Family Fun in Manhattan
Take your kids on at Chess or Backgammon at Bryant Park
The Chess Area is next to the Fountain Terrace on 6th Avenue. It allows the public to play with chess, checkers, and backgammon boards for a small fee. Bryant Park is situated behind the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues.
Visit the American Museum of Natural History and spend a night at the museum!
This is a fantastic opportunity for kids to experience a night at the Museum – just like in the movie. Once the visitors to the museum have left and the lights have been switched off, the kids get to explore the museum by torch-light and discover some of the magnificent items. The kids can choose to sleep in their sleeping bags underneath a giant 94 foot blue whale – now that is an experience no child will ever forget! See website for dates of upcoming Night at the Museum events and for costings.
Take the Staten Island Ferry over and jump straight on the next one back any enjoy the view of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty
This is an excellent way to view the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan from the ferry – try and not go during rush hour and you should be able to get a seat on deck and enjoy the ride. When you reach Staten Island it is always fun to run and catch the returning ferry and enjoy the trip all over again, but in the other direction!
State of the art facilities at Bayswater Point State Park
Riverbank is the only park of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. Inspired by urban rooftop designs in Japan, this 28-acre multi-level landscaped recreational facility is a state-of-the-art park facility.
You will find an Olympic-size pool, a covered skating rink for roller skating in the summer and ice-skating in the winter, an 800-seat cultural theater, a 2,500-seat athletic complex with fitness room, and a 150-seat restaurant.
It doesn’t stop there, the outdoor sports amenities include a 25-yard lap pool, a wading pool, four tennis courts, four basketball courts, a softball field, four hand/paddleball courts, and a 400-meter eight-lane running track with a football/soccer field.
There are also two playgrounds, a water splashing area and a number of picnic areas round out Riverbank’s many offerings. Please note that no bicycle riding is allowed within Riverbank State Park.
Now this is a place that your kids will never get bored of! You may also have a problem getting them off the Totally Kid Carousel – it is excellent fun!
@ 679 Riverside Drive, New York, NY
Watch a Broadway or off-Broadway show
How great is it to tell your friends that you have seen a show on Broadway! There are so many children’s shows to choose from. Why not see Mary Poppins or the Lion King or watch something different off-Broadway.
Have fun at Apple Seeds – watch your little ones grow and learn
Your children will just LOVE this place. It is an all in one play space for the little ones in the big apple. Head along and play in their indoor playground, take a class, get your hair cut, shop, eat or just hang out. You can even use the venue to host your birthday party. This space is a breath of fresh air in the city – not to be missed!
Spend time in FAO Schwarz
Now this will bring out the big kid in anyone – this store is what dreams are made of. With so much to look at and enjoy, don’t forget to ‘play’ the giant keyboard. This store is guaranteed to bring joy to the young and old alike – a trip down memory lane for many of us!
Walk or scoot across the Brooklyn Bridge
Some people enjoy this crossing as part of their daily commute, but why not enjoy it as a family adventure? You can choose to walk, scoot or even cycle across the bridge. There is a dedicated footpath above the traffic so it is a safe crossing for little ones.
Go to the Top of the Rock and enjoy the view
Some would say that you get a better view of NYC from the Top of the Rock, this would appear true as you also get a view of the amazing Empire State Building. The trip to the top is also fun – the elevator itself is an experience. You feel like you are being propelled into the atmosphere with the class-roofed elevator which takes you to the top in less than a minute! It is sometimes a good idea to come here at dusk so you can appreciate all the twinkly lights and it isn’t quite as busy for the little ones.
Have fun in the New York City Police Museum
Kids can enjoy the Junior Officers Discovery Zone which is fun for kids age 0-10. The Zone is separated into four different areas – Police Academy, the park and precinct;, Emergency Services Unit and a multi-purpose area for programming. Each area has interactive and imaginary play experiences for children to understand the role of Police Officers in our community. A fun and learning experience.
Do some sketching in Central Park
We all know that Central Park is New York’s oasis so why not enjoy the park with your kids, some paper and some pencils? What better way to while away an afternoon than sketching the people in the park. We all enjoy a bit of people watching and you can certainly enjoy that pastime in the park. Get your kids to draw at their favorite spot in the park and capture what the people are doing there.
Eat a giant warm pretzel from a street vendor
Street vendors are in abundance in NYC and what better way to grab a snack on the go. If you are on your way to a family friendly event, or rushing back after one, why not treat your little ones to some of New York’s fayre? They are so large that one is enough to share!
Take an open top bus and see the city as a tourist
Whether you live in NYC or are visiting as a tourist this is a fun and exciting way to see the city, get your bearings, and learn something interesting. Kids love sitting on the top deck and enjoy spotting all of the landmarks and listening to the fun stories that the tour guides tell!
Go on the Ferris wheel at Toys “R: Us Times Square
Toys “R” Us in Times Square is a giant fun park disguised as a toy store! The huge Ferris wheel when you enter takes your breath away and the kids won’t want to move till they have had a go! The store itself is like a toy Aladin’s Cave – with every genre of toy/game accounted for.
Head to the Scandinavia House
Kids just love the The Heimbold Family Children’s Playing and Learning Center. The design of this center has been inspired from early childhood education centers in Scandinavia. This indoor play space for children integrates the best of Scandinavian design while emphasizing early childhood sensory perception. Within the two distinct yet complementary areas – an activity room and a sensory room – design highlights include a reading theater, sensory tunnel, custom Lego corner, landscaped Brio train table, indoor climbing corner, mushroom house, a “please touch” wall, light landscape, and imported Scandinavian educational elements.
This magical interior landscape transports children from Park Avenue all the way to Scandinavia and back again, without the need for an airplane ticket!
Have some Animal Fun at Art Farm in the City
Art Farm in the City is an eco-friendly and organic facility that will teach your children about nature, animals and how to better care for our planet. They also teach your children about responsibility through caring, loving and being in the company of animals. Their USDA licensed indoor petting zoo has a wide variety of animals including rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs, lizards, turtles, birds, tropical fish and more. You might even spot pigs, chickens, goats and sheep sometime! You can just drop-in here or do a class – either way the kids will have great fun!