What to do with kids in New York City? New York City is a huge area suitable for every age group of people. There is plenty of entertainment for all ages. Some people think that New York City is not suitable for kids, but that’s not true! You kids will equally enjoy the fun NYC kids activities there.
Don’t be afraid to come to New York City with kids. Brooklyn has become very safe in recent years. In addition, all sidewalks have ramps, there are no cobblestones on the streets, and many metro stations have elevators.
Traveling by a stroller in a taxi is considered quite normal. Therefore, welcome to New York City with the kids to have some fun activities!
With something for everyone, NYC is full of adventure for the youngest travelers. Yet, where to take the child in New York City? What to see in New York City with kids? What to do with kids in New York City? What entertainment awaits children in New York City? Many questions! You will find detailed answers in our lists in this article below…
Best Time To Visit New York City With Families
The best time to visit NYC is from April-June and also from September-early November. During this time, the temperatures of New York City are most suitable and consistently warm for kids and your entire family.
However, as long as visiting New York City with your whole family and kids too, then summertime is an extremely popular time for you.
While there isn’t the tourism break you will find in January & February, crowds are thinner as compared to the school holidays time that surrounds Christmas and Thanksgiving, and hotel and airfare rates will also be lower.
New York offers a lot of cost-free pastimes you can explore, with a lot of kids’ activity options to do in the summer, from movies and outdoor concerts (many of them are free for kids) to boating, bike rental, and also playgrounds available in Central Park. Even if the holiday season is magical for your kids to have fun, the crowd of travelers may make fun things overwhelming – and also impossible to enjoy your trip.
Although NYC is a kid-friendly city when you prefer to go there during the busy season, it may ruin your family’s fun.
Most people prefer from April-June and also from September-early November to go to New York City with their whole family, thus if you too wish to go there with your family then make sure you plan the trip in advance. This will allow you to avoid any last-minute flight and hotel rush.
Ideal Duration For A Trip For Kids
In case you’re planning a trip to NYC with your children (I am pretty sure you are, or else you wouldn’t have been here), you can cater to nearly every well-known place between 4 days to 7 days easily.
However, if you’re planning on taking a break in between the trip, you need to extend the duration up to a max of 10-days or so.
NYC is a big city that takes several lifetimes to entirely explore. Thus, accept one thing no matter how long your trip is you won’t be able to explore the place entirely. So, do not try to stress out about exploring it all, as it’ll never happen!
New York City is a wonderful place for weekend trips with your kids and the entire family. Because of the affordability and ease of getting to New York, it is a place you can visit repeatedly.
Tips For Visiting New York City With Kids
Below you will find a full list of conceptions for kid’s entertainment in NYC.
For longer trips, use the metro or taxi. Kids under 12 can ride the New York City Subway for free
Prepare the kids for the long lines at the rides and talk about the safety of public transportation with your children
Combine sightseeing with a (lunch) break. For example, a boat cruise is not only fun but also a moment of relaxation for children.
Have your kids remember your contact number or you can also write it someplace on their hand or get a bracelet made with your phone number for your kid, or use a GPS tracking watch for your kid.
Plan indoor NYC kids activities such as visiting a children’s museum, sports games, Broadway shows, etc., especially if it’s too hot or raining outside.
Decide on meals beforehand as well as make reservations because your kid won’t be able to stand long after spending a day doing fun activities in NYC.
What To Eat In New York City With Kids
New York City isn’t only famous for fun activities and entertainment options but also for world-class restaurants and cafes. Whether it is a top place that welcomes children or a fun eatery in New York City that is all about enjoyment, this city has restaurants for you and also your kids.
You can expect to get great quality meals, options for fussy eaters as well as room for the children to be themselves.
After a day long’s all the amazing things in NYC with the kids, the whole family needs and also deserves a good treat. There is no lack of restaurants that deliver great food as well as a kid-friendly setting.
