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New York City

Family-friendly Activities

Our most recommended New York City Family-friendly Activities

NYC: Museum of Ice Cream Entry Ticket

1. NYC: Museum of Ice Cream Entry Ticket

Walk through the pink doors of the Museum of Ice Cream and enter a world of pure imagination. Satisfy your inner child and your actual kids with exhibitions featuring various installations designed to engage and delight children of all ages. Time your visit the museum on a weekday for a more peaceful experience. Once inside, explore imaginative, multi-sensory exhibitions that bring to life your most delightful dreams. Savor the sweetest treats on a magical floating table, slide down an epic three-story slide, take a celestial ride on a pink Museum of Ice Cream subway, and follow the buzzing sound to a giant "Queen Bee" hive. Taste the museum's signature flavors and ice cream treats along the way, before taking a dive into the world's largest sprinkle pool. Take all the Instagram-worthy pictures that your heart desires. When you finish your experience, be sure to explore the museum's whimsical shop. The Museum of Ice Cream is not a traditional museum — every installation is interactive, meaning touching isn't only allowed, it's encouraged. Alternatively, grab your partner, friend, or family member for an exclusive Night at the Museum experience at The Museum of Ice Cream. Start off the night with a signature cocktail and ignite your senses through a theatrical experience. After hours, enjoy a full tour of the museum's 13 magical installations, along with special activities and treats designed to celebrate love in all its forms. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a pink super-cone.

NYC: Empire State Building Tickets & Skip-the-Line

2. NYC: Empire State Building Tickets & Skip-the-Line

Choose between a General Admission ticket to the 86th floor outdoor observation deck or a Combination Ticket with access to the newly renovated 102nd floor, showcasing floor to ceiling windows. You can also upgrade your experience with an Express Ticket. General Admission allows you to skip the ticket purchase line, whilst the Express Ticket option gives you an upgraded VIP experience. With an Express Ticket you'll be able to skip all lines, including the ticket purchase line, security line and the elevator lines that take you up and down. The New Empire State Building Experience not only gives you access to the legendary New York City landmark, allowing you to soar 1,054 foot (320 meters) high and enjoy magnificent 360-degree open-air views of New York City and beyond. You'll also see Grand Staircase with a two-story architectural model of the building and newly renovated interactive galleries that take you on an incredible journey from the building’s construction to its current place in pop culture. Explore the site in the 1920s, Construction, Opening Day, Modern Marvel, Otis Elevators, World’s Most Famous Building, King Kong, and Celebrity exhibits. The 80th Floor also features a range of exciting art exhibits. Be sure to see the building's iconic Art Deco Fifth Avenue lobby. The Empire State Building's 86th Floor Observation Deck is the highest 360-degree open-air observatory in New York, outfitted with heaters to keep the cold at bay. The Empire State Building is more than a spectacular view - it is the most Instagrammed landmark in the USA. Your entrance also includes a downloadable multimedia experience, available in 9 languages. This app also includes videos, image galleries, quizzes, and maps showing nearby points of interest. Be sure to see the building's iconic Art Deco Fifth Avenue lobby as you exit this remarkable building

New York One World Observatory: Skip-the-Line Ticket Options

3. New York One World Observatory: Skip-the-Line Ticket Options

Ascend via SkyPod to the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere in less than 47 seconds at 28 mph. SkyPod provides a virtual time-lapse visual experience showing how New York City has changed from the 1500s. Skip the ticket line and even opt to also skip the elevator line. At the observatory, elevate your senses as you take in the iconic sights, surrounding waters, and panoramas of the Manhattan skyline and beyond. Then look toward the horizon and feel the city’s invincible spirit while taking in the stunning views.  Engage with City Pulse and One World Observatory's global ambassadors as they share stories of this amazing city. Step onto the expansive Sky Portal and take a walk high above the streets of New York. Dine or drink at the café, bar, or restaurant. Upgrade to Combination or All-Inclusive Tickets and enjoy skip-the-line access to the elevators. Access expedited security via the priority security line. The Digital Skyline Guide, an interactive, virtual reality iPad guide to New York City, is also included. 

