty of options, from crispy chicken strips to Philly cheesesteaks and more.

Governors Island

Families can enjoy Governors Island’s 120-

42 NewYorkFamily.com | 2023
2023 | Summer Fun 43 when the day calls for some winning Brooklyn Atlantic Center 718-233-8356 625 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217 Luis.Anzola@DaveandBusters.com @

plus acres of scenic open space daily. The island’s park offers rolling lawns and plenty of room to spread out for picnicking and recreation, including over seven miles of car-free bike paths. There’s always exciting events going on throughout the season; This year, warm-weather programming includes free arts, culture, live music, food trucks, educational programs and more. Get to the island by taking a relaxing ferry ride from Manhattan at 10 South St.

Harry Potter

935 Broadway, New York, NY 10010

You don’t have to jump on a plane for the Harry Potter experience; walk or hop over to Broadway (at 23rd Street) and visit the 20,000-square-foot store. Yes, it is a store with fantastic merchandise, so bring pocket money if you can. Still, it is also a truly magical world with themed sections, interactive nooks, and immersive experiences where your little wizard can spend a large chunk of the day sipping on iconic Hogwarts drinks, casting spells, and reliving some of HP’s most astonishing scenes from all the movies and books.

Long Island Aquarium

431 East Main Street, Riverhead NY 11901

It isn’t summer without a visit to the Long Island aquarium. While a local favorite –visitors also come from far to explore this fantastic aquarium that features indoor and outdoor exhibits of marine life such as cuttlefish, octopus, sharks, turtles, jellyfish, and penguins. And let’s not forget birds, butterflies and bugs (oh my!) can also be seen in this massive space. There are live shows daily (tip, the Sea Lion Show is very popular; arrive early) and a 4D theater where kids can experience the world’s wonders.

Mashantucket Pequot Museum

110 Pequot Trail, Mashantucket, CT 06338

We are so lucky to have excellent museums in and near New York. Make a day or weekend summer trip when you head to the Pequot Museum, the largest Native American museum in the world. From Wednesday to Saturday, there will be culture-filled educational programs, workshops, and events for the entire family in July and August. Check the website for more info, and remember to take pics of the beautiful gardens surrounding the museum.

Monster Mini Golf

645 Stewart Avenue, Garden City, NY 11530

Cool off from the summer heat at this glowin-the-dark mini golf spot where kids will appreciate the monster theme decor where a game of mini golf is like no other. There is also bowling, arcade games, and attractions to extend the family fun! Open from noon to 10 pm every day.

Museum of Ice Cream

558 Broadway, New York, NY

On a hot summer day, stop by the Museum of Ice Cream to cool off with unlimited ice cream in five different shapes and forms. With 12 multi-sensory installations, your family will learn all about the history of everyone’s favorite frozen sweet treat. Be sure to jump in the sprinkle pool (how fun does that sound?) and try your hand at making edible slime!

Palisades Center

1000 Palisades Center Dr, West Nyack, NY

What parent doesn’t love a place where there is something for everyone? This four-level shopping center has something for every family member -sit-down restaurants, food the kids will love, a bowling alley, the world’s tallest indoor ropes, shopping, and more. The Tykes Tuesday program offers free

experiences for kids 12 and under. To plan out your itinerary go to PalisadesCenter.com.

Palisades Climb

4590 Palisades Center Dr, West Nyack

Palisades Climb Adventure is conveniently located at the center of the Palisades Center Mall. Kids will love the indoor ropes course (85 feet tall), and with their over 75 unique challenges, there is something for all ages and skill levels. And this spot knows its customerthe Ninja Warrior obstacle course will keep kids moving and challenge your kids with warped walls, cargo nets, and monkey bars.


1 Playland Pkwy, Rye, NY 10580

Head to Rye, NY, and enjoy the fantastic rides and fireworks on holiday weekends, such as the 4th of July. Visit playland.com for dates and times.

Ridge Hill

One Ridge Hill Boulevard, Yonkers, NY 10710

If taking a break this summer from the hustle and bustle is on your bucket list, you must head to Ridge Hill. This sweet and modern town square, where the laid-back and close community is the vibe, is also very family-

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friendly. And now, through September 29th, a season of Signature Events is set where visitors can enjoy weekly and monthly outdoor experiences, including pet-friendly happy hours, children’s playtime, fitness classes, film screenings, and live concerts.

Rockland County Pride Center

28 S Franklin St, Nyack, NY 10960

Head to downtown Nyack and celebrate Pride on June 11th (11 am to 5 pm)for a fun-filled day of entertainment and kids’ activities. This free, family-friendly event will feature the music of Frankie D and The Boys, David Budway, guest performers, and local drag artists. The parade starts at 11:30 am, so head over bright and early and take in the beauty of Nyack and enjoy outdoor dining, shopping, and vendors; free children’s activities include a bounce house, face painting, and an arts and crafts tent.


Fridays: The Oculus, Fulton+Church

Saturdays: Marsha P. Johnson State Park, 90 Kent Ave, Brooklyn

Sundays: Breeze Hill, Brooklyn Summer, especially in New York, is when we enjoy the outdoors and eat the most delicious food at Smorgusburg. If you need a reminder to make this street food meets Michelin-star cuisine part of your summer plan or try it for the first time, you’re in luck as it is in full swing from Friday thru Sunday at one of its 3 locations each of those days. We do admit it gets pretty crowded, so if you have the little ones in a stroller, go early so you navigate and hit up the food stands that you want to test the taste.

Storybook Land

6415 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township, NJ

Explore, play, read, and ride at Storybook Land! Visit this unique theme park where attractions, rides, and entertainment are based on popular children’s stories and fairy tales. It is all charm, and the kids will live out their favorite storybooks as they come to life in interactive play areas like the Three Little Pigs’ houses and the Old Woman in the Shoe. Kids will spend the day on themed rides like the Turtle Twirl and the Whirly-Bug.


2600 Ocean Parkway, Wantagh

We love family trips to the beach, but let’s be honest, the kids can only build so many sandcastles before declaring boredom. That’s why WildPlay offers unforgettable outdoor adventures! Soar over Jones Beach on a 700 foot zipline and experience the sand and sea like never before. Kids as young as 7 are welcome to ride! There’s also exciting adventure courses for all different levels, a primal swing and a freefall jump for kids 5 and up. Thrill-seeking families with older kids even can go bungy jumping and axe throwing.

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