Children's Museum of Manhattan (Courtesy Children's Museum of Manhattan)

Things to Do With Kids in New York City

By Mackenzie Allison on 05/02/15, updated 05/22/17
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Traveling with the children in tow? Check out these attractions for family fun for kids of all ages. The whole clan can enjoy playtime, whether it's ice-skating, bowling, volleyball or basketball; get lost in a mind-blowing 3D film experience; learn what really goes on inside a robot; take a ride on an historic carousel or roller-coaster; or stare at the remains of a 100-million year old T-Rex dinosaur. There is a reason why you are bound to run into strollers and tykes screaming with laughter at all our city parks; this city is an awesome place to raise a family and a helluva town for you and your kids to come visit!

This Upper West Side institution—with interactive activities and exhibits galore—caters to newborns all the way to 10-year-old tykes. The sprawling space contains corridors of games to teach logic and symmetry, and the ongoing exhibit "EatSleepPlay" includes large vibrant interactive displays of a human heart, intestines and brain.

Coney Island

(Courtesy Coney Island)

Attractions

Coney Island

Coney Island has been the seaside escape since the early 20th century, many flocking to southwest Brooklyn to stroll the famed boardwalk, grab an authentic Nathan's Famous hotdog and ride the Cyclone roller coaster, which dates back to 1927. Today, enjoy all that, plus the rides and games at the recently-built amusement park, Luna Park.

American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History (Courtesy American Museum of Natural History)

Attractions

American Museum of Natural History

Founded in 1869, this Upper West Side institution is home to exhibits of the natural and anthropological variety and also boasts a world-class planetarium. Don't miss the gigantic whale in the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life, and dinosaur lovers will love the museum's dinosaur and vertebrate fossil collection, the largest in the world.

Bronx Zoo

Western lowland gorillas are among the prize attractions at the Bronx Zoo. (Julie Larsen Maher, Courtesy Bronx Zoo)

Attractions

Bronx Zoo

Only a 30-minute subway ride from Manhattan, the zoo, with more than 600 species, is the world’s largest metropolitan zoo. Watch zookeepers feed sea lions and penguins; take a camel ride and view exotic wildlife; or sit back and explore the zoo via the Wild Asia Monorail, where you can see red pandas, elephants and rhinos along the way.

Prospect Park Zoo

Child petting sheep (©iStock)

Attractions

Prospect Park Zoo

This delightful zoo in Brooklyn includes a Barn and Garden (roosters, sheep and more), Animal LIfestyles (where you can witness nature's furriest felines) and the Sea Lion court, where the sea lions happily jump and "wave" to the audience. Wind along the path on the Discovery Trail, where you can spot red pandas scaling the trees!

Statue of Liberty

(©gary718/Shutterstock)

Attractions

Statue of Liberty

This city has been the gateway for immigrants from around the world yearning for a better life in the U.S. Many of these visitors reached the city via the New York Harbor, with their first glimpse of the city being the Statue of Liberty. Visitors can go inside the pedestal or crown and also visit a museum at the base of the statue.

National Museum of Mathematics

Harmony of the Spheres, one of the exhibits at the National Museum of Mathematics, (Courtesy National Museum of Mathematics)

Attractions

National Museum of Mathematics

This museum gives a major shout out to all things numeric. Enjoy Coaster Rollers, where visitors roll over unusually shaped acorns and have a smooth ride because of their constant diameter; Polypaint, where you can discover colorful patterns that emerge from symmetry; and Seeing Math, where you can see how math pops up in everyday life.

Chelsea Piers

Chelsea Piers (Courtesy Chelsea Piers)

Activities, Attractions

Chelsea Piers

This multisport, 30-acre waterfront facility features two indoor ice-skating rinks, an indoor swimming pool, a golf driving range, gymnasium, weight-training room, track, batting cages and the largest rock climbing wall in the Northeast. A field house for kids of all ages offers drop-in activites including gymastics and soccer.

For some fun across the East River, this picturesque park comes with breathtaking views, plus plenty of playgrounds. Splash around in the nautically-themed Main Street Playground with a Waterlab and a water-jet field; make like Tarzan at Swing Valley; visit the huge sandbox at Sandbox Village; and ride on Jane's Carousel, built in 1922.

New York Hall of Science

A hands-on exhibit at the New York Hall of Science. (David Handschuh)

Attractions

New York Hall of Science

Located near the 12-story-tall stainless steel Unisphere in Corona, Queens, this center is bursting at the seams with 450 exhibits and more, all with the aim to help kids learn about science in hands-on ways. The 3D theater shows award-winning films and animated features; the library offers tabletop activities, a tech nook and much more.

Map of Things to Do With Kids in New York City

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