Things to Do in New York with Kids

Here are some places and tips to enjoy New York in MavenMomma style. Go to fun, maybe a little fanciful places, eat well, and have an amazing time without being too kid focused. Balance the “we” with the “me”! 

Central Park West & 79th St, New York, NY 10024

Take your kids on a time machine by taking a visit to the American Museum of Natural History. Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, it is one of the largest and most celebrated natural history museums in the world. Here, your kid’s minds wonder as they wander the halls learning about earth’s history, environments and cultures-past. While in NYC this is an absolute must see for all age groups. After all, where else can you take a trip around the world and back in time? 

Tip: Download the Explorer App in advance and plan your day at the museum.

Fun Fact: The American Museum of Natural History has a vast dinosaur fossil collection, including Tyrannosaurus Rex, however, most of the collection is not actually on display!  It is kept under wraps for preservation and research.  

Bonus Randomness You May Appreciate:  There is a cafeteria in the museum’s basement that serves kids faves including Jell-o cups topped with whipped cream and dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets. My girls ask me to make sure we can stop in before we leave the museum every time we go.

By far Central Park remains one of my favorite places in NYC. As a single chick, it was my spot to run, meet up with friends, or just relax and read. As a MavenMomma it is pretty much the same routine, mixed with a little more fun. From strolling through the zoo, climbing rocks, rowing boats, munching pretzels or playing in one of the parks 21 different playgrounds you can easily spend the entire day meandering through Central Park. I like to travel lite so we stop for lunch at the Boat House or the Leaping Frog Cafe, depends on how fancy we feel. 

Tip: Weekends are the best time for a family bike ride in the park because cars are banned and park roads turn into miles of scenic, traffic-free paths. Go mid morning while the park is alive but not as crowded.

Fun Fact: Central Park is called New York’s backyard, it stretches from North 110th Street to Central Park South (59th Street), and from Central Park West (8th Avenue) to 5th Ave.

3 Beekman Street, Beacon, New York

Dia: Beacon Entrance

Just 60 Miles north of Manhattan along the Hudson River is Dia: Beacon, an art museum that features extensive and sprawling installations that are worth the day trip to behold. You will naturally become a part of an  installation’s environment thanks to each gallery custom design around the collection featured within. Amongst Dia: Beacon’s most notable residents is Dan Flavin, Richard Serra, and Andy Warhol just to name a few. You can click here for more information on Dia: Beacon’s exhibits or better yet, just go.

If you’re interested in really making the most of your visit, you might want to consider taking one of the guided tours that the museum offers. They are both informative and relatively affordable. 

Tip: Stop at Moo Moo’s Creamery in Cold Spring, NY, for Homemade Ice Cream. Be sure to walk around the quaint village and take in the charm.

FunFact: Dia: Beacon’s space was originally a Nabisco box printing factory.

Looking to let your kids burn off some energy on a rainy NY day?  Check out Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment complex. For example Chelsea Piers Bowling Alley is a terrific location for a few rounds of bowling with the family. You can also enjoy laser tag, try out some arcade games, or simply enjoy the Indoor playground. You can also grab a bite at Fresh and Co without ever having to leave the building.

Sunday’s are a great day to visit because you’re going to find the best discounts that day. For example, bowling games are just $6.39 each, and you can get access to the arcade for only $3.

Tip: Check Groupon for deals prior to going!

Fun Fact: Buy yourself or your spouse a drink while your kids play! 

The High line is a breathtaking public park situated along what was at one time a New York Central Railroad. It features wonderfully landscaped walking trails, great lookout spots, diverse gardens, and art. There are also a variety of public programs available that are free and open to everyone.

The best time to visit the High Line with kids is Saturday when family activities are plenty

Tip: Remember to leave your furry friend at home when making a visit to the High Line. Dogs are not allowed on the trails to protect the landscape from damage.

Fun Fact: The High Line was created initially by neighborhood residents in 1999 to keep the track, a piece of New York history, from being demolished.

Whether you are a New York City resident or just visiting on vacation, Madison Square Park never fails to amaze. This is a sprawling, 7-acre green space where kids can roam and enjoy the playground. Spending a day surrounded by flowers, greenery, and art will refresh you and wear your little ones out! Complete your afternoon of leisure with kids by grabbing a quick lunch from Shake Shack OG location.  

Tip: Do it for the gram! Make sure to position yourself to get a pic of the Flatiron building in the background.  

Fun Fact: Madison Square Park features over thirty world-class installations from some of the most well-known artists. 

Pink A Licious

As an alternative to Broadway, consider getting tickets for “Pinkalicious the Musical,” which is currently touring the city. Keep an eye out for upcoming tour dates and make sure to snag tickets when the show stops by a venue near you. My girls were so excited to see one of their favorite book series brought to life. 

Tip: Sign up for the cast meet and greet backstage. Your little one will have the chance to take pictures and enjoy a magical moment.

This year, if you are in the New York area from August 26th – September 9th treat yourself and the little ones to a family experience at the US Open. From watching lively tennis matches throughout the stadium to fun activities there is something for the entire family, be sure not to leave home without your AMEX. You will need the card to buy stuff, but most importantly participate in the fun activities Amex sponsors.

Tip: If you are looking for more kids programming, check out Arthur Ashe Kid’s Day an event that honors tennis legend, Arthur Ashe. This celebration is the largest single-day, grassroots tennis, and entertainment event, featuring concerts and tennis stars. This year’s festival is scheduled to take place August 24th-two days before opening day for the US Open.

Fun Fact: 2001 marked the first women’s final played in prime time. For the 16 years before, the women’s final was played between the men’s two semi-finals.  Typically bogus treatment, but we can thank the sister power of Serena and Venus for breaking that barrier. Based on the strength and popularity of the William’s sisters, CBS bumped the women’s final into Prime Time.