We New Yorkers are surrounded by water, constantly going over, under and around it. But most of us — with the exception of many Staten Island commuters, of course — don’t really spend a lot of time on the water. Taking a boat ride, be it big or small, powered by wind, feet, or diesel fuel is a great way to enjoy the city with kids. Here are some of the coolest ways to go boating in NYC, for all kinds of reasons. Click through to see our seafaring picks!

For Paddle Boats and More: NYC Parks

You don’t have to go any further than one of your local parks to have a boatful of fun.  Central Park boasts the famous Loeb Boathouse on the lake, where you can rent rowboats or kayaks to paddle under your own power, or take a ride in an authentic Venetian gondola for a little bit of Italy in NYC.  In Queens and Brooklyn, Wheel Fun Rentals can get you in a pedal boat or kayak at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, LeFrak Center at Lakeside Prospect Park, Marine Park or the World's Fair Marina.  In Staten Island, you can rent a row or paddleboat at Clove Lakes Park, and in the Bronx you can get in some free rowing on weekends at Hunts Point Riverside Park via Rocking The Boat.

Where is your favorite place to explore the seas around the Big Apple?

—Gretchen Kunz

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