Much more than the New York Statue of Liberty, Central Park and other popular Manhattan attractions. And, if you travel to New York with the kids, you’ll be glad to hear that there’s so much for you!
New York City consists of five boroughs: The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Manhattan. Just outside of New York City, you’ll find Long Island, Rockland County, Orange County and Westchester County, all within an hour’s drive.
If you go to New York but only live in Manhattan, you are doing yourself and your family a disservice by not having the full experience of New York. So go a little further by bus, train or car. You will discover some of these amazing New York destinations that your kids have been talking about for years.
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10 Things to Do with Kids in New York
From museums to nature and adventure parks – here’s how to get the most out of visiting NYC with kids.
See also: Where to Stay in New York City: Our New York Accommodation Guide
New York Hall of Science, Queens, NY
If your kids love science, experimentation, and hands-on museums, you’ll want to visit the New York Hall of Science. The New York Hall of Science is easily accessible using public transport. You can take the 7th train to the 111th Street subway station, and it’s only a short walk away.
At the New York Hall of Science, there is something for kids of all ages. Older kids can invent things in the design lab. For younger children, you’ll find a pre-school place, an area with multi-sensitivity activity for children under 6. In addition to the exhibits and experiences included, there is a 3D theater, mini-golf and a science playground.
The Hall of Science is the perfect location for a full day of family fun. After spending a few hours at the museum, you can walk to Flushing Meadows Corona Park. In the park, you will find some additional attractions, including the Queens Zoo.
New York Transit Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Is your child fascinated by the train? Are you interested in New York City history and the transit system? If so, head to Brooklyn to check out the New York Transit Museum.
That is what makes this museum interesting It has been located inside a canceled subway station since 1936. You enter the museum using the entrance to the main subway station. Show your ticket to an employee who is sitting inside the original ticket booth and then walk through the old turnstile.
On the main floor of the museum, you can sit on a replica of an old NYC bus, see the vintage signage, and learn about how the rent collection has changed over the years. But below is where the magic happens! At the lowest level of the museum, you can walk in 1907 subway cars. The museum itself is small but the experience is worth every penny.
Connie Island, Brooklyn, NY
If you come to New York City but don’t visit Connie Island, you’ll miss out on such an important part of New York City’s history, not to mention a lot of fun. D, F, N, and Q board the train to Brooklyn and take them to the very last stop. Connie Island Boardwalk, attractions and beaches just 5 minutes walk from there.
Take a ride Dino’s Wonder Wheel, Connie Island Ferris Wheel which was built in 1920 and has become a landmark of New York City. Later, visit Luna Park, An amusement park with modern games and rides. Inside Luna Park, you will find CycloneConnie Island’s iconic wooden roller coaster from 1926.
When you are hungry, you can go Nathan’s famous, Home July 4 Hot Dog Eating Contest. The restaurant and its famous hot dogs date back to 1916. If you’re not a fan of hot dogs, there are plenty of other places to eat on Connie Island. A short walk from the famous Connie Island is the attraction New York Aquarium. No matter what you like, there is no shortage of things to do on Connie Island.
Bronx Zoo, Bronx, NY
The Bronx Zoo, home to more than 700 species of animals, is one of the largest zoos in the United States. With over 265 acres of land to explore, you’ll want to bring your most comfortable walking shoes. In addition to the common animal exhibits, there is a children’s zoo with a pet zoo, a playground and lots of interactive activities.
After the kids zoo, you can go through one of the most popular attractions of the butterfly garden or zoo, Jungle World. When you need to rest your feet, ride the open-air monorail and watch the animals roam. If you are looking for a different zoo experience, you can take your kids for a carousel ride, a nature trip or a rope course on a triptrop adventure.
Bear Mountain State Park, Tompkins Cove, NY
If hiking and nature exploration are more for your family, rent a car and drive to Bear Mountain State Park about an hour north of NYC. For those who love to picnic, there are plenty of picnic areas scattered throughout the park, or you can sit in the large open grass area. This grass area is also doubled as a playground for recreational sports like football and American football.
