NYC with Kids

17 Fun Things to do in NYC with Kids

Visiting New York City is like no other destination. It’s a place that makes you feel alive; many say it’s the greatest city in the world. However, going to NYC with kids is intimidating. Most feel like it’s an adult destination, but millions of families live in NYC; you just have to find the right things to do in NYC with kids. If you dream of visiting the Empire State Building or walking Central Park, don’t let having kids stop you. NYC is a bustling city, but if you plan and know where you want to go, it’s a kid-friendly destination. The reality is that there are ENDLESS things for kids to do here. After all, plenty of families call this area their home, so you know they have things for their kids to do. When you create your family’s NYC itinerary, be sure to include some of these fun things to do in NYC with kids.

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17 Things to Do in NYC with Kids

Take the Staten Island Ferry

One of the top tourist spots in New York City is the Statute of Liberty and New York Harbor. The best way to see these spots is by taking the Staten Island Ferry. Kids love riding on the ferry, and it’s an easy 25 minute ride to ride. It’s fun for the kids and gives you a fantastic view of the city the others don’t get to see otherwise.

Visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

You can’t visit the Big Apple without checking out the Statue of Liberty. It’s an iconic spot, but I suggest getting a reservation ahead of time. It helps to reduce your wait time; kids never handle waiting time well. The Statue of Liberty offers an audio tour at the pedestal for kids. Climbing up to the crown is great for kids who are a little taller and older. It’s a bit of a journey! Ellis Island is now an immigration museum, but I suggest it if you have older kids. This museum is great if you want an entertainment and educational stop. It is a great deal of information for little kids though.

Ride to the Top of the Empire State Building

You have to stop at the Empire State Building when visiting New York City. Skipping this is a no-no, and it really is something you should do in NYC with kids. They offer an observatory on the 102nd floor – with an elevator, don’t worry! – which is an iconic stop. The views are breathtaking, located 1,200 feet above the city and giving you a panoramic view of New York City.

Check out South Street Seaport Museum

Hurricane Sandy took a bite out of this museum, but it’s reopened and gives kids a place to learn all about boats, ships, and maritime history. They have ships anchored for kids to explore. The South Street Seaport Museum offers family-friendly activities for your kid s to enjoy, and it’s close to the Harbor for their excursion vessels.

Go to the Children’s Museum of the Arts

Kids love a trip to the Children’s Museum of Arts; it’s a place made just for them. It’s designed just for kids, so if you need a way to keep your kids excited on a rainy day, this is the place to be. The museum is over 10,000 square feet with art workshops designed for kids. Kids enjoy checking out all of the paintings and drawings created by visiting kids.

Play at Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex

Kids need to have family fun and stay busy. This sports complex is on 28 acres; it takes up three piers on the Hudson River! The Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex has an 80,000 square foot field house, a driving range, and a bowling alley. Kids love the pool if you want to splash and an ice-skating rink if that’s what you enjoy. Best of all, this complex is available for use 365 days a year.

Enjoy Bryant Park

Bryant Park is iconic, a perfect place if your family to enjoy during the winter. It offers an ice skating rink from 8 AM to 10 PM. Kids love checking out this park! Bryant Park allows you to reserve spots for kids ahead of time for your kids to skate. They have ice bumper cars, an activity my kids think is awesome. Make sure to grab a delicious cup of hot chocolate while watching your family skate.

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If you go to Bryant Park in the summer, the park hosts “Movies in the Park” on Monday and Tuesday, opening at 5PM. Bring a blanket and arrive early for a good spot. Watching movies with the city in the background is a great way to spend an evening in NYC with kids.

Stroll Through Central Park

Central Park feels like an oasis in the middle of the city. When you stand in the park, it’s hard to believe you are in one of the most bustling cities in the world. It’s no wonder that families with kids living in NYC escape here so regularly. Central Park is the most visited urban park throughout the country. It has little places that are historic and fun, like the carousel near the Dairy. Take pictures here and let your kids enjoy the ride. The Belvedere Castle is another hit with kids. The Central Park Zoo is another place to stop with your family; kids love visiting the animals. Or, you can just let your kids run in the meadows to burn off some steam and enjoy the tons of playgrounds available.

