Governors Island is, in fact, a little island just off the lower end of Manhattan and is a quick 5 min ferry ride from South Ferry. They have their own ferry terminal very well signposted next door to the famous Stanton island ferry terminal. Currently, Governor Island is open until 31 October 2018. It then closes over the winter and is open only for private events during the cooler months.
It is truly a kid-friendly destination with plenty of things to do, including:
Biking - with 7 miles of bike track to enjoy. Individual, adult and kid bikes or family wagon type bikes can be hired or you can bring your own bike! Blazing saddles offer free bike rental 10am - 12pm daily!
The adventures area was my kids' favorite part of the day which includes a zipline, mini golf, rock climbing and a big maze. A combo ticket is $22 or you can pay individually for each adventure.
Ice Skating- it's strange to ice skate outdoors when the temperature it is 88F, but you can do it here. Free skating is available on weekdays for the first hour from 10am - 12pm. For Skate Rentals and Rink Access, the rates are as follows: $15 for adults and $10 for children.
Slide Hill- so much fun for all ages! Ride down four slides of varying lengths, including the longest slide in NYC at 57 feet. In addition, Slide Hill includes a wide family slide and two ADA accessible slides.
Hammock Grove play area - features play structures for all ages. Climb and swing in the middle of the new park. My kids love hammocks and other kids seem to love them too.
Playground Yards NYC- This looks like a big area of scrap/abandoned rubbish at first sight, but it is actually a huge play area for kids. The yard boasts 50,000 square feet of space in which they supply young people with materials for building, exploring, imagining and destroying. Tools provided include nails, hammers and saws, paint, tyres, wood, fabrics and more. Great for your little builders, architects or inquisitive kids! This area is for kids only, with a recommended age of 6 and up. Parents are not allowed. They also have a Family Play area, open to all ages and parents, adjacent to the Yard.
After all that activity, you may be wondering, "where can we eat?". There are a few options:
Bring your own picnic and enjoy all the green space and the amazing views.
Food Courts- there are a few food vendors at the 2 food courts, including tacos, crepes, ice cream
Island Oyster - my favorite option. A hip seafood restaurant with the most amazing view back across to lower Manhattan. They also have ping-pong tables and bean bags to keep the kids happy.
So get out there and enjoy a great time amoungst the grass, fresh air, lots of space and a nice change from the concrete jungle!