New York City is a great place to visit in the summer! The city is jam packed with fun things to see and do. While it’s possible to visit for a weekend, chances are you’ll want to stay a bit longer! We’ll help you plan your trip with these 10 amazing things to do in NYC with kids!
1. Explore Central Park
Central Park is a beautiful green oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle that is New York City! The park, located between the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side neighborhoods is 2.5 miles long and 0.5 miles wide. There are beautiful paths for walking, skateboarding and bike riding, amazing playgrounds for the kids to explore, a pond where you can rent a row boat for the afternoon, and it even has it’s own little zoo! There’s so much to see and do in Central Park, you’ll want to plan a minimum of a half a day to explore it all!
2. Walk the High Line
The High Line is a relatively new addition to NYC, opening in 2009, but it has deep historic roots in the city. Located in the Meatpacking District, the High Line is a public park built on an old railway that used to service the industrial west side of Manhattan in the early 1900’s. The High Line is a walking path with amazing views of the city, beautiful parks and gardens, great places to sit and rest, a couple of fun food vendors so you can grab a snack while you explore.
3. Step Out on the Edge
The Edge is an observation deck in the new Hudson Yards district on the west side of Manhattan. Opening in March of 2020, the Edge is now the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere! So long as you’re not afraid of heights, the Edge gives you a 360 degree view of Manhattan, plus you can look 100 stories down through the glass floor! While there are a lot of buildings you can pay to go up for views of the city, the Edge will give you a view of NYC you’ll never forget!
4. Eat at Chelsea Market
Chelsea Market is a popular foodie location in NYC. Located in the Meatpacking District, it’s not far from the High Line so it’s a great place to grab some lunch and do a bit of shopping before taking a walk along the High Line. You’ll find every kind of food and every kind of dessert you can dream of at this trendy indoor market, which makes it a great place to grab a bite if everyone is craving something different!
5. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
You won’t find any better views of New York City than the views you’ll get while walking across the Brooklyn Bridge! Cross the bridge into Brooklyn where you can explore the Dumbo neighborhood. Grab an ice cream cone at Oddfellows and enjoy Brooklyn Bridge Park before walking back into Manhattan.
6. Ride the Roosevelt Island Tram
The Roosevelt Island Tram is a super fun way to get an aerial view of NYC! Each ride only costs one swipe of a Metrocard per person (each way) so it’s not only lots of fun, but affordable too! The tram is located in the Upper East Side at 59th Street and Second Avenue and connects to Roosevelt Island. You must exit once you arrive on the island and re-board to return, but feel free to stay and explore Roosevelt Island for a bit!
7. Take the Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry departs from Lower Manhattan and crosses over to Staten Island. The ferry ride offers fantastic views of the New York City Skyline as well as of the Statue of Liberty- and the best part is that the ferry is FREE! When leaving Manhattan, stay on the right side of the ferry for great views of the Financial District and the Statue of Liberty. Returning from Staten Island, sit on the left side of the ferry for the best views!
8. Visit Governors Island
Governors Island is a 172 acre island in New York Harbor, just off the Financial District in Lower Manhattan. It’s only open from May through September, making it a must-see during the summer months! Ferry tickets are $3.00 per person, so it’s an affordable way to spend the afternoon. Once on the island, kids will absolutely love Slide Hill- with larger than life slides built into the hillside. If you can visit on a weekend, kids will also love The Yard which is one of our all time favorite things to do in NYC with kids. The Yard is a Scandinavian inspired “Adventure Playground” where kids can build, create, destroy, and explore all without adults telling them what they can and can’t do!
9. Ride the Sea Glass Carousel
Located in Battery Park in Lower Manhattan, the Sea Glass Carousel is so unique that kids will want to ride it over and over again! It’s a great addition to your itinerary in Lower Manhattan and can be combined with a ride on the Staten Island Ferry, a trip to Governors Island or even a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
10. Go on a Playground Tour
New York City has some EPIC playgrounds! The Roots, Wings and Travel Things family actually spent a long weekend going on a playground tour of Manhattan, mapping out 12 of NYC’s best playgrounds for kids! Once you map out your itinerary, check to see which playgrounds you’ll be near and schedule a bit of time for the kids to play!
If you loved our list of fun things to do with kids in NYC, be sure to check out our other Summer City Guides too!