From tacos or pizza to a theme restaurant, outdoor cafes, and dessert-forward places for the sweet tooth, these kid-friendly, fun restaurants in New York City are ideal for a family meal.
There are countless trendy cafes and restaurants on almost every corner of NYC for you to visit. Here are a few kid-friendly restaurants and cafes to try in New York City:
Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain in NYC
The kitchen offers you delicious meals such as grilled cheese prepared using good bread & cheese as well as griddled to perfect golden.
However, the real deal here is the ice cream floats and ice cream sundaes, as well as pie with ice cream.
Yes, you read that right, and for this reason, if you take your kiddos there, you will surely be the hero for them.
Alice’s Tea Cup in NYC
A child’s favorite, the Wonderland-themed restaurant, Alice provides day-long service of breakfast, tea, brunch, lunch, and also dinner.
Alice also provides a surprisingly pleasing burger! Children will be overjoyed with Wonderland-theme of their dreams.
Candy Bar Restaurant in NYC
NOW this one is not a restaurant, yet you shouldn’t miss this place while in NYC.
The Candy Bar is inspired by the Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka as well as the Chocolate Factory, The Candy Bar of Dylan is the biggest unique candy shop on the planet.
The Candy bar is stored with 7,000 candies, this’s certain to be a pleaser for both kids and also grown-ups!
S’Mac in NYC
With S’Mac, you can take a delicious walk down memory lane. This restaurant promotes a youth staple to the foodie level with a lot of types of mac ‘n cheese to select from.
The “nosh” is ideal for kids’ appetites. You can have foods from there that can be gluten-free and reduced-lactose.
Pizza in NYC
Pizza is a staple in NYC. There’re so many arguments about who produces the best pizza, so I will let you determine that for yourself.
However, I like Grimaldi’s pizza the most which are situated just across the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC. Be ready to wait for some time in line, but let me tell you that the wait will be worth the taste.
Chelsea Market in NYC
Chelsea Market is one more great spot to go for a wide range of food. It is one of the best NYC spots to shop. There are several shops from where you will get a variety of foods.
Eataly in NYC
In case you have not had your filling of Italian food even after having pizza, you can head to Eataly with your kid! It is a huge market filled with every Italian food.
You can dine-in at the restaurant or purchase a pizza, then directly head to the gelato counter to enjoy the food!
Black Tap in NYC
In case you want to have amazing burgers and the best milkshakes, then head to the Black Tap to get your crazy shake as per your and your kid’s preference!
Ellens Stardust Diner in NYC
When you are deeply into music or you do not have enough time, simply head to the Ellen’s Stardust Diner. This place will offer you a truly exceptional dining experience. The Ellen’s waiters are all aspiring singers of Broadway and will also put on an excellent show while they’ll serve you tasty diner-quality meals!
Shake Shack in NYC
Are you and your kids are craving some frozen custard and burger then no place is better and most available than Shake Shack. You will see many counters of Shake Shack all over NYC.
Koneko Cat Cafe
While you & your children play with cats, nibble on the funky takes of the cafe’s Japanese pastries such as the peanut butter miso cookie or the matcha crack pie.
Levain Bakery in NYC
When your kid is into good cookies, then you should go to this Levain Bakery. Anything at Levain Bakery is so delicious that you can’t help but fall in love with their cookies!
There’re two places on the upper west side in NYC and you should expect to wait in a line for a considerable period!
Smorgasburg in NYC
Smorgasburg is a stunning food bazaar that announces summer in NYC every year. Established by Brooklyn Flea’s Jonathan Butler and Eric Demby, the culinary carnival generally spotlights nearly 100 vendors across its surroundings.
Smorg has 4 spots in 2022, 2 in Brooklyn, in Prospect Park and Williamsburg, 1 at the World Trade Center, as well as 1 in Jersey City.
Street Food in NYC
Of course, among the best things to try are the street food in NYC. In general, trying street food is finding new flavors. It means travelers to the Big Apple are urged to figure out their favored places, find hidden gems as well as discover new aromas and flavors.
