artem kniaz DqgMHzeio7g unsplash scaled artem kniaz DqgMHzeio7g unsplash scaled

22 Amazing Things to do with Kids in NYC

There are innumerable reasons to visit New York City with your family, aside from the fact that it is the most populous city in the United States. And one of them is amazing things to do with kids in NYC.

New York City is a sensory overload for children, from food to fun to culture and craziness. Even though it is a large metropolitan city with many enterprises and tourists, it is a child-friendly city too.

There are many amazing things to do with kids in NYC, in this article we are precisely going to list 22 such things which your kids will enjoy in New York.

New York – The Best City to Travel

New York’s high rating was ascribed to its richness, history, and world-class culinary and art scene.

This dynamic metropolis, known as the ‘Big Apple,’ is known for its luxury boutiques, spectacular Broadway musicals, and high-flying corporate tycoons. It has long fascinated visitors from around the world. You can find amazing things to see and to do in this city.

Apart from the flashing lights, it’s also home to the iconic Statue of Liberty, a beacon of freedom and faith, and Central Park, one of the world’s cleanest and most well-kept parks.

Therefore, New York is far more than simply a hangout for the rich and famous. So, let’s look more closely at what has created New York among the world’s most well-known cities for your kids.

22 Must-Do Things to Do with Kids in NYC

Now we are going to check the list of spots for your kids. Let’s see what surprises are hidden for your kids!

1. American Museum of Natural history

American Museum of Natural History - Website, Screenshot
American Museum of Natural History – Website, Screenshot

American Museum of Natural History is the first spot that Kids will enjoy is the place as they will get to see the dinosaurs, whales, and elephants. The Upper West Side institution is a global attraction that attracts tourists from all over the world, not only in New York.

Visitors can spend all day marvelling at the displays in this palace-like complex, from learning about species in the Hall of Biodiversity to wandering under the huge whale in the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life.

If your children want to sleep under the big whale, you can look into the venue’s sleepover alternatives.

2. Governors Island

Head to this former military base with brick buildings and green grounds for a unique NYC experience. Governors Island feels like a New England college was relocated to an island in New York Harbor.

The island is only 800 yards from Manhattan to a park-like environment with winding walks, play zones, and some excellent food trucks. You can take a ferry.  It’s a children’s heaven, where they can run around and let off steam.

This seasonal site reopens every spring, and it comes alive in the summer when the cool coastal winds hit the place. Visiting Governors Island is a must.

3. Luna Park

A day trip to Luna Park in Coney Island is a blast, particularly in the summer. You can grab Nathan’s hot dog on Surf Avenue or fried clams on the boardwalk before hitting the rides.

Older youngsters will make a beeline for the Cyclone, a classic wooden roller coaster that has been terrifying children for almost 90 years. Smaller children will enjoy the carousel, Lynn’s Trapeze swings, and the Wild River log flume.

The Cyclone and Thunderbolt roller coasters, as well as activities, dining, and shopping, are all located here.

The Park’s Roller Coaster, the Great Scenic Railway, is the park’s most famous attraction, a massive wooden coaster that transports riders around the park’s perimeter at great speeds.

4. Children’s Museum of Manhattan

Children's Museum Of Manhattan - Website, Screenshot
Children’s Museum Of Manhattan – Website, Screenshot

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan, or CMOM, is a terrific location for kids to learn and play, especially younger ones. The CMOM is open at moderate costs every week, making it one of the most enjoyable things to do in New York with kids and a terrific option for a wet day.

Children can learn about art in a museum dedicated to them. The 10,000-square-foot museum has plenty of space to display its 2,000-piece international children’s art collection, including a large central gallery.

Artists lead workshops in classrooms. Artists lead workshops to include a sound station, clay bar, and video editing equipment. You can also register for classes and camps.

5. New Victory Theatre

Kids realize something genuinely remarkable is about to happen when the curtain rises in this exquisite jewel box of a theatre—the New Victory Theatre presents Broadway-quality productions of thought-provoking drama to a youthful audience.

These family-friendly performances feature everything from exciting new plays to recreated classics, as well as enormous puppets and breakdancing daredevils, originating worldwide.

Pre-show crafts, professional lectures, and other related programming enhance the viewer’s excitement and learning of the show, tailored to various age groups such as preschoolers, elementary school students, tweens, and teens.

6. New York Aquarium

New York Aquarium - Website, Screenshot
New York Aquarium – Website, Screenshot

The New York Aquarium is a year-round attraction on Coney Island that teaches youngsters about aquatic species.

Last year, it opened a fancy 57,500-square-foot pavilion directly on the oceanfront for its major new exhibit, Ocean Wonder: Sharks. It is home to marine animals, including the exhibit’s titular saw-toothed predators.

The New York Aquarium, based on the Riegelmann Boardwalk in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City, is the country’s oldest continuously functioning aquarium. In 1896, the New York aquarium was opened at Castle Garden in Battery Park, Manhattan, and in 1957, it relocated to Coney Island.

7. Gulliver’s Gate

From dollhouse furnishings to train sets to Legoland, kids like miniatures!

