Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do with Kids in Staten Island, NY

  • Published 2022/11/24

Staten Island is a borough in New York filled with fun things to do with kids.

Coextensive with Richmond County, the Lenape Tribe first occupied the protected park before a Dutch colony found it and settled in the 1600s.

In 1898, Staten Island was part of New York City and was known as the Borough of Richmond; it wasn’t until 1975 that it was officially known as the Borough of Staten Island.

Residents of Staten Island who feel abandoned by the municipal administration have occasionally referred to their home as “the forgotten borough.”

However, there are many fun and family-friendly things to explore on Staten Island, such as its beaches, parks, and wildlife sanctuaries.

Below are 15 of the best things to do with kids in Staten Island, New York:

Ride the Staten Island Ferry with Your Kids

A cruising Staten Island Ferry

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Riding the ferry is one of the best ways to tour Staten Island and get a glimpse of stunning views of New York City.

The Staten Island Ferry is free, so there’s no reason not to take your kids on this fun adventure!

As you ride along the five-mile ferry route, you’ll get to see Manhattan’s skyscrapers.

People enjoying the view from a Staten Island Ferry

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You can also check out the Staten Island Museum on your way to and from Staten Island to learn more about the history of this borough and New York City.

If you’re in Staten Island in April, why not join the St. George Festival for a family-friendly day of food, fun, and music?

If you’re up for the things you can do in Staten Island with kids, don’t forget to experience the Staten Island Ferry with them!

Name sign of a Staten Island Ferry

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Step Back in Time at the Alice Austen House Museum

Side view of Alice Austen House Museum's exterior

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Introduce your kids to the 17th century as you explore the Alice Austen House Museum, a gorgeous Victorian cottage once home to Alice Austen.

Alice Austen was a notable American photographer who contributed to the photographic history of New York.

The Alice Austen House Museum, also known as Clear Comfort, was initially a Dutch farmhouse perched at New York Harbour’s entrance.

Front view of Alice Austen House Museum's exterior

Brian Logan Photography /

Successful entrepreneur John Haggerty Austen bought the museum in 1844, and John’s wife gave the house its name.

As soon as you walk through the renovated antique furniture and Alice Austen’s iconic photographs, the museum will make you forget you’re in the 21st century.

Marvel at the exteriors of the Victorian house, which was restored according to its original design, thanks to the photos taken by Alice Austen.

You can find the museum on Hylan Boulevard.

Teach Your Children How to Play Golf at Rab’s Country Lanes

With bumpers on its 48 lanes, Rab’s Country Lanes Hylan Boulevard is one of the best places for your family to have fun bowling together.

Kids and newbies will have so much fun as bumpers guide the balls to avoid gutters and will make them feel like pros.

Kids will also have a blast celebrating their birthdays at Rab’s Country Lanes as they handle all the party details, from the invitations to the party setup, food, and entertainment.

You can choose from different party packages, such as the Every 2 Hours Bowling Party package, which includes two party hosts, food setup, and use of bowling ramps.

You can also avail of the Cosmic Bowling Package and marvel at the glow-in-the-dark setup.

Explore Staten Island Zoo

A cheetah at Staten Island Zoo

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If your kids are animal lovers, taking them to the Staten Island Zoo should be included on your list.

Staten Island Zoo houses over 1,000 animals from around the globe, including Fennec Fox, Binturong, Road Runner, and Amur Leopard.

Observe one of the rarest big cats as your kids visit the Amur Leopard Habitat and marvel at them in their natural habitat.

Entrance gate of Staten Island Zoo

Alejandrocard96, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Be mesmerized by the gorgeous Sahara Exhibit, and visit the Conservation Carousel to learn about some of the endangered creatures on Earth.

A zoo is also an excellent place for kids to learn about conservation and animal welfare by interacting with the zoo’s resident animals.

If your kids are more interested in marine life, check out the immersive aquarium at Staten Island Zoo.

Spend a Fun Day at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center

A building at Snug Harbor Cultural Center

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Snug Harbor Cultural Center started as a home for retired sailors, but now it’s become a vibrant and family-friendly cultural center with museums, gardens, and parks.

When you visit the Snug Harbor Cultural Center at Richmond Terrace, you can check out the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art to see some of the most incredible contemporary art exhibits in New York City.

You can also explore the Botanical Gardens to appreciate some of Staten Island’s beautiful natural habitats.

