Are you planning to visit New York City with kids? No problem, there are plenty of things to do in New York with kids that are fun for the whole family. Go play at one of the impressive playgrounds, see a Broadway musical, eat at a restaurant, explore a museum, or visit the M&M’s World store. We have great options for both indoor and outdoor activities.
Visit Central Park
Central Park is a great place to visit if you’re traveling with kids to NYC. Here you can visit Heckscher Playground, climb the Alice in Wonderland statue, have a picnic, ride the carousel, visit the Belvedere Castle, or rent bikes and rowing boats. You can even go ice skating in Central Park at the Wollman Rink during the winter months, which is a great activity for the whole family.
Luna Park, Coney Island
A day at Luna Park is one of the best things to do with kids in NYC during the warmer months. This Coney Island amusement park has fun rides, games, and food. Take your kids to try to win a stuffed animal at one of the games, go on one of the rides, or eat some great (but not so healthy) food and snacks like cotton candy or a hotdog from Nathan’s.
Empire State Building
One of the most popular things to do with kids in New York is to visit the Empire State Building. Kids normally love to look at the view and see all the tiny little humans down on the street. They also have an indoor section in case it’s bad weather or too cold. Even the elevator ride up is fun for the kids since it’s going very fast.
If you are planning to visit the Empire State Building with kids we recommend the morning when kids normally have more energy. It’s also less crowded in the morning, which makes it easier to keep an eye on them. Kids under 5 years old can go in for free with a paying adult.
Roosevelt Island Tramway
A fun thing to do with kids in New York is to ride the Roosevelt Island Tramway. This is completely free if you already have a Metro Card. If not, it only costs you $2.75 which is equal to a single subway ride. Kids under 44 inches (112cm) can ride the Roosevelt Island Tramway for free while entering with a paying adult. Same rules as the subway.
Visit a toy store
One of the best things to do in New York (according to the kids themselves) is to visit one of the famous toy stores. Let your kids pick out a toy or a souvenir to bring back home from the Feo Schwartz store, the Lego store, the Disney Store, or the Harry Potter store.
Ride a carousel
A fun thing to do in New York with kids is to ride one of the city’s carousels. You can either go to Jane’s Carousel in Dumbo, or to the one in Central Park.
See the Knicks play at Madison Square Garden
If you or your kids are basketball fans you could go see a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. This is a fun thing to do with kids since they play music and have a live performance during the halftime show. If you want a cheaper ticket you can go see Brooklyn Nets at Barclay Center in Brooklyn.
See a Broadway musical
Bringing your kids to see a magical Broadway musical while visiting New York is one of the absolute best things to do. It’s not cheap, but it will be a very memorable experience. I would recommend seeing Lion King, Aladdin, or Harry Potter.
Visit a candy store
A fun thing to do with kids in New York is to bring them to one of the extremely big and impressive candy stores. Located in the middle of Times Square is the famous M&M’s World. The store has two floors and is packed with candy and souvenirs. Economy Candy and Dylans Candy Bar are two other very large and fun candy stores and great places to bring your kids to.
Dyker Heights during Christmas
If you’re looking for fun things to do with kids in New York during December and the holiday season you can head to the Brooklyn neighborhood Dyker Heights. The Dyker Heights Christmas Light display has become one of the top things to do in New York during the holiday season. Here you can stroll around and look at all the extreme Christmas decorations such as life-sized Santas, snowmen, and Christmas lights synced to music. There are normally a couple of food stands around the neighborhood where you can buy snacks and hot chocolate.
Museum for kids in New York
A visit to a museum is a great thing to do with kids when visiting New York City, especially if the weather is bad one day. New York has a wide selection of museums and many of them that are great for the whole family. Here you can read more about museums in New York for kids.
American Museum of Natural History in New York
This is the most famous and popular museum for kids in New York City. Here you can see the Hall of Dinosaurs, the giant blue whale, and the Hall of North American Mammals. Your kids also might recognize this museum from the movie Night at the Museum that took place here.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in New York
Ripley’s Believe It or Not is the most fun and weird museum for kids in NYC. This museum in New York has over 500 unbelievable objects, such as an albino giraffe, a statue of the world’s longest man, shrunken heads, and much more. You will not regret bringing your kids here!
Madame Tussauds in New York
Here you kids get to “meet” superheroes and celebrities. Madame Tussauds is a museum filled with life-size wax figures of actors, artists, and political leaders but also superheroes like Spiderman and the Hulk. Madame Tussauds is a great museum for the whole family.
Eating out with kids in New York
New York City has so many restaurants that it’s sometimes hard to decide where to go, and also some great kid-friendly options. Here are our best restaurant tips if you want to eat out with your kids in NYC:
Shake Shack, Madison Square Park
If the weather is nice and you want to eat something outside, you can head to Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. Here you can grab a burger while sitting outside. There is also a great playground in this park.
Nathan’s Hot Dogs, Coney Island
If you’re planning to spend the day at Coney Island or Luna Park, Head to the famous Nathan’s Hot Dogs.
New York City is filled with diners everywhere. A diner is normally great for kids and strollers since they often are very spacious. They are also known for having a very long menu so you don’t have to worry about your kids finding something they like. Sometimes the menu is a whole book.
Oscar Wilde is a mix of a restaurant with an experience since they always have a theme for the decor. For example, during Halloween, the restaurant is filled with spooky things like spiderwebs, skeletons, and more.
Applebee’s is a great restaurant for kids. It’s spacious and they have nice big booths where you can sit comfortably with your family. They have a very large menu with everything from hamburgers to salads.
Playgrounds in New York
A trip to a playground is a great thing to do with kids in the city. Your kids get to have fun and play with other kids while you can take a break from exploring the city. Here are some of the best playgrounds in New York:
Central Park Heckscher Playground
Central Park Heckscher Playground is one of my favorite playgrounds in New York and I always recommend this to parents. Here your kids can have fun while you can enjoy a beautiful green environment with a view of the skyscrapers surrounding the park. It’s a nice break from the busy streets of New York City.
Pier 1 Playground in Brooklyn
Pier 1 is one of the best playgrounds in the city where I’ve been with kids many times. The kids will have fun while on jungle gyms and swings.
Madison Square Park Playground
At the Madison Square Park playground, your kids can enjoy swings, jungle gyms, and water sprinklers to cool off during the summer. If you’re hungry after you can grab a hamburger at Shack Shack which is also located in Madison Square Park.
More great playgrounds for kids in New York:
- Washington Square Park Playgrounds
- South Street Seaport
- Tom Otterness Playground
- Union Square Plaground
- Battery Playscape
- Domino Park Playground