Family Getaways in NYC
Family Getaways in NYCWhether you are staying in New York, this season or the next, our city has so much to offer the young and young at heart. We invite you to explore and create your next adventure at these top places to visit on your next family getaway in NYC.
Check Out These Winter Must-Sees:
- If you are in the city for the winter season, check out The Toys R Us Flagship Store in Times Square, which will occupy three levels with theme shops for toy makers such as Lego, Nerf and also a play space where kids can try out new toys.
- Looking for a scenic outdoor ice skating rink? The Rink at Rockefeller Center is famous where you can also skate under the tree. Not far away at Bryant Park's Winter Village, skating is free plus you get to stroll through the holiday shops and enjoy light fare along the way. Central Park has two public rinks The Wollman Rink near the 59th Street and Fifth Avenue entrance and The Lasker Rink between 106th and 108th streets.
Museums & History in the Making of New York City:
- Visit the Children's Museum of Manhattan offering age-specific exhibits including Playworks and Adventures with Dora and Diego. City Splash water play offers the chance to sail a boat, paint with water, and play with sand.
- Explore an historic and enormous aircraft carrier with 30 vintage planes on the flight deck, a guided missile submarine, and the space shuttle Enterprise - all at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. The Exploreum is full of interactive fun like climbing into a helicopter and steering the wings of a plane.
- The dinosaurs may be the biggest draw at the American Museum of Natural History; but don't forget the giant blue whale, the African elephants or the fabulous gems and minerals with treasures. The museum adjoins the Rose Center for Earth and Space with exhibits and spectacular shows at the Hayden Planetarium.
- Explore art at the Children's Museum of the Arts through hands-on exhibits and experiment with art materials, clay, sound and animation.
In addition to great art from every period from ancient to contemporary, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is the country's largest museum featuring galleries with special appeal for families such as the chance to see mummies and explore an Egyptian temple, see life size knights and marvel at fascinating masks from Africa and Asia.
- Housed in a 1936 decommissioned subway station, the New York Transit Museum tells the amazing story of New York's subways, beginning with how tunnels were dug underground. Visitors can walk through vintage subway cars and see the many kinds of tokens used to enter the subway before the beginning of the Metrocard. A popular interactive exhibit, On the Streets, traces the development of trolley and bus transportation in the city and invites kids to board a 12-seat bus and child-size trolley.
- A former movie and TV studio; the Museum of the Moving Image is dedicated to the development of moving pictures from flip books to the digital age. Enjoy a chance to see exhibits that illustrate the development of film and television cameras, projectors, television sets, and sound recording equipment.
- Get ready to fill your Instagram account with lifelike wax figures of everyone from Katniss Everdeen to Michael Jackson at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. The themed sections feature super heroes like The Hulk and Spider Man, sports stars including Carmelo Anthony and Derek Jeter, politicians from Abraham Lincoln to Bill Clinton, TV stars like John Hamm, movie idols past and present from Marilyn Monroe to George Clooney. The Marvel Comics Super Heroes 4D film boasts some great special effects.
- Become history detectives and learn about early life in New York through a series of engaging exhibits at the DiMenna Children's Museum at the New York Historical Society. Turn a dial to see photos of a street as it was 100 years ago and as it looks today, put your face into a cut-out of George Washington and imagine your own inauguration speech. The library areas is a place to rest, play interactive games, see early children's books and find current books about the city.
- Check out historic fire engines and equipment at the New York City Fire Museum with stories of firefighting from the days of bucket brigades to hand pumps, horse drawn steam engines to high-tech fire boats. The museum is housed in a 1904 triple bay firehouse with its sliding doors, brass sliding pole and winding staircase intact.
- There's a fairy tale feeling to this medieval castle high on a hill overlooking the Hudson River at The Cloisters housing a collection of medieval art. Fort Tryon Park surrounding The Cloisters is a treat, with soaring views along its promenades, plus playgrounds for the kids.
- Learn about the days when this area was a bustling port with its piers crowded with ships from around the world at the South Street Seaport. Stroll through a collection of shops and restaurants with spectacular water views. Stop by the Bowne & Co. Stationers at Water Street for the chance to see demonstrations of early letterpress printing.
