Families with kids that shun away from New York City are missing out on many interesting attractions in the United States. In fact the city is a huge playground with an array of activities for any budget and length of stay. To ensure a successful trip for your whole family, you must know your kids’ interests, your budget, time of the year you are traveling (winter and summer activities are different) and mode of transportation you will be taking.
Here are 10 attractions in New York City for kids:
One: American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History has a wide range of programs and exhibits. It is widely popular for visitors of all age groups. Young children are interested in the huge dinosaur replicas and fossil collections with dinosaur bones, teeth, skin and footprints.
In the Rose Center for earth and space, kids can walk along the 400 foot long walkway and large objects like a nine-foot diameter model of Jupiter and Saturn with rings 17 feet in diameter that hang from the ceiling.
It is a place that illustrates the dinosaurs and planets your kids read in textbooks and storybooks.
Information: American Museum of Natural History
Two: Dylan’s Candy Bar
7,000 edible treats and an oversized lollipop tree, candy cane columns, dripping chocolate shelves, kaleidoscopic candy wallpaper and candy-embedded staircases will greet you and your kids once you enter Dylan’s Candy Bar. Everything in this store is about treats and goodies for kids and adults too.
This famous New York City candy store attracts over 2.5 million visitors every year. It is an inexpensive way to buy an experience and a treat. Each Dylan’s Candy Bar Whirly Pop is only $3.25. If you are from the United Kingdom, it only costs you 1.94 pounds.
Information: Dylan’s Candy Bar
Three: Central Park and The Plaza Hotel
“Eloise at the Plaza” is a popular kids’ book and movie. The Plaza Hotel is just steps from Central Park as portrayed in the movie. Create an itinerary for your family using Eloise Guide.
Visit the Central Park’s carousel (weather permitting and closed during winter months), walk or have a picnic at the park, visit polar bears, sea lions, monkeys and many exotic animals at Central Park Zoo or try out skating at The Wollman Skating Rink. Complete your tour of the area by going to the famous FAO Schwarz.
Take a tour of the store with an official toy soldier or arrange a special breakfast with a toy soldier and a 45-minute private tour through the magical toy emporium and find out the history and “test-drive” some of the toys in the store.
Four: Metropolitan Museum of Art
The MET Museum is not just for adults or art lovers, they have kids’ programs and “Family Guides and Maps” showing you ways to hunt for details and learn fun facts about the collections.
A list of suggested itineraries is available at the website including a “Ages 5 and up: A Visit to Egypt” and “Ages 3-5: A Treasure Hunt for Creatures from Ancient Greece.”
Five: Toys“R”Us Store in Times Square
The world’s greatest toy store has 110,000 square feet of space filled with toys, video games, trains, candies, a 20- foot animatronic T-Rex dinosaur, a life-size Barbie dollhouse and the iconic Toys”R”Us Ferris wheel.
You can schedule a one-hour tour prior to the store’s opening for a behind-the-scenes look at the toy store.
Six: Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is visible from afar. One question to ask your kids would be “What color is the Empire State Building tonight?” For example, on July 4th it is usually red, white and blue. For answers, go to their website.
The Empire State Building is historical and fascinating for visitors of all ages. On a clear day you can see over Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and other parts of New York and Massachusetts from the observation decks on either the 86th or 102nd floor.
The building has 73 elevators, 1,860 steps, 103 floors and provides the best bird’s eye view of NYC. Many films have featured the Empire State Building including the 1933 King Kong Movie.
Seven: Children’s Museum of Arts
This non-profit arts facility has hands-on art programs for kids from 10 months to 15 years old. For the artistic or hands-on child, the Children’s Museum of Arts might have the program that suits your family’s needs.
Information: Children’s Museum of Arts
Eight: Staten Island Ferry
First off, the 25-minute ferry ride is free and will give you a view of the Manhattan skyline and bridges from the water and the perfect view of Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Ferries leave from Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan to St. George Terminal in Staten Island.
Information: Staten Island Ferry
Nine: Intrepid Museum
The Intrepid Air and Space Museum has exhibitions and an interpretation of history, science and service related to the aircraft carrier Intrepid. Kids can explore the original artifacts, historic video footage and explore interactive exhibits.
There are four major exhibits at the museum – aircraft carrier Intrepid, Space Shuttle Pavilion, Submarine Growler and British Airways Concorde.
Information: Intrepid Museum
Ten: Kid-friendly Broadway Shows, classical performances and free concerts
The Lion King, Aladdin, Cinderella and Wicked are some of the kid-friendly Broadway shows currently playing in New York City. Catch the afternoon matinee to avoid evening tiredness and travel hassles.
The Juilliard Dance, Drama and Music School has many free events. Free concerts include Juilliard’s orchestral concerts, opera or dance. Call or check with the Box Office in advance.
Five helpful tools to help you plan your trip with ease:
1. Hotel reservation in New York City
2. Flight help
3. Currency conversion (example: US Dollar to British Pound)
4. Mileage chart
5. Walking distance (example: Empire State Building to Central Park Zoo)
Have you been to New York City with your kids? What was your favorite activity?