Parental Tips

Discovering NYC: Top Kids Activities to Spark Joy and Adventure

New York City is a playground of endless adventures for families. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, there are so many things to do in NYC with kids. No matter if you’re a local person or visiting for the first time, this guide will help you plan an unforgettable family adventure in the Big Apple.


Best Things to Do in NYC with Kids

New York City offers an array of family-friendly attractions and activities that ensure an exciting and memorable experience for children and parents alike. From iconic landmarks to interactive museums, there’s so much that NYC offers.

Following are some of the best things to do with kids in NYC.

Central Park

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Central Park, located in the heart of Manhattan, is a natural oasis offering a variety of activities for families.


Rent a rowboat at the Loeb Boathouse and enjoy a peaceful paddle on the lake. This activity is perfect for families looking to relax and take in the park’s natural beauty.

Central Park Zoo

The zoo is home to a diverse range of animals, including sea lions, penguins, and the beloved snow leopard. The Tisch Children’s Zoo is particularly engaging for young kids, allowing them to interact with friendly farm animals.


Central Park boasts numerous playgrounds, each with unique features. Heckscher Playground, the park’s largest, offers climbing structures and water features. The Ancient Playground, inspired by the Met’s Egyptian collection, is another favorite.

Seasonal Events

Throughout the year, Central Park hosts various seasonal events. In winter, families can enjoy ice skating at Wollman Rink. Spring and summer bring free concerts, outdoor theater performances, and movie nights.

Times Square

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Times Square is a bustling hub of lights and activities, offering plenty of family-friendly fun.

Family-Friendly Shows

Broadway is a must-visit, and many shows are perfect for kids. “The Lion King” and “Aladdin” are perennial favorites, featuring stunning visuals and captivating stories that entertain both children and adults.

Interactive Stores

Times Square is home to several interactive stores that children will love. M&M’s World offers three floors of candy fun, including a personalized M&M printer.

The Disney Store features character meet-and-greets and exclusive merchandise, providing a magical shopping experience.

Street Performers and Neon Lights

The vibrant atmosphere of Times Square, with its dazzling neon lights and energetic street performers, makes it an exciting place to visit, especially in the evening.

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

things to do in nyc with kids

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A visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island offers both historical significance and educational value.

Historical Significance

The Statue of Liberty is an enduring symbol of freedom and democracy. Families can take a ferry to Liberty Island, where children can learn about the statue’s history and its role as a beacon of hope for immigrants.

Ellis Island Immigration Museum

Just a short ferry ride away, Ellis Island provides an insightful look into the immigrant experience. Interactive exhibits help children understand the journeys millions of people made to America, making it a meaningful and educational visit.

Empire State Building

things to do in new york with kids

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The Empire State Building is an iconic landmark that offers spectacular views and educational exhibits.

Observation Deck

things to do with kids in nyc

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The 86th-floor observation deck provides breathtaking 360-degree views of New York City. On clear days, visitors can see up to five states, making it an unforgettable experience.

Educational Exhibits

The building features exhibits about its construction and history, which are fascinating for older children interested in architecture and engineering.

The New York Aquarium

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Dive into an underwater world at the New York Aquarium, located on the iconic Coney Island boardwalk. Home to over 350 species of aquatic life, including sharks, rays, and sea lions, it offers immersive exhibits, interactive touch pools, and thrilling animal feedings for a fun and educational experience for the whole family.

Broadway Shows

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Broadway offers a magical theater experience with several shows designed for younger audiences. As we mentioned above, “The Lion King” and “Aladdin” are perfect for children, combining familiar stories with stunning stagecraft. For slightly older children, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” offers an enchanting continuation of the beloved book series.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden

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Escape the urban jungle and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. With its lush gardens, scenic trails, and family-friendly programming, including children’s workshops and garden discovery tours, it’s a peaceful oasis in the heart of Brooklyn for families to explore, relax, and connect with the natural world.

Interactive Experiences

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Spyscape Museum in New York. Credit:

New York City is home to several interactive experiences that are both fun and educational.

