NYC Attractions for Families: Ice skating, museums, and iconic landmarks await!
Top NYC Attractions For Families
Traveling with kids can be challenging especially in busy places. But there are plenty of ways to keep them happy and entertained!
In the winter Bryant Park offers a free ice skating rink. It is also home to a playground, carousel, and an Art Cart.
For the history buffs, the NYC Transit Museum is a must-visit. It features vintage subway cars from a century ago and has interactive exhibits.
1. Museum of Modern Art
One of the coolest things to do with kids in NYC, this museum is specifically designed to appeal to their interests. The 10,000 square-foot institution showcases a comprehensive collection of children’s art and offers daily studio activities.
The spirited kid in your family will love to glide around this aquatic-inspired carousel ride inhabited by 30 giant fiberglass fish. The whimsical architectural masterpiece in Battery Park resembles a chambered nautilus and features color-changing LED lighting that emits a dreamy, iridescent water effect.
2. Children’s Museum of Manhattan
The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is an interactive space that promotes creativity, health and world cultures. The five floors of exhibits engage kids’ imagination and curiosity through hands-on activities that teach about art, science and nature.
The newest attraction is the Dynamic H20 water table, which features waterfalls, spinners and spouts that allow kids to build bridges; direct water flow; pretend to fish; and construct cities by the water’s edge. They can also enter a two-story treehouse headquarters for the superheroes Zip, Zap and Zoom in Superpowered Metropolis.
The New York Pass includes admission to the museum. The passes also offer discounts on other family-friendly activities such as a tour of Yankee Stadium and a visit to Madame Tussauds. Check online to see which attractions are included on specific passes.
3. The Natural History Museum
For families with kids in tow, the American Museum of Natural History, aka the AMNH, is one of the city’s can’t-miss museums. The sprawling complex covers four blocks and 26 buildings, housing 46 exhibition halls of natural history, culture, and the cosmos.
Visitors can be overwhelmed by the sheer size of the museum, so it’s a good idea to download the free AMNH Explorer app, which offers turn-by-turn directions to exhibits and amenities (including bathrooms with changing stations).
Popular attractions include the dinosaur fossils in the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs; the iconic Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton; and the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life dioramas that feature stuffed animals like Alaskan brown bears and a massive 94ft whale. For a real treat, book tickets to the museum’s Rose Center for Earth and Space for a cutting-edge planetarium show.
4. Times Square
The heart of NYC, Times Square is a hub of energy and excitement. A visit here is a must-do activity for kids and adults alike.
Families can take in a Broadway show with the kids or enjoy some of the many attractions near it like Madame Tussauds where they can see their favorite Marvel superheroes in 4D, hang out with Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show or immerse themselves in Coney Island Carnival Carnage 7D game.
A trip to the Statue of Liberty is also a must for families. Buy a timed ticket in advance to skip the long lines and tour this symbolic statue. Afterwards, head to Ellis Island where you can explore the historic immigration center. At One World Observatory, kids will love arriving at their destination Jetsons-style via the Sky Pod elevators and watching City Pulse (HD videos of gorgeous NYC images) on the 100th floor.
5. The Empire State Building
A visit to NYC isn’t complete without gorging on the panoramic views from this iconic skyscraper. High-speed elevators whisk visitors up to the 86th-floor observatory where they can peer out from glass-enclosed decks or brave the elements on open-air viewing platforms lining all sides of this famous building.
Kids can imagine they’re superheroes in a Marvel-inspired exhibit, embark on an animal rescue mission with Dora and Diego or learn about the world’s biodiversity at this beloved museum. From dinosaurs to giant whales, it’s possible that you’ll spend an entire day at this Upper West Side institution and still not see everything.
If you want to avoid the crowds, visit during off-peak times or consider an all-in-one NYC attraction pass that includes admission to the ESB.