What to do in New York City with Kids

Gotham, the city that never sleeps, and concrete jungle don’t necessarily bring up kid-friendly images of New York, but don’t cancel that family vacation just yet! New York has it all and that includes plenty of things to inspire, entertain, and keep your kids from getting bored on vacation!

New-York-City-Kid Friendly

I received a request for suggestions on what to do in NYC with kids, and while I don’t have kids yet, I have plenty of nieces and nephews to have a good idea of what they’ll enjoy.

If it’s your first time to New York, I have an itinerary here. This is a good starting point and will allow you to replace some of the restaurants and activities with all of my New York City with Kids recommendations below.


    1. See a show on Broadway – Lion king, Mary Poppins, Aladdin, Matilda, and Wicked are great options for the kids.
    2. Take in the views at the Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building
    3. Take a ferry from Battery Park to the Statue of Liberty
    4. Take in the craziness of Times Square

  1. A visit to the zoo in Central Park is always fun, or for real zoo-aficionados head to the Bronx Zoo
  2. Ride on Jane’s Carousel in Dumbo (Near the end of the Brooklyn Bridge)
  3. Find the Whispering Gallery in Grand Central Station
  4. Run around Central Park (Rent a bike in the summer or go ice skating in the winter. Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park are two other options for ice skating)
  5. Take a carriage ride through Central Park



There are quite a few museums in New York that are educational and FUN! Or at least they’ll think it’s kinda fun!;) These are my favorites:

  1. American Museum of Natural History – Be sure to watch the Night at the Museum Movies before you go!
  2. The Children’s Museum of Manhattan – Located in the Upper West side
  3. Children’s museum of the Arts – Great for all ages
  4. The New York Transit Museum – A good excuse to head into Brooklyn and let’s be honest, what little kid doesn’t love trains!
  5. The Met – Something for everyone in the family

New-York-City-Ice Skating

Mid-day Treats – New York City has a lot of terrain to cover. All of these stops are the perfect break to rest their little legs.

  1. Serendipity 3 – Try the frozen Hot Chocolate at this whimsical location.
  2. Dylan’s Candy Bar – Yes it’s a tourist trap, but it’s the closest thing your kids will get to a real life Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory.
  3. The Waffles and Dinges truck is parked in Central Park and is the perfect treat after running around.
  4. Your little girls (and little boys!) will love tea with Eloise at the Plaza. It’s ‘rawther’ fancy and they even serve cotton candy on pretzel sticks!
  5. A stop at Milk Bar for cereal milk, cereal ice cream, and delicious cookies and cakes is one of my favorite spots in the city!
  6. NY is famous for their Bagels and the mini stuffed bagel balls at Bantam Bagels is a fun take on the concept.



  1. Max Brenner’s Chocolate Bar & Restaurant – Paradise for chocolate lovers
  2. Ninja New York – Waiters dress as ninjas and perform tricks throughout the meal
  3. Shake shack – lots of locations around the city
  4. Slice of Pizza at Joe’s Pizza (the restaurant that fires Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) in the Spiderman movie)
  5. Dinner in Little Italy with a stop for cannolis at Cafe Palermo
  6. Peanut butter & Co – All sorts of peanut butter creations
  7. Alice’s Tea Cup – A whimsical cafe
  8. Ellen’s Stardust Diner – Singing waiters in Times Square – need I say more?
  9. American Girl Cafe – Perfect stop if you’re visiting the store
  10. Hard Rock Cafe and Benihanas – Although restaurant chains, kids usually love them and would likely be a new experience for non-US visitors.



  1. FAO Schwarz – A fun toy store with the giant keyboard from the movie ‘Big’ in back.
  2. Toys ‘R’ US – This toy store is in the heart of Times Square and has a 60 foot tall indoor ferris wheel!
  3. American Girl Place – From dining to a doll hair salon this place is a little girl’s dream!
  4. Scholastic Stores – Located in SoHo, this story has educational books and a studio with weekly events and shows.
  5. Lego Store – Near Rockefeller Center is a fun break from sightseeing.


Looking for more tips on New York check out my New York for first-timers itinerary here and my Christmas in New York guide here!

Happy Travels!



Kid-friendly NYC

5 thoughts on “What to do in New York City with Kids

  1. Pingback: New York City - The Perfect Itinerary for First-timers | Traveling Chic

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  3. Linda Miranda

    I will be traveling with my grandkids to visit my uncle, he lives in forest hills, and I wanted to find an airb&b in the neighborhood. What do you suggest?

  4. Joni Tyler

    Mother Daughter (10) Mimi heading to NYC in June, 2017. We need recommendations for affordable hotels in Manhattan.
    Your list for kids is great!!!

    1. Venus

      The Lombardy Hotel is loved by kids & parents alike. If you can splurge a bit for a suite, it’s like having your own NYC apt (they’re huge). Even if you go for a Deluxe room, they are still larger than the typical NYC hotel plus rooms and suites have kitchenettes. They’re very family friendly and the location is ideal. Plus the hotel & area is very safe for a mother/daughter traveling alone. Buffet breakfast & WIFI is included. Be sure to book their Stay More promo if you’re staying longer than 2 nights. Have fun!

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