You can try street foods like Wafels and Dinges, Melt Bakery, The Cinnamon Snail, Uncle Gussy’s, The Halal Guys, Korilla BBQ, Delicioso Coco Helado, The Food Trucks on 6th Avenue, Nuts 4 Nuts in Manhattan, Sabrett Hot Dogs in Central Park.
Best Places to Visit & Best NYC Kids Activities
New York City is interesting for the kids to visit unusual children’s museums, visit zoos, the New York public library, parks, and also New York City landmarks, go on exciting excursions, participate in entertaining master classes, and see familiar cartoon characters and ride various attractions.
New York City has activities and interesting places for children of all ages. At the same time, parents will not be bored either. So, are places to visit in your NYC with kids and also fun activities for your children.
Ride-On Staten Island Ferry
This Whitehall Terminal is a ferry terminal situated in the South Ferry part of Lower Manhattan, NYC at the side of Whitehall Street and South Street. It’s utilized by the Staten Island NYC Ferry, which joins the Manhattan & Staten Island’s island boroughs.
It is among the most well-known ferry terminals, and the other ferry terminals are St. George Terminal situated on Staten Island. You can ride the Ferry Hop with your kid then get off the ferry to explore the neighborhood. For some kids, a Staten Island Ferry ride is a fun activity in itself.
Visit The New York City Fire Museum
Displays show the development of firefighting from the pail brigades of New Amsterdam of the Peter Stuyvesant via the bright history of volunteer firefighters to contemporary firefighting equipment and techniques.
The Museum even houses a unique memorial to the FDNY’s 343 members who on 9/11, made the Supreme Sacrifice and it features a numeral of firefighting antiques recovered from the site of the World Trade Center.
A mock apartment and a video room with an unnatural smoke machine as well as black-lighted fire risks are utilized in the fire education program of the museum for school-going kids ages K to 12 years old. So, if you want your kid to learn something while on vacation, do not miss this museum.
Children’s Museum of the Arts
This children’s museum in NYC rejoices imagination with art, education, and storytelling. Children can explore various exhibits such as “The Color Mixing Machine Of Pollen Catchers” a site-specific painting inspired by folktales and fables and also ” Places, People, & Things:
Selections from The Museum Studio,” an array of art from the 1930s-1980s that comes with landscapes and portraits from artists who depicted daily life in the United States communities even Harlem. This museum hosts a wide range of events for children from art workshops to story hours.
Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty
Among the most iconic tourist spots in New York City or the whole world, the Lady Liberty statue is sure to secure a place on the New York City itinerary with kids. Believe me, even after being among the main wonders to see in New York City, it isn’t easy to find out exactly how to reach & visit the Statue of Liberty.
In advance, purchase a timed ticket and take a boat ride with your kids to Liberty Island. Once you reach the island, walk around or go inside the island. There you will see Lady Liberty. Also, you can Hop a ferry there to visit the Statue of Liberty as well as the museum in Lady Liberty’s honor.
It is not very large and not as “promoted” as, for example, Central Park, but the secret of Bryant Park is different – this is an example of how, with the help of competent management, a depressive place can be turned into a favorite vacation spot for families with kids.
There is an ice skating rink. This generally opens at 8 AM every day and it remains open till 10 PM. So, if you and your kids love skating, you can have a family fun day at Bryant Park.
Central Park in New York City is, without exaggeration, the most famous park in the world to visit with your family and kids. The history of the park dates back to July 21, 1853, when the New York state legislature passed a law allocating 800 acres of land in the center of Manhattan Island to establish America’s first landscape park. This is the most visited urban park in NYC.
As the highest visited urban park in the U.S. and at a size of more than 800 acres in the center of the city, this Central Park is a perfect spot worth spending time in with your family.
