Top 25 Things for Kids to Do in NYC


It really is true that New York City has something for everyone. Although many people associate the Big Apple with sophisticated sightseeing activities reserved for adults—such as visiting art museums, going to the theater, and enjoying nightlife—there is plenty for young folks to love about New York, too. Here are my top 25 things for kids to do, see, and taste in NYC:

1. Climb the Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park.

2. Indulge in something sweet at Dylan's Candy Bar (or one of the other 5 best candy stores in NYC).

3. Taste a New York bagel.

4. Go to the Blessing of the Animals during the Feast of Saint Francis at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine where pets (of all religious affiliations) are welcome.

5. Talk to the animals at the Bronx Zoo -- with over 4,000 animals and 265 acres there's plenty there for kids to love.

6. See a Broadway show (it can cost less than you think: check out these insider tips for Broadway ticket bargains).

7. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

8. Ride the famous Cyclone rollercoaster on Coney Island.

9. Visit the American Museum of Natural History (make the trip extra special by viewing Night at the Museum first).

10. Marvel at the view from the Empire State Building (and while you wait for the elevator, impress your child with these 25 random facts about this famous skyscraper).

11. Catch a fish in the Harlem Meer (you can borrow equipment and get complimentary bait at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center).

12. Have a "dirty water" hot dog from a street vendor or check out the famous hot dogs at Papaya King.

13. Ice skate at Rockefeller Center or Wolman Rink.

14. Explore the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum.

15. See the Little Red Lighthouse (and read the book about it).

16. Check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art (and look for the rooms where the kids in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler slept).

17. Be amazed by the panorama of NYC at the Queens Museum.

18. Ride the Roosevelt Island tram for a bird's-eye views of Manhattan and the sensation of flying over the East River.

19. Enjoy a slice (authentic NYC pizza is unlike that anywhere else).

20. Go kayaking on the Hudson River-- the Downtown Boathouse provides everything you need.

21. Take advantage of a FREE ride on the Staten Island ferry.

22. Attend a street fair.

23. Ride the subway. While you're there, check out the underground art; we especially like Life Underground, a series of some 100 bronze sculptures at the 8 Ave/14th St. station.

24. See the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.

25. Go to a Mets or Yankees game.

Victoria Otto Franzese is a proud New Yorker who owned, operated, and wrote for a successful online travel guide for 15 years. Now, thankfully, all of her travel is purely for fun. See more about her favorite things to do in NYC at @VOFranzese.