  • RiseNY: This immersive experience takes visitors on a ride through the history and culture of New York City, featuring engaging multimedia exhibits and a thrilling ride that children will love.
  • Spyscape: An interactive museum dedicated to espionage, Spyscape allows kids to learn about famous spies, solve puzzles, and test their own spy skills through immersive experiences like the laser maze.
  • Color Factory: This vibrant, colorful exhibit features interactive art installations that engage all the senses, perfect for children and adults alike. Each room offers a unique sensory experience, from giant ball pits to confetti rooms.

Seasonal Events and Festivals

NYC hosts a variety of seasonal events and festivals that are perfect for families.

Summer Streets

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Held in August, this event opens up nearly seven miles of city streets for pedestrians, offering free activities, performances, and food. Families can enjoy biking, rollerblading, and participating in fitness classes.

Holiday Celebrations

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During the winter holidays, the city comes alive with festivities. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, ice skating rinks, and festive markets create a magical atmosphere. Holiday window displays at department stores like Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue are also must-sees.


best things to do in nyc with kids

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NYC is famous for its parades, such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village. These events feature spectacular sights and family-friendly fun, with giant balloons, elaborate floats, and costumed participants.

Exploring NYC with kids? It can be daunting to keep them safe in a busy city. Use the Findmykids app to track their location, set safe zones, and get notified if they wander off.

Museums to Visit

things to do in new york city with kids


New York City boasts an impressive variety of museums that cater specifically to children. These museums offer interactive exhibits and engaging activities that make learning fun for the whole family.

Here are some top museums to visit with kids.

American Museum of Natural History

things to do in nyc for kids


The American Museum of Natural History, located in Central Park West, is a must-visit for families. It houses the famous dinosaur exhibits, which include a massive T-Rex and the towering Barosaurus.

The Hayden Planetarium offers spectacular space shows that captivate both children and adults. Interactive exhibits on biodiversity, marine life, and human cultures provide endless educational opportunities.

Children’s Museum of Manhattan

things to do in new york for kids

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Situated in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan is designed for younger children. It features hands-on exhibits and activities that stimulate creativity and learning.

Popular exhibits include a water play area, a simulated fire truck, and art workshops. The museum often hosts cultural events and storytelling sessions, making it a vibrant and engaging place for kids.

New York Hall of Science

fun things to do with kids nyc

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Located in Queens, the New York Hall of Science is perfect for budding scientists. This interactive science museum features over 450 exhibits, including hands-on experiments and demonstrations.

Kids can explore topics like physics, chemistry, and biology in a fun and accessible way. The museum also has an outdoor science park and a mini-golf course, making it a great destination for a family day out.

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum


The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, housed on the historic aircraft carrier Intrepid, is located on the Hudson River. This museum offers a unique opportunity to explore naval history.

Children can tour the aircraft carrier, see historic planes, and even get up close to the Space Shuttle Enterprise. Interactive exhibits and simulators provide an exciting, hands-on experience that makes history come alive.

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

what to do in new york with kids


MoMA, situated in Midtown Manhattan, is one of the top art museums in the world. It offers family programs and kid-friendly tours designed to engage young visitors. Art Lab, an interactive space within the museum, allows children to create their own artworks inspired by the museum’s collection.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

best things to do with kids in nyc

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art, located on the eastern edge of Central Park, is another essential stop for families. The Met offers engaging exhibits across diverse cultures and time periods.

The Met’s Family Guides and the “Start with Art” program provide child-friendly explanations and activities. The Met’s ancient Egyptian exhibit, complete with a real temple, is a favorite among children.

Recommendations for Free or Discounted Admission Days

Visiting museums can be expensive, but many NYC museums offer free or discounted admission days. The American Museum of Natural History has a “pay-what-you-wish” policy for New York residents.

MoMA offers free admission on Friday evenings. The Intrepid Museum provides free admission for children under five. It’s always a good idea to check the museum’s website for current promotions and free days.

