New York is often associated with its fast-paced lifestyle, but the city offers numerous activities and unique attractions suitable for families. Central Park alone brims with playgrounds, extensive cycling and walking paths, picnic spots, gardens, and city zoos showcasing wildlife from around the world. In this guide, we’re exploring the top 10 Things To Do In New York City with Kids And wait until you see our number one pick – it’s something you might not have considered before. Make sure to stay tuned until the end.
Top 10 Things To Do In New York City with Kids
Now, let’s dive into the Top 10 Things To Do In New York City with Kids.
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum:
Experience the Ghostbusters exhibit, among over 200 lifelike figures of world icons, spread across themes like music, movies, sports, royalty, and Hollywood. Tickets cost approximately $34 per person, with discounted rates available on the museum’s official website.
American Museum of Natural History:
Explore 45+ exhibitions and millions of artifacts dating back to prehistoric times. From dinosaur skeletons, including the massive Titanosaur, to the Hayden Planetarium’s celestial wonders, there’s plenty for the whole family.
Statue of Liberty:
A trip to New York City is not complete without a visit to the Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty is a huge statue built on a small island near New York Harbor, standing with a torch in one hand and a book in the other. Standing at 305 feet, Lady Liberty is made of copper as thin as two pennies. Millions of people visit the Statue of Liberty every year, she is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site after all.
First on your must-see list is the Statue of Liberty, arguably America’s most iconic statue. Standing tall since its construction in 1886, Lady Liberty remains a symbol of freedom. Booking tickets in advance for the crown tour is advisable, and aim for a morning visit to beat the queues, offering breathtaking views of the city.
Hop on a ferry to Liberty Island for breathtaking views and a chance to learn about its history. Access to the crown requires advance booking and an additional fee.
Glide on the Sea Glass Carousel, offering a weightless ride experience with captivating underwater scenes projected using color-changing LED lights. Tickets are $5 per person, and children under 42 inches tall must be accompanied by an adult.
Children’s Museum of the Arts New York:
Engage in workshops and hands-on activities like stop-motion animation and clay sculpting. Younger visitors can join guided sessions in painting, storytelling, and drumming.
New Amsterdam Theatre:
Join Disney’s Behind the Magic Tour or catch a Disney musical production like Aladdin, The Lion King, Mary Poppins, or Frozen.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden:
Enjoy the Hanami Cherry Blossom and explore various themed gardens, conservatories, and walking trails. Admission is $15 for adults and $8 for children over 12, with free entry on select days.
Luna Park in Coney Island:
Experience thrilling rides, including the historic Cyclone roller coaster, offering high-speed excitement for families.
New York Public Library:
Visit the Children’s Center to see the original Winnie the Pooh toys and explore the library’s extensive collections. Free tours are available on weekdays. The New York Public Library is another must-visit with its impressive architecture and often-open exhibits. Bryant Park, just opposite, is a serene urban oasis where you can relax and pick up a book from the outdoor library stand.
Discover diverse wildlife at the Central Park Zoo, ride the carousel, visit the conservatory garden, and explore Belvedere Castle. The park hosts various family-friendly activities throughout the year.
Central Park is a must-visit for a leisurely walk, a pedal around, or a carriage ride. With its vastness, you could easily spend a whole day here exploring places like Strawberry Fields, Belvedere Castle, Central Park Zoo, and the lake. Grab a map from one of the visitor centers to avoid getting lost.
Best Activities for Kids in New York
You know, it’s not as easy as one might think to keep kids entertained in New York City. While there are plenty of fantastic things for adults, kids can easily get bored and tired from all the walking. Bringing a kid to a new city they’ve never been to before can be challenging because they might not be as interested in the things that adults find fascinating.
One of the most famous activities to do with kids in New York City is visiting Serendipity. It’s an ice cream shop and restaurant located on the Upper East Side, just around the corner from Bloomingdale’s. It’s been there forever and is known for its big hot fudge sundaes, foot-long hot dogs, and their famous frozen hot chocolates. They also offer savory foods, but the desserts steal the show. They even have a $1,000 sundae on the menu, which is more of a marketing gimmick than anything else, but it adds to the fun.
After indulging in sugary treats at Serendipity and riding the sugar high, you can head next door to Dylan’s Candy Shop. It’s a fantastic candy store filled with both retro and modern candies, and they even have pillows shaped like giant candies. It’s a bit pricey for candy, but who can resist? It’s definitely worth a visit.
There are several other great activities for kids in the city. FAO Schwarz, located around 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, is known as the world’s most extravagant toy store. While it used to be extremely expensive, it’s now a bit more affordable. They offer unique items like child-sized Lamborghinis and life-sized giraffes. You can even create your own Muppet at FAO Schwarz, which is a delightful experience from Jim Henson’s Muppet shop.
In Times Square, you’ll find a wonderful Toys R Us with a free Ferris wheel that people adore. Even those on their lunch break used to hop on it for a spin. Whenever I bring my nieces and nephews to New York, we always check it out for a little ride. It’s definitely a fun thing to do in Times Square when you’re not sure where to go.
Max Brenner’s is another modern-day Serendipity-like spot, offering crazy desserts and various chocolate fountains – vanilla, milk, and dark chocolate. It’s a sugar overload but a lot of fun.
And of course, Central Park has numerous playgrounds with different swings, climbing pyramids, and caves to explore. There are also two zoos: the Children’s Zoo, perfect for younger kids to pet llamas and observe smaller animals, and the larger zoo with seals, penguins, and a tropical room that feels like a jungle.
These are just a few activities among the plethora of things you can do with kids in New York City. But these are some of my personal highlights.
FAQ: Things to Do in New York City with Kids
Q: Are these activities suitable for kids of all ages?
A: Yes, these activities offer something for children of various ages. Some places cater specifically to younger children, while others offer entertainment for older kids as well.
Q: What are the costs associated with these activities?
A: Costs vary for each activity. Some places like Central Park are free to enter, while others like Serendipity or Max Brenner’s involve purchasing food or treats. Museums and amusement parks typically have admission fees, but some offer discounted rates for children.
Q: Are these activities accessible via public transportation?
A: Most of these activities are easily accessible via New York City’s extensive public transportation system, including subways and buses. Some locations might require a short walk from the nearest station.
Q: Can we plan a full day of activities with these options?
A: Absolutely! Depending on your preferences and the ages of your children, you can plan a full day by combining visits to Central Park, a candy shop, a museum, and perhaps an amusement park or toy store.
Q: Are there any additional tips for visiting these places with kids?
A: It’s advisable to check the opening hours and any specific rules or guidelines for each place before visiting. Additionally, keeping snacks, water, and comfortable shoes for walking can be helpful for a day of exploration.