Koi pond at Snug Harbor Cultural Center

Linda Harms /

Make a beeline to the Connie Gretz Secret Garden and admire the hedge maze inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett’s book.

You can also wander through the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden, a replica of the Ming Dynasty gardens in Suzhou, China.

If you have time, visit the Noble Maritime Collection, a massive collection of original paintings and ship models housed in the Snug Harbor Cultural Center.

Wooden bench at Snug Harbor Cultural Center

Linda Harms /

Relax and Play at High Rock Park

Known for its tranquility, High Rock Park is where you can bond with your family and friends.

With its large open spaces, picnic areas, playgrounds, and hiking trails, this park is perfect for anyone looking to relax and unwind in the great outdoors.

Located on Nevada Avenue, the park offers views of swamps, marshlands and ponds, tall trees, and verdant surroundings.

A 260-foot artificial slope named Moses’ Mountain is also accessible to tourists.

You can bring your pets to High Rock Park, as your kids and dogs will love the trails and open spaces.

With so many things to enjoy and explore, you should spend your day at High Rock Park with your loved ones!

Dig Deep into History at Historic Richmond Town

Houses at the Historic Richmond Town


Richmond Town is a sprawling complex of historic structures dating back to the 17th century.

Visitors can take a guided tour of Staten Island’s many museums and buildings, each with its unique history and stories.

Walk through the Main Village and find out how the people lived during the 1860s as your kids discover the town’s third county courthouse, which was the town’s center.

Look at how different the exteriors of the private houses and trade shops were during the same period.

A house at the Historic Richmond Town


After the tour of the Main Village, you can head to the Outer Village and learn what life was like during the 1770sfind out how different the people’s lives were during the colonial time.

Finally, go to the Lower Village, situated near Richmond Creek, and explore the early American town there as you wander into the taverns and listen to the political discussions.

Whether your kids love history or enjoy exploring new places, Richmond Town is the perfect destination for a fun family day trip.

A church at the Historic Richmond Town


Go to Willowbrook Park and Ride the Carousel for All Children

A lake at Willowbrook Park

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One of the most popular parks on Staten Island is Willowbrook Park, which your whole family will enjoy.

Willowbrook Park on Eton Pl is one of Staten Island’s most well-liked Greenbelt parks because it has a conservation area for wildlife in addition to its assortment of services and amenities.

Willowbrook provides a superb opportunity to escape to a more tranquil setting with its serene landscapes.

A trail at Willowbrook Park

Maryikaro, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Numerous bird species use the lake for breeding, feeding, and engaging in other bird activities.

It is set amid a beautiful forest and features an extensive network of bike paths and hiking trails, the perfect place for a family bike ride or walks.

Best of all, the park is home to the Carousel for All Children, designed especially for kids with special needs and disabilities.

Spend a Whole Day at the Greenbelt Nature Center

Covering 2,800 acres of land, the Greenbelt Nature Center on Rockland Avenue is a great place to spend an entire day with your family and friends.

With its lush forests, lakes, ponds, hiking trails, wildlife preserves, and educational exhibits, this nature center is perfect for anyone looking to spend some time outdoors.

Take a walk through the six trails at Greenbelt Nature Center, and get up close and personal with the different plants and animals that make this area their home.

Bring your pets along as you stroll through the lush forests, or go fishing in one of its lakes.

If your kids are interested in learning more about nature, visit the educational exhibits at the Greenbelt Nature Center.

You can even let your kids fly their radio-controlled or RC aircraft at LaTourette Park’s Field of Dreams.

Visiting Greenbelt Nature Center is a great way to enjoy some fresh air and reconnect with nature while enjoying a barbecue picnic with the kids!

Go Birdwatching at Clove Lakes Park

The waters of Clove Lakes Park

Malika Photography /

Clove Lakes Park on Clove Road was formed in the 1930s when a stream flowed through Kill Van Kull.

The Dutch term “kloven,” which means “cleft,” is where the name Clove Lakes Park comes from.

The valley and stream among Emerson and Grymes Hills make up the specific cleft.

The park is a popular destination for Staten Islanders, as it offers many recreational facilities, including hiking trails, fishing spots, playgrounds, and sports fields.

However, one of this beautiful park’s biggest draws is its prime birdwatching location.

With various bird sightings, Clove Lakes Park is an incredible spot to spend a spring or summer day looking for your favorite feathered friends.