New York City’s museums provide rich, engaging experiences for children, making them a key part of any family visit. From natural history to modern art, these museums offer educational adventures that inspire curiosity and wonder. Families can explore the diverse exhibits, participate in interactive activities, and enjoy learning together in one of the world’s most vibrant cities.

New York Parks for a Walk with Kids

things to do with kids in new york city


New York City has a variety of parks that are perfect for family outings. Each park has unique features that cater to children and provide a relaxing environment for parents.

Below are some top parks for a walk with kids.

Central Park

Central Park, located in the heart of Manhattan, is an iconic destination for families. The park features extensive playgrounds, boating, and perfect spots for picnicking.

The Heckscher Playground, with its water features and climbing structures, is a favorite among children. Boating on Central Park Lake offers a serene experience, and the Great Lawn is ideal for a family picnic.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park provides stunning waterfront views and a variety of activities. Families can enjoy multiple playgrounds designed for different age groups. Jane’s Carousel, a beautifully restored historic carousel, offers a magical ride for kids. The park also has open lawns and picnic areas with views of the Manhattan skyline.

Prospect Park

Prospect Park in Brooklyn is another excellent choice for family outings. The park features a zoo with a diverse collection of animals, making it a fun educational stop. The park’s carousel is a delightful attraction for young children. Nature trails wind through the park, offering peaceful walks and opportunities to explore the natural environment.

High Line


The High Line is an elevated park on Manhattan’s West Side. It offers unique views of the city and art installations along the way. The park features seating areas and gardens, making it a pleasant walk for families. Children will enjoy the interactive water feature and the occasional performances that take place on the High Line.

Battery Park

Battery Park, located at the southern tip of Manhattan, is rich with attractions. The SeaGlass Carousel is a whimsical ride that children love. The park also has well-maintained playgrounds and scenic waterfront paths. Families can enjoy a walk along the Hudson River and take in the views of the Statue of Liberty.

Bryant Park

Bryant Park, situated in Midtown Manhattan, is known for its seasonal activities. In winter, the park transforms into an ice skating rink. During warmer months, lawn games and movie nights are popular. The park’s carousel and reading room are perfect spots for children to play and relax.

Riverside Park

Riverside Park stretches along the Hudson River on the Upper West Side. It offers scenic walkways, playgrounds, and sports facilities. Families can enjoy a walk or bike ride with views of the river. The park’s well-designed playgrounds cater to children of all ages, making it a versatile destination for a family day out.

Always Travel with the Findmykids App

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Findmykids app

Traveling with children in a bustling city like New York can be both exciting and challenging. Ensuring the safety of your little ones is highly important, and that’s where the Findmykids app comes in. This essential tool for family travel offers peace of mind and security, making it a must-have for any trip.

Key Features of the Findmykids App

The Findmykids app is packed with features designed to keep children safe and parents informed:

  • Real-Time Location Tracking: Parents can see their child’s location in real-time, ensuring they always know where their kids are.
  • SOS Button: In case of an emergency, children can press the SOS button, instantly alerting parents and providing their exact location.
  • Sound Around (Live-Listening): Parents can listen in real-time to the ambient sounds surrounding their child, providing an additional layer of security and peace of mind while navigating bustling city streets and attractions.
  • Safe Zones: Parents can set up designated safe zones. When a child enters or leaves these areas, parents receive immediate notifications.
  • Notifications: The app sends alerts about the child’s movements, the battery status of the child’s device, and other important updates.

The Findmykids app significantly enhances safety for children and provides peace of mind for parents. Knowing the exact whereabouts of their children at all times reduces anxiety and allows families to enjoy their travels more fully. The app’s real-time tracking and immediate alerts are invaluable in crowded and busy environments, like those found in New York City.

