Top Kid-Friendly Activities in New York City



Description:

Guide written by Kara Mayer Robinson, Larissa Ranzolin, Amanda Morgan, and Carol Cain of NYCityMama.com.

When visiting a city like New York, deciding what to do can be overwhelming. With almost 500 square miles of city, the Big Apple is intimidating, and it can be easy to stick to the tried and true favorite kid-friendly activities, such as the Statue of Liberty, the Children’s Museum and Zoo. Granted, those places must be experienced—but NYC offers a plethora of kid-friendly activities in addition to these usual suspects.

Note: Be sure to read the Day Notes for the kid-friendly details on recommended attractions.

Ciao Bambino provides tips and advice around all things related to traveling with kids and is a guide to the best kid friendly hotels.

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Author: Ciao Bambino!


Day 1 - New York


Yes, it's one of the world's tackiest tourist traps, but first-timers absolutely must visit Times Square. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Save this locale for nighttime, when its bright lights create a magical, moonlit-like atmosphere and when the hustle and bustle is at its peak. If you have young kids that can't stay up late, visit Toys R US during the day and its wonderful ferris wheel. If you want to go to the theater as a family, The New Victory Theater on 42nd Street showcases many classics like Peter and The Wolf and Shakespearean plays in a way that engages small children.

Duck into the New York Marriott Marquis on Broadway (at 46th Street) for a free ride up its glass elevators and a peek into one of the world's most energetic spots. For a bite out of history, jump across to 46th Street for a slice of Junior's famous cheesecake. Looking for a souvenir? Your kids will find plenty of ways to spend their hard-earned allowance at oodles of trinket shops that line Broadway.


1

Times Square

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Location:

1560 Broadway, Between 46th & 47th streets
New York, NY 10036

Contact:

tel: +1 212 768 1560 (Times Square Alliance)
fax: +1 212 768 0233 (Times Square Alliance)
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2

New Victory Theater

Location:

229 West 42nd Street, 10th Floor
c/o The New 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036

Contact:

tel: 646 223 3020
fax: 646 562 0175
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3

Toys "R" Us

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Location:

1514 Broadway
At 44th St
New York, NY 10036

Contact:

tel: 800/869-7787
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4

New York Marriott Marquis Times Square

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Location:

1535 Broadway
New York, NY 10036

Contact:

tel: +1 212 398 1900 / +1 800 843 4898 (Toll Free)
fax: +1 212 704 8930
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5

Junior's Restaurant

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Location:

386 Flatbush Avenue Extension at Dekalb Avenue
Extension at Dekalb Avenue
New York, NY 11201

Contact:

tel: 1 718 852 5257
fax: 1 718 260 9849
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Day 2 - New York


Central Park

Central Park has it all. Truly. Besides miles and miles of meandering paths, footbridges and grassy knolls, it's filled with massive rocks that any kid would kill to climb. Rent a remote-controlled boat at the Conservatory Water (which happens to have been the setting for a memorable boat race in E.B. White's Stuart Little) and follow it with a climb on the nearby Alice in Wonderland statue and, if it's summer, story time at the Hans Christian Andersen sculpture. Pop into an old-fashioned puppet show at the tiny Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater or visit the zoo. Test out your birdwatching skills in The Ramble. Or simply bring a ball or a Frisbee to one of the vast grassy zones and veg out.

Alternatively, you could whittle away hours at one of the dozen or so playgrounds that dot the perimeter of the park. With sandboxes, water play zones and climbing apparatus of all kinds, they're a superb spot for burning off excess energy. If you are traveling during the Summer months, expect to find a free concert or performance for the entire family as these are very popular when it is warm.

Wollman Rink

How many visitors are aware that there is an amusement park hidden in the trees? During the summer months, Wollman Rink is turned into Victoria Gardens, which features an array of kid-friendly rides and games, as well as several entertaining shows, including clowns, magicians, and more! In the wintertime, the Gardens are converted to an ice skating rink, so there’s fun to be had all year round. Get more info and specific locations for these highlights at www.centralparknyc.org.

The Met

Manhattan kids are a breed all their own, raised on museums, theater and gourmet restaurants. Add a little culture to your kid's persona by dabbling in the arts at one of the city's revered museums. Young and old kids alike will find things to talk about at one of the city's well-known museums, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For the perfect balance of culture sans boredom, spend just an hour and follow your child's lead.

Dylan's Candy Bar & Serendipity 3

For a treat that is sure to please all ages, visit Dylan's Candy Bar where you'll probably feel like a kid in a candy shop too. This over-the-top, modern take on the candy store takes up just a teeny, tiny spot on the corner of 3rd Avenue, but it's stocked so fully with candy of all kinds that it's tough to stick to just a few purchases. Skip the sit-down ice cream treats and take your purchases to go, though, because there are plenty of better choices around the city for ordering off a menu like Serendipity 3. Eating ice cream here is a must (note, reservations are required for dinner).


