37 Amazing Things to Do in NYC with Kids for an Epic Family Vacation – 2024

The Big Apple! The City That Never Sleeps! The Melting Pot! The City of Dreams! These are just a few names the incredible New York City goes by.

Can you picture the popular song, Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys? Every time I hear it, it takes me back to the times I’ve been in New York City.

This concrete jungle, with its big lights and streets, will truly make you feel like anything is possible! Anything you dream up can happen! There’s just no other place like it.

Besides there being PLENTY of things to do in NYC with kids, your kids will leave feeling inspired; that anything is possible. That’s just the magic of this incredible city!

Here are 37 amazing things to do in NYC with kids for an epic NYC family vacation!

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Is New York City a Good Family Vacation?

Is New York City a good family vacation? Yes, it is! If your idea of an amazing vacation is a big city full of exploring, sightseeing, and nonstop activities, NYC is the place for your family.

The Big Apple offers SO many fun family activities from Broadway shows, kid-friendly museums, famous landmarks, an abundance of kid-friendly shopping and dining options, and much, much more.

You will never be bored in New York City!

37 Amazing Things to Do in NYC with Kids

Here are 37 amazing things to do in NYC with kids for an epic NYC family vacation!

They are broken down by Must-See Landmarks, the Best Shopping & Stores, the Best Observation View of NYC, Kid-Friendly Museums, Other Activities, and Kid-Friendly Restaurants in NYC.

Must-See Landmarks

1. Times Square

Experiencing Times Square is one of the best things to do with kids in NYC! The bright lights, giant vibrant-sized live screens, the bustling of people; there’s just no other place like it in the world.

Visiting Times Square is one of the best things to do in NYC with kids on a NYC family vacation.

There are many kid-friendly stores to walk in, browse, or shop including The Disney Store, M&M’s New York, and Hershey’s Chocolate World.

Times Square is also a great place to people-watch. You might come across people dressed as superheroes, Disney characters, Elmo, and more.

See it during the day and see it at night. Take lots of pictures and have fun experiencing one of the most exciting places in the world.

TIP: There are LOTS, LOTS of people in Times Square. Make sure to hold your children’s hands at all times.

Location: Midtown Manhattan; formed by the junction of Broadway, Seventh Avenue, and 42nd Street

2. St Patrick’s Cathedral

St Patrick’s Cathedral is a famous cathedral located in Midtown Manhattan, only a few minutes walk from Rockefeller Center.

Visiting St Patrick's Cathedral is one of the best things to do in NYC with kids.

This cathedral is gorgeous! There is no cost to walk in and admire this stunning place of worship.

Those who appreciate beautiful architecture will love the neo-gothic architecture and stained glass windows.

No matter your religious affiliation, St Patrick’s Cathedral is one of the best things to visit with your family in NYC.

St Patrick's Cathedral is absolutely stunning.  Light a candle for a loved one while here on your NYC family vacation.

Location: 5th Avenue between 50th/51st Streets, New York, NY

3. Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center is another iconic destination in NYC, making it a must-see on your New York City family vacation. Everyone knows Rockefeller Center as the place that has the famous annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

However, no matter what time of the year you are in New York City it’s a must-see!

Rockefeller Center consists of 19 commercial buildings and covers a whole 22 acres between 48th Street and 51st Street in Midtown Manhattan!

Fun things to do at Rockefeller Center with kids include visiting Top of The Rock, Nintendo NY, The LEGO Store, American Girl Place New York, and FAO Schwarz. If in New York City during the winter season, your kids might love ice skating at the famous ice skating rink here.

Rockefeller Center offers so many fun things to do in NYC with kids.

Location: 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111

4. Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

The Statue of Liberty is the most famous and recognized landmark in all of America. So, it goes without saying, that seeing the Statue of Liberty is one of the best things to do in with kids on your NYC family vacation.

The best way to see Lady Liberty is up close, so I recommend taking the kids on the ferry that goes to Liberty Island. Taking the ferry to Liberty Island is the only way to get close to Lady Liberty and walk around this iconic monument.