Practical Uses in NYC

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Navigating New York City with children can be daunting, but the Findmykids app makes it easier. Here are some examples of how the app can be used in the city:

  • Crowded Areas: Places like Times Square and Central Park can get extremely crowded. The app helps parents keep track of their children, reducing the risk of losing sight of them.
  • Large Attractions: At large attractions such as the American Museum of Natural History or the Statue of Liberty, it’s easy for kids to wander off. With the app, parents can quickly locate their children if they get separated.
  • Public Transportation: Navigating the subway system with kids can be stressful. The app ensures that parents always know where their children are, even in the hustle and bustle of the subway.

The Findmykids app has received numerous positive reviews from users, reinforcing its reliability and usefulness. One parent shared, “The app saved us a lot of stress during our visit to NYC.

We could easily track our kids in crowded places, and the SOS button gave us added peace of mind.”

Another user commented, “Setting up safe zones around our hotel and major attractions was incredibly helpful. We received notifications whenever our kids moved out of these zones, which was reassuring.”

With high ratings on both the App Store and Google Play, Findmykids has proven to be a trusted companion for families traveling with children.

Download the App Before Your Trip

The Findmykids app

To ensure a safe and enjoyable family adventure in New York City, download the Findmykids app before your trip. The app is easy to set up and use, providing an added layer of security that allows you to focus on making memories with your children.

Visit the App Store or Google Play to download Findmykids and experience the peace of mind it offers.

In summary, the Findmykids app is an essential tool for any family traveling to NYC. Its robust features, such as real-time tracking, SOS button, safe zones, and notifications, enhance safety and provide parents with invaluable peace of mind. By using this app, families can navigate the exciting yet busy environment of New York City with confidence, ensuring a fun and secure trip for everyone.

Additional Tips for Parents

things to do nyc kids

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To make the most of your NYC adventure, consider these practical tips:

  • Packing Essentials: Bring comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, and a reusable water bottle. New York City involves a lot of walking, so comfort and hydration are key.
  • Using Public Transportation: The subway is a convenient way to get around the city. Consider getting a MetroCard for easy access to public transportation. Familiarize yourself with the subway map and plan your routes in advance.
  • Staying Hydrated: Always carry water, especially during the summer months. Many parks have water fountains where you can refill your bottles.
  • Snacks and Meals: Pack snacks to keep the kids energized throughout the day. Plan meal breaks at family-friendly restaurants or pack a picnic for a relaxing meal in one of the city’s beautiful parks.
  • Involving Kids in Planning: Involve your children in planning the itinerary to make the trip more engaging for them. Let them choose some of the activities or attractions they are excited about. This not only makes them feel involved but also helps in building anticipation and excitement for the trip.

Making the Most of Your NYC Adventure

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Exploring New York City with kids is an adventure filled with excitement and discovery. This guide has highlighted some of the best activities and attractions for families, including iconic parks, interactive museums, and essential travel tools like the Findmykids app. By visiting places like Central Park, Times Square, and the Statue of Liberty, families can enjoy a mix of natural beauty, vibrant city life, and rich history.

We hope this guide helps you plan an unforgettable family adventure in New York City!

Share your own tips and experiences in the comments below. If you found this guide helpful, share it on social media and connect with other families planning their NYC trips. Together, we can create a supportive community of parents eager to explore the wonders of New York City with their kids.



What do kids do for fun in New York?

Kids in New York can enjoy visiting iconic attractions like the Central Park Zoo, riding Jane’s Carousel at Brooklyn Bridge Park, exploring interactive exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History, and experiencing the vibrant atmosphere of Times Square.

Is New York kid-friendly?

Yes, New York is very kid-friendly, offering numerous parks, family-oriented museums, and attractions designed for children. There are plenty of activities and places that cater to families, ensuring that kids have a safe and enjoyable experience.

What do NYU kids do for fun?

NYU students often explore the city’s cultural scene, including Broadway shows, museums, and concerts. They also enjoy the vibrant nightlife, various dining options, and outdoor activities in parks like Washington Square Park and the High Line.

What is there to do in NYC for kids in the summer?

In summer, kids can enjoy outdoor activities like boating in Central Park, playing at the splash pads in Brooklyn Bridge Park, visiting the New York Hall of Science, and attending free outdoor events and festivals throughout the city.

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