NYC: Top of the Rock Observation Deck Ticket

4. NYC: Top of the Rock Observation Deck Ticket

Take in a 360-degree panorama of New York from 850 feet (260 m) in the air at the Top of the Rock. Explore 9,500 square feet of unobstructed outdoor viewing space, the most of any New York observatory. Take in the daytime scenery, see the sunset, or admire the city sparkle by night from new heights.  Upon arriving at 30 Rockefeller Center, take time to admire the stunning, shimmering Swarovski chandelier on your way to the mezzanine level. Here is an exhibit where you can see historic artifacts and a short film about Rockefeller Center’s construction during the Great Depression. Head up to the Top in less than 1 minute with a ride up 850 feet (260 m) on the Sky Shuttle. Explore 2 floors with expansive indoor and outdoor viewing areas. Finally top off your visit with breathtaking views of Central Park, Empire State Building, downtown Manhattan, One World Trade Center, and multiple bridges from the completely open-air deck on the 70th-floor.

New York City: American Museum of Natural History Ticket

5. New York City: American Museum of Natural History Ticket

Enjoy a day of family-friendly activities at the American Museum of Natural History, in New York City. Located just across from Central Park, the museum is home to over 32 million specimens. Benefit from all-day entry and use the option to upgrade your general entry ticket to include special exhibitions. Explore all permanent exhibitions as well as the Rose Center for Earth and Space. Wander around 45 Museum Halls to learn about dinosaurs and diamonds, and everything in-between. Look out for the iconic Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton and Easter Island head that inspired characters in the film "Night at the Museum." Connect to the museum's WiFi and download the free Explorer App to your smartphone. The app offers turn-by-turn navigation, behind-the-scenes stories about exhibits, quizzes, and more. See the exhibition highlights at your own pace with the museum's self-guided tours of popular collections. Special Exhibitions: • Sea Lions: Life by a Whisker Dive into the world of a rare Australian sea lion pup and meet the people who are trying to save her species in this immersive giant-screen film. Discover a classic coming-of-age tale that takes place in a colony of sea lions living between a jagged cliff face and a roaring ocean, in an environment as harsh as it is beautiful. • Sharks: Older than dinosaurs—and more threatened than threatening—sharks are spectacular, surprising, and often misunderstood. Dive into the world of this amazingly diverse group of animals in the new exhibition, Sharks. • Worlds Beyond Earth: Worlds Beyond Earth tells the story of the surprisingly dynamic nature of the worlds that share our solar system and the unique conditions that make life on Earth possible. Captioning devices are available.

NYC: Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Admission

6. NYC: Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Admission

Visitors to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum can experience a legendary aircraft carrier, the first space shuttle, the world’s fastest jets, and a Cold War-era submarine. Discover a museum that employs history and technology to inspire and advance innovation by developing the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering, and math. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is dedicated to the exhibition and interpretation of history, science, and service from its home on board the aircraft carrier Intrepid, a National Historic Landmark. The former aircraft carrier USS Intrepid was launched in 1943 and fought in World War II, surviving five kamikaze attacks and one torpedo strike. The ship later served in the Cold War and the Vietnam War. It was decommissioned in 1974, and today is berthed on the Hudson River. You get the chance to visit 4 decks of this great ship: • Hangar Deck: A great place to start your visit and our main indoor exhibit space, the hangar deck takes you through both the hardware and humanity of Intrepid • Flight Deck: Get an up-close look at more than two dozen authentically restored aircraft, look inside the Restoration Tent, and take a walk through history on Intrepid's island and bridges. - Gallery Deck: Located between the flight deck and hangar deck, the gallery deck features the combat information center (CIC), squadron ready room, and marine berthing • Third Deck: Learn about shipboard life in Intrepid's restored galley, enlisted mess, and crew berthing The Space Shuttle Pavilion showcases Enterprise, the prototype NASA orbiter that paved the way for the space shuttle program. Dynamic exhibit zones feature original artifacts, photographs, audio, and films that immerse visitors in the science and history of Enterprise and the space shuttle era.

NYC: Circle Line Best of NY Skip-The-Box-Office Cruise

7. NYC: Circle Line Best of NY Skip-The-Box-Office Cruise

Enjoy a relaxing cruise of New York Harbor and Manhattan Island as you discover the secrets of the city. You will circle Manhattan, passing 3 rivers, 7 major bridges – including the world-famous Brooklyn Bridge – 5 boroughs, and more than 101 sights in New York’s legendary skyline. Get up close to the Statue of Liberty and see Manhattan just as the great explorers would have seen it at the end of their long ocean journeys. Tour the city by water and see the outer boroughs drift by. Fun and knowledgeable tour guides will bring the city that never sleeps to life, telling fascinating stories about the breathtaking sights as you sail. See it all as you marvel at the best that New York has to offer. Cruise highlights include close-up views of the Statue of Liberty, Randall’s Island, High Bridge, Columbia University, Harlem, Gracie Mansion, South Street Seaport, Brooklyn Bridge, Yankee Stadium, The Cloisters, Grant’s Tomb, and The Little Red Lighthouse.

