We love NYC, and we hope you do too. If you’re planning a family trip or know anyone that is – you should read or share this. New York City is an ideal destination to spend a fascinating time when vacationing with your family, simply because it has something to offer for everyone, at any age. From the fun activities in Central Park, the historical landmarks and through the museums to diverse architecture, the city is brimming with tourist attractions that the whole family can enjoy. There is every reason why you should pack your bags for New York City family vacation but be ready for an exhaustive tour to savor the numerous offerings that make the city one of the family holiday hotspots.
Spend some time to plan your trip so that you can get the most out of it without draining your batteries every day on searching for things to do. Instead, create a plan to cover the city in parts while indulging in as many activities that you feel possible. Check out this blog that has a great 3-day itinerary for the family.
Here are some family-friendly activities along with things to do in NYC when you have your kids with you.
Take a Bus tour in NYC
Taking a New York City Hop-on Hop-off bus tour is an excellent way for first-time visitors to familiarize themselves with the city. Families enjoy a bus tour because of the engaging narration of the guides explaining the details of all the landmarks and sites that you will come across. Choose a tour that offers maximum flexibility. Whenever you feel like you can hop-off the bus with your kids and explore any place of interest and then hop-back on the bus and relax.
You can also use the bus tour to go on a tasty NYC food tour.
Climb up the Empire State Building
The bus tour helps you get a feel of the city, so the next stop on your itinerary should be the Empire State Building, which tops the chart of the World’s legendary buildings. The 102-story skyscraper in mid-town Manhattan symbolizes everything that New York City is known for – ambition, a competitive spirit, innovation, and sky-reaching will. Having seen the city from the ground, you now get the opportunity to see it from the sky by heading to the 86th floor of the building to see the fantastic all-round cityscape from a height of 1000 feet. It will hold everyone in your family in awe. Do not miss the Art Deco lobby en-route to the top.
Visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
Paying your respects to Lady Liberty becomes obvious when you visit New York City. Without her, the tour will never be complete. To see the iconic statue that has been the face of America, take a ferry to Liberty Island while visiting Ellis Island on the way, which is an additional stop on the trip. Sitting on a 12-acre island in the middle of New York Harbor, the statue bears testimony to French and American collaboration that built the statue. Check out the Immigration Museum of Ellis Island that is not only fascinating but also thought-provoking.
Visit the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
The Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum is a National historic landmark uniquely located on the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid. The Museum promotes the awareness and understanding of history, science and service exhibited through its collections and programs intending to honor the nation’s heroes, inspire the youth, and educate the public. A 20-minute Concorde experience, the Space Shuttle Pavilion, and the Kamikaze exhibition are some of the top attractions. You will also see the USS Growler submarine and generations of warplanes. Plan your visit by referring to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space museum’s website to know the current exhibitions.
See a Broadway show
Broadway shows are one of the most popular tourist attractions in New York City. Located between 42nd and 53rd streets along the several miles of Broadway, a wide street that runs the entire length of Manhattan, is the part that houses the American theater industry and better known as the Theater District. Some also call it The Great White Way because Broadway was one of the American cities whose streets were lit up with electric lights for the first time.
Broadway houses 40 large professional theaters, and there is no better place to expose your kids to the wonderful world of theater and its musicals. Although kids might not include a visit to Broadway on their wish list, once they experience the magical wonders of theater, like The Lion King or Cats, it will be an experience of their life that they will cherish as fond memories forever.
Explore Central Park
The sprawling 843-acre park, despite being in the heart of Manhattan, has plenty of attractions meant for family enjoyment. It is one of the most beautiful parks in the world with sprawling meadows and water bodies, unique bridges, and gardens where kids can spend an entire day enjoying all that the park has to offer. The attractions never seem to cease for both kids and adults who can soak in the immense natural beauty. They can enjoy flora and fauna dotted with cherry blossom and strawberry trees, fountains and lakes, castles and sculptures, a museum, a zoo, playgrounds, gardens, a 3500 years old Obelisk and a carousel. This excellent getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city is an excellent place to recharge your batteries before you bounce back to explore urban life.
Visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum
The museum located at the World Trade Center was built to honor those killed in the 1993 and 2001 attacks is also a place to learn about the history of 9/11. A visit to the museum and memorial is a very powerful and emotional experience for families. The museum narrates the tale of 09/11 through various artifacts, audio, images, videos, and movies, which brings back the tearful memories of the darkest day in American history and stirs up emotions about the tragedies that shook the entire nation.
After and in-between all these tours, don’t forget to explore some of the NYC family restaurants and discover the culinary diversity of this amazing city.
Looking for more activities? Check out this NYC Neighborhood guide for more ideas.