School is out for summer and we’ve rounded up plenty of free and low-cost activities to keep kids busy!


School’s Out for Summer so what are your plans?

I read this hysterically funny rant from another mom today in which she said, “I’m officially over summer if my kids mention one more time how bored they are,I’m going to go postal on them (or something to that effect).”

Well  I am here to make sure your kids only utter that “I’m bored” expression once a day- as opposed to every hour on the hour.

There are tons of FREE  and low-cost activities right here on Staten Island! While you might have to schlep your kids to them once you get there- at the very least you’ll be giving your kids a change of scenery and who knows, they might actually have some fun.

The Staten Island Zoo features an internationally acclaimed reptile collection with one of the most extensive collections of North American rattlesnakes housed in a brand-new, state-of-the-art, interactive reptile wing, featuring the “Fear Zone,” all about venomous critters. The Zoo’s African Savannah Exhibit features a number of exotic animals that are native to the vast grasslands of central and southern Africa, such as leopards, mandrills, lizards, and meerkats.

The Zoo also features a tropical forest, an aquarium, and a New England farm themed Children’s Center complete with farm animals. Children will enjoy the Kids Korral, a barn and petting area, as well as pony rides. There is also an exhibit for the Zoo’s otters where you can view our festive friends either below the water or out in the open in their spacious quarters. The Zoo also recently added a beautiful bobcat exhibit to the left of the Broadway entrance.  A viewing glass allows the Bobcats to safely get close to visitors while also housing climbing rocks, a waterfall and a scenic backdrop depicting an abundance of foliage.

Address: 614 Broadway Phone number: 718-442-3100

Admission: $8.00 for adults (15 and over), $6.00 for Seniors (60 and over), $5.00 for children (3-14) and free for children under 3 years of age and for all members. After 2 p.m. on Wednesdays admission is free.

Hours of Operation: 10am – 4:45pm – 7 days a week

The NYC Parks are full of great stuff for kids! Here are some of their programs that are worth checking out!

Nature Centers

Ranger in front of a Nature Center

Drop by one of Parks’ 15 Nature Centers, where Urban Park Rangers have thought up all sorts of exciting programs to teach you about nature in New York!

Kids’ Sports Programs

Boys playing football

Summer Camps

Kids participating in an afterschool program

MillionTreesNYC Games

MillionTreesNYC Games

Learn about the trees you see every day when you play these games from MillionTreesNYC! You can play online or get ideas for games to play with your friends.

Recreation Centers

Person swimming laps


BeFitNYC Characters

 Children’s Summer Reading Program – July  through August 30th

For ages birth through 11 years.  At Exercise your brain all summer. Be extra smart when school starts!

“Reading Aloud”

For ages 3 years and up.

Enjoy hearing books read aloud, finger plays, action rhymes and coloring.

Mondays and Fridays, at 2:00 PM

July 1, 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26 & 29.  No preregistration is needed. 

“Baby Rhyme Time”

For ages birth through 17 months and their caregiver.

Friday, July 5, at 10:30 AM

Bring your baby to an interactive program featuring simple books, songs and movement.

Preregistration is required and starts 1 week before.

 Rhythm, Music and Sound”

For ages 3 years and up.

Cool off with some cool children’s music!

Thursday, July 11, at 2:00 PM. No preregistration needed.

“Wear your Pajamas! Story & Rhyme Night”

For children ages 3 years and up & caregiver

  Share stories, songs, finger plays and action rhymes – wearing your pajamas!

Thursday, July 18, at 6:00 PM.  No preregistration needed. 

“Preschool Program”

For ages 2 ½ to 5 years and their caregiver.

Wednesday, July 24, at 11:00 AM

Enjoy books, finger plays, action rhymes, and coloring.

Preregistration is needed and will start 1 week before.

“Puppet Show”

For ages 4 years and up

 Bob Nathanson will present his enjoyable puppet performance.

Thursday, July 25, at 2:00 PM. No preregistration needed.

 Free – Family Movies!

Free family movies will be shown on Saturdays, at 2:00 PM.

“Pokemon Rise of Darkrai” on July 6, and “Cinderella II: Dreams Come True” on July 27

Children may take home a free coloring sheet of the movie character.

And if you you are looking for some FREE and air-conditioned places to hang out in until this heat wave passes. Egger’s ice cream shop is one of my favorite COOL places; delicious old-fashioned ice cream- tons of cheap candy! And of course the PUBLIC LIBRARY!!

So what have I been doing for the past couple of days –since my kids finished school about a week ago?

Screaming a lot (I’ve decided I’m just going to let my kids fight and let the chips fall where they may–hopefully no one loses an eye), giving my son yodels at 8 am just to keep him nice and happy-that usually lasts about 2 minutes)

But seriously are some tips for getting through tomorrow…

-Make sure they eat breakfast (there’s nothing like a cranky, hungry kid!)
- Start setting up play dates
-Have a fashion show–tell your kids you want them to model their old summer clothes, this way you’ll see what clothes still fit and what you need to replenish (girls enjoy this more then boys!)

Let me know how it goes !

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