Spend The Night At The Beach
Coney Island Flicks on the Beach shows movies every other Monday at 12th Street Beach in July and August. Bring blankets or chairs and a light jacket in case of cool ocean breezes.
TravelingMom Tip: Coney Island also has rides and an aquarium, which cost money. If you are resolved not to spend, get to the beach close to movie time so that becomes the main attraction.
Take A Cruise To Liberty Island
Boat trips are always a good idea and kids will want to see the Statue of Liberty that they have seen in countless movies. Whether you choose to get off or not, it is worth the trip for the photos alone. You can take the Staten Island free ferry but remember it is a public service so dont expect to get a seat or a perfect view.
If you do decide to take the Statue Of Liberty ferry make sure you buy tickets from the authorised ticket booths at the terminal. We fell for a hustle in Battery Park and ended up on a bus to New Jersey!
Where To Stay In New York With Kids:
We stayed in The Beacon Hotel, ideally located close to Central Park on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The rooms are so spacious and all have kitchenettes, perfect for those early morning wake ups. Read five reasons to chose the Beacon Hotel for a family stay in New York here.
There are so many things to do in New York with kids that I couldnt possibly fit them all in. Im looking forward to bringing them back to try the rest! For more ideas, including shopping, dining, tours, museums, sightseeing, green spaces and more, see www.nycgo.com
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Best Things To Do In Nyc On Your First Visit
We created a list of top things to do in NYC that you shouldnt miss while visiting this ever-growing city. Some are super touristy , like the Top of the Rock and the MET, but some are hidden gems, like an amazing Greenwich Village Food Tour and an off-the-beaten path graffiti neighborhood in Brooklyn.
Whether its your first time in New York or you already have your favorite pizza place, this guide is for you!
New York City is full of things to do. You could literally spend a lifetime in this city and do something different each day. With so much to see, it can be overwhelming trying to plan a trip to this beast of a city.
Resist the urge to dive into the depths of the Internet where youll only wind up confused with big bags under your eyes.
We have you covered with everything you need to know to plan the perfect trip to New York City. Grab a cup of coffee, a pen and stay for a while.
If its your first time in NYC weve rounded up a list of the top sights as well as some hidden gems. Were also sharing some cant-miss NYC foods and where to try them, because FOOD = LIFE. Plus, were including the costs of each activity because, well, the Big Apple aint cheap and its nice to know how much money to expect to budget.
Whether youre traveling on a budget or with luxurious taste, this is the ultimate list of things to do in New York City.
Grand Central Terminal Midtown East
This transportation hub has plenty to see even if youre not rushing for a train. The mural in Vanderbilt Hall is a must-see, and the people-watching here is epic and gives you a snapshot of NYC. Head downstairs not only for yummy eats, but to find the Whispering Wall leading into the dining concourse. Here, you can stand in opposite corners of the cavernous space and whisper your secrets into the corner for your partner in crime to hear in the opposite corner.
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Attend A Sporting Event
NYC is home to multiple major sports teams. In fact, the Big Apple is home to 2 teams for each sport.
NYC is also home to the NYC Marathon, the U.S. Open Tennis Championship and many other smaller events.
Dimenna Childrens History Museum
170 Central Park WestNew York, NY 10024 873-3400
Another must-visit museum in the city, this is inside the New-York Historical Society. Its a smaller place meant to entertain young people. It has a rich narrative of the history of the city.
They can learn about icons like Alexander Hamilton and meet re-enactors too. Its a great place to understand the different milestones in the evolution of NYC.
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American Museum Of Natural History Upper West Side
No matter how many visits you make, theres always something new to see at AMNH. Its permanent galleries hold everything from dinos to dioramas and its famed full-size blue whale, plus spectacular gems and geodes, and a stunning planetarium in the Rose Center for Earth and Space. Make time for a visit to its Discovery Room for some hands-on fun and check to see what special exhibitions are on, from the annual Butterfly Conservatory to traveling displays on Sharks, T. Rex, and the colors of the rainbow.