With your ticket for the ferry and the Statue of Liberty, you also get admission to the Statue of Liberty Museum, a beautiful museum with many interactive exhibits. Your kids will learn so many facts about the Statue of Liberty here.

Visiting the Statue of Liberty is one of the best things to do in NYC with kids.

If you get hungry while on Liberty Island, there’s a quick-service restaurant where you and your family can grab some food.

After your trip to Liberty Island has ended, you hop back on the ferry to go to Ellis Island.

Taking a ferry to the Statue of Liberty is a fun experience on a NYC family vacation.

Ellis Island is a great educational experience for your kids. It’s so cool to get an idea of what it was like many, many years ago when immigrants came to America.

Ellis Island is a great education and learning experience in NYC with kids.

PRO-TIP: Make sure to book your tickets in advance!

To book tickets for the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Tour, click here!

▶If you are short on time and don’t want to take half your day to visit these islands, you could book a quick 50-minute boat ride to get you close to the Statue of Liberty.

Location to catch the ferry: Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan; Castle Clinton National Monument, New York, NY 10004, USA

5. Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall is an entertainment venue located in Midtown Manhattan, famous for the headquarters of the Rockettes.

Radio City Music Hall is an entertainment venue in NYC famous for being home to the Rockettes.

If coming during the holiday season, seeing the Christmas Spectacular is a must. It’s a family-friendly holiday show with the amazing Radio City Rockettes’.

I have never been to New York City during the holidays, but if I ever make it here during the holiday season, seeing the Christmas Spectacular is at the top of my bucket list.

If you are here any other time of the year, snap your picture outside of the building or take a tour! Radio City Music Hall offers daily behind-the-scenes tours.

On this tour, you will learn all about the venue and its Rockette dancers. You will also get to explore the beautiful Art Deco foyer and backstage. You even get a photo op with a real-life Rockette. How cool would this be if you have a young aspiring dancer!?

To book your Radio City Music Hall Stage Tour, click here!

Location: 1260 6th Avenue (Avenue of the Americas), New York, NY 10020; between W. 50th and W. 51st Streets

6. Central Park

Central Park is an absolute must with the kids in NYC. It’s got to be one of the coolest designed parks in the world. I’ll never forget my first time flying into NYC; seeing the large sea of green amidst the towering skyscrapers was unbelievable!

Central Park is one of the top things  to do in NYC with kids on a NYC family vacation.

Fun Facts: Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States. It is also the most filmed location in the world, with 523 movie credits!! Some popular movies filmed here include Home Alone 2, Avengers, Spiderman 3, Ghostbusters, and When Harry Met Sally.

Central Park is a great place to walk, bike, or take a carriage ride. We attempted to bike ride through the park, but my youngest son wasn’t quite skilled at riding yet, so we had to call it quits early. I highly recommend it though, it would make such a great memorable family activity.

Carriage Ride Tour Through Central Park

We also took a carriage ride tour through Central Park. We booked with NYC Horse Carriage Rides, which I highly recommend! It was amazing! It was a cold day and they provided us with warm blankets. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the city and Central Park. She gave us lots of interesting facts about Central Park, showed us the famous movie spots that were filmed here, and showed us the homes of a few celebrities.

To book a Carriage Ride Tour through Central Park, with NYC Horse Carriage Rides, click here!

Taking a Carriage Tour through Central Park is a memorable activity for your NYC family vacation.

Zoo, Playgrounds, and More in Central Park

Do your kids love animals? Well, Central Park also has a zoo!

To purchase admission tickets to Central Park Zoo, click here!

Central Park also has 21 playgrounds, yes 21!! Another popular children’s attraction is the Central Park Carousel, which is open from April to October. Exploring Belvedere Castle is another popular place for children in Central Park.

There is just SO much for your family to see and do in Central Park!

Location: Central Park stretches from 59th to 110th Street to and from Central Park West (8th Avenue) to 5th Ave.

7. Grand Central Terminal

When in NYC with kids, you must walk into the iconic Grand Central Terminal. This place is mesmerizing! Gold and nickel-plated chandeliers, marble floors, and a sky-themed ceiling!

Grand Central Terminal is a must see on your NYC family vacation.