The 198 acres of the park are also almost entirely used for recreational activities such as baseball fields, basketball courts, and playgrounds.

If you’re looking for a fun outdoor experience on Staten Island, head to Clove Lakes Park; it has something for everyone!

Head to the Staten Island Children’s Museum for an Educational Experience

A praying mantis sculpture in front of the Staten Island Children's Museum

SICM Staff, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you want to have a blast on your children’s educational day out, look no further than the Staten Island Children’s Museum at Richmond Terrace.

This hands-on museum is filled with many interactive exhibits that will keep your kids entertained for hours.

There’s always something exciting to explore at the Staten Island Children’s Museum, such as the Block Harbor, which is perfect for children five years old and below.

You can head to Big Games and let your kids play with giant chess pieces, checkers, and Lite Bite; you can even let them build their log cabins.

For those interested in science, you can go to the Bugs and Other Anthropods Exhibit, where your kids can see insects up close, such as ants and tarantulas.

If you’re looking for a unique field trip experience, this museum also offers exceptional educational programs led by seasoned teachers.

Introduce Your Kids to Golf at the LaTourette Public Golf Course

Kids are welcome to learn golf at the LaTourette Public Golf Course.

With its challenging 18-hole golf course, this public park is perfect for budding golfers looking to improve their skills and play a sport they can enjoy for years to come.

Designed by David L. Reese, this course will test every aspect of your golf game.

The 6,692-yard course, which rolls across the hillsides and lowlands overlooking the picturesque Richmond Town, is a professional golf course at its best.

You can tell that the LaTourette Public Golf Course is unique when you walk through the door of the clubhouse, a renovated 170-year-old Greek renaissance mansion.

Although considered a tough course, LaTourette Public Golf Course provides a welcoming environment to those who want to learn the game.

Discover the Rich History of Staten Island Museum with Your Kids

Exterior of the Staten Island Museum

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Established in 1881, the Staten Island Museum at Richmond Terrace is one of the oldest museums in New York City.

Filled with artifacts from worldwide, this museum is a treasure trove for anyone interested in learning about history.

Get to know the Mastodon as it emerges through a wall in one of the Staten Island Museum’s exhibits; you can also see fossils and extinct bird species.

Encourage your kids’ love for the arts as you bring them to the Opening the Treasure Box experience with objects as old as 5,000 years old; these artifacts came from five continents.

Find out the history of Staten Island in the Staten Island Seen exhibit, with paintings depicting the lives of those who lived in the borough from the 1600s to the present.

From the 17th century to the present, the exhibition explores the unique history and scenery of the borough.

The featured art pieces were created by both beginner and experienced artists using a variety of mediums and techniques.

Have Some Fun under the Sun at the Midland Beach

Sunny day at Midland Beach

IzabelaAnna /

Spending time at the beach is always a fun and memorable experience, whether you’re a child or an adult.

If you’re looking for an excellent beach to relax and have fun on Staten Island, check out Midland Beach.

With its sandy beaches and calm waters, Midland Beach is a great place for kids to run around, with the sea turtle fountain a favorite among young visitors.

A pier at Midland Beach

IzabelaAnna /

There are also shuffleboard and handball courts for kids to play with.

Take a stroll along the boardwalk and admire the beautiful views of the nearby South Beach.

If you get hungry, head to one of Midland Beach’s many local eateries and grab something delicious.

Enjoy a Thrilling Game at the Cousins Paintball

Bring your kids to the Cousins Paintball, the perfect place to engage in friendly competition and get their adrenaline pumping.

Whether you’re a first-time paintball player or an experienced pro, this well-equipped facility has everything you need to have fun while playing your favorite sport.

With its state-of-the-art equipment and knowledgeable staff, the Cousins Paintball is the perfect place for kids to try this growing sport.

Cousins Paintball at Arthur Kill Road has 20 acres of playing fields, with natural terrain that includes wetlands and wooded areas.

You can also celebrate your kids’ birthday parties here via a two-hour private session for your group.

Final Thoughts

Staten Island offers plenty of things to offer whether you’re in for a quiet weekend vacation or an exciting adventure with your kids.

You won’t go wrong if you spend your vacation ticking off the items on this list of the best things to do with kids in Staten Island, New York.

Go ahead and explore this fun and vibrant borough today!

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