Gulliver’s Gate in Times Square does that in each of its 50,000 square feet. From the delicately painted ceiling of Grand Central Station to the 0.8-inch high models of real visitors, it will capture the imaginations of younger visitors and yours right from the start with its Lilliputian cityscapes in exquisite, precise detail.

The streets are bustling with miniature people in mid-action and moving cars, but the surprises, such as Spiderman poised to leap from the Brooklyn Bridge, make it so much fun to look for. You can even acquire miniatures of yourself and your family at the gift shop.

8. Bronx Zoo

Bronx Zoo - Website, Screenshot
Bronx Zoo – Website, Screenshot

The young animals in your family will enjoy a day at the country’s largest urban zoo. With 265 acres to explore, it’s wise to pick and select which attractions the family will enjoy and plan appropriately – you can even rent single or double strollers for when little legs become tired.

Plan to arrive when the zoo opens, or check the zoo’s website for special pre-opening events like breakfast with penguins or large cats.

The Wild Asia Monorail, a 20-minute journey, is the only way to see some of the most popular species, such as Asian elephants, rhinos, and red pandas, open seasonally.

Visitors can feed the miniature Nubian goats, donkeys, and sheep at the Children’s Zoo farmyard. There’s also an aerial ropes course and a 400-foot zip line over the Bronx River to keep older kids occupied.

9. Central Park

The Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Central Park, the most-visited urban park in the United States, would be present in any child-friendly attraction list.

Get a map of the park’s hidden beauties here, and don’t miss the vintage carousel adjacent to the Dairy. It’s a big hit with kids of all ages and makes for a terrific photo moment. Belvedere Castle, which reopened after a major renovation, is another family-friendly attraction.

Central Park is New York City’s biggest and most influential public park.

It covers 840 acres and runs between 59th and 110th streets and Fifth and Eighth avenues. It was among the first parks in the United States to use landscape architecture techniques.

10. Bryant Park

Bryant National Park - Website, Screenshot
Bryant National Park – Website, Screenshot

Bryant Park is a popular year-round location in New York City. The park, also known as Manhattan’s Town Square, is known for its lush seasonal gardens, free events, first-rate bathrooms, and al fresco dining.

Bryant Park, which is close to the New York Public Library and surrounded by prominent buildings, attracts over 12 million visitors yearly and is one of the world’s busiest public areas.

Fans of ice skating rinks may be satisfied with only using the 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink. There is a choice for you you can take your skates or you can rent them. 

Then reward yourself with meals from one of the park’s approximately 100 cafes, which have been put up for months.

11. New York Transit Museum

The New York Transit Museum, a small museum near Borough Hall in Brooklyn, is housed in a disused subway station; to get in, you must descend from the pavement, much like you would on your everyday journey.

It’s a great place to spend an hour with kids, who will enjoy rushing in and out of old subway train cars, climbing into the driver’s seat of a city bus, and forcing their way through a turnstile.

The museum covers more than a century of New York subway history, transporting even native New Yorkers to a time when the subway was a more popular mode of transportation than it is today.

For the New York-obsessed, stock up on keepsakes. There’s something for everyone, from vintage transit token necklaces to Metrocard mugs and baseball caps with your favourite rail line embroidered.

They also have a New York City Grand Central Terminal store if you can’t make it to Brooklyn.

12. Serendipity 3

Serendipity - Sundaes
By Gustavo Peres/Pexels

Serendipity 3, a restaurant and soda fountain on the Upper East Side with marble-topped tables and Tiffany-style lighting, hasn’t changed much since it first opened in 1954.

Everything from meatloaf to hamburgers is available, but the sweets have made the restaurant famous. Share a giant sundae, a banana split, or the popular frozen hot chocolate or mochaccino.

It’s the ideal way to treat the kids to a Willy Wonka–style treat after a day of sightseeing in the summer. Take your foodie kids to the place and make them taste New York’s food.

13. Empire State Building

This is one we couldn’t pass up!

Empire State Building may seem like an easy pick, but it is one of the best things to do in NYC with kids. The 102nd-floor observatory, for example, is a work of art in and of itself.

Take your daring kids to the Art Deco icon’s new 102nd-floor observatory, which takes visitors more than 1,200 feet above the city. The panoramic views are breathtaking (and a terrific way to expose young children to Manhattan’s structures). When you’ve taken it all in, you can tour exhibitions about the skyscraper’s history and place in pop culture.

You will fly over 1,200 feet above New York Metropolis and be treated to a panoramic view of the city. The entire family can get a wonderful skyline view without travelling to Manhattan.

14. DiMenna Children’s History Museum

DiMenna Children’s History Museum is a tiny institution dedicated to children housed within the New York Historical Society, with displays aimed at helping children comprehend the city’s history.

They’ll learn about notable historical personalities (like Alexander Hamilton) and pivotal periods in the city’s growth and meet re-enactors who will help bring those events to life.

The 11 founders of the New York Historical Society.

