Madison Square Park’s 15-foot waterwheel sprinkler doesn’t just keep the grass green. It’s a great way to cool off on a hot day without submerging—and will make dunking in the fountain that much less tempting. A staff member is usually around to keep an eye on the younger crowd. Madison Avenue at 25th Street.
Stream live at the Hudson Park Pier 51:
After frolicking in the sprinklers, splash around with your kids in Hudson Park Pier 51’s winding stream. Watertoys available on site. The nearby sand tables are also extremely popular— just watch that ambitious two-year-old attempting to damn up the river. Twelfth Avenue at Horatio Street. Hudson River Park Pier 51,
Make your own solar-powered oven:
Use the sun’s heat to your advantage. With just a recycled pizza box, clear plastic lid and some aluminum foil, the kids will be making you dinner in no time.
Paint with ice:
Paintbrushes: out. Ice cubes: in. Run out of art supplies? Not a problem. Squeeze a couple of drops of food coloring into the ice tray, insert Popsicle sticks, freeze and voilà. Much more fun.