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Wollman Rink in Central Park
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The 50 best family attractions in NYC

Check out the family attractions NY kids love most. From museums to playspaces to stores, these spots can't be beat!

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Enough of staying in, it's time to get out! New York City has more family-friendly attractions on offer than one person could do in a lifetime and they're begging to be explored, climbed, ridden and adored. We've put our collective expert heads together and come up with 50 of our favorite family attractions in NYC. From ball pits and rock walls to sky-high views and museums made for kids, you'll never get bored.

Having this much fun will give your appetite a workout, so plan a cool down at one the city's best ice cream shops or refuel at one of our fave NYC restaurants, topped off with , but it’s nice to sit down and take a moment to recap the day.

Want more inspiration? Try and tick off our top 101 things to do with kids in NYC.

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Best family attractions in NYC

  • Time Out Market

If you only have a New York minute to spare, head to DUMBO to discover the best of the city. Hungry visitors of all ages can indulge in the city's tastiest dishes in one location at Time Out Market New York. From hearty breakfast foods at Clinton St. Baking Co to a margherita pizza at Juliana's and mac and cheese from Jacob's Pickles, we've got you covered. Plus, the location overlooking the Brooklyn waterfront can't be beat.

  • Museums
  • Science and technology
  • Upper West Side
  • price 2 of 4

Visitors from around the world flock to this beloved Upper West Side institution and for good reason: it engages all those who pass through its doors. From learning about species in the Hall of Biodiversity to walking under the giant squid and the whale, this place is a marvel. The museum is always evolving and adding new attractions, such as the "Worlds Beyond Earth" planetarium show narrated by Lupita Nyong’o, which debuted briefly in January 2020 and officially reopened in March 2021. Even better? The iconic spot celebrated its 150th anniversary in a big way just before the pandemic hit, in 2019, when the Museum broke ground 
on the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation. This $383 million project will include new classrooms, an immersive theater, a redesigned library and other impressive amenities.

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  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Central Park
  • price 3 of 4

This encyclopedia of human civilization is one of the greatest museums in the world, a sprawling complex where the whole family could spend an entire day wandering the galleries and see only a fraction of what's on display. Head to the Egyptian wing to see the mummies and an intact temple, then go to the armory to see the knights, wander through a rebuilt Frank Lloyd Wright house, spend a moment in a Rennaissance library, marvel at the gold treasures of the Maya, walk around a marble portrait of Alexander the Great…and then see if you have time to go up to the second floor. Workshops for kids help introduce little ones to different kinds of art, plus the museum hosts family days throughout the year.

  • Attractions
  • Historic buildings and sites
  • Midtown East

Who said public transport can't be fun? Yes, Grand Central may be a massive train junction, but it's also a wondrous playground. Not only are there are loads—and we're talking loads—of places to satisfy any food craving, but there's a tennis court accessible via elevator on the Oyster Bar ramp. John McEnroe and the Williams sisters have played on the main court and there's a junior court for budding tennis stars. While you're in the vicinity of the Oyster Bar, you must try the famous Whispering Gallery, the ceramic-tiled arches of which allow you to speak sotto voce to a friend from across the concourse.

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  • Attractions
  • Monuments and memorials
  • Liberty Island
  • price 1 of 4

The iconic American symbol, a gift from the French crafted by artist Frédéric Barthold, is one of the most iconic sculptures in the world. Recently, visiting Lady Liberty became that much more pleasant thanks to a new 26,000 square-foot museum. Kickstart your journey with a trip back in time inside the Immersive Theater where you can watch NYC's evolution, starting with the statue's arrival in the 1800s. Next, the Engagement Gallery allows little ones to size themselves up beside a life-size replica of Lady Liberty's foot and strike a pose at the Becoming Liberty Station. The Inspiration Gallery provides an up-close look at the historic statue's original torch, while Liberty Vista, a green roof directly above, boasts swoon-worthy views.