NYC: Circle Line Landmarks Cruise Skip-The-Box-Office

8. NYC: Circle Line Landmarks Cruise Skip-The-Box-Office

Take in many of the iconic sites of midtown and lower Manhattan on a semi-circle boat cruise. Enjoy magnificent views of the world's most recognizable skyline and get a close-up look at Lady Liberty and Ellis Island from the water. See the sights with a local tour guide who brings to life the breathtaking sights and the fascinating history behind the Big Apple. Sail down the Hudson River, cruising around the Battery, and up the East River. Pass under the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg Bridges to the United Nations building before heading back to Pier 83, the starting point for your tour.

From NYC: Guided Day Trip to Washington DC by Van or Bus

9. From NYC: Guided Day Trip to Washington DC by Van or Bus

Journey from NYC to Washington on a full-day trip to see the sights of the nation’s capital with a Spanish-speaking guide. Visit the most important monuments, memorials and buildings like the White House and the Washington Monument. Head down South from NYC in a comfortable air-conditioned bus, passing through New Jersey and Delaware, with a stop in Delaware to stretch your legs and use the restrooms. Continue on past Maryland until Arlington, Virginia. The tour starts properly at Arlington National Ceremony, where the tour guide will take you to Kennedy’s grave and explore with you the lush grounds. Then, head to the Iwo Jima memorial, with time to take photos. During the whole journey, your guide will tell you interesting facts about the city.   Next, head to Washington DC across the Potomac River. Pass along Constitution Avenue where you’ll see the State Department, the Institute of Peace, and the Albert Einstein Memorial. Go to the National Mall and walk with your guide to places that have been featured in movies and TV series. See the Korean War Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam War Memorial. You’ll recognize the Reflecting Pool from Forrest Gump. You’ll also see the most-visited monument in the city, the World War II Memorial.   Back on the bus, you’ll continue to view offices of important organizations such as the Organization of American States, the American Red Cross, and the Treasury Department until you finally reach the White House. Take some time to take pictures in the gardens before continuing on to see the FBI buildings, the National Archives, and more. Your final stop will be the Air and Space Museum, where you’ll have some free time to visit the exhibits, have lunch, and take photos of the Capitol Building. On the way back to NYC, you’ll be treated to a night-time panoramic view of NYC from New Jersey. 

From NYC: 2-Day Niagara Falls Tour with Shopping Trip

10. From NYC: 2-Day Niagara Falls Tour with Shopping Trip

Escape the hectic atmosphere of New York for a night on this 2-day tour to Niagara Falls. Travel to the U.S. side of the Falls and ride on the famous Maid of the Mist boat. Enjoy some time shopping for bargains at the an outlet mall along the way. Day 1: Depart from the centrally-located meeting point in New York on an air-conditioned van or bus and heads north. Pass the beautiful Delaware Gap and Watkins Glen State Park in the heart of the Finger Lakes region. Stretch your legs on a walk through Watkins Glen Canyon and capture pictures of views of the waterfalls. Drive by the stunning Seneca Lake and arrive in Niagara Falls in the late afternoon. Tour the American side of Niagara Falls, including the American Falls, Goat Island, and Sister Island. Admire a night tour of Niagara Falls showcasing the colorful lighting of the thundering waters before settling in into your comfortable hotel room for the night. Day 2: Eat a hearty continental breakfast at the hotel. See both the Niagara and the Horseshoe Falls up close from the Maid of the Mist boat (available from May to October). When the Maid of the Mist is not operating, take a tour of the Power Vista Hydro-Electric Station and visit the Cave of the Winds. Board your bus or van and drive south and back to New York City. Stretch your legs in a more urban area, with a shopping excursion at one of the large outlet malls along the way. Return to the city in time for you to grab a late dinner.

Frequently asked questions about New York City Family-friendly Activities

What are other things to do than Family-friendly Activities that are worth visiting in New York City?

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Which New York City Family-friendly Activities are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

Family-friendly activities: Things to do in New York with kids

Going for a family trip to the Big Apple? You’ll find fun and fantastic things to do in New York with kids. The city that never sleeps has something for every age, every personality, and every bedtime! Introduce them to Spiderman, Mickey, or Elsa in Times Square. Ride the Cyclone or win a teddy bear on the boardwalk on Coney Island. Experience old-school entertainment with story time at the New York Public Library or the Strand. Or go big with the latest Broadway kids spectacular or family-friendly performances at Symphony Space. Take a stroll through Central Park and ride the carousel or learn about hieroglyphics at the Obelisk. Find pure enjoyment and entertainment with a dash of learning in every part of New York City.