Yankee Stadium Concourse The Bronx & citi Field Flushing Queens
Time your trip right and baseball fans can check two MLB stadiums off in their quest to visit all the Major League ballparks. Both the Bronx Bombers and their crosstown rivals have newer stadiums, with modern perks, plenty of food options, and extras like a playground on Yankee Stadiums top level. If its not baseball season, and you still want to get inside, consider booking a tour of either spot, which gives you behind-the-scenes access you wouldn’t get on game day anyway.
Don’t Miss: Madame Tussauds New York Parking
Chill Out In A Hammock
On weekend mornings from May to October you can take a free 10 minute ferry ride from Lower Manhattan over to Governors Island.
Governors Island is car-free and therefore perfect for kids. There are plenty of things to do. You could wander along some of the walking trails enjoy the views from the Great Promenade chill out in Hammock Grove rent a bike or whizz down the longest slide in New York at The Hills.
American Museum Of National History
One of the largest museums in the world, there are a whopping 32 million natural specimens kept here you could travel to the seabed, back to the age of the dinosaurs and out to the Milky Way as you explore.
And for kids who love Night at the Museum, its unmissable , including a self-guided tour that lets you see some of the real exhibits from the film.
You can also stand under a fibreglass model of a 94 foot blue whale as well as spying T Rex among the other dinosaur fossils.
At the other end of the scale, there are exhibits on bacteria, as well as a chance to explore the 13-billion year history of the universe and cosmic evolution.
Allow plenty of time for this one, and you do currently need to prebook a timeslot as well as prebooking tickets as its hugely popular.
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Things To Do In New York City With Kids
There are so many kid-friendly attractions in New York City and things to do in NYC with kids, you may not be sure where to start planning. We have a few suggestions from the best NYC tours, best hotels in NYC, best time of year to visit NYC and more. If thatâs not enough, weâll also tell you some of the best restaurants in NYC to bring your family to. And because NYC is so big, weâve got a totally separate guide on the best things to do in Brooklyn with kids. Here are our favorite things to do in New York City with kids.
Hudson Valley With Kids
Another lovely area to visit in new York State with kids is Hudson Valley, which you can visit on its own or with the nearby Catskills.
In this area, you find lovely family friendly attractions ranging from nature trails to theme parks such as Legoland New York Resort.
If you love being out in nature, Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve has opportunities to go hiking, kayaking and paddle boarding.
Boscobel House and Gardens is a lovely family friendly attractions in the area. This estate has lovely gardens, a woodland trail, and lovely river views and family tours and kids activities on selected dates.
Places your kids may enjoy in Hudson Valley are also the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston, Firemans Firefighting Museum in Hudson and Greenburgh Nature Center which include a Native American Replica Village.
Bannermam Castle, Country Treetop Adventure, and kids attractions such mini golf and bowling in Poughkeepsie are also family favorites in the area.
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Experience The Best Of New York City With Kids
Let Ciao Bambino! Plan Your Dream Trip
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“Katie planned the perfect trip. We all agree it was the best trip we’ve had, and the hotels were some of the best we’ve stayed in. We found that with a baby, it was only possible to get through about half of the suggested itinerary each day, which was great because it gave us options. We took time each night to debate what we would do the next day, and really enjoyed having those possibilities laid out for us.”
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Lincoln Center Upper West Side
Taking in a show here is a quintessential New York experience. Whether you catch the New York City Ballet, Met Opera, or New York Philharmonic entering one of the performance halls here is a breathtaking experience. Of course, the sprawling complex is fun to explore any day. Pose for a picture in front of the Revson Fountain, pop into the David Rubenstein Atrium to catch a free performance, or head to Damrosch Park to see if the Big Apple Circus is in town for its annual run.
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The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon
We REALLY wanted to see Jimmy, but it is a bit tricky.
If youre planning your visit to NYC well in advance, set an alarm for first day of the month youll be visiting. This is when they open up tickets, and they go fast.
