What to do in NYC with kids?

Some friends have graciously offered us the use of their apartment, so the family will be spending spring break week (4/19 to 4/23 or so) in Manhattan. Any suggestions for what to do with 3 girls, aged 8, 6, & 4?

So far on the list:

American Museum of Natural History
Central Park Zoo
Empire State Building observatory
American Girl Store
Intrepid Museum (admittedly, this is more for me)

We’re not going to do the statue of Liberty, since they won’t be able to make the walk to the top. Anything involving boats is out as well - my wife gets VERY seasick.

I don’t think they’re allowing people to walk to the top of the Statue of Liberty anyway. If it weren’t for the boat thing, I’d strongly suggest taking the Staten Island ferry. It’s free and it closely passes Liberty Island (which is only accessible by boat). Also accessible by boat is Ellis Island, another strong recommendation. These are very direct, short boat rides.

Do take a tour bus! I believe there are double decker buses with guides and you can hop on and off for the same price.

Where are you from? If it would be exciting for them, take the subway just to take it. Get off at Times Square after dark, so they emerge among all those lights.

My mother took all of her grandkids, one at a time, to New York. They always saw a Broadway show then shopped on 5th Avenue. That might be a bit pricey, though.

Make sure to get to Rockefeller Center and the Guggenheim Museum. FAO Schwartz might be fun for the kids, but the music that they blast through the PA will send any sane adult straight to the top of a book depository.

Nawth Shah?

Thay’ve probably been on subways before.

Broadway shows are pricey, but you can get tickets to Shrek, Mary Poppins and Little Mermaid at TKTS for half price, which might make it more doable. TKTS is always a bit of a crapshoot, they have limited numbers of tickets, and they often sell out, so get there early, and keep your options open.

There’s a huge Toys R Us at Times Square, along with an M&Ms store, a Hershey store, tens of thousands of people, 8 brazillion light bulbs, and very few hookers. It’s a must-see.

Let’s see, we take the kids every year…

Lion King on Broadway
Bronx Zoo
Central Park Zoo
Carriage ride in Central Park
Baseball game of your choice
Lunch someplace cool- Tavern on the Green, Russian Tea Room, etc
Natural History Museum
Metropolitan Museum of Art
FAO Schwartz
The Apple Store (okay that was more for us…)

I’ll think of more later, I’m sure…

The observation deck at the Empire State Building was shut down for renovation. Check to see if it’s re-opened. As an alternative, Rockefeller Center has an observation deck (but be warned - it’s eighteen dollars a person).

take them to the Brooklyn Superhero Supply store. I’ve never been, but it looks awesome, and I’m definitely going the next time I go to NY to visit my brother.

Also make sure you take 'em out for Pizza, and bagels, cause New York has the best of both

Ok, you took what I was going to suggest. Also, I don’t know how walking-resistant the girls are, but just walking around Manhattan/Central Park is a good, nice, quiet, free option. :wink: They could walk around Central Park, see the fountains and public places, take pictures, etc.

If you want a more easily accessible, smaller zoo, go to the Central Park. If you want to see more special exhibitions and rides, go to the Bronx Zoo. I like their petting zoo (it’s for kids, but this mid-20’s adult loves it).

There are many museums in the same area where the Met is (Museum Mile?), and some of them are design/fashion oriented. If the girls are into fashion or design, it may be worth it to take them there.

It’s pricey, but I just did this a couple of weeks back and it was really cool. I recommend it.

Someone in another thread gave me this link, and I’ve kept it. List of museums in NYC.

Their website doesn’t say anything about it being closed, so I assume it’s open.

We should go to Sbarros for an authentic New York slice, right?

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Pretty much any little Italian pizza place you never heard of will do for a couple of slices.

If (when) your kids want something “normal” after all the activities, there’s this McDonalds near (on?) Times Square that’s friggin’ huge and totally busy. We took our six year old to Rockefeller Center (ice skating) and to Central Park but the thing that she loved the most, and still mentions, was the McDonalds.


Sbarro’s, the ****hole in Times Square? Don’t go there.

For good pizza, you could try:


Artichoke Basille

Patsy’s (the original in Harlem)
2287 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10035

Other restaurants that kids seem to like are:

Peanut Butter & Co.

Serendipity 3

Serendipity’s is right by Dylan’s Candy Bar which I’m pretty sure your kids will love. Also, Bloomingdales is right across the street.

The Bronx Zoo has already been mentioned but a short distance away is the The New York Botanical Garden. It has a nice area for kids, as well (cherry trees should also be blooming).

In Queens, there’s the Queens County Farmhouse, a working farm. On Coney Island, there’s a nice aquarium.

If you go to the Central Park Zoo, there’s an excellent carousel close by. From there, you could swing by FAO Schwartz or a couple blocks farther, you can find the Sony Technology Lab.

A friend took her kid on a tour at Little Airplane Productions and really enjoyed it… They’re the producers of the Wonder Pets, among other stuff. It’s down in the South Street Seaport which is also always fun to walk around.

To add one more museum to the list, there’s the Children’s Museum of Manhattan which isn’t too far from the Museum of Natural History.

And as has been mentioned, going to a Broadway show should be fun for kids. If you’re worried about pricing, there’s the TKTS booth but waiting on line like that is a bitch.

I usually use Broadway Box. It’s free and gives you discount codes to be used when you purchase tickets. Discounts should be about similar to TKTS without having to wait on that lame line.

Otoh, you might have better luck getting cheap tickets from the TKTS booth for kid-friendly productions (things like Wicked, Lion King etc are often to hard to get into at a discount).