Visiting the Spyspace is an immersive practice like no other for your little one. Discover your kid’s inner spy. Here you can explore the best spies, spy stories, and gadgets.
The world’s biggest collaborating spy museum has world-class artifacts, architecture, experiences, and technology.
Test your kid’s code-breaking, hacking, and also espionage capacities and this completely new experience will brighten the world and your kid’s potential and skills.
New York Botanical Garden
The Central New York Botanical Garden, although located in the remote Bronx, is still worth spending the whole day there. The place for the garden was found on the outskirts of Bronx Park.
In addition to the fact that the garden is a major research center, visitors are also allowed here and you can come here for the whole day with the whole family – you definitely won’t be bored.
There are places where you can find a primeval virgin forest that has survived to this day, overgrown with mosses, ferns, and mushrooms. The Bronx River, which flows through this forest, can be rafted down by renting a canoe.
New York Transit Museum
This Museum is situated in downtown Brooklyn. Here, you kid will get a chance to dive underground to travel back in time using the NY Subway. Visitors can also learn about the evolution of fuel technologies and their impact on the environment.
Whether you are in Brooklyn or near the Grand Central Terminal, you can have a glimpse of this New York Transit Museum with your kids.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York is located along the coastline, under the Brooklyn Bridge. Its area is 34 hectares. In addition to beautiful gardens, walking paths, and hills, you will enjoy a unique panoramic view of Manhattan.
The Brooklyn Bridge Park, an NYC icon has also been designated as a National Historic Landmark. If you prefer a more active pastime, there are excellent sports opportunities in the park. Ride a bike, go jogging or visit the sports fields here. Undoubtedly, it is pleasant to ride through the park on a bicycle.
Empire State Building
This is a 102-story skyscraper building that has been a New York City landmark and was once the world’s tallest building. It is well worth your money and time riding up to the peak and enjoying the city’s view!
It is one of the most classic spots to go to in NYC with kids and families. You should surely book your tickets to this place in advance. Your kid can see the Manhattan skyline from the top floor of this building.
New York Hall Or Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall in New York is one of the most famous concert halls in the city. Since its opening in 1891, it has hosted more than 46,000 performances and concerts with famous performers and actors. Carnegie Hall was built in 1890 and named after Andrew Carnegie.
The building also contains a large historical archive that has collected documents from the construction of Carnegie Hall to the present day, as well as a museum opened in 1991.
If anyone starts coughing during the performance, the staff will bring you candy to soothe your throat.
Rockefeller Center in New York consists of 19 commercial buildings, which are located between 48th and 51st streets in midtown Manhattan. Top of the Rock, one of New York’s most popular landmarks, sits atop the Comcast Center skyscraper. The main office of the television channel NBC and the concert hall of Radio City is part of the Rockefeller Center.
On a tour of New York’s Rockefeller Center, your kid will learn more about the complex’s rich history and architecture. An experienced historian will guide you through the most important buildings, gardens, and areas of the complex. The tour lasts about an hour and offers the opportunity to see Rockefeller Center from a completely different angle.
New York Harbor
This Harbor is situated at the opening of the Hudson River. From here, it flows into the Bay of New York. Then it flows into the Atlantic Ocean. This is among the biggest natural harbors that exist in the whole world.
New York Aquarium
The New York Aquarium in Coney Island is the only aquarium in New York City. It is run by the Wildlife Conservation Society. The mission of the New York Aquarium is to preserve wildlife and habitats throughout the world through science, conservation, education, and inspiring people to appreciate nature.
By the way, the aquarium was originally located in Battery Park, Lower Manhattan. It first opened its doors on December 10, 1896. The animals were temporarily moved to the Bronx Zoo when the location closed in 1941. The zoo reopened at Coney Island on June 6, 1957.
Go Fishing In The East River
If you and your kid are crazy about fishing then you must go fishing in the east river in New York City. You can do this on your break day during the vacation trip.
