With so many restaurants, shops and bars it’s obvious that New York is a playground for adults. But what about the kids? Don’t worry, there’s plenty to keep them entertained too, with something to suit all budgets. Here are some of our top tips for things to do in New York with kids. And we’re pretty sure the grown ups will like them as well!
1) Go to the zoo
The Bronx Zoo is home to a huge variety of animals, but there are plenty of other reasons to visit. Try your hand at camel riding, for instance, or visit the 4D theatre. There’s a monorail ride through the park that takes you right to the heart of an Asian-style wilderness, where you’ll get some superb views of elephants and red pandas. Make sure you’re here to catch the daily sea lion and penguin feeding for some great photo opportunities.
2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx.
2) See the stars
Madame Tussauds is famous across the world for being a great family day out. So if you’d like to see some Hollywood A-listers while you’re in New York, this is the place to come. You can have your photo taken alongside your favorite celebs and sporting icons.
234 West 42nd Street.
3) Splash about in the park
Brooklyn Bridge Park is a great place to relax and people watch, and Pier 6 is the ideal place to bring the kids. You’ll find 5 awesome play areas, each of which has a different theme. There are plenty of swings, slides and water jets, so be prepared to get wet! Get digging in the Sand Box, then cool off in the Waterlab. Slide Mountain is worth a visit too, with a descent down 2 whole stories.
4) Visit the museum
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum was the first museum in the US designed specially for children. It’s still a great hit with kids young and old. There are lots of interactive exhibitions, including ‘Neighborhood Nature’, where children can learn about ecology and interact with live animals. Under-fives can enjoy a sensory playground complete with water, sand and music. The museum is open every day except Monday and is free between 2pm and 6pm on Thursdays.
145 Brooklyn Avenue, Brooklyn.
5) Take the rollercoaster
Who doesn’t love a trip to the amusement park? Luna Park on Coney Island has a huge range of rides to choose from, ranging from ‘extreme’ to ‘mild thrill’. If your kids are big on adrenaline they’ll definitely enjoy it here. For the more sedate, there’s a gentle teacup ride and great arcade games. Entry to the park is free, but you’ll need to buy credits to go on the rides.
1000 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn.
6) Get on deck
The Intrepid is a famous aircraft carrier docked at Pier 86. It’s a fascinating ship in itself, and you can get up close and personal with the aircraft on its flight deck. But there’s a whole lot more to see too, as the ship is home to the Intrepid Air, Space and Sea Museum. From the submarine ‘Growler’ to the Space Shuttle Pavilion, there’s plenty for the kids to get exploring. You can include the price of museum entry with our Big Adventure Ticket.
Pier 86, West 46th Street & 12th Avenue.
7) Play Nintendo
Here’s an attraction that gamers young and old will love. Spread over 2 floors of the iconic Rockefeller Center, Nintendo World is an interactive store that’s packed full of demos and consoles just waiting for you to play. Here’s where you get to have a go at the latest Nintendo games and pick up some souvenirs of your favorite gaming characters. The only problem might be trying to tell the kids it’s time to leave.
10 Rockefeller Plaza.
8) Take the tram
Roosevelt Island sits in the East River just across from the Upper East Side of Manhattan. And the best way to get there is by cable car. The Roosevelt Island Tramway was originally designed for commuters, but plenty of tourists get in on the action. Reaching a height of 83 yards (76 meters), the cable car lets you gaze out on some spectacular views for just a few dollars. Young children travel for free. Try to board early to get the best window seats, and avoid the peak commuting hours.
9) Cool off in the pool
If you’re here in the summer, Astoria Park is well worth a visit. It’s home to the oldest and largest swimming pool in New York. There are swimming lanes for every level of ability, and a wading pool for the really little ones. Why not let them splash about while you lie back and enjoy the views over to Hell Gate Bridge? It’s a great way to relax after all that sightseeing! Entry to the public pool is free, but you’ll need a combination padlock for the lockers.
19th Street & 23rd Drive, Queens.