How to Keep the Kids Happy in New York

by Rianne Ojeh on 27 October 2014, 15:10PM


We are accustomed to thinking of New York only in terms of adult activities. It makes sense, because it is a very sophisticated city. It is defined by its unique culture such as yellow cabs, Broadway shows, lively bars, burger shacks, Greenwich Village book stores and cute little vintage boutiques. It is a city of adult pleasures and adult diversions. Yet, it is also one of the biggest urban playgrounds on the planet, so what does it have to offer families with young children?    

The first thing that springs to mind is the many parks in New York City. It is strange to think of such a sprawling metropolis as having world famous parks and green spaces, but it absolutely is the case. The most well-known example, Central Park is a hotspot for both tourists and native New Yorkers, who frequently take time out from the hustle and bustle to walk, jog, chat and even play chess in this most peaceful of surroundings.


There are tons of child friendly activities in New York City, with everything from the Bronx zoo to the biggest toy stores on the planet are just a cab ride or a tube trip away. There is no reason why your little ones cannot have a trip to remember, because this urban paradise is not just for grownups. You are guaranteed to find this out once your excitable little ones find out that New York is home to one of the biggest branches of Toys R Us in the world.  

This is the Travelbag guide to keeping the kids happy on your next trip to New York:


The Bronx Zoo
With over 600 different species from all over the world, the Bronx Zoo is actually the biggest urban zoo on the planet. Lions and tigers are on display, as well as the mischievous monkeys and the majestic elephants, with their wavy trunks and their impressive tusks. Plus, every grownup enjoys a trip to the zoo – you are guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face just as big as the grins of your little critters.


Central Park
Do not forget that Central Park has its own zoo as well; that is how big this public park happens to be! It stretches for 843 acres, and in many ways, it is the back garden of New York City. There are endless sights to see, everything from Belvedere Castle to the Wollman Skating Rink. It’s so big that it even includes a swimming pool. You can have breakfast, go for a stroll around the green and then embark on an afternoon of city sightseeing.   


The Children’s Museum
There are actually two children’s museums in NYC, one in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan. They are both worth a visit, depending on how much time you have to spend in New York and how interested your kids are in subjects like science and art. The museum in Manhattan is housed over five floors, but the museum in Brooklyn is the oldest. It was founded in 1899, and was actually the only museum for children in the city for some time.


The Children’s Museum of the Arts
Only in New York City would you find an art museum dedicated to children. This charming little organisation, based in Manhattan, celebrates art created by and for youngsters. It has a permanent collection of more than 2,000 paintings and drawings, created by children from over 50 nations – some even date back to the 1930s. This is an unusual attraction, but it really is worth a visit, particularly if the little ones fancy themselves as future artists.


FAO Schwarz
FAO Schwarz is one of the most famous toy stores on the planet. Parents will know it well from that iconic piano scene in the Tom Hanks movie ‘Big’, while youngsters might be more familiar with its more recent appearance in The Smurfs movie. The huge and extremely elaborate displays which line its windows are a thing of legend; it is like Harrods, but supersized and then supersized again.

New York Hall of Science
This fascinating building is located just a short subway ride away in Flushing, Queens, so make sure that you have your tube map good and ready. It is a learning centre, designed to make science fun and engaging for children of all ages. With over 450 interactive exhibits, this is one museum where the little ones definitely are allowed to play with the displays. They can get involved with using everything from microscopes to mini golf courses and replica dinosaur bones. In fact, you will find it difficult to tear them away from this playful little wonderland.

For help and advice on organising a successful family trip to New York, or for more information on the US holiday deals available at Travelbag click here, or call one of our friendly advisors direct today on 0845 543 6615. The vibrant, lively city of New York has something to offer to families of all shapes and sizes!

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