Most people think of New York City as a playground for adults. However, the truth is that NYC is full of fun attractions and sightseeing opportunities for youngsters and families. Families can play, learn and be inspired on the streets of the Big Apple when they know where to look for great attractions. There are also some pretty great places to pick up sweet treats that are irresistible to kids of all ages! Here’s a look at the best tips for sightseeing with kids in New York City.
See the SeaGlass Carousel
Water Street and State Street
The SeaGlass Carousel at the Battery Conservancy is a whimsical attraction. Riders get to glide along on large iridescent fish that glow with LED lights. This attraction is open seven days a week.
Splash Around in Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park is an iconic patch of beauty in the lower part of Manhattan. The park features a towering fountain that has been featured in countless movies. Youngsters love this fountain because it has shallow wading areas that can be used to splash around and cool off on summer days. Parents love the fact that there is plenty of shade where they can sit and watch their little ones cool off.
Do a Cupcake Tour in Greenwich Village
Do you have a sweet tooth? The trendy neighborhood of Greenwich Village is where the cupcake craze of the past decade really took off! Walk around and try to taste as many cupcakes from the great confectioneries in this neighborhood as you can.
See a Show at the New Victory Theater
209 West 42nd Street
The New Victory Theater is the premier performing arts venue designed especially for youngsters in New York City. Visitors get to enjoy dance, music, circus performances and more. The performances here range from well-known plays to innovative creations that have never been seen anywhere else.
Explore the Roosevelt Island and Tram
What could be better than a family adventure that involves taking the Roosevelt Island Tramway over the East River to get to Roosevelt Island? This fun destination offers a great escape from the city because of its scenic paths. You can also visit the North Point Lighthouse while you’re there.
Visit Imagination Playground
2 Fulton Street
This attraction offers a dose of playfulness in the middle of the Manhattan Financial District. The attraction is built in a unique way that allows children to manipulate the space as they build up and knock down components of the playground. It features giant foam blocks and mats.
Visit the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex
62 Chelsea Piers
This fun sports complex takes up 28 acres along the Hudson River. It features a pool, a bowling alley, a driving rage and a field house that’s 80,000 square feet in size. Of course, what children usually love most about this place is the indoor skating rink that can be used 12 months of the year.
Play at Teardrop Park
Teardrop Park is a two-acre park that’s unlike any other play spot in the city. It was designed by famed landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh. Little ones can have quite a time as they glide down slides, splash in water and kick around in sandboxes. A water-play section that’s available in the summer offers a great place to escape the city heat.
See the Ships at the South Street Seaport
Fulton Street on the East River
The historic South Street Seaport is an amazing spot for children who love ships and maritime history. Visitors get to enjoy exploring six historic ships. There are even opportunities to sail around the New York Harbor when visiting this attraction.
Tour the Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society
2300 Southern Boulevard in the Bronx
The Bronx Zoo offers a wild time for people of all ages. Explore a park that covers 265 acres and serves as the home of nearly 4,000 animals. This zoo hosts gorillas, snow leopards, elephants, rhinos, red pandas, sea lions, penguins and more.
Grab a Slice in Little Italy
Walking around the Big Apple can definitely work up a big appetite! Head to Little Italy to get some pizza by the slice. You can even follow up your slice of heaven with some otherworldly gelato.
Take in Some Panoramic Views at One World Observatory
285 Fulton Street in the Financial District
One World Observatory at World Trade Center offers panoramic views of New York City from the tallest building in the United States. In addition to great views, this attraction offers tons of fun educational tidbits about the city. There are also exhibits and restaurants.
Have Fun at Coney Island
Coney Island is the ultimate family-friendly spot in New York City. Coney Island’s Luna Park features fun rides, coasters, games, street performers and views of the sea. You can time your visit to see a live concert or catch a minor-league ballgame at MCU Park.
Visit Flushing Meadows–Corona Park
Where can you go when the kids just need to run free in the city for a bit? Sprawling Flushing Meadows–Corona Park is home to the famous Unisphere from the 1964 World’s Fair. In addition, visitors will find a zoo, a boating area, a skate park and a carousel hidden in the vast rolling fields that make up this park. You can also visit a botanical garden or enjoy a stroll along the Flushing Bay Promenade.
Take the Ferry to Historic Richmond Town
441 Clarke Avenue in Staten Island
Go back in time by hopping on the ferry to Staten Island to visit an old-fashioned town that has been brought back to life by the Staten Island Historical Society. This town hosts a variety of family-friend activities throughout the year. Plan your visit to enjoy pumpkin picking in the fall or enchanted evening candlelight tours all year long.