For your little train lovers, make sure to stop at The New York Transit Museum Station in the shuttle passage for a train-themed souvenir.

Location: 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

8. 911 Memorial & Museum

The 911 Memorial & Museum is located at the site of the former World Trade Center. This is a great museum to take your kids to learn and educate them about this event in our history.

The twin reflecting pools are an acre in size each. Each pool stands in place of the original tower. They feature the largest man-made waterfalls in North America.

I visited NYC the year before 9/11 and visited the World Trade Center Towers. To stand at the Memorial Pool was very surreal for me and hit me hard.

When in NYC, take a moment to reflect at the Memorial Pools.

Location: (Lower Manhattan)180 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10281

Best Shopping & Stores in NYC with Kids

New York City is known all over the world for having some of the best shopping in the world! And the Big Apple doesn’t lack in fun kid-friendly stores!

Wow, oh wow, does NYC have lots of great stores for kids to browse and shop!!🤩

Here are the best shopping stores in NYC for kids.

9. M&M’s New York

M&M’s New York is a fun store to browse and shop at when in New York City with kids. It’s conveniently located in Times Square.

M&M's New York is a fun store for the whole family in Times Square.

It includes over 25,000 square feet and 3 stories of M&M’s fun! Here you can pick up LOTS of different flavors of M&M’s, that are not sold anywhere else.

They have just about any merchandise here including clothing, mugs, magnets, and more with the M&M logo on them.

It’s also a great place to take fun pictures with larger-than-life M&M statues!

Location: Times Square; 1600 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

10. Hershey’s Chocolate World

Hershey’s Chocolate World is another fun chocolate store located in Times Square. Walk into “chocolate heaven” when you enter the doors here.

Check out the World’s Largest station for the World’s Largest Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar, Giant Hershey’s Kiss, Giant Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Extra Long Twizzlers!!

Hershey's Chocolate World is another fun chocolate store to  shop while in NYC with kids.

They sell a variety of merchandise with Hershey’s, Kit Kat, Reeses, and more on it. A fun take-home souvenir from here would be to design a custom candy bar wrapper with your photo on it!

Hershey’s Chocolate World is also a great place to get dessert. They have milkshakes, ice cream, s’mores, and more!!

Location: 20 Times Square, 701 7th Ave, New York, NY 10036

11. Disney Store

Disney Store is a must when in New York City with kids. Along with the previous two stores, this one is also located in Times Square.

Browsing and shopping the Disney Store is one of the best things to do with kids in NYC.

We are big Disney lovers, so we happened to shop at this store quite a few times while here. The kids kept begging to go back and shop.

Here at the Disney Store, you will find just about any Disney character toy, plushies, clothing, and more.

So many Disney Stores have closed up all over the U.S., but this run is still going strong! So don’t miss out on shopping here!

Location: Times Square; 1540 Broadway New York, NY 10036

12. Nintendo NY

Nintendo NY is a must-see store if there are any Nintendo fans in your family!

This store is conveniently located in Rockefeller Plaza. It is 2 stories tall and over 10,000 square feet! Nintendo NY is filled with Nintendo merchandise like plushies, figurines, clothing, video games, and video game consoles.

It’s cool to check out the displays of the old video Nintendo consoles here; such a nostalgic experience for us Moms and Dads.

They have stations where you can play the latest release games.

Your kids are going to love the large Nintendo character statues of Mario, Luigi, Pikachu, and more all over the store. These make for great, fun photo ops.

Nintendo NY is a must store to visit for your Nintendo loving fans.

Location: 10 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020

13. The LEGO Store Fifth Avenue

The LEGO Store Fifth Avenue is a must for LEGO-loving kids when in NYC.

They have the most amazing LEGO New York City-themed creations in this store. Some LEGO creations here include the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, taxis, and Marvel characters!

My kids love to build their own Lego mini figurines. They have the cutest “New York” accessories here to build your own Lego person.

The LEGO Store is another fun store in NYC for kids.

Location: Rockefeller Center; 636 5th Ave, New York, NY 10020

14. Macy’s Herald Square

Macy’s Herald Square, also known as the Macy’s on 34th Street is famous for the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s also the flagship of Macy’s department stores.

