The old saying: ‘there’s something for everyone’ is certainly true of New York, and when it comes to kid-friendly activities in particular – NYC has them in abundance. If you’re looking for some ideas on what will keep your family entertained during their visit to New York, as well as giving them the best experience of the city, then look no further than the following NYC highlights.
The majority of those listed below are available (for advance reservations) via our New York Freestyle Pass – which includes admission, and unlimited Hop-On, Hop-Off travel to and from the attractions. It’s the best value way to see our city.
American Museum of Natural History.
Firstly – museums – there are over 80 of them in New York. One of the best and most iconic museums in the country, if not the planet is the American Museum of Natural History. There are 45 permanent exhibit halls as well as the Rose Center for Earth and Space – so you literally could spend a few days here. Make sure you plan ahead to make the best use of time. Our personal favorites are the Hayden Planetarium and the two incredible dinosaur halls, boasting one of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils in the world. It is incredible.
One of the most iconic museums on the planet (credit: Flickr - Gocardusa)
Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
Continuing on the museum theme for a little longer – we’d highly recommend the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. It’s located right on the Hudson River, so you can hop on to the USS Intrepid – the aircraft carrier that’s part of the museum’s amazing array of exhibits. There’s also the NASA space shuttle – Enterprise - and the Grande Dame of air flight – Concorde. All of these are exciting feats of engineering – and of course, each has their own fascinating story to tell.
Statue of Liberty
Ok – the Statue of Liberty is certainly not just for kids, but there’s no other sight that’s as iconic - and for the true New York experience, it’s an attraction that’s not to be missed. Kids, in particular, will love the boat ride out to her and perhaps the experience of seeing such a colossal structure up close. If you book ahead, you might be able to climb up all 377 steps to the crown for an incredible story to take back home (height restrictions apply). In addition, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island offer an important history lesson for kids and adults alike.
What trip to New York is complete without a trip to the Statue of Liberty (Credit: Unplash @oplattner)
One World Observatory
The One World Observatory at the top of Freedom Tower is another favorite that suits family members of all ages. As you check in, your city of origin will appear on the large screens welcoming you to the tower. That’s quite a thrill in itself. From there, you’ll have the chance to enter what feels like an underground cave, exploring the structure’s foundations, and hearing from the workers involved in its construction. Afterward, you can ride up to the top of the Tower to the observatory itself – 102 stories in 47 seconds, surveying the history of NYC as you travel. We get goosebumps all the time. When you get to the top, the city will unfold before you – a truly memorable sight. The kids, in particular, may enjoy the glass floor – where they can see the city beneath their feet.
Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society
The Bronx Zoo is popular with New Yorkers and visitors alike. This New York zoo is home to snow leopards, elephants, rhinos, gorillas and more. There are around 4,000 animals living here. One of the most popular attractions is the zoo’s bug carousel – a ride with 64 large, brightly painted bug replicas. It’s a good old-fashioned family day out.
Insert image: https://unsplash.com/photos/r5aFGOepgb8
Caption: Bronx Zoo is home to the beautiful and rare Snow Leopard (CreUnsplash @ukmarshdesigns
The possibilities for family entertainment in New York City are almost endless. This list could be ten times as long! The majority of the highlights we’ve mentioned here are accessible via Gray Line New York sightseeing tours – so we can transport you from one to the other. And with the exception of the Bronx Zoo – they are also included on our Freestyle Pass, which means you can secure entry to 5 or 7 of the attractions in advance, as well as an unlimited Hop-On, Hop off service there and back.
We look forward to helping you and your family during your time in the Big Apple!