Stroll Down the Coney Island Boardwalk
Hipsters have discovered the Coney Island scene again, but kids will never stop loving visiting amusement parks.
Thus, if you go visit the New York Aquarium, do not forget to stroll down the coney island boardwalk. Believe me, it will be a fun activity for your kid.
One World Observatory
It is one of the most popular attractions in New York and is of particular importance to the city. At 541 meters tall, it is the 4th tallest building in the world and is located in Lower Manhattan, New York City’s financial center.
The entrance to the One World Trade Center building is easily accessible and is located on the corner of West and Vesey St. The building is so impressive that it can be seen from many places in Manhattan.
Governors Island in New York is 5 minutes from downtown Manhattan. Here you will feel far away from the bustle of the city and enjoy the view of the skyscrapers.
In summer, a lot of cultural events are held here that are useful for your kid’s general knowledge. Relax on the huge hammocks, play ball on the field or take a walk in the garden.
The Bronx Zoo in New York is the largest urban zoo in the world. Today, there are about 4,000 animals (about 600 species) collected from all over the world. Some of them are Native American animals that leave an unforgettable experience.
Other areas of the zoo are dedicated, in particular, to animals from Asia, Africa, and Madagascar. By the way, many species in the zoo are endangered.
When you visit this zoo in New York, you will see special animals. The Bronx Zoo is great for visiting with kids. It is also ideal for those who would like to escape the hustle and bustle of Manhattan for a few hours and enjoy nature. There is a 400-foot zip line as well as an aerial ropes course over the Bronx River for you to have extra fun.
Chelsea Piers Sports & Entertainment Complex
Located on the Hudson River in NYC, this 28-acre complex for sports has almost everything, from a bowling alley, swimming pool, an ice skating rink (year-round), a fitness club, and a driving range, to recreation classes, especially for kids.
This family-friendly territory of Riverdale is floating on the Hudson River in NYC. While you are there, ensure to also visit Wave Hill, which is a gorgeous public garden & culture center created on 28-acre land with wide-ranging programming for families.
National Museum of Mathematics
The National Museum of Mathematics in New York City is also known as MoMath. It’s a museum devoted to mathematics. This museum is situated in Manhattan, NYC. It’s exactly situated at 26th Street 11 East between 5th and Madison Avenues, crossways from Madison Square Park.
It’s the sole museum devoted to maths in North America as well as has more than 30 interactive exhibits. The mission of this museum is to advance the perception and understanding of mathematics.
Roosevelt Island Tramway Amusement Park
The Roosevelt Island Cable Car in New York City has an entrance in Manhattan at the corner of Second Avenue and 60th Street. You can pay for entrance with a metro card. If you have an Unlimited MetroCard, entry is free.
If you wish, you can purchase a MetroCard before you travel to New York. In 4 minutes, a gondola will take you to the small island of Roosevelt on the East River.
DiMenna Children’s History Museum
The DiMenn Historical Museum hosts historical exhibitions as well as lectures and educational programs. The children’s section of the museum has a special library, and the exhibitions are designed in such a way that children can feel like detectives or “transported” into the past.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Undoubtedly, the collection of art treasures of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is considered one of the most extensive and important both for America and for the entire world community. The museum is located on the east side of Central Park.
Its luxurious collection includes exhibits from the times of Ancient Egypt and Antiquity, to paintings and sculptures by almost all modern masters. In total, the collection has more than two million different works of art. The main building of the museum is practically the largest art gallery.
Gantry Park in Long Island City
Long Island City in New York is located near the East River, opposite the eastern part of Manhattan.
Queens is known for its vibrant art scene and waterfront parks overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Hotels in Long Island City are a great budget alternative to accommodation in Manhattan. It only takes you 15 minutes to get from Long Island City to Manhattan by subway.
New Victory Theater
The New Victory Theater is the first & only full-time arts theater for children and their families. This New Victory Theater offers you thought-provoking, sophisticated, and professional productions. These are also artistically rich and entertaining.
