As we say farewell to June and jump into July, the sand starts to empty from our summer hourglass. What seems like plenty of time to create memories is really only 10 weekends to make the best of summer vacation. While we could easily spend each day sitting by the pool or at the beach, there’s plenty of fun to be had on dry land as well. We’ve compiled a check list of ideas to make those last minute mornings easier for you to answer the question, “Mom, what are we doing today!?”
Summer Bucket List: Bronx Edition
Kick off summer with fireworks at Orchard Beach. New York Salutes America Fireworks Extravaganza takes place June 30th and is the one time of year Bronxites can enjoy fireworks at Orchard. Bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic in the sand before the show begins around 9pm.
Photo: Randall’s Island Golf Center
Venture over the Randall’s Island Connector from the South Bronx to enjoy a day on Randall’s Island where you can enjoy miniature golf, play in the sprinklers at Scylla Playground, or watch an impromptu game at one of the many fields. Before heading back to the Bronx side of the connector, grab lunch and a cold one at the Comm(UniTy) HouSe Beer Garden and Grill.
Photo: The Bronx Food Blog
One night a week grab dinner from one of Bronx Blogger Tameka Lawence’s restaurant picks for Thrillist’s THE DEFINITIVE BRONX DINING GUIDE. She’s the one behind The Bronx Food Blog and made a mouth watering list of places to cross off your foodie bucket list this summer. Everything from best farm-to-table to best view, she’s got you covered.
AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
Fill a backpack with snacks and water and venture out to walk The Highbridge, which opened back up to the public last year after more than 40 years. Don’t forget your bathing suit and lock if you want to stay on the other side and enjoy the pool in Highbridge Park.
Photo: Bronx River- Bronxmama
Canoe, or even sail, the Bronx River weekends at Riverside Park thanks to Rocking the Boat. Every Saturday and Sunday in the Bronx families can sign up for free canoeing on the river- life jackets are provided. Select weekends this summer there will even be sailing on the river, dates are listed on their website.
Photo: Soundview Park- Bronxmama
Print out our Outdoor Movie schedule and keep it on your fridge- whenever there’s a flick playing nearby you can grab a blanket and some popcorn to enjoy movies under the stars. Don’t forget the bug spray, especially for the parks near water.
Photo: Empire Bagels- Bronxmama
On a morning when the kids are up earlier than they ever were for school, head to Empire Bagels for rainbow bagels and then walk to Pelham Bay park to enjoy an early breakfast in the park. Then, jump on the BX12 to Orchard beach and build sand castles before the crowds rush in. Early is key! The rainbow bagels sell out fast, but everything is amazing at this well known Bronx bagel spot, which is open from 5 to 12 everyday.
Photo: Tennis at Pelham Bay Park- Bronxmama
Sign the kids up for free sports throughout the week at your local park through City Parks Foundation. From golf, to tennis, to track and field- there’s plenty of free sports programming to keep kids busy this summer.
Photo: Pine Bar & Grill
When you can squeeze in a date night or want to just enjoy lunch outside, choose from our list of Rooftop and Outdoor Hangouts in the Bronx. Don’t forget those sunglasses and sunscreen!
Throw your sneakers on or grab your bikes and head to the nearest bike path to enjoy some fun outdoors and see parts of your neighborhood you haven’t noticed while driving. The Bronx is home to over 170 miles of bike paths, bike lanes, and green ways, making it the perfect addition to a summer bucket list.
Photo: Wave Hill- Joshua Bright
Take in the view at Wave Hill overlooking the Hudson River, and enjoy a Family Art Project every weekend in their learning center. This is also a great rainy day option to enjoy a nature inspired activity indoors. Before leaving the Riverdale area, head over to Lloyd’s Carrot Cake for a slice.
Stop in for pony rides at the Bronx Equestrian Center for 5 bucks for three rides. While in Pelham Bay park, head over to Turtle Cove for some miniature golf or batting cages, and then to Bartow Pell Mansion Museum to learn some history of the Bronx or just enjoy a quiet moment on the beautiful grounds.
Photo: Bronx Zoo- Bronxmama
On a cooler day, head to the Bronx Zoo to explore. Create a nature scavenger hunt and let the little ones cross items off the list. As a prize for finishing the hunt, walk over to Arthur Avenue after and enjoy some gelato or other yummy pastries.
Photo: Fat Joe- City Parks Foundation
Enjoy free concerts and puppet shows in the parks thanks to City Parks Foundation Summerstage and PuppetMobile programming. Stay local or venture out of the borough to see your favorite shows this summer. Most shows are rain or shine unless dangerous conditions cause them to be cancelled, so be sure to follow City Parks Foundation on social media to stay up to date.
Photo: The Bronx Narratives
Join the Bronx Socialite and Dandy in the Bronx for a photo walking tour of Crotona Park on July 9th. The tour will begin at Southern Blvd & Crotona Park E. (right at the park’s entrance) and will have some fun contests and prizes. So grab your camera, or charge your cell phone, and join in on this fun event.
Photo: NYC Parks
Pack a lunch and a blanket and head to the Floating Pool in Baretto Park to spend the day swimming on a barge- you’ll be hooked once you see the view. In between pool sessions, enjoy a picnic in the grass before heading back to the pool for round 2. Remember, there are also free swimming lessons at most public pools, registration is still open for sessions 2-4.
In August, bring the kids to Kids Rule Weekend at Lehman College for the best day ever of waterslides, pony rides, shows, and more on the Lehman College Campus. The weekend takes place August 6-7th and is free to everyone. Food and drinks are also available to purchase.
Gaze at the moon thanks to Jupitor Joe– he sets up his telescope on certain summer nights in the Bronx where Bronxites can come out and see the night sky- no cost at all. Follow him on Facebook so you can be notified when and where he will be. Jupitor Joe also offers birthday party packages- perfect for those backyard summer parties.
For a fun art lesson this summer, try to find murals throughout the Bronx that are a part of the Tag Public Arts Project, then head over to the website to learn more about the artists behind the work. Take it a step further and create your own mural on paper after observing their techniques.
Photo: Bronx Museum of the Arts
Do cartwheels in the middle of the Grand Concourse thanks to Boogie on the Boulevard, happening the last Saturday of each month this summer. The center lanes of the Grand Concourse starting at 162nd Street will be closed to cars and open to a world of fun with free music, art and fitness programs hosted by organizations from the Bronx and beyond.
Looking for more? Be sure to keep up with our Events Calendar each day to see what’s happening in the Bronx.
Another great round up of summer activities in the Bronx by a fellow Bronxmama Sonia Gonzalez can be seen here.