What to do in New York with kids

taking the kids to american museum of natural history new york

Wondering what to do in New York with kids? For children of all ages there is so much to see and explore. Some people think that New York is not a suitable city for children, but my two little kids love it here and there is always something to keep them occupied.

You needn’t be afraid to bring your children to New York: Manhattan has become very safe in recent years. Additionally, Manhattan is very pram friendly: all pavements have ramps, you won’t find any small cobble stones and many subway stations have a lift. Putting the pram in the back of a taxi is pretty normal too. So children: welcome to New York!

Personal Tips:

  • Are you planning on visiting attractions? Schedule a maximum of three a day.
  • Opt for a subway or taxi when you need to travel far.
  • Prepare your children for the long queues at attractions.
  • Combine visiting attractions with a (lunch) break. For example taking a boat tour is an attraction but also a moment of rest for the children.
  • Schedule ‘inside activities’ such as visiting museums, sports games, Broadway shows or shopping so that you needn’t always be outside if it is very hot or if it rains.
  • There is no hooligan culture in New York; visiting a sports game is fine for the children.
  • Have lunch outside whenever possible. In the park, for example, there are lots of exciting things to see – which is a lot nicer than eating inside in a hotel or a restaurant.
  • Consuming alcohol is prohibited for those under 21. This also means that those under 21 are not permitted in to clubs and bars (such as rooftops bars).

Below you will find a list with ideas for attractions.

visiting times square with the kids in new york with the kids in central park

Child-friendly Attractions

Attraction Age Duration
Hop on Hop off bustour 0 – 12 years 1 – 2,5 hours
Central Park Zoo 2 – 16 years 2 hours
Central Park Playground 0 – 12 years 1 – 2 hours
Central Park Boats 4 – 12 1 hour
Biking in Central Park From 1 year 2 – 4 hours
Biking Downtown From 1 year 2 – 4 hours
Bronx Zoo 2 – 16 years 2 -3 hours
Museum: Intrepid From 3 years 2 – 3 hours
Museum: Natural History From 2 years 2 – 4 hours
Museum: MET From 6 years 2 – 4 hours
Museum: Guggenheim From 10 years 1 – 2 hours
Museum: Ripley’s From 6 years 1 – 2 hours
Sports: Yankees (baseball) From 4 years 3 – 4 hours
Sports: Knicks (basketball) From 4 years 2,5 – 3 hours
Sports: Rangers (ice hockey) From 6 years 2,5 – 3 hours
Sport: Red Bulls (football) From 4 years 2 – 3 hours
Ice Skating (Oct – April) From 4 years 1 – 2 hours
Empire State Building From 3 years 2 – 3 hours
Top of the Rock From 3 years 2 – 3 hours
Bowlmor (bowling) 4 – 18 years 2 – 3 hours
Children’s Library 1 – 12 years 1 – 2 hours
Roosevelt Island Tram From 3 years 1 hour
Dylan’s Candy Bar 5 – 16 years 1 hour
Serendipity 3 (order frozen hot chocolate) 6 – 18 years 1 hour
Alice’s Tea Cup 6 – 18 years 1 – 2 hours
Cinema 42nd Street From 4 years 2 – 3 hours
Musical: Lion King From 4 years 2 – 3 hours
Musical: Wicked From 12 years 2 – 3 hours
Musical: Aladdin From 6 years 2 – 3 hours
Thanksgiving Parade From 3 years 3 – 5 hours
Woodbury Common (shopping) From 12 years 6 – 8 hours
American Girl Store From 4 years 1 – 2 hours
Brooklyn Bridge From 8 years 1 – 2 hours
Boat tour around Manhattan ALL 2,5 hours
Speedboat tour 12 – 18 years 30 min
Dinner Cruise From 8 years 3 hours
Staten Island Ferry ALL 1 – 1,5 hours
Statue of Liberty From 6 years 4 – 6 hours
Coney Island From 6 years 4 – 6 hours
Bleeckerstreet playground 0 – 8 years 1 – 2 hours
Union Square playground 0 – 12 years 1 – 2 hours
Madison Square playground 0 – 6 years 1 – 2 hours
Governors Island ALL 3 – 4 hours
City Treehouse 1,5 – 8 years 1 – 2 hours
Pizzatour to Brooklyn 8 years and up half day

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