  • Attractions
  • Libraries, archives and foundations
  • Midtown West

Two massive lions, dubbed Patience and Fortitude, flank the main portal of the NYPL’s century-old main branch and have become the institution’s mascots—and a prime spot for a family photo. This marble palace of learning is a delight for wanderers. Be sure to make your way up to the vast wood-paneled Rose Reading Room (as seen in Ghostbusters), then head down to the children’s room, where you’ll find a glass case containing Christopher Robin Milne’s original vintage stuffed animals, the inspiration behind his dad’s Winnie the Pooh books. Turns out Pooh's corner is Fifth Ave and West 42nd St.

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  • Attractions
  • Zoo and aquariums
  • The Bronx
  • price 2 of 4

As far as inner-city zoos go, the Bronx has a mighty fine one, which will leave you feeling like the 4,000-odd animals are truly cared for and happy. You can easily spend half a day exploring the 265-acre campus and its various arenas: Tiger Mountain, World of Birds, Madagascar and the African Plains, to name a few. Highlights include the Wild Asia Monorail, where you'll get a great view of the elephants, red pandas and rhinos, and the daily penguin and sea lion feedings. Pluck up the courage (and the dollar––prices start at $60) for a Wild Encounter, where you can get up close and personal with penguins, cheetahs, porcupines or sloths. Plus, keep an eye out for other seasonal activities such as Boo at the Zoo, running throughout October.

  • Attractions
  • Monuments and memorials
  • Midtown West

Nothing says New York City quite like the Empire State Building. When it was finished in 1931, the towering skyscraper was the world's tallest at 1,454 feet. Even more amazing: it took less than a year to construct. The views are just as unbelievable. Take the fam up to floor 86 for a bird's-eye view of the city—the photo opportunities are truly breathtaking! Around ten years ago the building's lobby was restored to its original Art Deco design and now the newly-upgraded Observatory has transformed the experience of making it to the top.

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  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Midtown West
  • price 1 of 4

MoMA reopened after an extensive refurb in late 2019 and the iconic museum has never looked better. The expanded galleries include two art-making studios: one for young kiddos and one for older children and their artistic parents. The museum’s wealth of family programming covers a wide age range and includes tours for kids, child-friendly movies and other events. Check the museum website for the latest information.

Central Park
  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Central Park

Comfy shoes? Check! Bags of energy? Check! These are two absolute essentials you'll need before exploring the sprawling 843 acres that make up Central Park. It's not even possible to do it all in a day, but you can darn well try. Take your pick of the activities on their website beforehand and set course for fun. We recomend beelining for the two 45-foot slides at the Billy Johnson Playground, Pilgrim Hill for the ultimate sledding in winter, and the outdoor movies and performances are just magical, so don't miss one if the timing is right.

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  • Museums
  • Military and maritime
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • price 3 of 4

The highlight of the aircraft carrier-turned-science museum for the littlest ones is the Exploreum, an indoor activity zone where kids get to board small boats, learn why huge metal ships don't sink, wander around the living quarters of the Intrepid's former crew and try on astronaut gloves. Up on the flight deck, be sure to go into the Space Pavillion, where kids come face-to-face with the Enterprise, the first Space Shuttle to take to the air. As they tread up the elevated viewing platform to the shuttle’s nose, they’ll even catch a rare glimpse of an astronaut’s life—and just how confined their quarters are when they’re in orbit.

  • Museums
  • Special interest
  • Boerum Hill
  • price 1 of 4

You don't need to be a trainspotter to enjoy the New York transit Museum. This place will delight norms and nerds alike as soon as they step into the building––an abandoned subway station in Downtown Brooklyn. Set foot on actual old school carriages, discover how the transport system you use every day has evolved over the past century, and marvel at the different design eras of tickets, maps and subway cars. If you're going in winter, check to see if the Holiday Train Show is on.

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Chinatown
Photograph: Rick Lew

13. Chinatown

The densely-packed streets of one of Manhattan's most exciting neighborhoods hold so much excitement for young minds. Plus it's a super snacky part of town. Pick up some dumplings, get a bubble tea, grab a bag of Hong Kong Cakes from a street cart and top it off with a scoop of black sesame ice cream from Chinatown Ice Cream Factory—then head to Hester Street Playground so that your little one can work off an inevitable afternoon of overeating.

