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Things to do With Kids in NY: A Guide to Fun and Family-Friendly Activities

New York City is a fantastic destination for family fun. From the iconic skyline of Manhattan to the rolling hills of the Hudson Valley, there is no shortage of amazing activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re looking for a day of museum hopping or a weekend of outdoor adventures, this guide will provide you with plenty of ideas for things to do with kids in New York.

Museums

The Big Apple is home to an incredible array of museums, many of which have programs specifically designed for children. The American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan is a must-see for kids, with an impressive collection of fossils, minerals, and taxidermy animals. The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is also a great choice for families, with interactive exhibits and educational programs. For a more interactive experience, head to The New York Hall of Science in Queens, which offers hands-on exhibits and exciting science demonstrations.

Outdoor Adventures

New York is known for its bustling city streets, but it’s also home to some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the U.S. Take a day trip to Bear Mountain State Park for hiking, biking, and swimming in the crystal-clear lake. Or explore the trails of Harriman State Park, which is home to over 200 miles of trails and scenic wilderness. For more urban adventures, check out Central Park, where you can ride a bike, hire a paddleboat, or simply enjoy a picnic in the grass.

Cultural Attractions

New York City is a melting pot of cultures, and there are plenty of exciting attractions to explore. Spend a day at the Tenement Museum in Manhattan to learn about the city’s immigrant history, or explore the dynamic neighborhoods of Queens and Brooklyn. Little Italy is a must-see for its iconic Italian restaurants and shops, while Chinatown is an ideal spot for a family lunch. Don’t forget to check out the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island—an essential part of every New York City visit.

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Shopping and Entertainment

Treat the kids to a day of shopping and entertainment in the city. Check out the iconic Toys ‘R’ Us in Times Square, or explore the famous FAO Schwarz flagship store. From the magical displays of Macy’s to the bustling stalls of the Brooklyn Flea Market, there’s something for everyone. For evening entertainment, catch a show on Broadway or visit the B&H Photo Video flagship store for a unique experience.

Beaches and Waterparks

No trip to New York is complete without a visit to the beach. The Rockaways in Queens offer miles of sandy shoreline, while Orchard Beach in Bronx is a great spot for swimming and sunbathing. For a more exciting experience, check out the rides and slides at Adventureland in Long Island or Splish Splash Water Park in Riverhead. Or cool off at the Bronx Zoo’s Wild Asia Monorail, where you can get up close and personal with exotic animals.

Outdoor Activities

New York is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Explore the lakes and trails of upstate New York, or take a day trip to upstate ski resorts like Hunter Mountain or West Point Ski Center. In the city, you can find plenty of outdoor activities, from ice skating at Rockefeller Center to biking along the Hudson River. And don’t forget to check out the city’s amazing zoos and aquariums, where kids can meet exotic animals.

Arts and Culture

New York is a cultural hub, and there are plenty of ways to experience its vibrant art and music scene. Take the kids to the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Museum of Modern Art for a day of art appreciation. Or explore the galleries of Chelsea and the Lower East Side. For music lovers, check out the city’s jazz clubs or take in a show at one of the area’s many theaters. And don’t forget to check out the historic Carnegie Hall for a concert or show.

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Sports and Adventure

Sports fans won’t be disappointed in New York. Take in a game at Yankee Stadium or Madison Square Garden, or explore the city’s many skateparks and BMX trails. The city is also home to a number of adventure parks, including the much acclaimed Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. And for a unique experience, check out the city’s many paintball and laser tag arenas for a family-friendly day of competition.

Educational Experiences

New York is home to some of the world’s best educational institutions, from the world-renowned Columbia University to the prestigious New York Institute of Technology. Take a tour of one of the city’s many universities, or explore the historic halls of the New York Public Library. And for an educational experience that’s truly unique, take the kids to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, where they can explore the aircraft carrier and learn about the history of the U.S. Navy.

Food and Drink

New York is a foodie paradise, and there are plenty of ways to experience the city’s culinary culture with kids. Enjoy classic dishes like pizza and hot dogs, or explore the city’s diverse selection of ethnic restaurants. Ice cream shops are a must-try, from the legendary Serendipity 3 to the beloved Eddie’s Sweet Shop. For a unique experience, check out one of the city’s many food tours, where you can sample the city’s best dishes while learning about the history and culture of the city.

Nightlife

New York is a city that never sleeps, and there are plenty of activities to keep the family entertained after dark. Take in a show on Broadway or explore the city’s vibrant nightlife scene. Check out the clubs and bars in the Meatpacking District or the jazz clubs of Greenwich Village. Or take a nighttime cruise around the city to admire the skyline. And don’t forget to check out the Empire State Building for a stunning view of the city.

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Summary

New York City is a perfect destination for families, with an incredible array of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. From museum hopping to outdoor adventures, there’s something for everyone. Take a day trip to Bear Mountain State Park, explore the neighborhoods of Queens and Brooklyn, or catch a show on Broadway. Or cool off at the Bronx Zoo’s Wild Asia Monorail, sample the city’s diverse culinary scene, or take in the city’s amazing skyline from the Empire State Building. No matter what you choose to do, your family is sure to have a memorable time in NYC.