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8 Things to Do on Roosevelt Island with Kids

8 Things to Do on Roosevelt Island with Kids

Though often overlooked, there is so much to do on this hidden gem island.

Home to many families, Roosevelt Island has a great selection of kid-friendly activities. Located in between Manhattan and Queens on the East River, the 2-mile Manhattan neighborhood has something for everyone, whether your child wants to run around or loves to relax.

Here are our top eight things to do on Roosevelt Island with kids so you can get the most out of your day:

Roosevelt Island Tramway

First things first, you have to get to the island, and what better way than on the Roosevelt Island Tramway? Conveniently located on Second Avenue between 59th and 60th streets, swipe your MetroCard and enjoy a ride that will make you feel like you’re on an amusement ride, and will offer up some killer views of Manhattan.

Roosevelt Island Music and Play Station

507 Main St.

The Music & Play Station is a neighborhood destination for children and their families to make music and art, move around, and play. The goal is for families to be a part of the learning process together from the very start. If your child is on the younger side this is a great venue to stay active indoors, while building their brain power! Music Together classes allow children to sing, move, chant, listen, watch, and explore; enhanced story time puts kids in the stories they hear; Pop In & Play sessions (Monday-Saturday) give your little ones time to explore and play in the Play Loft; and Parents Night Out and Movie Night are 3-hour drop-off programs for the kids while the parents have a date night to themselves.


Manhattan Park Pool Club

30 River Road

The rainbow waterfront pool opens for the summer in Roosevelt Island. Not only is it a perfect place to beat the heat, but also doubles as art. This year’s mural was painted by Technodrome1, in collaboration with K&Co and Pliskin Architecture. It’s no secret that summers in the city can be unbearable, but a candy-colored pool will do the trick!

Non-Roosevelt Island residents can enjoy access for a fee of $35 on weekdays throughout the season and $50 on weekends. For Roosevelt Island residents, the cost is set at $25 during weekdays and $35 on weekends.


Farmers Market

543 Main St.

For nearly 30 years, brother duo Israel and David Wengerd have been traveling 200 miles to bring fresh produce and other products to Roosevelt Island. Every Saturday, from 9am-3pm, several vendors sell dairy, meat, produce, and more. Whether you’re grabbing a quick snack or you want to grill the freshest foods by the lighthouse on the north side of the island, this is a perfect alternative to dining out.


Food Truck Staples

If you live in New York City, you will pass hundreds of food trucks in your lifetime. But because it’s so small, Roosevelt Island’s food trucks are a staple in the neighborhood’s dining options. Come with an empty stomach or re-fuel for your day on the island, grab food to go, and enjoy a self-made picnic!

Neapolitan Express, located by the Roosevelt Island F Train Station, serves eco-friendly authentic Neapolitan pies (Monday-Friday, 5-10pm), sandwiches and salads. Nathans Hot Dogs, located by the Roosevelt Island Tramway Station, serves all of your favorite fried foods and hotdogs. And Katchkie Farm Truck serves farm fresh fare over at Four Freedoms Park (Saturday-Sunday, 11am-5pm).


Four Freedoms Park

1 FDR Four Freedoms Park.

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is a 4-acre memorial to the four freedoms FDR spoke about in his 1941 State of the Union address: freedom of speech and expression, freedom to worship god, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. The freedoms are presented throughout the parks structure. Although the park is small, the beautiful view of the city skyline gives the park every reason to set up events throughout the summer! Whether you’re coming to watch the sunset or participate in activities, this park is the perfect fit for all families!

Upcoming family-friendly events at Four Freedoms Park include:

Uni Project: a pop-up library with curated book lists and arts and crafts activities on select weekends (Aug. 18-19, Sept. 15-16, Oct. 20-21). All ages are welcome.

Kite Flight for Peace: Design and fly kites in honor of International Peace Day at the park's free drop-in workshop on Sept. 22.

South Point Park

Roosevelt Island, New York

The 7-acre park with lawns, gardens, and waterfront views is in between the new Cornell Teach Campus and Four Freedoms Park. While South Point Park is perfect for a picnic, a game of catch, or anything else you can think of, it’s also home to the Roosevelt Island Summer Outdoor Movie Series, which features a film, trivia contests, food vendors, and music.

NYC Ferry

Since you got to the island by air, what better way to return home than by water? The NYC Ferry has a landing on Roosevelt Island (on East Main Street, east of Tram Plaza), and has stops in Astoria and Long Island City in Queens, as well as in Midtown East and Wall Street in Manhattan.