Best places to visit in NYC with kids
New York City happens to be one of my favorite cities! ! With so much going on and so much excitement, it’s hard not to have fun in such a lively place. I had the pleasure of going there a few times last year and each time I felt more at ease with my surroundings and the hustle and bustle of Manhattan.
The last time I went to New York, I was able to take my daughter Lily with me. I was invited to speak at a Disney conference and I’m glad they asked me to invite my Lily so we could experience the city together. Before we leave, I’ll be sure to list all the places we want to go. Every child is different and has a variety of interests, so you definitely need to take these into consideration when visiting New York City with your child. My daughter is very easy going and wants to see all the places I’ve been to before so these are on her list including some interesting places to eat. With that in mind and a short schedule, we made a list of all the places we wanted to see, and got up early and late so we could fit in. I wanted to make sure I took note of all these places so I could make a post for you all about the best places to visit in NYC with kids. Now, I have to mention that these activities are easy to do with just one child, but if I had five kids with me it would be even more stressful. I know a lot of people can go to Manhattan with tons of kids, but I definitely think 3 is my limit, haha! ;D
Here are all of our favorite places to visit in New York City, in no particular order. As always, be sure to leave your comments below and let me know where you like to go with your kids so we can check them out next time and add them to the list. 🙂
Best places to visit in New York with kids:
Times Square – Broadway and 7th to 42nd to 47th Streets.
Times Square is the epitome of the frenzied hustle and bustle of New York City. There are restaurants, theaters, performers and everything you can imagine. Kids love Hershey’s Chocolate World and M&M’S World Store. This is candy heaven, and your kids will love checking out every chocolate-filled floor.
For more information on Times Square, click here.
As an adult in New York City, my all-time favorite thing to do is walk the Brooklyn Bridge. It offers some of the most beautiful views of the city, simply beautiful. It’s usually busy and full of tourists taking pictures, but my daughter loves going there to take pictures herself. Both the Liberty Tower and the Statue of Liberty can be seen from the bridge, which makes it an interesting place.
Central Park and Central Park Zoo
It’s almost impossible to go to New York City without going to Central Park. This beautiful park spanning over 800 acres is full of fun and beauty. Not only is there a zoo, but you can rent boats, eat meals, enjoy live entertainment, and more. We climbed rocks and adventured in this beautiful place and could easily spend the whole day there. You can even find some famous spots from your favorite movies. This is definitely a great place to visit Manhattan with the kids.
Go here to learn more about Central Park.
For more information on the Central Park Zoo, click here.
statue of Liberty
One of the most iconic places near New York City is the Statue of Liberty. Hopping on the ferry, driving around the statue, or even getting out of the car to explore, is a simple process. If you book your tickets in advance, you can even walk all the way to the top of the statue for a great view of the surroundings and New York City. This place provides the perfect setting to learn more about American history and visit one of the most popular places in America.
For more information on the Statue of Liberty, visit here.
The Statue of Liberty decided to take pictures of us when we visited her. 😉
American Museum of Natural History – Central Park West and 77th Street
Most children are very familiar with this museum, especially if they have ever seen the movie “Night at the Museum”. While it doesn’t actually look like it does in the movie, it’s the backdrop for the hit movie trilogy and a great place to visit. Not only can you see so many amazing things, but you can also learn about them. The museum isn’t every kid’s cup of tea, but there’s plenty to see and it’s guaranteed not to bore the average kid. You can easily spend a few hours here and they also have a great gift shop so be sure to check it out.
For more information on the American Museum of Natural History, visit here.
Rockefeller Center – 6th Ave (Avenue of the Americas) and 49th St.