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Chelsea

Before the old train track that now makes up the High Line was built, it used to run along the ground. But so many people were injured (often fatally) by the passing freight trains, that the state agreed to elevate the railroad. It eventually closed in the 1980s due to lack of demand and in 2009 was transformed into the lush green walkway, dotted with art installations, sunning benches and more that New Yorkers get to take advantage of today. Walk the entirety, from Gansevoort Street to W 34th, and take in the nature and surprisingly great views of the city and the Hudson River. Various activities for children and families crop up seasonally, such as dance, art, music, gardening and stargazing.

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  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Washington Heights
  • price 2 of 4

The Cloisters is one of the treasures of the city. Set in a lovely park overlooking the Hudson River, the Cloisters houses the Met’s medieval art and architecture collections, but the building itself is half the draw. A path winds through the peaceful grounds to a castle that seems to have survived the Middle Ages. It was actually built less than 100 years ago, using material from medieval cloisters, but it feels ancient. Check out the famous Unicorn Tapestries (are unicorns real? discuss) and visit the lushly planted gardens.

  • Attractions
  • Towers and viewpoints
  • Financial District
  • price 2 of 4

One World Observatory at World Trade Center lets visitors experience panoramic views of NYC from atop the tallest building in the United States. Kids will love arriving at their destination Jetsons-style via Sky Pod elevators (some of the fastest in the world) which lead to a two-minute video presentation of gorgeous city images on the 102nd floor. Check out City Pulse on the 100th floor, showing HD videos of notable NYC landmarks and neighborhoods, then daredevil kids (and parents) can brave the Sky Portal, where a 14-foot wide circular disc provides a view of real-time, high-definition footage of the streets below.

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Ocean Odyssey is temporarily closed due to Covid.

No snorkeling skills are required for this digital deep-sea dive! The attraction, which debuted in Times Square in 2017, takes you through all depths of the Pacific Ocean. Brought to you by the award-winning effects team behind Hugo and Game of Thrones, the self-guided experience features 60,000-square-feet of photo-real animations and a video projection dome. In the first half, virtually meet sea lions, rays and dolphins, or lock eyes with a humpback whale or a great white shark. Then wander over to the learning area for holograms, activities on the latest in ocean research and cool photo moments—all spotlighting the magic of where science, entertainment and the big blue collide.

  • Museums
  • Childhood
  • Upper West Side
  • price 1 of 4

Worried the Met or Guggenheim might be a wee bit too advanced for your pint-sized Picasso? Then let your kid’s creativity run wild in an institution strictly devoted to budding artists. The Children’s Museum of Manhattan houses five floors of fun for families, including interactive exhibits, workshop space and birthday party fun. Little patrons will learn about a wide variety of subjects, such as nutrition and dance, try their hand at craft projects, enjoy a fun storytime with friends and so much more.

Plans to move into their new, larger home at 361 Central Park West, a building designed by the minds behind New York Public Library, have been delayed but are still underway.

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  • Museums
  • Childhood
  • Crown Heights
  • price 1 of 4

When it was founded in 1899, Brooklyn Children’s Museum was the country’s first museum specifically made for children (no surprise that Kings County started the trend). Today it’s one of the most comprehensive kids’ attractions with a huge permanent collection, including musical instruments, masks, dolls, fossils and even a green building design. Kids have fun while enjoying interactive exhibits such as World Brooklyn, a pint-size cityscape lined by faux stores where young’uns can weigh ingredients and knead pretend dough at the Mexican Bakery, or shop for cans of Indian ghee and Turkish candy at the International Grocery. Neighborhood Nature, another exhibit in the permanent collection, helps little ones learn about the many creatures and habitats found in their own Brooklyn backyard.

  • Museums
  • Natural history
  • Prospect Park
  • price 2 of 4

Learn everything you’ve wanted to know about the borough and more at this Prospect Heights cultural hub. Peer into the windows of old farmhouses to see how the neighborhood’s people used to live, or creep up next to mummies and other ancient artifacts from a past Egyptian life. When little legs start to tire, take a cookie and coffee break by the Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden, then leave some time to peruse the goodies in the gift shop (a must for every museum visit).

