New York City is a great place for a family vacation. While the high number of people who live here, the loud noises, and the constant rushed traffic might not seem that appealing for some, New York City has a lot to offer, even for the littlest visitors. You don’t have to take your kids to Times Square if you don’t want to (although the Disney Store and the M&M shop are a hit, not to mention enchanting places like Gulliver's Gate). Depending on whether you’re traveling with younger or older kids, here are some group activities in NYC that fit the whole family.
1. Children’s Museum of Manhattan
Head on up to the Upper West Side for a fun day with the kids at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan! An option that is more suited for younger kids, this museum has tons of items and fun activities to explore over five whole floors. Everyone knows the American Museum of Natural History, but another great stop in the area is the New-York Historical Society, which hosts the DiMenna Children’s History Museum. There you can find 350 years of New York and American history through games, interactive displays, and character-based pavilions.
2. New York Botanical Garden
Activities planned outside, as long as the weather permits it, is a great option for families. A visit to New York Botanical Garden is one great destination for them. The garden was founded all the way back in 1891 and it is now a National Historic Landmark. Whether you’re in it for the history or for the beauty, you’ll be sure to have a great day walking around the Botanical Garden in the Bronx.
3. Gulliver’s Gate
Yes, technically this is located in Times Square, but it is a great option instead of, or in addition to, the normal tourist places to visit. A visit to Gulliver’s Gate and you’ll soon feel like you’re visiting the world, just seen through miniatures. Enjoy scaled-down exhibitions from Latin America, Europe, Asia, and much more when spending a day at Gulliver’s Gate.
4. The High Line
The High Line is a classic, and should be experienced by everyone who visits New York City. This elevated park, built on a historic freight rail line, runs through the west side of Manhattan and stretches out over 1.45 miles. While walking through the public park, you’ll have great views of big skyscrapers and buildings surrounding you. Snapshot some pictures of your family and you with the Empire State Building in the back to show the folks back home.
5. The Staten Island Ferry
Riding the Staten Island Ferry is not only a free activity, but it's also a terrific way to score some great photos of New York City. Make your own postcards with picturesque shits of the New York skyline while taking a free ferry ride over to Staten Island. Enjoy the boat ride and some fresh air before heading into Staten Island (or back to Lower Manhattan) for some brunch.
About the author: Nina is the Engagement and Corporate Communications Analyst for RentHop, a national apartment rental site based in New York City. She moved overseas from Norway three years ago and has since been living and working as an expat in New York, enjoying everything the city has to offer.