New York City
Family-friendly Activities

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Our most recommended New York City Family-friendly Activities

NYC: SUMMIT One Vanderbilt Experience Ticket

1. NYC: SUMMIT One Vanderbilt Experience Ticket

Situated at the top of the iconic modern landmark One Vanderbilt, SUMMIT changes our relationship with cities, environment, and ourselves through immersive, multi-sensory experiences. Off the main concourse of Grand Central Terminal, learn the incredible story behind the creation of SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, and prepare yourself for a memorable experience. Designed with the intention of transcending everyday existence, SUMMIT offers an opportunity to engage with space in a fascinating new way. Your experience at SUMMIT begins with a sensory stimulating elevator ride to the 91st floor. From there, you are immediately transported into SUMMIT AIR, a new way to see and interact with space designed by Kenzo Digital. Layered with two floors of floor to ceiling mirrors, AIR offers a whole new perspective of the city as the Manhattan skyline reflects all around you. Next, test your limits at SUMMIT LEVITATION and enjoy the rush of stepping out over the city on two glass ledges suspended 1,063 feet above Madison Avenue. Continue through the different levels of SUMMIT and become part of the art. Watch your image float in the clouds across a multi-media screen and get in touch with your playful side in the silver balloon AFFINITY room. Once you reach the 93rd floor, take in the sights and sounds of NYC from another vantage point on the outdoor observation deck. For a more intimate, adult-friendly evening experience, choose to visit SUMMIT during Air at Night. Guests can enjoy access to all areas of the attraction, an LED light show with accompanying vivacious music, and cocktails for purchase at the 93rd floor bar.

NYC: Museum of Ice Cream Entry Ticket

2. 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 General & Skip-the-Line Tickets

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

Choose between a General Admission ticket and the Express Ticket option. 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

NYC: 1-Hour Cruise Around Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

4. NYC: 1-Hour Cruise Around Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

Take a 60-minute boat ride to within 100 feet of the Statue of Liberty. Cruise right under the Brooklyn Bridge and see the most famous skyline in the world. Your live English guide will point out the sites as you journey along the river including the Empire State Building, the new Freedom Tower, the Manhattan Bridge, Governor's Island, and more. Make use of both the indoor and outdoor seating, along with large open windows for your viewing pleasure. Get within touching distance of "Lady Liberty" and then move on to Ellis Island to take photos of the famous entry point to New York City. Marvel at the skyline of Manhattan and its famous skyscrapers, including the new One World Trade Center. Glide down both the east and west sides of Lower Manhattan on this roundtrip cruise, and purchase drinks and food from the concession stand aboard the boat. 

NYC: 9/11 Memorial & Museum Timed-Entry Ticket

5. NYC: 9/11 Memorial & Museum Timed-Entry Ticket

Benefit from contactless entry to the National September 11 Memorial Museum with your pre-purchased timed-entry ticket. Enjoy complimentary access to the 9/11 Memorial, the Survival Tree, and the Memorial Glades The 9/11 Museum The museum displays over 10,000 monumental artifacts linked to the events of 9/11 and is made up of three permanent exhibition sections: • The Historical Exhibition has three parts: the Day of 9/11, Before 9/11 and After 9/11. It tells the story of what happened on 9/11, including the events at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and the story of Flight 93.  • The Memorial Exhibition "In Memoriam", commemorates the lives of those who perished on September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993 and provides visitors with the opportunity to learn about the men, women and children who died. • The Foundation Hall is a room of massive scale, which houses both the last column and the slurry wall.  The 9/11 Memorial (Free Entry) The “National September 11 Memorial” is a tribute of remembrance and honor to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993.  The memorial’s twin reflecting pools are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in North America. The pools sit within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood. The names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels edging the memorial pools.