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  • Attractions
  • Historic buildings and sites
  • Boerum Hill

BAM hosts plenty of spectacular programming throughout the year, including theater, dance, opera, film events and family-specific opportunities. If you check out the Education page, you’ll find cool classes that offer an intro to animation and digital art, plus interesting theater and improv options. BAM also hosts youth summer programs if your little ones are restless during the warmer months.

  • Museums
  • Science and technology
  • Queens
  • price 1 of 4

Originally built for the 1964 World’s Fair, the Queens institution demystifies its subject through colorful hands-on permanent exhibits such as “Connected Worlds" or "Happiness Experiment". In the summer, children can burn off excess energy—and learn a thing or two—in the outdoor science playground or play a game of minigolf beneath the shadow of two retired NASA rockets. And in non-pandemic times NYSCI also offers sleepovers on select dates, so start packing those overnight bags!

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Midtown West

Situated behind the New York Public Library is Bryant Park, a well-cultivated retreat that hosts a dizzying schedule of free entertainment during the summer, including the popular Monday night outdoor movies. The park hosts weekly kid-friendly programming such as storytime in the Reading Room and game socials in the 40th Street Plaza. Little ones with an interest in the circus can get a free lesson from the Bryant Park Jugglers on the Lawn or Upper Terrace. Families can take a spin on the Le Carrousel which features 14 different animals to ride on. In the winter the park transforms into a wonderland where you can find an ice skating rink and pop-up shops for the holidays. 

  • Attractions
  • Historic buildings and sites
  • Manhattan

We’ve got plenty of bridges in New York, but for inspiration and beauty, none can compare with the majestic double arches of the Brooklyn Bridge. On a sunny day, the pedestrian walkway is the perfect span for a family stroll, roughly one mile of magnificent views of the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan skyline and Ellis Island. If you start on the Manhattan side, you’ll wind up in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Your family will fall back in love with the city from a one-of-a-kind vantage point. Enter at Cadman Plaza East near Prospect St, Dumbo, Brooklyn or at Centre St just south of Chambers St in Manhattan.

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Brooklyn Heights

Once nothing more than an industrial piece of land, Brooklyn Bridge Park has transformed into one of the most gorgeous waterfront destinations in the city. With stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and downtown Brooklyn neighborhoods, the park is as scenic as it is entertaining. A variety of playgrounds, splash pads, educational programs, events and food vendors make the park a favorite for all ages. Plus, an incoming permanent pool within Squibb Park, which is set to replace the temporary pop-up pool, will keep visitors cool when the dog days of summer hit. Don’t forget to swing by the Time Out Market New York when you’re done exploring the grounds.

  • Sports and fitness
  • Chelsea

Whether the family fancies a spot of bowling, climbing, golfing, trampolining, er parkour-ing or myriad other activities we don't have the time to list––Chelsea Piers is the place to go. From toddlers upwards, there's something for everyone to enjoy and it's a sure-fire guarantee that your rugrats will leave thoroughly exercised and, fingers crossed, exhausted.

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Prospect Park
  • price 1 of 4

You’ll be curious to see what’s blooming throughout the year at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Regardless of the season, the attraction features exciting annual events that share a spot on all New Yorkers’ calendars. Welcome spring with a celebration of Sakura Matsuri, the cherry blossom festival. You’ll be happy you stuck around when the air gets crisp, as autumn in the five boroughs is incomplete without the Chile Pepper and Ghouls & Gourds Festivals. 

  • Museums
  • Movies and TV
  • Astoria
  • price 2 of 4

After a rendezvous through this renovated Queens hotspot, you’ll feel good about your kids’ screen time. The cinema and gallery hosts work that'll appeal to techies and film buffs alike. From screenings and hands-on activities to birthday parties and video game events and festivals, the museum keeps visitors curious about what takes place behind the scenes.

