10 Things to Do With Kids in New York City

Posted July 21, 2023 by in Lifestyle

Do you want to plan a family trip to New York but you’re worried about how the kids will find it?

It’s understandable. If you’re spending money and time away, you want to make sure that everyone enjoys themselves. Plus, you don’t want bored children on your hands that you then have to try and entertain. 

Well, the good news is there are loads of things to do as a family in the Big Apple. Sure, it is often referred to as the concrete jungle, but there are also plenty of green spaces, places to play, interesting attractions and, how can we forget, great places to eat!

So, if you’re planning a trip to New York with your little ones, here are 10 things you can do to see the sights and make the most of the city with kids in tow. 

1. Visit the iconic Statue of Liberty

There are some landmarks that are iconic and instantly recognisable around the world and in New York, perhaps the most iconic image of all is the Statue of Liberty. 

Even if your children are quite young, it’s likely they’ll have seen this in pictures, books, TV shows, etc. so why not do something you’ll all enjoy and stop by this impressive, world-famous landmark? They’ll love being able to tell their friends back home that they’ve seen the Statue of Liberty in real life. 

2. Keep them learning 

There are also loads of great museums across New York and while it may sound like a more grown-up activity, there are plenty of museums that kids can enjoy too. In fact, there is a whole range of museums, including the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, tailored just to young people.  

There are also plenty of others to cover every interest, from the New York Hall of Science to the Natural History Museum, art galleries and everything in between. 

3. Catch a show 

New York is famously home to Broadway and you’d be crazy not to catch a show while you’re there. The great news is, there are plenty of family-friendly shows you can all enjoy, no matter the age gap. 

From Harry Potter and Disney to fun Shakespeare adaptations and even comedy gigs, there is something to suit every mood and age range. So be sure to catch a show during your trip. 

4. Check out the local wildlife 

When you think of a bustling city like New York, nature and wildlife aren’t usually something that comes to mind; perhaps pigeons pecking about or the odd rat running around. But the reality is, New York is bursting with wildlife, as well as a number of impressive zoos and even sea life. 

So, during your time there, be sure to take the kids to the zoo, go wildlife spotting in the local park or even book up a whale-watching tour. Yes, you read that right. You can book up a whale and dolphin-watching cruise from the city. 

5. Treat them to a shopping spree 

Under normal circumstances, your children might not enjoy being dragged around the local town, popping into the supermarket and pharmacy, but this is New York and there are loads of exciting child-friendly shopping experiences to be had. 

There are loads of great clothes shops, along with an impressive range of toy shops including Disney and the LEGO store. which leads us nicely to our next activity. 

6. Build lasting memories at LEGOLAND  

Although it’s slightly outside the city centre, LEGOLAND in New York is well worth a visit with the kids. There is the usual fun to be had, including theme park rides, a waterpark, meet and greets, 4D cinema experiences and so much more. 

Best of all, if you’re worried about rushing about or losing out on time as you travel to and from the park, there is a LEGOLAND hotel that even has themed rooms. So you can stay overnight and truly make the most of every second. 

7. Enjoy an American feast 

There is a huge range of restaurants, takeaways, fast food joints and street vendors across New York, perfect for the foodies in your life. But even the fussiest children (and there is always one) are bound to find food or dessert they will love in New York City. 

Plus, there are lots of family-friendly places you can sit down and eat and plenty of popular chains that your children are sure to recognise. And what child doesn’t love a good dessert? NYC is absolutely bursting with delicious sweet treats too. 

8. See an extraordinary performance at Madison Square Garden

Broadway isn’t the only place to catch a show in New York and if your kids particularly love music or sport, Madison Square Garden is the place to be. Of course, you’ll have to look at what events are on during your visit or even plan your visit around a particular event, but this is a great family-friendly venue. 

This year, huge names like Queen, Kiss, Drake, Pink, Madonna and many more will be performing there. You could also catch a basketball or hockey game, depending on the dates of your trip.

Empty Madison Square Garden arena set up for a hockey game

9. Travel to the Top of the Rock

Rockefeller Centre, better known as Top of the Rock, offers arguably the best view of the city. The observation deck is seventy floors up in the sky and it takes 42 seconds to get up there in the elevator. 

If you decide to book tickets, you and your little ones can enjoy unobstructed views over the whole city, Long Island and even New Jersey from this one spot. It’s certainly a view they will never forget. 

10. Watch their faces light up at Times Square

The final suggestion on our list is to take them to Times Square at least once during your visit and watch their faces light up. As well as taking in the spectacular display of lights and images, there are plenty of places to eat and shop nearby. 

You might even be able to catch a show or view some street performers singing, dancing, doing magic tricks or even performing live comedy. 

Time Square lights at dusk

As you can see, there are a ton of things you can do in New York City with kids in tow. If you’re on a budget, there are also many free things you can do in NYC, such as strolling through Central Park or Prospect Park, or visiting the NY Public Library.

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