Seems like these days, you can’t walk three steps without someone asking, “Got big plans for the summer?” and though some of us have the ready answer, many of us look a little dumbfounded as we remember that yup, summer starts THIS WEEK in Bergen County. Need to figure out how to keep everyone busy, happy and most importantly, off their devices this summer? We’ve got a few suggestions to make this your best summer ever!
Summer Time Skating.“Winter’s a good time to stay in and cuddle/But put me in summer and I’ll be a - Happy Snowman!” Yes, Olaf it’s true. This summer, you’ll be happy indeed at the Summertime Skating Rink on Governors Island. Transplanted from the Watergate Hotel in DC, this rink “utilizes state of the art synthetic technology to provide skaters with an ‘ice like’ feel” for outdoor summertime skating. Visit Governors Island on Sunday, July 15th and join in for Family Fun Day featuring live music, theatrical performances, arts and crafts, educational workshops, face painting, games, ice cream and other snacks, and a build-your-own playground. Governors Island is open to the public 7 days a week from May 1 – October 31. 10 AM to 6 PM weekdays, from 10AM-10 PM on Fridays between May 25-September 14 and from 10 AM to 7 PM weekends.
Go Glamping. Remember when you used to toss your tent and a cooler in the car and head into the wilderness to camp for a few days? Not so easy now that you have a few kids, a dog and no time. Not to mention the fact that the tent has been gathering dust at the back of the garage for a decade or so. But what if we told you that Tentrr is a service that provides the necessities, sets up your tent and even scopes out activities for you to do at your campsite (which, by the way, is located on private land often within an hours drive from Bergen County). You’d be all like, kids pack the bug spray, we’ve got some camping to do! Just don’t forget to check for ticks when you get home.
Sunrise, Sunset. Yes, it’s totally awesome to sleep in on those lazy summer mornings. But at least once, you owe it to yourself to hop out of bed BEFORE the crack of dawn (like 5:00am!) and be one of the 100 visitors per day who watch the day start from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building. Follow up your Sunrise at ESB Experience with breakfast at STATE restaurant because we’re pretty sure you’re going to need coffee. Since you’re up, you might as well take in one of the NBC or ABC morning summer concerts as well. Then, take a disco nap because you’re going to want to visit the Highline for Tuesday night stargazing courtesy of the Amateur Astronomer’s Association of New York, Tuesday nights through October from dusk until the park closes.
Hit the Beach. Or the River. Or both. There’s water, water everywhere, so take your pick of the Hamptons, the Jersey Shore, or the Hudson River and make sure you take advantage of it as much as you can this summer! Only have a day? We’ve got you covered there too.
Meet Me at the Fair. Nothing says summer like fried Oreos, funnel cake and food on sticks. If you’ve got a hankering for fair food, head to the State Fair Meadowlands running this year from June 21st– July 8th. Or, the New Jersey State Fair, held in Sussex County from August 8th– August 12th. Need a little history? Add an “e” and head to the New York Renaissance Faire beginning August 4th. Or get up, up and away at the Festival of Ballooning at the Solburg Airport in Readington, NJ the weekend of July 27th- July 29th. Can’t stop, won’t stop? There are fairs every weekend in and around Bergen County and we’ve got the list.
Get Some Culture. No, we don’t mean eating yogurt (though you could do that too!). We mean visit a museum. There are plenty of exhibits to choose from this summer including: Grossology opening June 30th at the Liberty Science Center (bonus: Dino Dig and Wildlife Challenge are re-opening as well!), Heavenly Bodies at the Costume Institute at The Met, Georgia O’Keeffe Visions of Hawai’i at the New York Botanical Garden (while you’re there, don’t miss the brand new Edible Academy), the Manhattan Color Walk and Summer Solstice Saturday at the Cooper-Hewitt, and the Empty Guggenheim tours at the Guggenheim starting July 1st.
Dance the Night Away. What could be more captivating than amazing swing dancers jumping, hopping and popping to the sounds of a swing band in the open air? And what could be better than learning to swing, lindy hop, salsa, ballroom dance or hustle right alongside those who do it well? Nope, we can’t think of anything either. So, head over to Lincoln Center for Midsummer Night Swing running from June 26 – July 14.
Hop on the Ropes. Your little ones are jumping out of their skin. Time to challenge their bodies and their minds with a ropes course. Visit the Treetop Adventure Course at either the Bronx Zoo (now with nighttime adventures) or the Turtleback Zoo for outdoor excitement. Or, head to Urban Air for some indoor Warrior Obstacle Course fun.
Get Inside Right Now! There are just some days that are going to be too too hot to be outside. So, take the day and try your hand at indoor sky diving at iFly, or visit the new trampoline park Launch, or take a day and head to Westfield Garden State Plaza for the pop up Public Market (through June 30th) or the Crayola Artist Passport Camp held Wednesdays from July 11 – August 29. Or, channel your inner James Bond at Spyscape, New York’s spy museum and experience. And of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t remind you that the Museum of Candy should be opening soon. We can’t think of any better way to beat the heat!
Commune with Nature. Food tastes so much better when you’ve picked it yourself. So, set aside a day for berry picking with the family. Then, to really understand how those berries got so sweet, take a trip to the New York Bee Sanctuary and get up close and personal with the honeybees who make it all possible.