Rockaway: Things To Do with Kids

The boardwalk may be in the process of a rebuild after Sandy but the Rockaways still have beautiful beaches and great food to enjoy during the summer days. Here, from the blog Rockaway Siren, are some great ways to enjoy this area with your kids.



Article By The Rockaway Siren-Rockaway Beach, NY Resource & Information Guide

Family Fun in the Rockaways

If the kids are happy- you are happy–isn’t that the way it goes! So why not come to the Rockaway’s where there is something for everyone.

Rockaway Beach & Lunch:

Whether you take the train, the ferry, the subway or drive- if it is a nice day why not check out the two surf beaches which are located between 67-69 Streets and between 87-92 Streets.

You can bring your binoculars or a camera for some fun photos and if you are adventurous, perhaps you want to take a lessons in Surfing or Stand-up Paddleboarding.  Also, teens and kids alike might enjoy looking at or participating in the newly built Skatepark on Beach 69th Street close by.

You can also stroll down the beach or rent bicycles at Boarders on the Boardwalk (B96thSt) and grab some lunch.

Jacob Riis Park & Picnic:

Jacob Riis Park is also a great bet for a picnic, and a swim.Food concessions are also available. This beach has two nice sized playgrounds that are in the sand and also Riis Park Pitch and Putt Golf Course. There are BBQ pits and plenty of parking in the parking lot if you would like to just park and go. If your kids like arts and crafts,  Art Adventures and More offers 2 summer sessions for arts and crafts projects by the bath house at Riis Park. See website for details.

According to, “Fort Tilden – (part of) Gateway National Recreation Area—offers a mixture of decommissioned military structures and reclaimed natural areas …and is a great vantage point from which to spot migrating birds.”

Be sure to bring water as concessions are not that close by. Note: there is a  Mobile Truck Concession called “Breezy Dog” by the bus station at the circle.

Rockaway Artists Alliance

Dinner & A View of the Bridge

Sunset dinners at The Wharf &  Bungalow Bar both offer waterside deck dining overlooking Jamaica Bay. Glass of wine or a beer paired with lots of things for kids to see and watch offers a win-win situation.  Fish, birds and fresh air dining. Fun to watch  the boats stop by, moor at grab a bite to eat.


Over the Bridge:

Right over the bridge is historic Floyd Bennett FieldFloyd Bennett Field was New York City’s first municipal airport.  “Floyd Bennett Field has a wide variety of nature programs that includes urban camping, ecology walks, astronomy and gardening events and kayak trips. “- from


Photo Credit NPS

Fort Tilden:

A little bit more west is Fort Tilden. Home to the Rockaway Artists Alliance, and the Rockaway Theater Company, perhaps you can catch a gallery show or a theater production. You can check the website for shows and showtimes.

Aviator Sports is a complex made from a Hangar of Floyd Bennett Field.  It offers ice skating, gymnastic lessons, indoor arcade, indoor rock climbing, food concessions and so much more. Rent a bike at Aviator and take a ride on the airport fields to the community gardens, Rockaway Gateway Greenway or the Ryan Visitor Center. A must see  is  Hangar B for the historic airplanes being restored, by HARP.

Also available are free Kayaking lessons for older children, check NY Parks website for more information,  calendar of events for lesson times and places. Overnight  camping is also available starting in July.

More and More:

If you are staying for a weekend or longer and you want to venture out a little more, there is so much more to do-very close by. There is horseback riding, movies, Mini Golf, Coney Island, Adventurer’s Park Amusement Park, and the NY Aquarium. Check out the The Rockaway Siren Kids section for more ideas.

Events for Kids:

The summer is chock full of events for children and adults in Rockaway. Please check out the The Rockaway Siren’s Calendar of Events as it is updated daily for things to do. The NY Parks Department offers Movies at Dusk on the Boardwalk, and the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance offers many Bike Youth Bike Events that are fun.