Family Fun Attractions and Stops:
- Looking to pick up a good children's book while in the city? The Bank Street Book Store offers a large, carefully selected choice of books, games and educational toys, as well as a schedule of events including music, puppet shows, a toddler story hour and other entertainment for kids. Books of Wonder is a delightful source of new children's literature as well as rare collectible children's books. The well-stocked Book Culture has three locations in the Columbia University neighborhood.
- Check out the largest city zoo in America; home to thousands of animals at the Bronx Zoo. Among many highlights are Tiger Mountain and the Congo Gorilla Forest where glass walls put you close-up to these wondrous animals. At the children's zoo little ones can climb into a birds nest and feed tame animals. Kids can also join in on camel rides and ride the bug carousel.
- New York's "back yard" is Central Park and is full of family fun from a carousel and a marionette theater to a zoo that is the perfect size for children - from a tropical rainforest to a sea lion pool to a polar world of penguins. Take a walk through to discover deep woods and waterfalls in the middle of the city. Every Saturday during the summer enjoy children storytelling which takes place at the Hans Christian Andersen statue near 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue.
- Enjoy heaven on earth at Max Brenner's Chocolate Bar - a mouth-watering reward after a long day walking around the city. Enjoy Chocolate Pizza made with melted chocolate and topping choices of hazelnuts, bananas, peanut butter, or roasted marshmallows. Or maybe a Cookieshake, white chocolate ganache blended with Oreo cookies and ice?
Play To Your Heart's Content with Games and Sports:
- Love sports? Chelsea Piers is a riverfront sports complex with activities that include a bowling alley and indoor ice skating in winter and a summer skate park. The Field House includes batting cages, soccer fields, basketball courts, a gymnastics area, and a rock wall.
- Baseball fans will hit a homerun by catching a came at MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones.
- Paradise for fans of Wii or Nintendo games, Nintendo World offers the chance to try out all the newest games and find a host of unique souvenirs, including hard-to-find plush characters. The second floor is a mini-museum displaying every console and character ever created.
- When the weather is too hot, too cold or too rainy, New York's bowling alleys are a great escape. Frames Bowling Lounge in the Port Authority Bus Terminal offers family packages. Bowlmor Times Square features lanes in NYC-themed lounges, from Chinatown to Central Park. Lucky Strike Lanes adds billiard tables to the fun.
- Sports fans will find games year round in New York. Some are iconic, like Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and Madison Square Garden where the basketball Knicks and Liberty and hockey Ranger teams play. There are newer venues including the Barclays Arena, host to Nets basketball and Islanders hockey in Brooklyn, and Citi Field where the Mets play baseball in Queens. It is exciting to be part of the crowd, but these venues are fun to see even when the teams are not playing with behind-the-scenes guided tours.
NYC Family Favorites:
- The Staten Island Ferry is a 25 minute, five-mile sail with unbeatable views of New York harbor, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the skyscrapers and bridges of Lower Manhattan - and the ride is free for all!
- Head up to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building to catch inspiring city views.
- Get your camera ready for this walkway high above the East River from Manhattan to Brooklyn with endless panoramas along the way on the Brooklyn Bridge. Feel free to bike or walk along the walkway which is 1.3 miles long!
No trip to NY is complete without a visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Views from the boat ride and from Liberty Island are spectacular and standing close-up to the Statue of Liberty is a guaranteed thrill for everyone.
- Escape the city and head down to Coney Island to walk along the 2 ½-mile boardwalk, enjoy a legendary hot dog at the original Nathans and Luna Park -with classic rides like the 1918 Wonder Wheel, the 1927 Cyclone roller coaster and a carousel.
- The New York Aquarium includes a coral reef and an African lake, walruses, sharks and a sea lion show.
- Chinatown makes for a colorful stroll and tasty dining. Well-known Canal Street offers food stands stacked with vegetables and dried foods, and seafood. Mott Street, the main street includes a sampling of chopstick shops, bakeries and souvenir stands. Don't forget to stop by Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for some unique homemade flavors.
- New York's first major theater devoted entirely to family entertainment offers troupes from around the world presenting a changing array of plays, circus acts, dancing, puppets, and surprises at The New Victory Theater.
- An abandoned overhead freight railway has been transformed into an incredible elevated park at The Highline Park. It offers river and city views with lush landscaping that reflects the wild plants that grew up along the neglected railbeds. Along the way are art installations, videos, a place to take off your shoes and wade in an inch-high pool, or to sit back, relax and people watch all day long.