06/20/13 2:18pm

Get out on the water for free.

UPDATE: This article was originally published in July 3, 2012, it’s been updated to reflect all time and price changes everything should be up to date as of June 20, 2013, but please let us know in the comments if we missed anything. Here are a few of our favorite hot weather things to do in Brooklyn (though honestly, we’d eat ice cream for dinner anywhere, anytime). Bookmark this list for those Sunday afternoons where you keep texting back and forth with your friends saying, “I don’t know, what do YOU want to do?”

Get on a Boat
Brooklyn is a great place for small boat enthusiasts of all levels, with a plethora of boathouses offering free access to boats, equipment and the open water. There are several organizations that offer free open paddle sessions, which are limited to 20 minutes in order to accommodate high demand. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse, located just south of Pier 1 in DUMBO, is a popular one, offering free walk-up kayaking sessions from 10am-4pm on Saturdays and from 5:30-7:30pm on some Thursday evenings (check the schedule first). The Red Hook Boaters have free kayaking on Thursday nights from 5:30-7:30pm and Sunday afternoons from 1-5pm. Simply show up at the launch site at the end of Coffey Street in Louis Valentino Jr. Pier Park and you’ll be floating in a protected cove in the New York Harbor in no time.

Canoers who aren’t hung up on pristine waterways can brave the sludge on the Gowanus Canal on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons, when the Gowanus Dredgers Club launches self-guided tours from 2nd Street on the west side of the canal. In Greenpoint, the North Brooklyn Boat Club is running a boathouse, complete with club-owned and donated boats and gear, out of a location on Ash and McGuiness. A $40 annual membership means that you can participate in practice paddling sessions on Wednesday nights and some Saturdays. In Queens, the L.I.C. Community Boathouse offers free walk-up kayaking out of Hallets Cove in Astoria on selected weekend afternoons. –-Kate Hooker
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