There’s just so much history in this building….the wooden escalators are amazing!

Macy’s Herald Square is one of the largest department stores in the world. It has over a million square feet of space and 11 floors! If you get hungry, you will be happy to know there are quite a few restaurants throughout the store.

A fun activity for the kids at Macy’s is to play on the “Big Piano.” This was the piano featured in the film, “Big.” This is located on the ground level next to the food court.

The big piano is Macy's is so much for kids.  Seeing Macy's is one of the best things to do with kids in NYC on a NYC family vacation.

We happened to be here during the Macy’s Flower Show. This show happens during the spring for 2 weeks.

The Macy's Flower Show is beautiful!  It's a great time to go to Macy's and admire all the beautiful flower arrangements.

If here during this time, this is a must-see. The store is filled with thousands of flowers and lush plant arrangements. The store has the most amazing smell from the fresh fragrance of the flowers!

And of course, if you are here during the holidays, Macy’s is a must when in NYC. Macy’s is the traditional American Christmas destination! Seeing Santa here and the Christmas window displays are magical!

Location: 151 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001

15. FAO Schwartz

It’s a toy store! And it’s FAO Schwartz! Need I say more? This iconic toy store is conveniently located in Rockefeller Plaza next to the ice skating rink.

This store will greet you with a live toy soldier out front! They have a huge variety of toys and also carry the FAO Schwartz brand toys you can’t get anywhere else.

Just like Macy’s, they have a giant floor piano you can dance on. There are also custom areas where you can make your own Build-a-Bear, Barbie, and car!

Visiting FAO Schwartz is a must on your NYC family vacation!

Location: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112

16. American Girl Place New York

If you have a young girl who is an American Girl Doll fan, you have to go to American Girl Place in New York. This store is also conveniently located in Rockefeller Plaza.

This place is truly a little girl’s dream. Browse all the dolls, clothes, and accessories. Get your little girl’s doll’s hair done at the doll salon!

For the full experience, you also have to eat at the cafe. Your girl’s doll will even get its own chair. It’s just so fun! It’s the perfect spot for a celebration lunch!

My daughter was past the American Girl Doll stage when we were in New York City. However, we had previously gone to American Girl in Atlanta a couple of times when she was younger and it was the most amazing, memorable experience for both of us!

Location: 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10019

17. Dylan’s Candy Bar

Dylan’s Candy Bar is every kid’s dream come true. It’s a fun colorful candy store featuring a variety of candy, chocolate, and ice cream!

Visiting Dylan's Candy Bar is one of the best things to do in NYC with kids.

They also sell adorable candy-themed clothing. My daughter has candy-themed pajama pants. They are just the softest, cutest pajama pants.

My kids enjoyed getting personalized candy jars with their names and filling them up with their favorite candy.

Dylan's Candy Bar has a wide variety of candy, chocolate and ice cream.

Since we’ve been here with our kids, they have closed the flagship store on the Upper East Side. However, they currently have a location in Hudson Yards.

Location: 20 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001

18. Harry Potter NY

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you can’t go to NYC and not visit Harry Potter NY. This store is 2 floors full of whimsical magic!

The decor of this store makes you feel like you stepped into a Harry Potter book or movie.

No need to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal, you can get your Harry Potter fix right here in NYC.

They have lots of themed merchandise including toys, clothes, bags, and WANDS!! You can even get Butterbeer and Butterbeer ice cream here!

But this store is not just a store and a place to get Butterbeer and ice cream, they also have Harry Potter VR experiences!

TIP: Be aware this store is super busy and may require a virtual queue to get in.

Location: 935 Broadway, New York, NY 10010

Best Observation Views of NYC

New York City has one of the best skylines in the world. Viewing NYC from one of the following places is one of the best things to do on your NYC family vacation!

Pick one of the following or do them all! But choose one!

19. Top of The Rock

Top of The Rock Observation Deck offers one of the best views in all of New York City! It is located 70 floors atop Rockefeller Center.

There are three levels of indoor and outdoor viewing areas; offering breathtaking 360-degree views of New York City. On one side of the observation deck, you will see the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty!

