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Free Summer Fun at City of Water Day 2012

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by Cristina Dimen (subscribe)
Cristina crafts pieces on travel, parenting and lifestyle. Connect with her at or and @CristinaDimen on Twitter. WN mentor link:
Surrounded by glorious waterways where commercial and recreational vessels travel, New York and New Jersey are host to many water-themed activities. On Saturday, July 14, 2012, the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance (MWA), comprising of 650-plus organizations, brings the annual City of Water Day 2012. Attendees will enjoy a whole day of fun-filled activities and demos—all free to the public.

The waterways offer recreational activities to water lovers.

For the 5th year, City of Water Day 2012 offers many choices, including paddling, swimming and fishing for avid water enthusiasts of varying skill levels. Land lovers have opportunities to bask in, and learn more about becoming great stewards of their panoramic surroundings.

While most activities will occur on Governors Island, New York or Liberty State Park in New Jersey, other venues in both states will host local events. To avail of activities within your own neighborhood in New Jersey, plus those in the five boroughs of New York, click here for details. For instance, while most folks know about the free kayaking programs that exist throughout New York City, many others may not. Take advantage of cost-free kayaking on Staten Island, Brooklyn and other areas on the 14th, especially in places new to you.

Enjoy complimentary kayaking at various locations.

Festivities begin simultaneously on Governors Island and Liberty State Park at 10 a.m. Thankfully, Statue Cruises offers free ferry service between both places throughout the day, in 30-minute intervals. Attendees can go from one location to the other to easily catch events at both areas.

Free ferry service via Statue Cruises vessel, Miss Gateway.

Governors Island, New York

Engage your youngsters in some educational talks or various child-friendly activities where they will learn to tie knots, make maritime puppets or enjoy hands-on encounters with sea creatures via touch tanks, provided by event participants.

Picturesque views of Manhattan skyline.

Enjoy the Manhattan skyline and water scenes while New York's own Elisa Peimer, an acclaimed singer and songwriter, and other artists delight attendees with their awe-inspiring numbers. Marvel at the creative and musical talents of The Garbage-Men, a band of 10th graders from Florida as they play classic tunes on instruments they made from recycled materials.

Liberty State Park, New Jersey

Walk around the participating exhibitor tables with your kids and listen to educational talks, including the benefits of urban farming. Let them play with some solar-powered toys and enjoy eco-friendly activities at the Waterfront Activity Fair.

Don't miss the guided historic tours aboard various boats departing from, and returning to both places. All tours are free, but require advance tickets.

Catch a free tour aboard a Water Taxi.

When it's time to replenish your energy after swimming, kayaking, bicycling or walking along the waterfront, choose from among the fare available at the food trucks or concession stands stationed at both locations. While you can't barbecue or bring alcoholic drinks to either Governors Island or Liberty State Park, you're encouraged to pack your own bottles of water and food for a picnic.

Souvlaki GR is among the food trucks at Governors Island.

This event draws a crowd, so try to arrive early. Rest assured, whether you spend a few hours or stay until 4 p.m. when the festivities end, you'll enjoy many fun activities, live entertainment and delicious food—a perfect way to spend a summer day on waterfront sites in two states.

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Why? Great food, plus free music, scenery and boat tours equal a ton of fun.
When: Saturday, July 14, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Various locations throughout New York and New Jersey
Cost: Free admission to events. Food prices vary by vendor.
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