Ride on Jane’s Carousel
Water Street in DUMBO
This historic carousel from 1922 has been frozen in time. This treasure was painstakingly restored over a period of decades before finding a permanent home in one of New York’s trendiest neighborhoods. Children can now go round and round while enjoying stunning views all around them when they jump on this true work of art.
Visit the American Girl Flagship Store at 75 Rockefeller Plaza
A visit to the American Girl store at Rockefeller Plaza is a must-do activity in NYC for any doll lover. Visitors can have fun shopping, playing and being creative. This location hosts fun events throughout the year.
Go to Central Park Zoo
East 64th St & 5th Avenue
This iconic zoo is small enough to cover in a quick visit. Youngsters can delight in snow leopards, penguins, bears and a small petting zoo. You can also schedule your visit during feeding times to see how animal specialists give some of the animals in the park the nutrition they need to thrive.
Do a Chocolate Tour in Brooklyn
Brooklyn is currently home to a big chocolate scene. In fact, you can barely walk a block in this borough without coming across a trendy artisan chocolate shop. Spend an hour tracking down the best chocolate in Brooklyn and see how many amazing flavors you can enjoy.
Tour the Empire State Building
50 5th Avenue
Tour this iconic skyscraper in the heart of Midtown Manhattan with your family to get the true New York experience. The building’s observation deck offers the best views of the New York City skyline. It’s possible to book tickets for sunrise if you want to see what it looks like when the sun first glides over Manhattan’s skyline.
Visit the Children’s Museum of Manhattan
212 West 83rd Street
The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is a place that’s designed for children under the age of six. It’s a perfect spot to visit if you want to get off of the busy sidewalk for a bit to see exhibits and participate in fun activities.
Go to Dylan’s Candy Bar
1011 3rd Avenue
People in New York know Dylan’s Candy Bar as the place with the giant lollipop tree. This popular spot offers one of the widest collections of sweets in the world. In fact, you’ll find over 7,000 different confections here. You can scoop up bags of candy or indulge in sundaes covered in hot fudge.
Go Shopping in Chinatown
New York City’s Chinatown is a great place to go shopping. Children will love picking out some fun, colorful trinkets or picking up some cute, low-cost fashions. This is also a great place to try some very authentic Chinese snacks without leaving the country.
Go to Nintendo World
10 Rockefeller Plaza
People of all ages love visiting the flagship Nintendo store at Rockefeller Center. The store takes up two floors and covers 10,000 square feet of space. Visitors can test out games, buy merchandise and take part in fun in-store activities.
Walk the High Line
Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street
This gorgeous space offers a touch of nature in the concrete jungle that is New York City. The High Line’s elevated position means that you can catch some glimpses of the city that would otherwise remain unseen. Entry to this public park is free.
Go to Liberty Island
Seeing the Statue of Liberty is essential when visiting New York. Getting up to Lady’s Liberty crown once you arrive only takes about 10 minutes. Visitors can enjoy both guided and self-guided tours.
See the World’s Largest Dinosaur Skeleton at the American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West & 79th Street
The American Museum of Natural History is an iconic American institution that has been in New York City since 1869. This world-class museum boasts an amazing collection of exhibits. Young visitors can tour exhibits or participate in interactive events throughout the week.
See a Show at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater in Central Park
West 79th Street
This theater is actually a log cabin inside the park that is 140 years old. The shows performed here are based on classic fairy tales and stories. Shows take place here nearly every day of the week.
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at M&M’s World
M&M’s World is 25,000 square feet of space devoted entirely to one of America’s favorite candies. Tour multiple floors to discover delicious candy, find fun merchandise and meet the M&M characters in person. Visitors love the famous candy wall that features thousands of M&M candies in all varieties.
See a Broadway Show
Broadway offers all of the fun, culture and entertainment that New York City is famous for. There are plenty of performances of family-friendly shows like “The Lion King” and “Frozen” going on throughout the week and on the weekends. You can usually get a great bargain on tickets if you’re going during the afternoon. Of course, simply sightseeing on Broadway and taking photos of the marquees can be a lot of fun!
Take an Airplane Tour
If you think New York is incredible on the ground, imagine how awesome it is when you see it on an airplane tour! Seeing the city from above only makes you love it more!
Make your visit to New York unforgettable! Schedule your personalized airplane tour of NYC today! As your safety is our top priority, all of our pilots are FAA certified! Let us show you the best city in the world in a way you never thought possible!