Jersey City, part of New Jersey that is closer to NYC than many neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens, is just a short PATH ride or drive from the city. You can even take a ferry from lower Manhattan for an idyllic ride across the Hudson River. But while the ferry, PATH and Holland Tunnel charge fees, you can find a host of free family friendly activities in the area.
During the Week
The large gallery Mana Contemporary has changing exhibitions and daily tours where you can see artists in residence at work. Open weekdays only. The Richard Meier Model Museum, upstairs at the gallery, open by appointment only. Young future architects will love the models, particularly if they happen to have seen the actually buildings modeled here.
Wednesdays during the Summer
Groove on Grove: This free weekly live music concert series features local bands and performers. Wednesdays from 6-9pm
Films in Van Vorst Park shows free outdoor movies, Wednesdays at 8:30pm.
You have to pay for the carousel at Newport Green Park, but it’s free to to play in the sand, play ping pong or take pictures of the glorious Manhattan skyline.
See the Statue of Liberty
Don’t tell your kids about the fight between New York and New Jersey over the Statue of Liberty. Just head over to Liberty State Park, where you can picnic and walk the 1.3 mile Liberty Walk promenade to the Statue of Liberty overlook.