Top of The Rock is one of the best things to do in NYC with kids.

On the other side of the Observation Deck, you will have a beautiful view of Central Park.

Top of The Rock offers amazing views of Central Park.

Top of The Rock is more than just its beautiful views though! Upon entering the lobby, you will be in awe of the beautiful Swarovski Joie Chandelier created just for Top of The Rock.

As you walk through the Mezzanine Exhibit, you will learn about the history of Rockefeller Center.

Do you know the iconic black and white photo “Lunch atop a Skyscraper” taken of the construction workers eating lunch on the beam high above Manhattan? Did you know that was taken here?

Recreate your own photo with your family here before you make your way to the Observation Deck! How fun is this!

Recreate the iconic photo of Lunch atop a Skyscraper with your family!

To purchase tickets for Top of The Rock, click here!

20. One World Observatory

One World Observatory is another amazing place offering stunning views of NYC! The observatory is located in the tallest building in the United States and the Western Hemisphere! It’s also the 7th tallest building in the world!

To get to the Observatory on the 102nd floor, you will take the elevator. It’s not just any regular elevator though. It’s one of the fastest elevators in the world, as it only takes you 47 seconds to go from the ground floor to the 102nd floor! You will be surrounded by video and sound as you watch New York City as it has changed over the centuries.

One World Observatory offers amazing views of the Manhattan Skyline, Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty. Unlike Top of The Rock and the Empire State Building, there are no outside viewing areas.

One World Observatory is one of the best things to do in NYC with kids on a NYC family vacation!

What’s unique and fun here is the Sky Portal, a glass floor overlooking the city streets! The Sky Portal uses real-time, high-definition footage of the streets below! This makes for a fun picture spot!

The Sky Portal at One World Observatory is so much fun!

If you get hungry or thirsty while at One World Observatory, there’s a restaurant here with an amazing view. They also have a cafe if you need a coffee.

Before you leave, check out the small gift shop. You might find your perfect New York City souvenir here to bring home.

To purchase tickets for One World Observatory, click here!

PRO-TIP: Plan to visit One World Observatory and 911 Memorial & Museum together since they are located in the same area.

If you are also interested in also seeing the 911 Memorial & Museum and getting a tour of Ground Zero, I highly recommend purchasing the All-Access Pass to save money!

To purchase your All-Access Pass to One World Observatory 911 Memorial & Museum and Ground Zero Tour, click here!

Location: 285 Fulton St, New York, NY 10007

21. Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is one of the world’s most famous buildings. This building has been featured in everything from movies, TV shows, comic books, video games, and more.

Seeing the famous Empire State Building is another one of the best things to do in NYC with kids.

Not only is this building famous, but it offers an amazing, iconic view of the city. Go at dusk, to see the city all lit up.

What I think is amazing here, is the animated King Kong exhibit! This is so much fun! The whole family is going to love this!

To book admission tickets to Empire State Building, click here!

Kid-Friendly Museums

Museums are one of the best things to do in NYC with kids. They are not only a great educational experience for kids but also fun! Here are my recommendations for some of the must-see kid-friendly museums in NYC on your NYC family vacation.

22. American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History is one of the best museums out there. Have you or your kids seen the popular movie, Night at the Museum? If so, then the American Museum of Natural History is a must on your NYC family vacation.

American Museum of Natural History is one of the best museums in the world.  Definitely one of the best things to do in NYC with kids on a NYC family vacation!

This museum is HUGE! There are more than 32 million specimens and artifacts. You could spend the whole day here.

Some interesting things to see here are the amazing Dinosaur Fossil Hall, The Butterfly Conservatory, and the Hayden Planetarium Space Show.

There’s a convenient museum food court for when you and your family get hungry.

The Dinosaur Fossil Hall is so amazing!

To purchase admission tickets for the American Museum of Natural History, click here!

Location: 200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024

23. Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art also called The Met is a must-see art museum when in New York City with kids. This is my favorite museum in all of New York City!

This museum is beautiful! It is HUGE and filled with the most amazing paintings and sculptures.

The Met is beautiful museum filled with famous paintings and sculptures.