If you like fish, you have access to a beautiful large lake and river fishing. You can also rent a canoe to get to the lake. There are hiking trails for all levels of experience and a walk along the lake for walking and biking. If you visit in the summer, visit the swimming pool and trailside museum and zoo.
Planning a winter trip? Go for ice skating or skiing. Hike, bike or go to the top of Bear Mountain to enjoy the breathtaking view of Hudson Valley. In the fall you can see some spectacular views of the fall leaves. Not ready to leave just a day later, rent a room at the Beer Mountain Inn.
Read more: Hiking in Hudson Valley, New York
Playland Park, Rye, NY
Playland Park has been a popular family destination since 1926, mostly known for its amusement parks. Located just off Long Island Sound, Playland Park also has a pool and a beach. If you are a fan of wooden roller coasters then you can take a ride on the historic Dragon Coaster which is one of the original rides in Playland.
The amusement park has a kiddie park with rides for the little ones and some exciting rides for the big kids. There are also areas for picnics and boating. Just a 40-minute drive from New York City, Playland Park is a great summer attraction.. If you do not have a car, you can take the 45-minute train from Grand Central Station.
Polysides Center, West Nike, NY
A huge four-tiered shopping mall 30 minutes north of Polysides Center New York City. It has a large collection of attractions and restaurants that will keep your kids busy for hours. Inside The Polysides Center, you’ll find the world’s longest indoor ropes course spanning four levels in the mall.
If you travel with a small child, there is also a short practice rope course for them. Downstairs in the corner of the mall, you’ll find Billy Biz. Billy Seed is an indoor playground where your kids probably have some of the longest, steepest, most crazy slides.
If you’re a kid, you’ll be glad to know that Billy Biz encourages parents to join in the fun.. There is a speedway and bumper car for kids who like to drive. If arcade games are more your kids style, there’s a Dave and Buster Add an IMAX movie theater, a bowling alley and an ice skating rink and your child will never want to leave the mall.
Legoland Theme Park and Resort, Goshen, NY
Did you know that New York has its own theme park? Opening its gates in the summer of 2021, Legoland Theme Park and Resort New York has been a wonderful addition. If you live in New York City and want to take public transport, you can take a coach bus to Manhattan’s Port Authority bus terminal.
If you travel with kids under 13, Legoland is a perfect addition to your New York adventure. They don’t have to worry about being tall enough to ride in this theme park because most rides don’t require a minimum height and the minimum height is 36 ″, with a few exceptions.
While the theme park looks after young children, parents will also enjoy riding with their children. Stay for a day or spend the night at the Legoland Hotel. Summer visits? Don’t forget your bathing suit! Legoland New York has a few water rides to cool off on a hot summer day.
Book your admission ticket via the following transport:
Splash Splash, Long Island, NY
You can’t have a list of fun things to do with the kids in New York and include a waterpark. Splice Splash, located 60 miles east of New York City, is one of the best waterparks in the greater New York City area. It has 20 waterslides and attractions. Cool down and relax in the lazy river or jump into one of their two wave pools.
If you have kids who are adventurous and love adventure, they will not be disappointed. There are several intense rides to choose from. When your kids are hungry from non-stop swimming and splashing, head to Johnny Rocket inside the waterpark for the best burgers and shakes.
Adventure Park, Long Island, NY
All rope course lovers are invited to the Adventure Park on Long Island. If you are looking for an activity in New York to bond with your kids, this is it. What sets Adventure Park apart from other ropes courses is its aerial triptop courses.
Whether you are a beginner or an expert, there is a way for you. There are 5 different levels of challenge, each color-coded. With 14 lanes and 49 ziplines, The Adventure Park is easily a day-long activity. Children under the age of 7, who are too young to climb the trail, can play in the adventure playground.
With this list of things to do with kids in New York, you will never find it among the more popular tourist attractions in Manhattan. But you will experience New York in a way that not many tourists have, and you are planning to return to New York next time to do something that you have never experienced before. For more family travel tips and ideas, visit Traveling the West Way, a family travel blog.
If you travel to New York on a budget, check out this list of free things to do in New York – and don’t forget to check out our post on how to be a New York tourist!