While you might be waiting for that week long vacation in July to escape the concrete jungle, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy summer in the Bronx in the meantime. Cut down on that AC bill by visiting some of the fun places to be in the summer here in the Bronx.
PLACES TO SWIM (or at least get splashed!)
You don’t always have to go on a two hour train ride or car ride to go swimming or get in the water. The Bronx has its own fun places to get wet.
It’s summer, so of course the beach is first on the list. Our beach might not be as big as the other boroughs (at least we got Manhattan beat!), but Orchard Beach is actually great for the kids because since it’s really a sound and not the ocean, there are no waves. Also, the tide is weird, so often times you can walk far into the water and still only have the water come up to your thighs. The secret? Stay to the right side of the beach because the left side is usually packed, and seems to the be where the younger crowd hangs out. And the best part of our beach? You can BBQ! nycgovparks.org
There are 15 Parks and Rec pools here in the Bronx, so grab a towel, a lock, and some sunscreen and head over to the closest one. There are usually two sessions and the morning one is usually less packed than the afternoon one. If you’re really trying to avoid the crowd, sign the little one up for the Summer Learn to Swim program-kids have swimming lessons before the pool is open to the public. Pools open this year on June 29th.
Some times you wake up late, don’t feel like going far, or just don’t feel like doing much-and your local park with sprinklers can be the perfect solution to a hot summer day. Your park probably has them, but in case they don’t, check out the list of parks in the Bronx and find one with one. nycgovparks.org
BY THE WATER OR OUTDOORS
It’s summer. Even when you don’t want to be in the water- you still like to be near it. Get the best out of your summer by finding things to do that are near bodies of water or outdoors. Throw on a big pair of shades, some sandals and treat every day like it’s a vacation.
It’s definitely a favorite for Bronx residents. When the slightest bit of warmth makes its appearance, Bronxites pile into the car and make their way to City Island for delicious seafood, outdoor seating, and those potent Pina Coladas. While many families have their restaurant of choice engraved in the family handbook, others try out a different spot each time they go. If you’re not too stuffed with shrimps, after dinner take a stroll with the family and explore the little shops along the way. There’s an awesome ice cream place, a cool boat yard to explore, and if its not too late, a park beside the Elementary school that’s worth checking out. http://www.cityisland.com/
Explore Ferry Point Park
You pass right over it when you go over the Whitestone Bridge to Queens, but not everyone knows its there. Ferry Point park has been undergoing construction and changes for quite some time, and it seems that some pretty awesome things are in store for it. With places to BBQ, a soccer, football and cricket field, the entire family can enjoy a day here. The coolest thing about the park is its waterfront views of Queens, Manhattan and both the Throgs Neck and Whitestone Bridge. In store for the park is a state of the art golf course, tot lot, beach, picnic area, comfort station and views of the Long Island Sound, paths with seating and access to the water. Anticipated Completion is Winter 2012, but until then you can still enjoy!
Explore the Bronx River-in a canoe or from land!
Not everyone realizes you can walk, paddle or even cycle along the Bronx River. Check out the Bronx River Alliance webpage to explore maps, guides and how to sign up to paddle the Bronx River!
Check out the marina or go fishing
City Island’s website has a great list of marinas, fishing supply stores and boat rentals, and even information on yacht charters.
RAINY DAYS/INDOOR FUN
Even the biggest summer lovers find themselves wanting to do something indoors sometimes, yes the Bronx has that too!
Explore the City Island Historical Society and Nautical Museum
Open on Saturday and Sundays from 1-5 pm. There is no admission fee, but donations are appreciated. cityislandmuseum.org
Check out the Bronx Museum
Whether you visit on a normal day to check out the current exhibits or happen to visit on a day of an event, the Bronx Museum of Art is always a fun adventure. Don’t forget the 1st Friday of every month there is always something special going on, including film, art, performances, music and more.
Jump on the Bronx Culture Trolley
On the first Wednesday of every month (except September and January), get a free ride and admission to explore several cultural hot spots, entertainment venues, and dining establishments along the South Bronx Cultural Corridor of the lower Grand Concourse. The trolley departs from the Longwood Art Gallery at Hostos. Registration is suggested.
Ride the Bronx Seaside Trolley!
On the first Friday of every month, City Island Seaside Trolley offers free trips starting at the end of the #6 train line (Pelham Bay Park Station). The replica of a turn of the century trolley makes it fast, easy and fun to reach City Island’s great seafood restaurants, art galleries and antique shops,all of which stay open late and offer discounts and special sales for trolley riders.