Intrepid Sea, Air, And Space Museum
This amazing museum in New York City is an aircraft carrier loaded with helicopters, fighter jets, even a space shuttle, and submarines and it is docked at Pier 86. If you want your kid to offer an educational tour in NYC then this one is a must-visit place.
Ride The SeaGlass Carousel, Downtown Manhattan
SeaGlass is a fairy-tale, aquarium–themed carousel. It’s an immersive practice of music, light, and movement. Riders have to sit inside a monumental fish turning into both the audience and the performers. It’s a remarkable union of entertainment and art.
Also known as One World Trade Center. It is the tallest building in New York. With antennas and reflective glass panels, this building (541 meters) became the tallest building in the United States, as well as in the entire Western Hemisphere.
The height of the skyscraper from the ground to the metal and glass balustrade at the top of the building is 417 meters, which also corresponds to the height of the twin towers that stood here.
Visit Little Island Park
Little Island in New York is a park on the Hudson River built on stilts. It is located in the Chelsea area and forms Pier 55. The park is divided into 280 concrete columns.
By the way, it is part of the Hudson River Park in the west of Manhattan and looks very futuristic. You can reach this green oasis via one of two pedestrian crossings, the North and South Bridges. They are located in the Greenway area along the Hudson River.
South Street Seaport Museum
The South Street Seaport is a museum located where Fulton Street meets the East River. The seaport includes a shoreline with piers, entertainment venues, historical sites, and the former Fulton Fish Market.
Walk on the Edge
Stand up 100 stories above New York City as soon as you visit the Edge to walk on it in New York City. The highest outdoor sky deck situated in the Western Hemisphere features a glass floor. This makes things easier for you to see the ant-like streets of the city below.
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is a multipurpose museum in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Founded in 1899, it was the first US museum dedicated exclusively to children.
With a multi-level underground gallery, the museum has undergone an expansion and renovation, reopening on September 20, 2008, and becoming the first green museum in New York City.
At World Brooklyn, you’ll find pint-sized stores that allow children to play-act shopkeeper and builder.
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History in New York boasts an impressive collection of dinosaur skeletons and realistic stuffed animals. The American Museum of Natural History in New York was founded in 1869.
Visit this museum to immerse your kids in the magical world of natural history. Head to this museum’s Discovery Room and your kids from 5- to 12 years old will get a chance to at the behind-the-scenes scientific research as well as rare artifacts and specimens here.
FAQ New York Kids Activities
Is NYC a child-friendly city?
If you are planning to visit NYC with your kids then be tension free as NYC is one of the most child-friendly cities. Besides, there are a lot of places to visit and do fun activities with your kids.
Is Central Park kid-friendly?
Central Park is an overwhelming place, especially for kids. And surely Central Park is a kid-friendly place. So, if you are planning to visit Central Park with your kids then just Go for it.
What are some fun activities for kids in New York City?
From visiting the NYC museums and zoo to eating ice cream and pizza, your next vacation with kids to NYC will surely be a lot of fun! You can do a lot of activities there with your kid.
What is the best museum in NYC for kids?
As long as fun is concerned, there is no museum better than The Skyscraper Museum. However, there are a lot of museums available in NYC for kids, but naming particularly a single museum as the best one will be an injustice to museums.
No matter whether you wish to spend your fun time museum-hopping, resting in the outdoors parks, or visiting a few of the most prominent tourist attractions like Brooklyn bridge park, empire state building, New York botanical garden, new york public library, etc., then New York City will be capable of accommodating you and your kid to ensure that you’ve got a memorable vacation.
It’d have been a much longer post if we would have covered every place to visit and every activity to do for kids in New York City.
That is why we kept it short and tried our best to mention the most famous ones. However, if we missed some obvious place or activity, then let us know!
Besides that, have safe travels with your kids!
If you have some stuff and planning to move to the city, check our best NYC movers to help you haul your family items.