As big cities go, New York is one of the most child-friendly in the world today, offering a wealth of things to keep your kids happy, from playgrounds and movie theaters to toy stores and more. As far as major attractions go, there are plenty to choose from too. Help your children understand the sheer scope of the city by taking a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge or a ride to the top of the Empire State Building, then plan days out to the most exciting attractions New York City has to offer children. Here are five of our favorites.
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West, at 79th St
Chances are, if your child has seen Night at the Museum, they’ve probably already nagged you for a visit to New York’s world-famous Natural History Museum. The most jaw-dropping and fascinating area of the educational institution remains the seemingly-endless dinosaur floor, which deserves a visit purely for the T-Rex that’s constructed from real dinosaur bones. Elsewhere, your little ones can explore the wild, the ocean and even space. Easily a full day of fun.
For parents in Manhattan, Central Park truly is the gift that keeps on giving. Cross Central Park and find 21 playgrounds to choose from, boat rides on the lake during the summer, the Trump ice rink in winter, the carousel, the magnificent zoo (complete with 130 species, petting area, sea-lion feedings, 4-D movie screenings and even classes) and the marionette theater at the Swedish Cottage. This 840-acre adventure has something for kids of all ages, no matter what time of year it is.
Sony Wonder Technology Lab
550 Madison Ave
If you live with a budding techie who can’t keep their hands off your smart phone, tablet and laptop, be sure to take them to Sony’s Wonder Technology Lab in Midtown. It’s extremely interactive, educational but entertaining and, best of all, it’s free. Your kids can create profiles of themselves, learn how the internet works, play with a multitude of touch-screens, turn themselves into avatars and, on Saturdays, they can even catch a movie. The SWTL is best for older children, but chances are, parents might learn a thing or two as well.
Statue of Liberty
As one of the nation’s most enduring and famous landmarks, the Statue of Liberty remains a great day out for kids. Whether you are taking in the magnificent views from a dock in Staten Island or embarking on a fun ferry ride across New York Harbor over to the lovely Liberty Island, your young ones will certainly enjoy our beloved 127-year-old iron lady and her 305-foot-high torch, will marvel at the sheer size of her feet and learn a thing or ten about why she’s there and what she symbolizes, as well as the rich history of Ellis Island.
The Children’s Museum of Manhattan
212 W. 83rd St.
Since opening in 1978, the Children’s Museum has proved so popular, it now stands at 38,000 square feet and five floors of exciting exhibits that intermingle entertainment and education—often with plenty of interactive elements. Here, your kids can dabble in everything from hands-on pottery workshops and guitar concerts, to arts and science experiments, and the Museum is mindful of mixing up its features to keep regular visitors intrigued and happy. Suitable for kids of all ages.
Rae Alexandra contributed to the Gray Line New York entertainment blog on behalf of The Accolade at Bay Street Landing