New York City is one of the oldest, busiest yet coolest city we have ever been to on a family holiday. It is surely as happening for the kids as it is for us, which is why I, as a mom would say only YAY to adding a stop at the NYC in an American family vacation itinerary!
There are several of our kids’ favorite movies that are filmed in this charismatic city such as Baby’s Day Out, Home Alone, Smurfs, Pets, and lots more. Which is why, from our entire trip in the US back in 2016, the only bits our kids still remember are from the Statue of Liberty, NYC subway journeys and the costumed characters at Times Square.
It is surely child-friendly as families too visit it all year round. Planned with plentiful parks and kids entertainment spaces, NYC attracts tourists of all ages.
Top 10 Fun Things to do in NYC with Little Kids
Explore Central Park
Central Park is surely a destination in itself. The endless attractions for kids inside include several playgrounds, a zoo which has penguins and sea lions too, strawberry farms, museums, a boathouse and what not.
One the way to or from your favorite New York City tourist attractions, take small breaks to relax and unwind at Central Park while your kids enjoy the green spaces. The Park is beautiful in every single season; whether it be a stroll among the blossoms of Spring or the cracking sound of Autumn leaves underneath the feet, your kids will absolutely love playing there.
Walk Over the Ancient Brooklyn Bridge
Make your little ones experience the grandeur of Brooklyn bridge which can only be fully enjoyed by walking on it. Don’t worry, it is completely stroller friendly as long as you remain in the pedestrian lane. The kids enjoyed watching cars passing underneath and could recall the scene where all the animals from Pets movie accidentally swam towards Brooklyn instead of Manhattan.
A Joyful Day at Manhattan/Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Children’s museums in the US are always fun for toddlers and preschoolers. Visit whichever is closer to you from Manhattan or Brooklyn and enjoy your child’s creative drive.
Ferry Ride to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Islands
The second best kid-friendly tourist attraction in New York City is none other than Statue of Liberty. It is something that has been stuck in my kids’ little minds, forever I guess. Our little one (who still only babbles) says “tatue” whenever he sees a picture of it. Thanks to New York Coffee in Karachi which helps keep the memories of our amazing trip alive.
Enjoy at Chelsea Piers
Chelsea Piers offers health and recreational facilities for kids such as toddler gym, rock climbing, sailing, rock n roll and ice-skating. The club offers membership as well as a day pass for visitors. P.s. Do not miss fireworks every Friday night at the Pier from July till September.
Take a Break at Bryant Park
During your downtown tour, stop by at Bryant Park for a quick snack or refreshing lemonade while your kids can check out the mini kids’ library and take a ride at the fun carousel. There are several more board games and activities that your family will enjoy in this park amidst New York concrete jungle. Taking short breaks at the park refreshes your energy to resume touring the city.
Watch NYC Skyscrapers from the Deck of a Big Bus
New York visit is incomplete without a sightseeing tour, and for that, double-decker buses are the best, convenient and fun way to see it all when you’re traveling with kids. Schedule your Big Bus tour in the morning or evening time to enjoy the skyscrapers from the deck. Don’t forget to take lots of Instagram perfect pictures!
Say Hello to the Animals at Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo is loaded with exciting experiences and animal exhibits that little kids enjoy the most. Some fun things to do at the zoo are petting goats, riding on a camel, feeding sea lions and penguins, going on a nature trek or a wild encounter with the animals up-close.
An ideal time to visit Bronx zoo would be in the morning before the day gets hot in the summertime.
Spend a Fun Filled Evening at Coney Island
Located in the southernmost part of Brooklyn, Coney Island is a rescue place when your kids can’t take museums anymore. Don’t worry, it’s not just for kids, in fact, it’s one of the best places to have a family fun day out. Coney Island attractions include carousels, boardwalk, roller coasters, food and much more.
Climb Top of the Rock
It might not sound like a good idea to take kids along at the top of a skyscraper, but it is actually astounding to see the beautiful city of from above, even for the little ones. They enjoy the scale and height by looking at the tiny cars, buildings, and people from above.
Some Kid’s Shopping Places in NYC
- Dylan’s Candy Store – Heaven for kids of all ages.
- Disney Store – No parent can cross Times Square and not shop from the Disney store which has toys, accessories, and costumes for everyone.
- Party City – My favorite shop for planning birthday parties with kids.
- Dinosaur Hill – For handmade learning toys and marionettes that develop sensory and imaginative skills in kids.