Pier 84
GOOD FOR: Ages 5-8

Source:Outdoors with Kids New York City (AMC Books)
Address:West 44th Street and the Hudson River, Manhattan, NY
Hours:6 A.M. to 1 A.M. daily
Fee: Free
Bathrooms: Pier 84 concessions area
Water/Snacks: Food vendors in Hudson River Park; concessions near entrance to Pier 84

USGS Central Park; USGS Weehawken; hudsonriverpark.org/explore.html

Pier 84, the largest public pier in Hudson River Park, offers free catch-and-release fishing and interactive water play for children.

Kids can cool off, splash around, and explore the physics of water at this science-themed pier.
Photo by: Cheryl and William de Jong-Lambert

Pier 84 is a slice of the outdoors situated between two of the river’s most popular tourist destinations: the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises to the south and the venerable Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum to the north. The pier extends 1,000 feet into the water and provides a mix of a park environment and waterfront activities.

Big City Fishing offers free catch-and-release fishing along the north side of the pier. Striped bass, American eel, bluefish, and flounder are among the variety of sea animals caught and turned back to their habitat. Poles are lined up along the rail, and trained volunteers are on hand to bait hooks and help you cast a line. The recommended age is 5 years and older. The program runs weekends from spring through fall, from 10:30 A.M. to 5 p.m., weather permitting, with a half-hour limit if others are waiting.

Toward the end of the pier, Floating the Apple offers classes for rowing and boat building, and, if volunteer staff is available, a free insider’s look at the art and craft of building 25-foot-long wooden rowboats and sailboats.

Children can also explore a cluster of interactive, science-themed waterplay equipment located at the pier’s entrance. A variety of pumps, some of which require a little teamwork, send water down chutes, through waterwheels, and into pools and rivers. An irresistible circular fountain features dozens of geysers that send choreographed streams of water high into the air. The spigots are set below the surface so children can run through without tripping.

Remember: This is one of the few destinations in this book that is best experienced on a hot summer day.

Plan B:

To get a fuller appreciation for the Hudson River Park redevelopment effort, head north to Pier 96 (Trip 22) for seasonal community kayaking, or hike south along the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway (Trip 7) to visit other refurbished piers. It is also easy to spend a day at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.


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