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!

To Visit Lady Liberty and Ellis Island: Statue Cruises

Mix some history in with your jaunt and head to Ellis Island, where millions of immigrants passed through seeking new lives in America, or Liberty Island to visit the Lady herself. Statue Cruises is the only game in town for these outings. Some tours, like the special hard hat tour of the Ellis Island Hospital Complex (for ages 13 and up) cost extra, and tickets to enter the pedestal and crown of the Statue of Liberty often must be reserved far in advance. Head to the National Park Service sites for  Ellis Island and Liberty Island to get help planning your trip.

photo: via Statue Cruises Facebook page

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

—Gretchen Kunz