1

Central Park

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Location:

Central Park Driveway
The Central Park Conservancy
New York, NY 10022

Contact:

tel: +1 212 310 6600
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2

Wollman Rink

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Location:

62nd Street
Central Park
New York, NY 10019

Contact:

tel: +1 212 439 6900
fax: +1 212 396 0008
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3

Central Park Zoo/Tisch Children's Zoo

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Location:

830 Fifth Ave
(in Central Park)
New York, NY 10153

Contact:

tel: +1 212 861 6030
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4

Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Location:

1000 Fifth Ave
Fifth Ave. at 82nd St
New York, NY 10028-0198

Contact:

tel: +1 212 535 7710
fax: +1212 570 3972
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5

Dylan's Candy Bar

Location:

1011 Third Ave
At 60th St
New York, NY 10155

Contact:

tel: 646/735-0078
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6

Serendipity 3

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Location:

225 East 60th Street
(between Second and Third avenues)
New York, NY 10022

Contact:

tel: 212 838 3531
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Day 3 - New York


Upper West Side

If you have very little ones, head to the upper west side for a morning at the Children's Museum of Manhattan. Check out its unique hands-on exhibits and be sure to catch City Splash, an outdoor water-play zone included in your admission.

While you are on the West side of town, you can hit the iconic Empire State Building and/or the Museum of Modern Art.


1

Children's Museum of Manhattan

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Location:

212 West 83rd St
(btwn Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue)
New York, NY 10024

Contact:

tel: +1 212 721 1234
fax: +1 212 721 1127
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2

Empire State Building

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Location:

350 5th Avenue, Suite # 3210
between 33rd and 34th Streets
New York, NY 10118

Contact:

tel: +1 212 736 3100
fax: +1 212 947 1360
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3

Museum of Modern Art

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Location:

11 W. 53rd St
Between 5th and 6th Avenues
New York, NY 10103

Contact:

tel: +1 212 708 9400
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Day 4 - New York


Statue of Liberty

A visit to the Statue of Liberty is a NYC basic and now you are able to climb to the crown (only available on certain days/times).

Staten Island Ferry

If the lines at the Statue of Liberty are too long, take a free, round trip ferry ride on the Staten Island Ferry—or in warmer months, you can also take a free ferry ride to Governor's Island for a fun filled day of activities, including performances and bike rides.

Battery Park

You are near Battery Park, where you can find a nice number of playgrounds where the kids can burn off some steam.

South Sea Port

South Street Seaport has a great selection of shops and eateries overlooking the majestic Brooklyn Bridge with a little something for everyone.


1

Statue of Liberty

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Location:

Liberty Island
On Liberty Island in New York Harbor
New York, NY 10004

Contact:

tel: 212-363-7620
fax: +1 212 363 6304
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2

Staten Island Ferry

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Location:

1 Bay Street
Departs from the Whitehall Ferry Terminal at the southern tip of Manhattan
New York, NY 10301

Contact:

tel: +1 718 390 5253
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3

Battery Park

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Location:

State Street
Battery Place
New York, NY 10280

Contact:

tel: +1 212 344 3491
fax: +1 212 344 3496
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4

South Street Seaport

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expert pick

Location:

12 Fulton St
Fulton & South Streets
New York, NY 10038

Contact:

tel: +1 212 732 7678
fax: +1 212 964 8056
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Day 5 - New York


Chelsea Piers

Looking to wear out those youngsters, perhaps after indulging in some treats at Homer’s? Look no further than the Chelsea Piers. A large sporting complex located on the Hudson, your family will love the wide variety of options presented here: batting cages, basketball courts, an ice skating rink, a bowling alley, a golfing range, indoor courts for soccer, and more. There’s also a Rollerblade shop that allows you to rent skates and embark on the sidewalks along the Hudson River.

The Chelsea Market

The Chelsea Market has an array of baked goods, soups, and other treats—this is a perfect place to relax and eat lunch.

Max Brenner's

For the most decadent chocolate fix, eat a meal, drink a beverage and savor a dessert at Union Square's Max Brenner (Chocolate by the Bald Man) a restaurant with chocolate everything on the menu and a delightful decor that includes copper-filled vats of continuously melting chocolate. (Simply divine.)


1

Chelsea Piers

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Location:

Hudson River, Piers 59-62
New York, NY 10011

Contact:

tel: +1 212 336 6666
fax: +1 212 336 6722
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2

Chelsea Market

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Location:

75 Ninth Ave
Between 15th and 16th Sts
New York, NY 10011

Contact:

visit website


3

Max Brenner - Chocolate by the Bald Man

Location:

841 Broadway
Between 13th & 14th Streets
New York, NY 10003

Contact:

tel: +1 212 388 0030 (Office)
fax: +1 212 675 2304
visit website


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