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

AttractionAgeDuration
Hop on Hop off bus tour0 – 12 years1 – 2,5 hours
Central Park Zoo2 – 16 years2 hours
Central Park Playground0 – 12 years1 – 2 hours
Central Park Boats4 – 121 hour
Biking in Central ParkFrom 1 year2 – 4 hours
Biking DowntownFrom 1 year2 – 4 hours
Bronx Zoo2 – 16 years2 – 3 hours
Gulliver’s Gate Miniature WorldALL1 – 2 hours
Museum: IntrepidFrom 3 years2 – 3 hours
Museum: Natural HistoryFrom 2 years2 – 4 hours
Museum: METFrom 6 years2 – 4 hours
Museum: GuggenheimFrom 10 years1 – 2 hours
Museum: Ripley’sFrom 6 years1 – 2 hours
Sports: Yankees (baseball)From 4 years3 – 4 hours
Sports: Knicks (basketball)From 4 years2,5 – 3 hours
Sports: Rangers (ice hockey)From 6 years2,5 – 3 hours
Sport: Red Bulls (football)From 4 years2 – 3 hours
Ice Skating (Oct – April)From 4 years1 – 2 hours
Empire State BuildingFrom 3 years2 – 3 hours
Top of the RockFrom 3 years2 – 3 hours
Bowlmor (bowling)4 – 18 years2 – 3 hours
Children’s Library1 – 12 years1 – 2 hours
Roosevelt Island TramFrom 3 years1 hour
Dylan’s Candy Bar5 – 16 years1 hour
Serendipity 3 (order frozen hot chocolate)6 – 18 years1 hour
Alice’s Tea Cup6 – 18 years1 – 2 hours
Cinema 42nd StreetFrom 4 years2 – 3 hours
Musical: Lion KingFrom 4 years2 – 3 hours
Musical: WickedFrom 12 years2 – 3 hours
Musical: AladdinFrom 6 years2 – 3 hours
Thanksgiving ParadeFrom 3 years3 – 5 hours
Woodbury Common (shopping)From 12 years6 – 8 hours
American Girl StoreFrom 4 years1 – 2 hours
Brooklyn BridgeFrom 8 years1 – 2 hours
Boat tour around ManhattanALL2,5 hours
Speedboat tour12 – 18 years30 min
Dinner CruiseFrom 8 years3 hours
Staten Island FerryALL1 – 1,5 hours
Statue of LibertyFrom 6 years4 – 6 hours
Coney IslandFrom 6 years4 – 6 hours
Coney Island: New York Aquarium2 – 16 years2 hours
Coney Island: Luna ParkALL2-4 hours
Bleeckerstreet playground0 – 8 years1 – 2 hours
Union Square playground0 – 12 years1 – 2 hours
Madison Square playground0 – 6 years1 – 2 hours
Governors IslandALL3 – 4 hours
City Treehouse1,5 – 8 years1 – 2 hours
Pizza tour to Brooklyn8 years and uphalf day
Queens Zoo2 – 16 years2 hours
Prospect Park Zoo2 – 16 years2 hours

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