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  • Museums
  • Childhood
  • Staten Island
  • price 1 of 4

Give your kids a hands-on experience with science, art and even cooking at Staten Island Children's Museum, where they're encouraged to learn through play. The venue offers a Big Games section where youngsters will try out huge versions of dominoes, bowling, Connect Four and checkers, as well as a Green Living Room play area where kids can play house and learn about efficient energy in the process. We especially love the outdoor Sea of Boats, where families can try Morse code, play in the water and go "fishing" and "oystering."

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Prospect Park

After Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux unveiled Central Park in 1859, they turned their attention south to create this bucolic Brooklyn destination. There’s plenty of room in Long Meadow and the Nethermead to have a family picnic on a patch of grass, while the Ravine, a towering indigenous forest, offers a woodland respite unparalleled in the borough. In the park’s children’s corner, kids can ride a super-fast carousel, visit with animals at the zoo and compete in sack races at the 18th-century Lefferts House. At the zoo’s Discovery Center, families can read nature books together and explore wildlife using a magnifying glass.

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  • Attractions
  • Libraries, archives and foundations
  • Prospect Heights

Due to renovations, parts of the library are closed (including the cafe), but main areas remain open.

With its grandiose 50-foot-high concave entry looking out at the iconic Grand Army Plaza arch, this library’s Central branch is even grander on the inside. Little ones will enjoy weekly storytimes and morning programs in a cozy kids-only area (complete with stroller parking), while older techies can hang out in the computer loft for a variety of activities. After catching a live reading or talk, grab a bagel at Emma's Torch, the in-house cafe.

  • Attractions
  • Arcades and amusements
  • DUMBO
  • price 1 of 4

The gorgeous Jane’s Carousel—housed inside a glass studio—illuminates as the Brooklyn Bridge and downtown NYC skyline hang in the background. Undoubtedly a great location for a few selfies and spins on the horses and chariots, this venue proves to be one of the most beloved facets of Brooklyn Bridge Park. With its undeniable old-school charm, there’s no reason to forgo a ride. After all, the talented Kings County artist Jane Wale, who spent well over 20 years restoring the carousel to pristine condition, deserves a little recognition for her feat. Even better? The popular kids’ spot is located right near Time Out Market New York, where you can enjoy the best of NYC cuisine under one roof. Score!

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  • Attractions
  • Towers and viewpoints
  • Midtown West
  • price 2 of 4

The 86th floor observatory at the Empire State Building may be the city’s original place to go for an eagle’s-eye view at New York, but at 70 stories up, the observation deck at the Rockefeller Center’s Top of the Rock affords a spectacular vista of Central Park without the crazy lines. After you’ve scoped out the unobstructed panoramic views, put a few quarters in the coin-operated binoculars and snapped some family photos, take the elevators down to the building’s subterranean mall for a bite to eat.

  • Museums
  • Science and technology
  • Flatiron
  • price 1 of 4

Rather than being a place to learn math, the museum near Madison Square Park is a place to realize all the remarkable things math can be used to create. Its 30-plus interactive exhibits include the Wall of Fire Theorem, a laser “wall” showing you that cross sections aren’t always what you think they are; Math Square, a Jumbotron on the floor that connects each person standing on it by the shortest path possible, changing the moment anyone moves; and a studio where kids can create a 3D design on a screen, for a chance to have it made into an actual sculpture via a 3D printer. Most vital of all is that the museum appeals to kids’ sense of fun, their innate curiosity about the world around them and their penchant for discovery.

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  • Museums
  • History
  • Upper West Side
  • price 2 of 4

A massive renovation in 2011 not only made the exhibits at this UWS institution more interactive, but introduced city kids to the DiMenna Children’s History Museum. Occupying 4,000 square feet on the Historical Society’s lower level, the space is the ideal spot for young history buffs to bone up on knowledge about their city through hands-on exhibits and more family programs than we can count. The permanent collection at the N-YHS—much of which is on view in the open-storage galleries on the fourth floor—offers kids a glimpse into quotidian urban living, with items like vintage toys.

