Family Friendly Activities in New York, Top Things to Do and See for Families in New York - Budget Travel USA

Family Friendly Activities in New York

By Laura Burke

California Road Trip

New York City is bursting with exciting family activities, with endless museums to choose from, some of the best toy shops in the world, numerous parks and other curiosities to keep the whole family smiling, a family holiday in New York is sure to be a hit with adults and children alike.

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1. Brooklyn Children's Museum


The Brooklyn Children’s museum offers fun and creative cultural experiences for children and families to enjoy. Founded in 1899 it has sparked the creation of 300 children’s museums around the world, with permanent exhibitions ranging from sensory rooms to mini shopping streets and toddler only areas. This is an interactive museum which is ideal for families with younger children who want to combine learning with entertainment and have a fun day out. While you’re in Brooklyn, explore the area and bring the kids to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, another great way to spend a sunny New York day.


2. Bronx Zoo


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This is a must see for families on a holiday to New York, the Bronx Zoo is a wildlife park which is home to 5,000 animals. Families will love exploring the different exhibits such as the African Plains, Carter Giraffe Building, Butterfly Garden, Big Bears and Congo Gorilla Forest. Children can get up close to their favourite animals and learn more about different species and preservation efforts. A family favourite is the Children’s Zoo where youngsters can meet, greet and pet goats, sheep and donkeys. There are also plenty of family friendly activities to enjoy, such as watching the penguins and sea lions feedings, taking a spin on the bug carousel and laughing along with a screening at the 4-D Theatre. A brilliant day out for all the family!


3. Chocolate Museum


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Jacques Torres’ Choco-Story New York: The Chocolate Museum and Experience located right beside Soho is New York’s first ever chocolate museum. Feed your cravings and learn all about your favourite treats journey from bean to bar, get involved in bon-bon making experiences, taste 9 different types of chocolate as well as hand ground hot chocolate. Learn more at the kid’s corner where kids can pretend to make their own creations in the toy kitchen. This is an unusual museum and is ideal for those family members with a sweet tooth, yum!


4. The New Victory Theater


The New Victory Theater is New York City’s premier performing arts theatre devoted entirely to kids and families. The New Victory presents amazing productions of dance, theatre, circus, opera and music from around the world. Children and adults alike will love the amazing performances shown at The New Victory Theater, engaging and amusing, this is a must see for families during a trip to New York. The theatre also offers family workshops in performing skills such as African dance, magic and illusion, card tricks and storytelling. This is a great way to get kids involved in the Arts and sure is to make a memorable day in New York!


5. Madame Tussauds Wax Museum


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Madame Tussauds Wax Museum is renowned around the world for making wax recreations of everyone’s favourite celebrities which are scarily identical to the real deal. This is a favourite with teenagers as they can take silly selfies with their favourite celebrities and super heroes, from pop icons like Rihanna to YouTubers such as Jenna Marbles and sports stars like Messi, it’s the perfect photo opportunity. They also have themed exhibits, guests can visit Kong: Skull Island and embark on an adventure deep into the tropical jungles of the Skull Island, or join Ghostbusters as they capture ghosts, you can even catch a ride on Ecto-2. This is so much fun and we’d definitely recommend dedicating an afternoon in New York to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.



6. Coney Island 


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Coney Island is a neighbourhood in New York City which is known for its amusement area that includes over 50 rides and attractions. The birthplace of the hot-dog, there are plenty of great family friendly restaurants to feed your cravings after enjoying a day having fun on the roller coasters. The New York Aquarium at Coney Island is another fantastic option for your family, wonder at the sharks, rays, turtles, otters and much more, you can also see interactive shows at the Aquatheatre and watch otters being fed. During the summer season there’s a firework show on the beach every Friday, the perfect ending to a great day.


7. Nintendo World


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In Manhattans historic Rockefeller Center, Nintendo World New York is your very own Warp Pipe into the Mushroom Kingdom and beyond. This is 10,000 square feet of gaming heaven spread across 2 floors. This is a haven for the gamers in the family, shop for the latest games and gadgets or pick up memorabilia from favourites like Super Mario Bros and Pokémon. While you’re there, take a trip to the top of the Rock Observation Deck while you’re there and see the city from a birds eye view. This is a great way to spend an afternoon and pick up some of the latest Nintendo releases!


8. Ripley's Believe It or Not! Times Square


Uncover the mysteries of the world at Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Curiosities museum at Times Squares. Your admission ticket will welcome you to see over 500 extraordinary artefacts and interactive exhibits which are sure to amuse and bewilder children and adults alike. The museum features unusual artefacts such as an authentic 19-foot tall albino giraffe, the world’s largest collection of shrunken heads, a 19th century vampire killing kit and a lot more. If that isn’t enough, kids will love interactive exhibits like The Recollections Room which projects visitor’ dance moves into a rainbow of colours. The Amazonian Makeover lets you add hair, bones and war paint to their Facebook profile. This is definitely one of the more unusual things you’ll do in New York.


9. Pizza Tasting Bus Tour


Explore New York City’s best pizzerias aboard a big yellow school bus with Scott’s Pizza Tours. The NYC Pizza Bus guarantees you some of the tastiest slices from New York’s best pizza joints. The stops change weekly so you don’t know where you’ll be digging into a slice next. The tour starts and ends in lower Manhattan, so you can enjoy some shopping before or after your pizza adventure. Hop on board and taste New York’s tastiest treats as well as learning all about the history of pizza, this is a lot of fun and guarantees full bellies and big smiles all round!


9. Snuggle with cats at a Cat Café


Take a well needed break from sight-seeing by stopping off in one of New York’s three cat café’s for a coffee and a snuggle with some furry felines. Choose from Meow Parlour, a café on the Lower East Side where you can enjoy cat shaped cookies, Koneko – a Japanese themed cat café which works to help get kitties adopted and The Cat’s Meow in Fort Green. This is a unique way to grab a coffee and is sure to make for some cute holiday snaps.


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