Shop at the Harry Potter Store

If your family is full of Harry Potter geeks, then you need to stop at the Harry Potter Store. Even if you don’t love this series, I suggest a stop – it’s truly a wonderland. The store is two stories with a cafe selling butterbeer. It has all the souvenirs you could imagine and items from the movies that will make your kids squeal with delight.

Go to the LEGO Flagship Store

Are your kids LEGO geeks like mine? New York City has an entire store dedicated to LEGOs, and their flagship store – so it’s HUGE. It’s an epic toy store with life-sized LEGO creations and the coolest decor. The store is in Midtown, across the street from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, one of the most gorgeous churches in the city. Your kids will spend hours here; I suggest setting a budget before your kids buy everything!

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Geek Out at the National Museum of Mathematics

Whether your kids love math class or not, the National Museum of Mathematics is quite a unique spot for kids. It’s underrated, but it contains various activities for kids to enjoy. Kids love exploring all of the interactive demonstrations that teach visitors about the importance of math, science, and technology. The museum has square-wheeled tricycles, puzzles, and painting of digital canvases. You’ll be surprised at what they offer here.

Walk the Brooklyn Bridge

Did you know the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in the country? Kids love to walk across the bridge; it’s a sight to behold and families love this. You get to see the skyline of Manhattan and the Statute of Liberty. The one-milk walk typically only takes 30 minutes, and you’ll see sights of the city offered nowhere else. Then, after you cross the bridge, go to under the Brooklyn Bridge Overpass for some iconic photos. Make sure you stop at Jane’s Carousel as well.

Go to the New York Public Library

We visit the library at home a lot, and the New York Public Library is an iconic stop. Your kids will love the marble lions – Patience and Fortitude – at the entrance of the library. The building is truly a treat for kids. They have a huge section for kids, and one area gives kids the chance to meet Winnie the Pooh. The Rose Main Reading Room is something you should absolutely see as well.

Enjoy the American Museum of Natural History

Do your kids love dinosaurs? If so, you have to stop at the American Museum of Natural History, and it has scavenger hunt your kids will love. Head to the Discovery Room; it’s a space for kids between 5-12 years old, giving them a behind-the-scenes look at the research. Kids get a look at specimens and rare artifacts. You also can check out the Hayden Planetarium, one of the best in America. Believe it or not, this museum welcomes around 5 million visitors each year. It’s considered one of the greatest natural history museums in the world, and you’ll know why as soon as you visit it. There is so much to see and do!

Go to the New York Aquarium

When visiting NYC with kids, make sure you stop at Coney Island; it’s full of fun for you to enjoy with your kids. Then, stop at the New York Aquarium; it’s open throughout the year. This Aquarium hosts a variety of underwater creatures. Kids love their new exhibit called “Ocean Wonder: Sharks” that is over 57,000 square feet. Kids will find this exhibit fascinating, especially those big toothed predators!

Hear a Story at the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling

Kids love the Museum of Art and Storytelling, located in Harlem. This museum is spread over 17,000 square feet on two floors in a housing project. This space educates and entertains ages between three and eight years old. The museum hosts storytelling series and different art exhibitions for kids. Kids love all the workshops and curriculum they offer for kids to enjoy.

Have Fun at the Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park is 85 acres of fun for adults and kids with the Manhattan skyline for you to view. It’s only 1.3 acres along the East River, divided into sections. The park spreads across six piers with playgrounds, a slide mount, a roller skating rink, a carousel, and so much more.


Finding things to do in NYC with kids is easy! This city is meant for everyone, no matter their ages, so grab your kids and head out on an adventure together. You’ll enjoy your time together!        

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17 fun things to do with kids

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