  • Theater
  • Midtown West
  • price 2 of 4

You have to push through the solid wall of humanity crowding 42nd Street to get to the New Vic, but what’s inside is well worth the effort. This gem of a theater was built in 1900 by Oscar Hammerstein and became one of the finest showcases for children’s theater in New York. Each season brings a full slate of wondrous acts from around the world: Chinese circuses, Shakespearean comedies, French puppets and acrobats. The artists often lead families in workshops before the show, and happily meet the audience and sign programs afterward. Best of all, tickets cost a fraction of what you’d pay for other shows down the block.

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  • Attractions
  • Theme parks
  • Brooklyn
  • price 1 of 4

Ah Coney Island, home of the Mermaid Parade and the original Nathan's. If those aren't two very worthy reasons to visit, we don't know what are. Well alright, actually there's also the famously old wooden roller coaster, Cyclone, at Luna park, rivalled by flashy new(er) thrill-ride Atlantic Aviator, plus the oldest continually operating aquarium in the country, as well as the iconic Wonder Wheel at Deno's, a bustling boardwalk and the beach, obvs. Not bad for a site that was once partially a bunch of landfill.

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Queens

Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a world all its own, or more accurately, the Unisphere isits enduring icon, the mammoth steel globe created for the 1964 World’s Fair. But there’s also first-rate culture and sports at the New York Hall of Science, Arthur Ashe Stadium, Queens Museum of Art and Citi Field. The rolling green fields also encompass a zoo, carousel, boating lake, skate park, barbecue area, playfields and an aquatic and hockey center. The area's Playground for All Children, built in 1984, was designed to accommodate children with and without disabilities—the first of its kind in the country.

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • The Bronx
  • price 2 of 4

New York Botanical Garden is a feast for the eyes with gorgeous blooms that are bound to inspire any urban gardener. Though it might seem like a summertime excursion, the garden’s annual events such as Boo at the Zoo and the Holiday Train Show make the Bronx attraction a must during the colder months. (Without question it’s a happening spot for the holidays.) Naturally, you’ll want to stick around when spring arrives, as the Orchid Show is one of the most highly-anticipated events in all of NYC. Kids will love getting their hands dirty at the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden and the Edible Academy, which provides a chance for little naturalists to experience nature in the midst of NYC.

  • Sports and fitness
  • Stadiums
  • The Bronx
  • price 4 of 4

Take 'em out to the ball game! In addition to housing its namesake team, Yankee Stadium also hosts kid-friendly activities and themed events for families. Soak up the team's history in the museum—signed balls, old jerseys—and enjoy the game as your new favorite players score home runs. Oh! And it'd be wise to get a few snacks while you're visiting. (Might we suggest the vanilla pinstripe milkshake?)

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  • Attractions
  • Historic buildings and sites
  • Staten Island
  • price 1 of 4

Hop aboard the ferry to Staten Island for this time-traveling day trip. The Town— also known as the Staten Island Historical Society as of 1856—invites you to relive the history of the borough through a variety of family-friendly activities. From old-fashioned county fairs and homestyle breakfasts to seasonal pumpkin picking and evening candlelight tours, there’s something for everyone. Wander through four different sites (think: one massive museum) to catch costumed farmers and various handmakers, plus stop by Toys! to see what tots were playing with way back in the 19th century.

  • Things to do

Venture out to Governors Island (open May through October), where there’s plenty to see, do and enjoy as a family. Grab a ferry from Manhattan or Brooklyn to explore 172 acres via bike (there’s more than five miles of bike lanes and rentals are easily found at Blazing Saddles, Colonels Row), or head to spots like the Hammock Grove to kick back and relax in one of 50 hammocks or climb around on a nearby play structure. The Hills of Governors Island opened in 2016, and offers heights of 70 ft. above sea level (there are stunning views to be seen!) plus four huge slides, including the longest slide in NYC. Hungry? There are plenty of food trucks located on the island so you can snack, but we’d recommend bringing a picnic just for the experience.

