Heading to the Big Apple with your family? Be sure to check out these family-friendly stops in New York City!
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Fun Activities In NYC For Kids
Are you looking for fun places to go in NYC? You're in luck!
Last Fall, we took our 2 little kids (ages 3 and 1) to New York City. It was my 5th time visiting Manhattan, but the first with children! Needless to say, we learned a lot, saw a lot, and came home exhausted! Here's a list of some of our favorite things we did with children.
Getting Around NYC With Kids
The cheapest way to get around New York City is by using the subway. You can purchase an unlimited pass for the days you will be there.
The good news about using the Subway is that it is an experience in an of itself. Be prepared for the real deal. Subway stations are usually filled with all types of people and smells and sometimes even rats.
If you are taking a stroller with you, be aware that most subway stations do not have an elevator. That means you will need to carry your stroller up and down the stairs, so it's good if you have some help. (We have lucked out and had strangers offer to help.)
Of course, you can always get from place to place by using a taxi. This is a more expensive option, but there is never a shortage of taxis you can hail. Most taxis take credit cards.
Uber is another great option for getting around the city. While we are all about saving money when we travel, we always take an Uber from the airport into the city. It costs about $50-$60, depending on the time of day, but it's so worth it to avoid carrying all your luggage and family members through the busy subway stations. You'll also save a lot of time getting to and from the airport this way.
NYC Kid Activities
Walk The Brooklyn Bridge
One of our favorite things to do in NYC is walk the Brooklyn Bridge. You'll get amazing views of New York City.
Tip: Order take out pizza from Grimaldi's or Julianna's pizza before you start walking across the bridge. Once you get to the other side, your pizza will be ready for you!
The length of the Brooklyn Bridge is 1.6 miles, so bring along a stroller for young children.
You can also rent bikes, but there are usually crowds, so that might be tricky unless you have older children.
Eat at Grimaldi's or Julianna's Pizza
The lines are usually very long, so I suggest placing a take-out order before you start walking across the bridge.
Once you get to Brooklyn, your pizza will be ready for pick up. Take it a few blocks away to the cute Brooklyn Bridge Park for a kid-friendly picnic.
Tip: If you are traveling with kids, order a Juliana's pizza to go as soon as you start walking across the bridge. Your pizza will be ready when you get across. Eat it at Jane's Carousel and then take a fun ride with an unbeatable view.
Visit the Empire State Building
From our experience:
We have visited both the Empire State Building and The Rock (as it's called by locals.) We visited the Empire State Building during the day and we loved seeing the entire city and gaining better perspective of where are the famous NYC landmarks are in relation to everything else.
Going to the top of The Rockefeller Center at night was really cool, too and a bit cheaper. I had just gotten engaged when I visited though, so I could have a biased experience.
Walk the Highline Park + Visit Chelsea Market
Another cool perspective of the city from above,the Highline Park is an old elevated railroad turned walking paths. The Highline Park is also really close to Chelsea Market, so you can hit up both at the same time.
Chelsea Market is a fun place to shop for arts and crafts and grab some food. There are a lot of unique artisans and restaurants.
From our experience:
We visited Chelsea Market in the fall and it was so cute and festive for Halloween with pumpkins everywhere! Even if you don't plan to shop, it's a fun place to browse around.
You could spend a week just exploring Central Park alone. There are miles of trails and paths, and tons of playgrounds. If you want to enjoy some quiet in New York City, plan to spend a good chunk of time in Central Park.
From our experience:
Some of our favorite places in the park include:
- Bow Bridge (where my husband proposed)
- Walking or running around the Lake
- Taking a row boat ride
- playing Chess on many of the outdoor tables
- Biking around the park
- Conservatory Gardens a
- Met Museum is on the West Side of the Park
- Drive Sail Boats in Central Park
Broadway Shows & Plays
See a Broadway show. Or two. Or three. There are tons of shows that are kid-friendly, but if you are traveling with younger children, find a good sitter.
Tip: You can try and snag lottery tickets for a show the day for usually half price and front row seats. If you aren't that lucky, try an online or official ticket shop near Time Square.
Visiting the 911 Memorial is a neat experience.
More Family Fun In New York
-Visiting the Met or Guggenheim or other famous museums. You can enter the Met by donation, so you can pay just a few dollars to enjoy the huge museum. Make sure to go to the rooftop for a cool view of Central Park and the entire city.
-Seeing Time Square at night.
-Taking the Staten Island Ferry to Staten Island. You can get a great view of the Statue of Liberty from the boat ride. It's a much cheaper option.
-Visit Governor's Island. (Only open in the Summer)
-The Reading Room at New York Public Library
-Visit the LDS Temple at Columbus Circle
-St. Patrick's Cathedral