I enjoyed seeing the famous paintings of famous artists Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet.

Seeing famous paintings at The Met is one of the best things to see on a NYC family vacation.

For when your family gets hungry, The Eatery is conveniently located on the ground floor. They have lots of kid-free meal options including pizza, sandwiches, and desserts.

The Met is free for children under 12! To purchase tickets for children and adults 12 and up, click here!

The Met offers a private tour, specifically targeted for kids and families! How cool is this! If you are interested in this Private Tour of The Met for Kids & Families, click here!

Location: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028

Other Activities in NYC with Kids

Besides famous landmarks, shopping, observation views, and museums, here are some other fun activities do to in NYC with kids on your NYC family vacation!

24. Ride the Subway

Riding the subway is a must when in NYC. It’s just part of the whole NYC experience.

Riding the subway is a must do in a NYC family vacation!

There are street performers who perform music within the subway stations too. How much fun is this!

Riding the subway is the quickest and most affordable way to get around the city. The subway system completely confuses me. We might have gotten lost quite a few times. I suggest reading up on navigating the subway system to get as familiar as you can with it before your trip.

25. Broadway Show

Seeing a Broadway Show is one of the best things to do in NYC with kids on your NYC family vacation! It’s just one of those things you have to experience when in NYC.

There are many kid-friendly Broadway shows including Aladdin, The Lion King, Wicked, Stomp, and Gazillion Bubble Show.

Seeing a Broadway Show is one of the best things to do in NYC with kids.  We really enjoyed Aladdin!

26. Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most famous and photographed bridges in the world. Walking the Brooklyn Bridge is another fun thing to do with kids on your NYC family vacation.

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge is a memorable experience for a NYC family vacation.

It takes about 30 minutes to an hour to walk the complete bridge (from the borough of Manhattan to the borough of Brooklyn) depending on how many times you stop. It’s an amazing location for family photos.

There are many great family photo ops on the Brooklyn Bridge.

PRO-TIP: If you are here during the colder months, I recommend walking The Brooklyn Bridge on the least cold and windy day you are in NYC. We attempted to walk on a windy day, and it was pretty miserable. We weren’t able to walk the bridge in completion because it was just so cold and the wind was so strong.

27. SeaGlass Carousel

SeaGlass Carousel is a beautiful, aquarium-themed carousel with “fish” that move up and down and swirl around. It is the most unique, magical carousel I have ever seen. You and the kids will enjoy its uniqueness, the music, and the lights.

SeaGlass Carousel is a beautiful, unique, magical carousel in NYC.

It’s conveniently located next to the ferry to the Statue of Liberty, making it a fun, quick activity to do before or after your trip to Lady Liberty!

Tickets can be purchased at the carousel with cash or a card.

Location: Located across from 17 State Street; Located in Battery Park next to where you board the ferry to the Statue of Liberty

28. Wall Street

Take a quick walk through Wall Street on your NYC family vacation. What a great learning lesson this is to show your kids the financial heart of the United States.

See the New York Stock Exchange and of course, get your picture with the famous Charging Bull.

Get your kids picture with the Charging Bull when visiting Wall Street.

The Charging Bull is located at Bowling Green near Wall Street and is a symbol of Wall Street and the Financial District. This is a very popular spot to take a picture!

PRO-TIP: Wall Street and The Charging Bull are located a quick walk to Battery Park, where you board the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. This makes a great activity to do before or after your trip to the Statue of Liberty.

Location: Broadway & Whitehall St, New York, NY 10004

29. The TODAY Show

Be a part of NBC’s weekday morning show, The TODAY Show. if you are interested in being part of this live fun show, arrive on a weekday morning between 6:15 and 6:30 am at Rockefeller Plaza. It’s first come first serve.

This is always so much fun! You will see your favorite NBC hosts such as Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Jenna Bush Hager. I was so excited when Al Roker gave my 5-year-old a high-five!

The TODAY Show is a fun family activity when in NYC.

Location: 35 West 48th Street (Between 5th & 6th Avenues)

30. Chinatown

Manhattan’s Chinatown is a neighborhood worth exploring on your NYC family vacation. You will feel like you have stepped out of the US and set foot in China.

