6 outdoor musts before summer ends

Fall may feel like it’s just around the corner, but there are still a few weeks of summer left — and plenty of activities to fit in before it ends.


If you haven’t managed to make it to the beach yet this summer, don’t despair: all of the beaches maintained by the city’s Parks Department are open through Sunday, September 8, with lifeguards on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. A full list of beaches is available on the department’s website.

If you’re looking to surf, try Brighton Beach or Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk, where surf-friendly areas are located between Beach 68th and Beach 71st streets, Beach 87th and Beach 91st streets and Beach 110th and Beach 111th streets, according to the department’s website. Kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are also permitted between Beach 32nd and Beach 57th streets on Rockaway Beach.

For those who prefer beach sports, Coney Island Beach and Boardwalk includes beach volleyball, handball and basketball courts — you can also stroll along the boardwalk or visit the amusement park while there. And the Bronx’s Orchard Beach and Promenade boasts more than two dozen basketball, volleyball and handball courts, in addition to playgrounds and picnic areas.

On Staten Island, South Beach has a whole host of activities, from kayaking, tennis and fishing to chess tables and bocce courts. Midland Beach and Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk, meanwhile, include a playground as well as tennis and shuffle ball courts and a sea turtle fountain for the younger beachgoers. 

Public pools

If sand and surf aren’t your favorite, New York City operates dozens of free, outdoor pool, which are stocked with free sunscreen. The pools are also open through Sunday, September 8, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, with a one-hour break for cleaning between 3 and 4 p.m., according to the Parks Department’s website.

The department requires New Yorkers have locks to store their valuables and bathing suits. Food, glass bottles, electronic devices and newspapers are not allowed. 

Paddle and pedal boating

For more leisurely minded boaters, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens may be a good bet. There, boaters can rent a single pedal boat — which can fit two people and a child on the lap — for $23 per hour, or a double pedal boat — which seats four people and a child on the lap — for $33 per hour, according to Wheel Fun Rentals’ website. Single and double kayaks are also available.

Life jackets are included with all watercraft rentals.

Jet skiing

If you’ve ever wanted to try jet skiing, Jamaica Bay affords you the opportunity. Rockaway Jet Ski, which is located at Thai Rock Restaurant on Beach 92nd Street, offers Jet Ski tours and rentals from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. through mid-September. Rates start at $80 for a 30-minute session; an hourlong session costs $140. 

Jet Ski operators must be at least 18 years old — do not forget a valid photo ID and credit card. Walk-ins are permitted, but it is likely safer to book a time slot on the Rockaway Jet Ski’s website before heading to the bay.


Manhattan Kayak + SUP provides kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals, classes and “guided adventures” for all skill levels at the Pier 84 Boathouse, located at West 44th Street past the West Side Highway.

Boaters should wear water-friendly clothes and bring something to change into after the session, along with a reusable water bottle, snack and sunscreen, according to the group’s website.

Rentals start at $10 for 45 minutes per person and can be reserved ahead of time online.


What better place to go boating than Central Park? The Loeb Boathouse has a fleet of 100 rowboats, which can be rented out between 10 a.m. and sundown, “weather permitting,” according to its website. Boats go for $15 per hour and $4.00 for each 15 minutes after that. A $20 cash deposit is required, and the boathouse only accepts cash, according to its website.

Life jackets are provided, and children younger than 12 must have an adult with them.

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