6 Fresh Ideas for Local Summer Fun

Little Island

If sky-high gas prices and airline cancellations are putting a crimp in your travel plans, you and your family can still enjoy plenty of summer fun. One of the best things about living in New Jersey and New York is there’s always someplace new to explore – whether it’s just for the day or a weekend getaway.

From museum-hopping and hitting the trails to visiting some of the world’s most famous attractions, these fresh takes on some tried-and-true family activities are doable on a single tank of gas (or less). Or you can leave the driving to one of New Jersey’s safe and reliable private limousine services.

  1. Visit a New Park

Little Island is the latest addition to New York City’s park scene. This unique 2.4-acre “floating” park sits on the old pillars of Pier 54 in the Hudson River in the Meatpacking District and Chelsea neighborhoods. The stunning garden has multiple lawns, paths and plants, as well as activities and workshops for kids of all ages. Admission is limited to control crowding and free reservations are required after 12 p.m.

  1. Float in the Sky

Want to experience New York City like never before? Many famous places offer spectacular views, but the newest spot boasts a 360-degree perspective that makes you feel like you are floating in the sky. Edge at Hudson Yards is the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere, and standing 100 stories up on a glass floor will be a memorable experience for the entire family.

  1. Cool Off at a Museum

There may be no better place to beat the summer heat than New York’s Museum of Ice Cream. Not only can you learn all about ice cream via 13 multi-sensory installations, but there are endless activities for the kids – including a “sprinkle pool” and Manhattan’s highest indoor slide – and plenty of edible ice cream treats. Be sure to scoop up tickets in advance.

  1. Soak Up Some History

For a great day trip or a weekend getaway, hop in the car or take the train to Philadelphia, PA. This diverse city is known for its historic landmarks, ranging from the famed Independence Hall and iconic Liberty Bell to the campus of Eastern State Penitentiary. The kids will love the Philadelphia Zoo, home to more than 1,300 animal species. And be sure to visit Spruce Street Harbor Park, which becomes a lively riverside beachfront all summer long.

  1. Explore the Shore

Not a beach-lover? Check out this charming borough in Monmouth County, NJ. Atlantic Highlands is home to Mount Mitchill, the Eastern Seaboard’s highest peak towering nearly 300 feet above sea level. The area is known for its spectacular park system and landmarks like Lenape Woods, 51-acres of natural woodland and wetland habitats. In-town attractions include the Strauss Mansion Museum and the First Avenue Playhouse dinner theater.

  1. Travel Back in Time

Founded in 1857, Whitesbog Historic Farm & Village is home to the first cultivated blueberry in the U.S. Located in Browns Mills, NJ, within Brendan T. Byrne State Forest, the cranberry farming village is a living history site and nature preserve protecting more than 3,000 acres of forests, fields and bogs. Enjoy guided tours and seasonal events, plus hiking, biking and horseback riding on miles of scenic trails.