One of my favorite places to go in New York is Rockefeller Center. You can stop by to watch a filming of the TODAY show, or if you’re really lucky and get a ticket, you can watch a recording of Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show. Kids may not like that last bit, but they usually love TV, so it’s a good idea to watch the Today Show. It’s free and may require waiting outside, but it’s fun for them and the rest of the family who might see them on the show. In winter, you can also ice skating at the ice rink across the street (or visit the beautiful Rockefeller Christmas tree during Christmas). My daughter has heard of doing this, so it’s on her list. Even though I admit that skating at Rockefeller Center is on my bucket list, so I’m glad we did. There is also Top of the Rock in the Rockefeller Building. It offers beautiful views of the entire city and is a good choice instead of the Empire State Building. You can also stop by one of our favorite bakeries in New York City, which is just around the corner called Magnolia Bakery. My favorite treat is their magic cookie bar, but they are famous for their cupcakes and banana pudding!
For more information on Rockefeller Center, visit here.
Lily and Savannah Guthrie on the Today Show.
DYLAN’S CANDY BAR – 60th St. & 3rd Ave.
If you’ve never been to Dylan’s Candy Bar, it’s every kid’s dream store. This place has 3 stories of sweets and candy related goods. Even as an adult, it’s an amazing place and a fun place to pick up some unique candies, or New York related candies as souvenirs, or even the ice cream shop upstairs. We could have stayed here for a while to see all their delicious treats, glad we stopped by our favorite candy store!
Empire State Building – 17-25 W 29th St
It’s one of the most famous buildings in New York City, so a stop at the Empire State Building is definitely one of the best things to do. If you’re afraid of heights, this might not be your thing, but it definitely offers some of the most beautiful views of Manhattan. The kids love shopping at the gift shop at the top and taking some great photos on top of such a famous building.
For more information on the Empire State Building, click here.
Carlos Bakery – 42nd and 8th Avenues
Delicious restaurant and bakery
Most kids love food as much as adults, and New York City has some of the best restaurants and bakeries you’ll ever try. I have a few favorites since going a few times in the past 2 years, but they happen to be favorites of thousands of others, which means they are usually very busy and packed. But that didn’t stop us from going.
Lily is a huge fan of The Cake Boss, so was particularly excited about going to Carlo’s Bakery. While we didn’t go to Hoboken to see the original store, they do have a location near Times Square. You better believe we got quite the lobster tail and brioche when we were there.
We also went to Black Tap. They have the most delicious burgers and the most amazing ice cream shakes you’ve ever seen! ! If you don’t believe me, you can look at the evidence below. There’s usually a line to get into this place, but I’ll tell you now, it’s well worth it! ! You better believe we can’t help coming here every time we’re in town because it’s just so good! !
Black Tap – Meat Processing – 248 W 14th St
Hello? ! Gorgeous, delicious milkshake! ! !
Shake Shack – 44th Street and 8th Avenue
We also went to the most popular Shake Shack! Go at a good time, there won’t be too many lines, but you can try delicious burgers, cheese fries, milkshakes and hot cocoa! !
Serendipity – 60th Street and 2nd Avenue.
One of my favorite restaurants is Serendipity 2. It’s near Central Park and I took Lily there to try their amazing frozen hot cocoa. We had a great time and enjoyed delicious food. Whether for adults or children, this is definitely a great place to eat, drink, and have fun while visiting Manhattan.
9/11 Memorial – 209 Broadway
I just added this to the list because my Lily and I absolutely love visiting the 9/11 Memorial. I would say it’s not a kid-friendly place, in general, but my Lily had read about 9/11 and really wanted to go. This is a great opportunity to discuss freedom, our wonderful country, and the importance of honoring those who died that day. As an adult, I definitely recommend going. It’s a difficult place to visit, but it’s such a beautiful memorial.
For more information on ground zero, visit here.
As you can see, New York City has a lot to do and see. I’ve only mentioned a few of these places, but I hope this list is helpful in case you’re visiting this wonderful city with kids. There are many more museums and parks that we would love to visit, but these are some of the best places we visit with kids in NYC. I’d love to hear your suggestions too, so be sure to leave a comment and let us know your favorite places to go in Manhattan.
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