These men believed that New Yorkers needed to take strong action to preserve solid evidence of their historical moment, which they recognized as significant, worrying that if stories and artefacts were left in the hands of private persons, they would be reduced to “dust and obscurity.

things to do with kids in nyc
Photo by Anna Samoylova on Unsplash

15. Roosevelt Island and Tram

Take the famous Roosevelt Island Tramway over the East River to Roosevelt Island, two miles long. Stay a bit to visit Southpoint Park, the nice riverside walkways, or the late-nineteenth-century North Point Lighthouse.

Don’t miss the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, built by Louis Kahn and offers spectacular vistas of Manhattan.

The Roosevelt Island Tramway is a New York City aerial tramway that spans the East River and connects Roosevelt Island to Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The tramway was North America’s first commuter aerial tramway, opening in 1976. Since then, the team has carried almost 26 million people.

The team is made up of two carriages that go in opposite directions on two parallel tracks. Although it uses the MTA’s MetroCard and allows free connections to the subway system, it is one of the few types of public transportation in New York City that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority does not control.

16. Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex

A 52,000-square-foot outpost is located directly behind the Chelsea Piers. There is an ice skating rink if you wish to go for a spin. There’s also a beautiful pool for people who wish to chill off. And it’s all available 365 days a year.

17. Staten Island Ferry

Every tourist hotspot listicle in New York City includes this as one of the top entries. There’s a good explanation for it. The Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor are visible from the Staten Island Ferry.

It’s a 25-minute ride on one side and one of the city’s enjoyable activities for kids.

It would help if you also stopped by the St. George area on your way back for some more gorgeous shots. Because of the lack of other transit connections between Staten Island and the other boroughs, the Staten Island Ferry is the busiest ferry route in the United States and the world’s busiest passenger-only ferry system.

18. Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge
By Jerome Dominici/Pexels

The Brooklyn Bridge offers amazing views of downtown Manhattan, including the Freedom Tower, the Statue of Liberty, Governors Island, and the distinctive double arches that symbolize NYC’s hippest borough.

While you’ll be jolted by the thousands of other tourists crossing the East River (which is a real pain), the vistas are amazing. If you’re coming from Manhattan, Ample Hills Creamery, conveniently located at the base of the bridge in DUMBO, is a great place to treat your tired legs with a scoop of something delicious.

19. New York Hall of Science

Kids can go hands-on with hundreds of interactive exhibits and activities that bring science, technology, engineering, and math to life at the New York Hall of Science.

New York hall is home to a rotating lineup of exhibits involving light, 3-D printing, outer space, and robotics, as well as the Design Lab, where youngsters may participate in activities at five stations: Backstage, Sandbox, Studio, Maker Space, and Treehouse, which were built for the 1964 World’s Fair.

Kids may climb on a rope web at the enormous Science Playground and Rocket Park and play mini-golf. This location is well worth the trip.

20. Sugar Hill Children’s Museum

Sugar Hill Children’s Museum, also known as the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, is a children’s museum in Upper Manhattan’s Sugar Hill district.

This one in Harlem can make your kids’ day if they like art and stories. British architect David Adjaye created it to entertain and educate children aged 3 to 8. It takes up 17,000 square feet on two levels of a low-income housing development.

Throughout the year, story series and art shows can be found here. Numerous workshops are available; if inspired, you can enrol them in a formal schooling program.

21. New York Botanical Garden

New York Botanical Garden - Website, Screenshot
New York Botanical Garden – Website, Screenshot

There are exhibitions at the New York Botanical Garden that will blow your socks off. The Everett Children’s Adventure contains boulders and mazes to keep the kids entertained while you stroll through the lily pads.

An annual Holiday Train Show will keep the whole family entertained in the winter.

The New York Botanical Garden is dedicated to conserving and maintaining the planet’s biodiversity and natural resources while improving human well-being through education, training, and empowering the next generation of Earth’s caregivers in collaboration with local and global communities.

22. One World Observatory

Travelling some of the world’s fastest elevators and knowing they’re at the top of the country’s tallest skyscraper excite children.

Although the Empire State Building is also a great pick for a city view, we prefer the One World Observatory experience. Don’t miss the Sky Portal on the 100th level, which features high-tech panels that provide a bird’s eye perspective of the city 1,776 feet below.

The best way to experience One World Observatory is between 8 and 10 a.m. if you want to avoid the crowds. One World Observatory provides a stunning view of the Nyc skyline, especially after sunset. The best time at the Observatory is shortly before dusk for spectacular views.

Click here to read about World Trade Center.

Key Takeaways

New York is a beautiful place to visit. There is a lot to see every season be it a couples trip, a family trip, or a vacation with your kids. So start making your list along with your kids.

Apart from the places given in the post, you can visit the other famous spots that are breathtaking for you. There is soo many fun things to do with kids in NYC. You can also check out the best time to visit New York to enjoy the city and make your family’s fun time more memorable.

It’s time to pack your bag and start looking for ways to reach New York, the most populous city.

If you also want to know “Things To Do in Queens” then click here.

Also check out, Things to do in Staten Island.

Beaches in New York

Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store

How Big is Central Park

Best Wineries in Maryland that you must Visit

Last Updated on June 14, 2023 by somya909