Visiting Chinatown will make your feel like you've step foot in China.

This Chinatown is home to the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere. When in Chinatown, enjoy the culture, get some dumplings, enjoy some bubble tea, and browse the souvenir shops.

Location: Canal Street to Bayard Street, New York City, NY 10013

31. The New York Public Library

New York Public Library’s main branch is located next to Bryant Park. It is a beautiful, stunning library. The kids will enjoy browsing The Children’s Center.

My favorite thing about this library is that it holds the real Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends. What do I mean by “real?” Winnie-the-Pooh and friends’ stuffed animals located here were the inspiration behind the famous Winnie-the-Pooh stories.

Seeing the real Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends is one of the best things to do in NYC with kids.

Let me give you a little backstory: A.A. Milne, author of Winnie-the-Pooh gifted his son, Christopher Robin (Yes, that was really his son’s name) a stuffed teddy bear for his first birthday.

Over the next years, the rest of the toys were gifted to Christopher Robin. These stuffed toys are the inspiration behind some of the most famous storybook characters that we know today as Winnie-the-Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga, and Tigger.

Location: 476 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

32. Bryant Park

Bryant Park is a beautiful park located next to the New York Public Library. It’s a great place to sit, relax, and people-watch on your NYC family vacation. There’s a bakery cart here where you can grab bakery items and coffee.

Bryant Park is a wonderful place to go to in NYC with kids to relax!

This park has a French-style merry-go-round that is open year-round. Find a table to sit down and borrow a chess set here and enjoy a good ole family game. During the winter, you can ice-skate here for free.

If you are here during the summer, you can enjoy the outdoor Reading Room. They provide books, newspapers, and magazines to read. You might also find The Bryant Park Jugglers here. They provide free juggling classes to the public.

Location: Behind the New York Public Libary; between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues

33. Catch a Game

If your child is a sports lover you’re bound to find a game playing while you are in NYC.

NYC is home to 2 MLB teams the New York Yankees and the New York Mets, 2 NBA teams the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets, and 2 NFL teams the New York Giants and the New York Jets.

Kid-Friendly Restaurants NYC

There are many kid-friendly restaurants in NYC, but the following are not just places to eat, but some of the best things to do in NYC with kids!

34. Ellen’s Stardust Diner

Ellen’s Stardust Diner is my top must-eat restaurant when in NYC with kids! This place is pure fun!

This is a ’50s-themed diner with singing servers, that is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! The whole family will be entertained the entire time. One minute your server is taking your order, the next minute they are singing!

Ellen's Stardust Diner is pure fun! It's a must eat restaurant on a NYC family vacation!

They serve up your classic American diner food and also some really fun colorful desserts such as rainbow cheesecake, rainbow cake, and rainbow cookies.

Ellen's Stardust Diner has some amazing, colorful desserts!

This is one of the best things to do in on your NYC family vacation!

Location: 1650 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

35. Lombardi’s Pizza

Head to Little Italy and indulge at Lombardi’s Pizza, America’s First Pizzeria! Lombardi’s Pizza is just one of those iconic places to eat because it’s the oldest pizzeria in New York and the very first pizzeria in America.

Get your families picture taken in front of The Little Italy Sign!

It’s also delicious and the atmosphere is pretty amazing! So for some authentic-style New York pizza, come here on your NYC family vacation!

Lombardi's pizza is delicious!

Location: 32 Spring St, New York, NY 11012

36. John’s of Times Square

John’s of Times Square is an excellent restaurant choice when dining in NYC with kids. It’s a pizzeria, serving up some of New York City’s best pizza.

It’s conveniently located near Times Square and the Broadway Theatres. Not only is the pizza amazing, but what makes this place special is the building it is located in.

This restaurant was originally a church and it shows! Its elaborate architecture, beautiful stained-glass dome ceiling, and chandeliers make for a very pleasing atmosphere. For the best experience, I highly recommend sitting on the balcony for the best views of the restaurant.

The atmosphere of John's of Time Square is amazing!

