New York City is a bustling metropolis that has something to offer for everyone, including families with children. If you’re planning a trip or living in New York City with kids, you’ll find no shortage of options for kid-friendly activities. In this guide, we’ll show you some of the best attractions, restaurants, parks and museums you can visit with your kids.
by David Stone
The Ultimate Guide to Kid-Friendly Activities in New York City
Top Tourist Attractions
New York City is known for its iconic landmarks, and many of them are worth visiting with the kids. Some must-see attractions include:
The Statue of Liberty: Take a ferry from Battery Park to Liberty Island. If you’re up to it, you can climb to the top of the statue for amazing views of the city. But it’s also fun just walking around the park, appreciating the landmark and grounds.
Empire State Building: The observation deck on the 86th floor offers a panoramic view of the city, but be prepared for long lines.
Central Park: This giant park in the heart of Manhattan is a great place to relax and get some fresh air. Kids can enjoy the playgrounds, take a boat ride on the lake, or visit the Central Park Zoo.
New York City is home to some of the world’s best restaurants, but not all of them are kid-friendly. Fortunately, there are plenty of places that cater to families with children. Some of our favorites include:
Shake Shack: This famous burger chain has several locations across the city and is a favorite with kids and adults alike. Our favorite is in Madison Square Park at 23rd Street and Madison Avenue.
Serendipity 3: Known for its frozen hot chocolate and oversized desserts, this restaurant is a fun treat for kids. It’s very popular with tourists and includes a gift shop.
Lombardi’s Pizzeria: Located in Little Italy, this pizza joint has been serving up New York-style pies since 1905. Not just the first, but also among the very best of genuine, Italian-style pizzas.
New York City is a shopper’s paradise, and you can shop with your kids in plenty of places. Some of the best shopping outlets include:
The LEGO Store: Located in Rockefeller Center, this store offers a wide selection of LEGO sets and even has a play area where kids can build and create. There’s also a second location at 23rd Street and Broadway.
FAO Schwarz: This iconic toy store is a New York institution. Kids can dance on the giant piano from the movie “Big” and browse a wide selection of toys.
New York City has many parks where kids can play and have fun. Some of the best parks include:
Brooklyn Bridge Park: This park has a variety of attractions, including a carousel, playgrounds, and a giant sandbox.
Hudson River Park: This park runs along the Hudson River and has a variety of activities for kids, including mini-golf, a carousel, and an outdoor roller skating rink.
Washington Square Park: Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, this park has a large fountain and plenty of space for kids to run around.
Roosevelt Island Free Historic Spaces: A quieter retreat, easy to get to, where major historic spaces are frequently missed for lack of promotion. Plenty of places to eat casual and parks galore.
New York City has world-class museums that are not only great for kids but also educational. Some of the best museums include:
The American Museum of Natural History: With its giant dinosaur exhibits and dioramas of animals from around the world, this museum is a kid favorite.
The Children’s Museum of Manhattan: This museum caters to kids from toddlers to teenagers and has a variety of interactive exhibits.
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum: Located on the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier, this museum features historic aircraft and artifacts from space missions.
New York City offers endless opportunities for families with kids, from iconic landmarks and world-class museums to delicious restaurants and exciting shopping outlets. While there are plenty of challenges to navigating the city with children, there’s no doubt that it’s an amazing place to raise a family or visit.
With this guide, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience with your kids in the city that never sleeps.