NYC: Edge Observation Deck Admission Ticket

6. NYC: Edge Observation Deck Admission Ticket

Edge is a marvel of architecture, engineering, and technology, suspended in mid-air over 1100 feet above the ground, giving you the feeling of floating in the sky. With Edge's unique vantage point on the western side of Midtown Manhattan, take in the entire Manhattan skyline from 1 place—from the tip of Central Park down to the Statue of Liberty and beyond. Begin your journey on Level 4 of The Shops at Hudson Yards, where you will enter into an immersive multimedia experience explaining the design, construction, and sustainability of Hudson Yards. Then, head up over 1100 feet to the Observation Deck, and then 80 feet out into the air on the Outdoor Sky Deck. Here, frameless glass panels walls are boldly angled outwards to allow you to feel the thrill of leaning out over the edge with the busy city below. Next, stand on the glass floor and look over 100 stories straight down to the city streets below your feet. At Edge's furthest point, The Eastern Point, there's space for one person to stand alone, surrounded by glass, air, and sky—you will never have had a picture quite like it. The upper level also features the Skyline Steps, where you can look out over the top of the glass panels and past the edge of the deck. Have a seat and hang out in the sky with your friends and family, or head indoors and sip champagne or a signature cocktail at the Champagne Bar. When you leave be sure to visit Hudson Yards centerpiece, Vessel, or enjoy a bite to eat or shopping experience at The Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards.

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

7. 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

8. 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 Botanical Garden: All-Garden Pass

9. New York Botanical Garden: All-Garden Pass

Visit The New York Botanical Garden with an All Garden Pass. America's premier garden has characterized the landscape of the northeast since its founding in 1891. Your All Garden Pass includes admission to the outdoor gardens and collections and all indoor elements of the attraction. These include the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory & Garden Tram, as well as popular areas like the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, Rock Garden, and Benenson Ornamental Conifer Collection, which are exceptionally beautiful year-round. Summer brings flowering abundance to the 60 gardens and plant collections, and fall creates a riot of color in the native forest. Winter welcomes a peaceful landscape featuring stately conifers, while spring celebrates the promise of a new season with flowering cherries, magnolias, daffodils, and more. See the award-winning Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden and Native Plant Garden. Immerse yourself in stunning seasonal landscapes at this National Historic Landscape. This summer, the garden will be growing edible plants from all over the world, delving into the science behind these plants, and inviting Bronx artists to design picnic tables that tell their own stories about the foods and food traditions they love. The show runs from June 4 to September 11, 2022.

New York City: American Museum of Natural History Ticket

10. 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.

Frequently asked questions about New York City Family-friendly Activities

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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

We loved our visit to Empire State Building. The films and information were so very interesting, all about how it was built and this was fascinating in itself. Brilliant film/animations. The building is beautiful. We booked tickets for 10.00am and there were absolutely no queues at all. We were not sure if this was to do with COVID restrictions, so there were fewer people, or the time of day, or what. But zero queues and zero waiting. The observation storey at the 86th floor was great. I’m not sure what extra would be gained by being higher. Views from all four sides of the building. Free telescopes to look at the view. A great view and very enjoyable. We only did a very few “big ticket” tourist attractions in New York and this was one; we don’t regret it.

Loved the tribute to fallen hero’s and victims of 911. Tower One memorial museum respects and features the individuals and humanizes them with loved ones describing them. Tower Two memorial focus on the gruesome tragedy of the day. Our 10-year old granddaughter was disturbed seeing bloody faces. I personally would have spent more time in the Tower Two museum. We had allocated three hours and that wasn’t enough time to absorb the thoughtful exhibits. Kudos to all the people who made the memorials sacred and meaningful.

An amazing NYC Experience. Beautiful, awesome views and Jean Michel made it extra special by generously taking the time to answer all of our questions, pointing out important landmarks and generously imparting his local knowledge in a fun and educational way.!

It was a great day to take my family on a quick cruise. No bells and whistles but we had a nice time. The music was very fitting for the occasion.

Excellent activity, the exhibit is a fantastic addition to the views!