A Top 50 List for Kids in New York City

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While I loved New York City before I had Augusten, experiencing the NYC after kids is even more fun. Not only is there a host of activities to enjoy that I never would have known about pre-children, but experiencing things through his first-time lens sense of wonder is the absolute ultimate.

I’ve put together a roundup below of all the things that we have experienced together (and loved, of course) in his three little years of life. As he continues to grow, I will of course update the list with the latest and greatest.

While I haven’t blogged about every experience we’ve done on this list. Whether you’re a local mama/papa, or visiting with children, I hope you find this an inspirational way to use your city with littles.
  • Visit the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, and play President of the United States.
  • Check out the Central Park Zoo, and don’t forget to head over to the petting zoo (also included in your ticket!), located just past the clock.
  • See the singing waitstaff at Ellen’s Stardust Diner.
  • Ride a carousel.
  • Take the MetroNorth to the Bronx and smell the flowers at the New York Botanical Gardens together.
  • Go to the Scandinavian House and play with the beautiful wooden toys.
  • Tour (and taste!) Dylan’s Candy Shop.
  • Splash at one of NYC’s fabulous splash pads!
  • Row through a pond in Central Park.
  • Enjoy the rides at Victorian Gardens in Central Park (warm months only;-)
  • Hike through the Hallet Nature Sanctuary.
  • Have a fancy tea together at The Plaza Hotel (they have a children’s tea, complete with pink jello!)
  • Visit the New York Public Library for story time.
  • Take an express bus up to the Bronx and visit the big animals at the Bronx Zoo (they have strollers for rent once you’re there.)
  • Eat fancy cereal at Kellogg’s in Union Square.
  • Go to a retro diner (we love Big Daddy’s in Gramercy!) and enjoy silver dollar pancakes and milkshakes for breakfast.
  • Marvel at all the bubbles at the Gazillion Bubble Show.
  • Ride the Roosevelt Island Tram.
  • Get dollar slices from a NYC pizzeria, and have a NYC picnic in the park.
  • Play at ALL the playgrounds. Even make a day trip out of visiting a new neighborhood just for the playground!
  • Gaze at the giant whales and dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History.
  • Be wowed by the real life buses and subways at the New York Transit Museum.
  • Take a mama-and-me music class.
  • …and a mama-and-me dance class.
  • …and a mama-and-me swim class.
  • …and a mama-and-me yoga class.
  • …and a babo-and-me soccer class. See what clicks!;-)
  • Explore the miniature world of NYC and beyond at Gulliver’s Gate.
  • Ride a water ferry.
  • Make art at the children’s lab at the Museum of Modern Art.
  • Be fascinated by the holiday train show at the New York Botanical Gardens.
  • …and the smaller version during the winter at Grand Central Terminal.
  • Find a favorite wing at the Metropolitan Art Museum and make it your special place.
  • Get a front row seat to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. You will freeze your booty off, but it’s so worth it.
  • Walk the Highline, and splish-splash in the water features.
  • Get absolutely drenched playing in the Washington Square Park fountain.
  • Have a dessert date at Cafe Lalo.
  • Listen to live music in Central Park.
  • Buy an overpriced popsicle from a vendor in Central Park and eat it on a really hot day.
  • Slide down the magical slide at Billy Johnson Rustic Playground in Central Park (and bring a piece of cardboard to sit on if you want to go really fast!)
  • Walk the Long Island City waterfront and gaze at the gorgeous Manhattan skyline (also plenty of good playgrounds in this area!)
  • Go trick-or-treating at the American Museum of Natural History.
  • Enjoy tea at Alice’s Tea Cup.
  • Attend a free SummerStage concert.
  • See an off-Broadway kid’s musical.
  • Spend a day in nature at Wave Hill.
  • Ogle the original Winnie the Pooh and Friends at the NYPL.
  • Eat your way through Industry City.
  • Go on a self-guided food tour of Jackson Heights, Queens, to expand their palette (and probably yours, too!)
  • Visit the Alice and Wonderland statue in Central Park.

 

Would love to know…what are your favorite things to do in the city with kids? Leave them in the comments below!

Photos in the post are taken by the brilliant Lifestyle By Tavio.

Jessica Tiare Bowen
Jessica Tiare Bowen lives in the juicy Big Apple with her adorable pink-nosed chihuahua, Gillman. He's the inspiration for her first published children's book, "Park Avenue Pound Puppy." The book is the combined result of her two greatest passions: pooches and penning stories.

Her passions include art, urban hikes through Manhattan, drinking coffee with 3 creams and 6 sugars, making extremely detailed itineraries and traveling to far away places, singing along to Broadway shows, Netflix movie nights, discovering incredible treasures at Goodwill and thrift stores, and listening to stories from little people under 7 and big people over 70.

She started her career as New York City Teaching Fellow, teaching elementary school and theater arts at a special education school in the South Bronx for 6 years. She is now a Special Education School Improvement Specialist working in public schools throughout New York City. She is the Editor-In-Chief of the online New York City travel magazine, Used York City. The magazine focuses on finding the best of New York...as used by New Yorkers. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and an ASPCA Ambassador.
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