New York is one of the most attractive destinations for travelers of all ages. It is truly brilliant on the East Coast, hailed by movies, songs, and great American fiction. However, it is the busiest city in the USA that is famous for its enormous traffic and frightening crime stats. Nevertheless, it is definitely worth taking your kids there and enjoy the terrific city atmosphere.
Many parents are apprehensive about traveling to New York with kids. We know the feeling: walks might be extra challenging, following the schedule takes more effort, and the itinerary should be 100% family-friendly. But in reality, it’s not as stressful as you think.
More than 65 million tourists visit Big Apple annually. If you’d like to join their ranks with your nearest and dearest, there are plenty of kid-friendly things to do in NYC this weekend. Let’s jump right in!
When taking kids to NY, there is a diverse selection of sights to engage the minds and speak to the hearts of children. Even if you visit lots of iconic places, you might still feel like you only scratched the surface. Here is where you can start:
- The High Line
- Rockefeller Center
- Empire State Building
- New York Botanical Garden
- Street Art Tour of Manhattan
- Classic Harbor Line
Restaurants and Cafes
Are you looking for great food with special fun things for kids to do and see? There is a mix of new restaurants making this city’s scene exciting along with the classics everyone should visit. Here are great themed restaurants that will excite children and adults alike:
- Action Burger – Corner joint with old-school arcade games, classic board games, and posters and newspaper clippings with comic characters;
- Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain – A fun take on the classic, well-known soda fountain (grilled cheese, ice cream sundaes, and pies);
- Ellen’s Stardust Diner – The home of the singing waitstaff that belt out Broadway show tunes, new and old;
- Habana Outpost – Outdoor eco-eatery offering Cuban and Mexican cuisine with kid-friendly staples.
Plenty of Outdoor Activities
If you don’t want to spend much money on shows or you want to change it up, there is a lot you can do. In terms of outdoor activities for kids, here are free things to do in NYC according to timeout, NY:
- Beaches – Jones Beach, Rockaway Beach and Jacob Riis Park Beach;
- Picnic spots – Central Park, Sheep Meadow, Astoria Park, Madison Square Park, and Brooklyn Bridge Park;
- Bike trails – Rent a bike at Fancy Apple and go to Central Park, North Meadow, Brooklyn Bridge, and Prospect Park;
- Hiking trails – The Bronx River Greenway and Inwood Hill Park.
What about Theater?
Family-friendly theater performances range from Disney musicals to musical adaptations of popular books and films. Broadway theatres are famous for their wonderful musical performances. Some of them are remaining on the stage for decades! We’ve rounded up our top Broadway shows for kids that any adult will also enjoy:
- The Lion King
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Museums are Not Boring Anymore
Believe it or not, you’ll never hear “I’m bored” from your kid. That is because the best children’s museums in NYC are as educational as they are entertaining:
- Children’s Museum of Manhattan – Playworks for the youngest visitors, Adventures with Dora and Diego, and many special workshops and performances.
- Natural History Museum – Discovery Room, Hayden Planetarium, and Adventures in Science. This one is for those visiting New York with a 7-year-old or up.
- Brooklyn Children’s Museum – Interactive “World Brooklyn” with a pint-size cityscape, musical instruments, masks, dolls, and fossils.
- New York Hall of Science – Displays about light, 3-D printing, outer space, and robots as well as the Design Lab.
There is an endless number of things to do in NYC with your daughter or son, amazing places to stay, and incredible food. Use the suggestions in this article as inspiration and craft your own perfect itinerary. By the end of your trip, you’ll understand why it’s such a popular destination for families from all over the world.
You can start slow: go for a calm picnic to decompress from traveling and think about your route. Then, check out Fancyapple for kid’s bikes of all sizes and hop on a ride on bike lanes, greenways, and parks. Bike riding is one of the most iconic time spending options in the city that never sleeps. Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge would bring you some mesmerizing memories (and plenty of beautiful pictures for your Instagram as well).
If you’re feeling fancy, finish the day with a Broadway show. Overall, you’re limited only by time and your budget.
Tell us your reasons why New York City should be on every family’s bucket list in the comments!