If you, like us, miss out on the tickets, dont worry: you still have a chance to see Americas favorite host. But youll need patience and time.
Heres how to get standby tickets to the Tonight Show:
Got to the south side of Rockefeller on West 49th Street and get in line. We saw people lined up as early as 6:30 a.m., but when we got in line around 8:45 a.m. we still got standby tickets. We were instructed to return at 3:15 p.m. to find out if they would have room for us. Then, the recording would start at 5:00 p.m.
All said and done, getting standby tickets requires a big chunk of your day, and we just didnt have the patience to stick in that area for the chance to maybe be able to get in. But it could work well for some peoples schedules.
Lower East Side Tenement Museum
This museum requires a tour and is only for children 8 years and older, but is worth a visit for the history lesson in store. This five-story brick tenement building was home to an estimated 7,000 people, from over 20 nations, between 1863 and 1935 and is a testament to the fact that our nation and New York City, in particular, was built on immigration and the working class. Buy tickets online in advance for a timed tour. There are several tour types to choose from. You must book your tickets to the Tenement Museum in advance as the tours do sell out quickly. You can book your tickets here.
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Chelsea Piers Sports And Entertainment Complex
62 Chelsea PiersNew York, NY 10011 336-6666
For a day full of family fun, this is a great choice. This sports complex is situated on 28 acres on three piers of the Hudson river. Among other things, it has an 80,000 square foot field house, a driving range and a bowling alley. If you want to take it easy, theres a pool too.
If you want to skate around, theres an ice-skating rink. And thats available 365 days of the year. And for those of you who want to cool down, theres a lovely pool. Right behind the Chelsea Piers is a Brooklyn outpost spread over 52,000 square feet.
Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum Midtown West
When my son was little, this was hands-down our most visited museum. Its hard not to be impressed by a museum housed in a World War II-era aircraft carrier, which survived a trio of kamikaze attacks while serving in the Pacific, acted as a recovery vehicle in the space race, and houses everything from antique aircraft to the Space Shuttle in its permanent collection. Februarys Presidents Day week vacation is always filled with incredible, kid-friendly activities for its annual Kids Week, and it offers a wide range of tours and kid-friendly programming year-round.
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Be A Kid In A Sweet Shop
If you have a sweet tooth, a visit to Dylans Candy Bar the worlds largest confectionery emporium is a must. There are three locations throughout the city, including the flagship store on Third Avenue.
Kids will be in heaven at the sight of thousands of sweets of every colour and flavour. The luminescent staircase embedded with sweets and the oversized lollipop tree are particularly fun to see.
Take A Stroll Through Central Park
This was one New York attraction that we were not going to miss. Central Park is huge with a lake and various other areas of interest in it. It also contains the Central Park Zoo. It is 843 acres or 3.4km2 and we only saw a small fraction of it. Surprisingly it is almost half the size of the Phoenix Park in Dublin!
Our main reason for visiting Central Park was to have a photograph taken in Strawberry Fields, to carry on a family tradition. We managed to find the elusive rock with memorial plaque on it and a kind passing tourist took our picture, ensuring the tradition carrys on.
The best part about Central Park is that its easy to get to and is free! Attractions inside can cost extra such as the zoo and restaurants but if you are visiting on a sunny summer day, why not take a picnic and enjoy it on one of the many grassy areas. We didnt get to stop long in Central Park but it will definitely be on our must-return-to list for our future visits to New York. Kids will love it as its a great place to run free among a busy bustling city! It also makes New York for toddlers fun.
And if you are visiting New York with older kids, why not join a guided walking tour of Central Park. While it is a casual 2-hour tour, it is a great way to explore the park, get your bearings and see all the famous film locations within the park.
To find out more and to book a walking tour, check out the availability and prices HERE.
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Go To A Broadway Show
One of the major Bucket List experiences in New York City is to see a Broadway Show. If you have a show in mind, be sure to make reservations in advance.
Cost: Tickets typically range from $35 to $55 when you get them discounted, but can be upwards of $100 if you pay full price.