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  • Museums
  • Special interest
  • Queens

While famous for skyscrapers, subways and busy streets, NYC also boasts serene, rustic landscapes. You just need to know where to look. The Queens County Farm Museum, which is considered Gotham’s oldest continually farmed land, dates all the way back to the late 1600s and is home to 47 acres of land. Visitors can enjoy the facility’s petting zoos, annual fall festivals such as the beloved pumpkin maze and the April Blossom Children’s Carnival. There’s a lot to learn and plenty of events taking place that'l keep the whole family entertained, regardless of the time of the year.

  • Museums
  • Childhood
  • West Village
  • price 1 of 4

CMA is temporarily closed due to Covid.

Tiny craftmakers can hone in on a variety of mediums with hands-on learning opportunities at the Children's Museum of the Arts. There's no shortage of activities thanks to year-round offerings, including summer camps and after-school programs where artistes can try out comic-book sketching, animation and set design, claymation and more. Exhibits are ever-changing but stART Studio—a program for ages 5 and under—operates on a semester basis while bi-monthly/monthly Saturday Family Studios gets the whole brood involved.

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  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Midtown West

FAO is 30 Rock's beloved toy store and its endless stacks of empty red shopping bags aren't going to fill themselves! From stuffed animals and board games to dolls and STEM products, the selection is nothing short of generous. All interests will find something that strikes their fancy, but perhaps what's so lovable about the store is the extra step it takes to make the experience interactive. Not only will kiddies be able to find a furry friend or snag a new model, but they'll be able to enjoy hands-on activities (some of which are free) that'll spark a bit of imagination and playfulness. Look out for magic tricks, science experiments, spa treatments and, of course, don't forget to play the big ol' piano dance mat.

  • Museums
  • History
  • Financial District
  • price 1 of 4

During Hurricane Sandy, much of South Street Seaport was destroyed, but it made a strong comeback with the reopening of South Street Seaport Museum, five historic ships to check out at Pier 16 and plenty of local restaurants and shops for snacking and browsing. Be sure to make a visit during the winter, now that it’s turned into a holiday hotspot with an ice rink and other fun seasonal amenities.

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  • Attractions
  • Sightseeing
  • Midtown West
  • price 4 of 4

Madame Tussauds' surroundings might have you to believing you're near the Hollywood Walk of Fame rather than Midtown Manhattan. The Times Square attraction has a tendency to leave its visitors starstruck thanks to the life-like wax figures inside. Those who can't part ways with reality TV shows will enjoy a run-in with starlets like Kylie Jenner, while the royally obsessed will have a chance to rub elbows with the likes of Meghan Markle and the Duchess of Cambridge. Don't forget to sing your favorite showtunes through the Play Your Part experience, a can't-miss attraction that thespians of all ages will love exploring.

  • Things to do

If your kids' (or yours) favorite movies are nautical numbers like Finding Nemo, The Little Mermaid and Shark Tale, then don't waste any time in booking a ride on the SeaGlass Carousel. This shimmering, revolving wonder is housed in a conch-like structure situated in Battery Park. On the approach, you can see the luminescent sealife dancing through the tall windows as if in a fish bowl. Enter, and you can hop on one of the fish for a ride 24/7, 365 days a year. It's eminently Instagrammable too, so cameras at the ready.

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American Girl Place
  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Midtown West

American Girl’s Rockefeller retail space is every little lady's dream. The 40,000-foot shop spans two levels and offers some pretty amazing features, including a salon where kids can get a hair cut at the same time as their favorite doll. A signature studio allows kids to personalize dolls with their own designs and a media studio hosts instructional classes as well as health and wellness activities. If your kids are complete fans of American Girl, then why not host their next birthday party here? The shop offers private party rooms with themed packages, projection equipment and other features that'll make your child’s next event the talk of the playground. 

The best view in New York is from the middle of the East River. There's nothing quite like sitting on the upper deck of a NYC Ferry as it cruises under the Williamsburg, Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. Officially a part of the city's transportation system, a one-way ride costs just $2.75. There are eight routes to choose from, including Rockaway and Governors Island, plus Colney Island and St George, which are both set to launch in 2021. It's always more fun to get where you're going when you're on a boat.

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