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The best outdoor activities in NYC to do with kids

There are loads of outdoor activities to do with children in NYC. Health coach and yoga teacher Olesia Anisimovich shares her favorite kids' activities to do in the Big Apple.

Olesia Anisimovich’s life as a model took her all over the world, but she eventually settled in New York City where she currently works as a wellness expert and yoga teacher with her small family.

Olesia has assembled a list of her favorite outdoor destinations to take the kids, from playgrounds to beaches.

The best outdoor activities in NYC to do with kids:

Olesia and her daughter with the Manhattan skyline in the background.
(Photo credit: Olesia Anisimovich)

Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn

We live near Fort Greene Park and Prospect Park in Brooklyn and those are our current favorite parks for strolling around, bird watching, and exploring flora and fauna.
- Olesia
Fort Greene Park is Brooklyn’s oldest park and has been popular with locals for a long time. The basketball courts, playgrounds, sloping hills, and majestic trees make this beautiful park the perfect place to explore with your little ones.

Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Prospect Park has a beautiful lake with ducks and swans as well as a fun playground with a sandbox!
- Olesia
Kids play with the feature features at the Harmony Playground in Prospect Park.

When it comes to outdoor activities for kids – Prospect Park has that and more. In the hot summer months, the park has plenty of water features for kids to cool down. The park also hosts a range of events that are popular with families. The BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Festival, for example, is New York’s longest-running outdoor performing arts festival that is completely free to the public and takes place every summer in the park.

If you have a furry four-legged friend to come along, Prospect Park has plenty of spaces for them to run around too, and even a dog beach for your pooch to cool off.

(In this photo: Kids play with the water features at the Harmony Playground. Photo by Paul Martinka © Prospect Park Alliance)

Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn

Brooklyn Museum is our favorite since it has so many interactive experiences for the little ones!
- Olesia
The facade of the Brooklyn Museum.

Though not technically outdoors, the Brooklyn Museum is a cultural gem for families. Their exhibitions have interactive elements that are exciting for kids, and they also organize art classes for families. A couple times a year they even have stroller tours for parents with babies up to 24 months, where parents can appreciate a stress-free stroll around the museum with their newborns.

(In this picture: The facade of Brooklyn Museum. Photo credit: Elisa.rolle licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn

We love cherry blossom season in NYC. Blooms in Brooklyn Botanic Garden can rival cherry trees I saw in Japan — so pretty!
- Olesia
Local schoolchildren enjoy an interactive experience at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is beautifully curated and has a range of interesting plants and flowers for kids to learn more about. The Children’s Garden class aims to spread the love of nature to kids from the age of 2 to 13, by teaching them how to plant and harvest their own plants. The Discovery Garden is a part of the Botanic Garden designed specifically for kids, with an insect hotel that hosts bees, praying mantises and termites.

(In this photo: Local schoolchildren enjoy an interactive experience at the Garden with Project Green Reach. Photo by Michael Stewart. © Brooklyn Botanic Garden)

Brighton Beach, Brooklyn

Brighton Beach in Brooklyn has a nice recently renovated boardwalk. We love to get some delicious Russian food and some traditional Russian groceries when we go there, like caviar, pickled tomatoes and buckwheat
- Olesia
Brighton Beach is famous for its large Eastern European community, which is full of Eastern European eateries and shops. The beach and boardwalk are calmer than Coney Island, and in the summer months it’s the perfect place to go for a swim and an ice cream.

Prospect Park Zoo, Brooklyn

Prospect Park Zoo, Industry City, and going to the beach in the city — there are some hidden gems out there.
- Olesia
A red panda at Prospect Park Zoo.

Prospect Park Zoo is home to all sorts of animals: red pandas, dingoes, and the grumpy-looking Pallas’ cat, native to the central Asian grasslands. The zoo also has a farm with alpacas and sheep, a great place for city kids to feed some animals and experience being on a farm.

(In this picture: A red panda at Prospect Park Zoo. Photo credit: Spinus Nature Photography licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Industry City, Brooklyn

Industry City is an industrial space that has been repurposed as a vibrant creative hub along the waterfront of Sunset Park. It hosts art shows, music performances, and other creative events talents from around the city.

Summer Saturdays at Industry City host a range of events for kids such as crafting, magic and musical performances. The Rock + Roll Playhouse is a family concert series with music, dancing and interactive games that runs during the summer months for kids 10 years old and under.

Breezy Point beach, Queens

Breezy Point beach in Queens makes you feel like you’re somewhere on the islands.
- Olesia
Olesia and her baby standing on the sandy road leading to Breezy Point beach.

Breezy Point in Queens gets you just far enough from the crowds, while still offering distant views of the Manhattan skyline. The sand dunes and marshes are popular with birds, but also surfers and families who want to have a dip in the warmer months. Not far from Breezy Point is the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, which offers 20 miles of peaceful bike trails – perfect for a day out with the kids.

(In this picture: Olesia and her daughter at Breezy Point beach. Photo credit: Family Lab)
Olesia Anisimovich standing with her daughter in a Thule Spring stroller.

How does Olesia get around the city?

I love taking our Thule Shine city stroller with us everywhere because it’s so easy and efficient.

Although one of my 2022 goals is getting back into biking which I love so much. I used to bike everywhere before I got pregnant with Yeva and now, I want to get a bike trailer so we can explore this beautiful city together.

- Olesia

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A headshot image of Olesia Anisimovich.
Olesia Anisimovich’s modelling career took her around the globe, but it’s only when she came to New York that she decided to settle down and start a family. Today, Olesia is a certified health coach, yoga teacher and wellness/beauty expert. Learn more on her Instagram page and website.


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