Visit the Children’s Museum of Art: Let your little artists shine

Everyone can be an artist at the Children’s Museum of Art. Even in the Gallery where established artists are exhibited, kids are encouraged to create art inspired by what they see. There are activities for kids as young as 10 months old up to the teenage years. Let your kids express themselves and maybe learn skills they didn’t know they had. And there’s more than just painting – they can try sewing, sculpting, animation, photography, sound recording, and more. Watch your kids’ creative juices flow!

You’ll be glad to know that there’s a storage area for coats and strollers as strollers are not allowed inside. There is limited food and drinks available for sale, so you can bring in your own food and drink. Baby changing facilities are also available.

Visit the NYC Fire Museum: See what it’s like to be a firefighter

Take your kids to the Fire Museum where they can mix fun with a bit of education on safety. Old fire engines and helmets and interactive exhibits will provide kids and adults with lots of fun. This stop will be a winner especially if you have a kid that wants to be a firefighter. Or perhaps you’re the one who wanted to be a firefighter in younger years? Putting on firefighter gear will be the highlight of your day then! You can even buy firefighter gear for your little firefighter in the museum’s souvenir shop. Besides the fun part, kids will also learn how to keep safe during a fire emergency. You can expect to spend about an hour or two inside the museum.

You can use strollers inside the museum. Note that you can’t bring food or drinks inside the exhibition area.

Visit Intrepid Air, Space, & Sea Museum: Let your kids experience it all

More than just a floating museum, the Intrepid is a fully interactive experience. Give the kids a new appreciation for all things flying. Then check out the space shuttle Enterprise and the Concorde or tour a nuclear submarine. Military buffs can see planes from the Armed Forces and push the controls inside a Bell helicopter. For a more immersive experience, there are flight simulators – see if they can handle the G-Force or move like a Blue Angel!

There is no coat check, so be prepared to carry everything with you. Strollers are allowed, but you should be aware that there are multiple levels and narrow passages. If you get hungry, there’s a restaurant with a kid’s menu and vending machines outside.

Visit Gulliver’s Gate: Feel like giants

Spark your kids’ curiosity and wonder in a miniature New York City. This may be a dreamland for kids who love dollhouses and Legos. The artists made sure to sneak in surprises, such as Spiderman on the Brooklyn Bridge, firemen rescuing a kitten in a tree, and a tightrope walker inside Grand Central Station. As they look for these Easter eggs, they may learn about everyday life in the city. There are other cities too, including landmarks across Asia, Latin America, and Europe. See if they can find Pokémon on Mount Fuji or decide whether the ropes will work on the Tower of Pisa.

This attraction is suitable for all kids, although you may want to watch the little ones around the miniatures. There is a coat check, for a small fee, that takes bags and strollers. Strollers are allowed inside, and there are baby changing facilities. Note that food and drinks, as well as selfie sticks, are not allowed.

Other Sightseeing Options in New York City

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What people are saying about New York City

If you’re looking for a beautiful 360-degree view of the city, this attraction is a good option. As far as seeing iconic locations, on one side you get The Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, One World Trade Center and even Ellis Island/ The Statue of Liberty. On the other side, you get Central Park. Our wait to get in was less than 15-minutes and all of the employees who were working were incredibly friendly/ helpful. If you want obstruction free pictures, go the very top landing of the building. When you’re done for the day, you can go outside and enjoy the scenery of Rockefeller Plaza where they have the Christmas tree and roller/ skating rink. There’s even a water feature to cool off on a hot day. You’ve got to try this at least once if you’re ever in the city and it doesn’t take up too much time, either.

James our tour guide was very informative and made the experience fun. Overall we had great fun check in for the activity was seamless, passing through security wasn't bad at all, boat ride was chillaxing and the views breathtaking. The statue & ellis island were undoubtedly iconic - we got to create lots of wonderful memories on our trip. I highly recommend this activity

This is a must! We got skip all lines and it us so worth it, you don’t queue for any elevators it’s brilliant. But busy once you’re up there. We didn’t to the 102 as 86 was high and really we didn’t see anyone do the very top.

Well organised, great commentary and amazing sights. Clean and comfortable with the opportunity to be outside as well as inside - and the inside was air conditioned.

It was a great experience, be prepared with lots of water.