There’s nothing like the ring of that last school bell. Here are some fun after-school and weekend activities for children of all ages and their parents. Each borough has its special gems, including museums, parks and zoos that welcome families and provide hands-on experiences for young New Yorkers. Visit their websites to learn more.
- The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation sponsors the Urban Park Rangers Program. Visit www.nycgovparks.org/programs/rangers for more information.
- The City Parks Foundation sponsors free concerts and events in New York parks throughout the summer. This year the music, dance and theatrical performances are being held in all five boroughs. Visit City Parks Summerstage for more information.
- The Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Park, 2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx. The zoo is one of the world’s leading international centers for environmental education and a facility for rare and endangered species. It also offers summer camp programs. www.bronxzoo.com
- Wave Hill, A Public Garden & Cultural Center, West 249 Street & Independence Avenue (Front Gate), Bronx. www.wavehill.org
- North Meadow Recreation Center, Central Park, Mid-Park at 97 Street. Known as Central Park’s largest open space, the center includes 12 sports fields, for baseball, softball and soccer. www.centralpark.com
- Bike Rentals in Central Park, www.CentralParkBicycleShop.com. 1 hour $8; 2 hours $14; 3 hours $18
- Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History (Hayden Planetarium), Entrance on 81 Street just off of Central Park West. www.amnh.org/rose
- The South Street Seaport, 12 Fulton St., New York. www.seany.org
- New York Hall of Science Museum, 47-01 111 St., Queens. In addition to housing more than 450 permanent exhibits, NYSCI features a dynamic schedule of features exhibitions, events, programs and workshops. www.nysci.org
- USTA, the U.S. Tennis Association, Flushing Meadow Corona Park, Corona, Queens. The tennis courts are open to the public throughout the year. There are indoor and outdoor courts and programs for adults, youths and seniors. www.usta.com
- Staten Island Institute of Arts & Sciences, 75 Stuyvesant Pl., Staten Island. Come learn about the the art, science and cultural history of Staten Island through exhibitions taken from a collection of more than two million artifacts, along with traveling exhibits. It’s a four-minute walk from the Staten Island ferry dock. www.statenislandmuseum.org
- Staten Island Zoo, 614 Broadway, Staten Island. Open seven days a week. www.statenislandzoo.org
- Time Out New York magazine provides a calendar of current and upcoming fun activities for all ages. Pick up the magazine or visit the kids’ section online at timeoutnewyorkkids.com and timeoutnewyorkkids.com/things-to-do.
- For a directory of summer camps and activities at area colleges and universities, visit www.summeroncampus.com.