Location: 260 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

37. Junior’s Restaurant & Bakery

Junior’s Restaurant & Bakery is a terrific restaurant option for dining in NYC with kids. It’s conveniently located in Times Square and near the Broadway Theatres.

They have a great menu selection for the whole family.

Now the main reason, you need to come to Juniors is for the desserts; specifically their famous cheesecake!! They have more than just their original cheesecake too. They also have strawberry cheesecake, apple crumb cheesecake, devil’s food cheesecake, raspberry swirl cheesecake, red velvet cheesecake, and carrot cake cheesecake. Not a cheesecake person? They also have shakes, malts, ice cream sodas, and sundaes.

Juniors cheesecake is a must when in NYC with kids!

Location: 1515 Broadway @ W 45 St, New York, NY 10036

How To Get To New York City

By Plane

If arriving in NYC by plane, you have a few options of major airports to fly into; John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA), or Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).

Any of these airports offer great transportation for getting into the city, so I would determine your choice of airport based on the price. Check the pricing of flights into all 3 of these airports to see where you can get the best deal.

Best Places to Stay

There are many great kid-friendly hotels to stay at in NYC. Below, I have included my favorite picks for Midtown East, Times Square, and Central Park.

Midtown East Area

Courtyard New York Manhattan/Midtown East

Courtyard New York Manhattan/Midtown East should be at the top of your list if you have a family of 5 like me. It’s very hard to find a hotel for 5 in NYC that is not crazy expensive.

Here you can get a room with 2 queen beds and a sofa bed for a great price!

We stayed here and would stay here again and I’m very picky about hotels. It’s very nice, modern and clean.

It’s next to a subway station and within close walking distance to St Patrick’s Cathedral, Radio City Music Hall, and Rockefeller Center.

Check price for Courtyard New York Manhattan/Midtown East

Times Square

New York Marriott Marquis

Location, location, location! New York Marriott Marquis should be one of your top choices when looking to be near all the action of Times Square and the Broadway Theatres.

This luxurious hotel also offers spacious suites for those families wanting extra space.

Check price for New York Marriott Marquis

Central Park

JW Marriott Essex House New York

JW Marriott Essex House New York is a top choice for a luxurious hotel directly across the street from Central Park! This hotel has all the benefits of being next to Central Park and let’s not forget about those amazing Central Park views from your room.

Check price for JW Marriott Essex House New York

How to Get Around

You do NOT need a car in NYC. The best way to get around NYC is by foot, subway, taxi, or bus.

If traveling by subway, make sure to study the subway system in advance.


✔️ Plan Your Itinerary Ahead

Plan your itinerary ahead and have a plan for each day. NYC is big and can be very overwhelming. Divide NYC up into areas and conquer those areas on the same day.

For example, your lower Manhattan things can be grouped: The Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, and Wall Street.

Your Upper East & West Side can be grouped: Central Park, the American Museum of National History, and The Met.

Your Mid-town Must-Do’s can be grouped: Rockefeller Plaza, Top of The Rock, St Patrick’s Cathedral, and Times Square

✔️ Street Safety

First, I would like to say that I have never felt unsafe in NYC. The street safety I want to talk about here is making sure kids don’t get lost.

Always hold your kids’ hands when walking through crowds, especially when in Times Square. Times Square has A LOT of people and it’s easy for kids to follow the wrong people and get lost. Have a plan in advance of what to do in case someone gets lost.


Where can I take my child for fun NYC?

There are so many fun places to take your child in NYC. Take your kid to play on the playground or to the zoo at Central Park, the amazing American Museum of National History, Aladdin or Lion King on Broadway, and the Disney Store in Times Square. These are just a few of the many fun places you can take your child in NYC.

Is NYC a child-friendly city?

Yes, NYC is a child-friendly city. There are kid-friendly museums, kid-friendly parks, kid-friendly stores, kid-friendly restaurants, kid-friendly shows, and more!

The Wrap-Up

New York City is one of the best family vacations you can take. The Big Apple will leave you wanting to come back again and again!

I hope my guide 37 Amazing Things to Do in NYC with Kids for an Epic Family Vacation has helped you fill your family’s itinerary!

Happy and Safe Travels!

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