Free family fun at New York City parks

July 13, 2012 4:53:47 AM PDT
A fun family day is even better when you don't have to spend a dime. Eyewitness News has details on some outdoor fun that's absolutely free.

New York City has some of the best parks and public gardens in the country, and visiting many of them can be a cheap way to spend the day.

We all know visiting Central Park is free, but you can enhance your time there with free audio tours provided by the Central Park Conservancy through your mobile phone. One tells the story of the Harlem Meer body of water.

The conservancy also provides free exercise classes and sports clinics for kids.

Wave Hill in the Riverdale section of the Bronx is a public garden with spectacular views of the Hudson River. Situated on 28 acres at West 249th Street at Independence Avenue. Admission is free from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Saturdays. This weekend is the Moe Down Garden Hoedown, and admission is free. There will be crafts for the kids, so bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the day.

Believe it or not, the Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Queens, used to be an illegal dumping site before it was transformed by a group of artists in the 1980s. Its large outdoor installation of art makes it a visual treat. Every weekend, there are free art workshops for kids.

Having fun with your family doesn't have to break your budget if you know where to look.

"In the summer, you really have an incredible wealth of free activities and destinations to choose from," said Raven Snook, New York editor of

Another great free park is Governor's Island. You have a wonderful view of the Statue of Liberty, and you can bring your own bike to explore the island. You get there on a free ferry, and it's open Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays.

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