New York City for Families: A Little Guide

Although at first glance New York might seem like a destination for adults. However, a family with children would be extremely happy to visit this "pearl" of the United States.

Each restaurant provides adequate menus for the little guests, the city has large green spaces at every corner: large parks (the most important example is certainly Central Park), or small gardens, always strictly equipped with slides, swings, and games for children to enjoy. In this article, we will briefly guide you through your NYC trip and provide some of the best sightseeing options for the whole family.

Here is our little guide to New York City for Families:

Getting to New York
Getting the largest expense (flights to NYC) can hurt, but I find it best to get it done as soon as you have your travel plans. That helps save money as well, and getting the bulk price out of the way can help ease your mind for the rest of your trip.

Depending on where you're coming from, you should have no problem finding the best deals on some of the many online offers to fly and travel to New York on various price comparators. You'll easily be able to compare the cheaper options to the more luxurious ones if that is what you're looking for.

Where to sleep in New York City
Staying in Midtown New York City is something special. The Empire State Building-Times Square area is one of the best to have everything within reach: leaving the hotel and finding yourself totally immersed in the atmosphere of the city is something unforgettable. You can also easily return to the hotel in the middle of the day if you want to let the children rest without making too many trips. Really the only downside to staying in Midtown is the cost.

If you have a more limited budget, you can find economic family apartments that allow you to save as much as possible during your stay in the Big Apple. You can also do things like preparing meals for the day so you don't have to eat out the whole time.

Eating in New York
Considering how large NYC is, you won't ever have a hard time finding all kinds of food throughout the city. You will have no problem fulfilling even the pickiest of eaters. However, when in New York there are some foods you absolutely have to try!

The origins of pizza are traced back to Naples, Italy, but the distinctly American version we know and love was born in New York City in the late 1800s when Neapolitan immigrants adapted their family recipes. No trip to NYC is complete without trying the famous New York-style pizza you can find everywhere.

Another story of immigration. The bagel was introduced and became popular worldwide when Jewish immigrants brought the tradition with them from Europe. Now you can find bagels in supermarkets everywhere, but many restaurants in NYC have their own unique spins on this delicious treat!

Cheesecake has also existed for centuries, but New York City's signature take came into being after cream cheese was invented in the nearby town of Chester, New York, in 1872. Since then, NY has been known for its version an already mouthwatering dessert.

Remember that in the big city, it may be necessary to book the restaurant ahead of time otherwise, the wait could be extreme.

How to move around New York City
Similar to most big cities around the world, taxis are never in short supply in NYC. If you're trying to get from one place to another as easily as possible then hopping in a cab might be the way to go. It's good to remember that traffic can be atrocious as well. So, you may want to give yourself more time if you decide to take a taxi.

Renting a car in New York City is also a good way to get around during your trip. If you're comfortable driving in a foreign place, it can help save a lot of money over having to pay for a taxi each you go out. It also gives your family a lot more freedom not only for getting around, but you can also take more with you on days of exploring.

Buses and subways are another good and very cheap alternative to get around the city if you're not interested in driving. The subway, however, maybe the only way to avoid the traffic you would find above ground. Both the bus system and the subways are mapped very well and are a breeze to use.

Places to see and things to do in New York City

American Museum of Natural History
One of the best family-friendly attractions is certainly The American Museum of Natural History. There is no lack of mythical and historical exhibits. Not to mention dinosaurs like the T-REX! This museum has enough wonders to explore for hours on end so be sure to give yourself a good amount of time for your visit. Depending on how fast you are walking through, the recommended time is about 4 hours to see a much as possible. Admission cost is in the form of a $23 donation for adults and $13 for kids. Inside there are water dispensers so you can save a little money by having your own water bottle with you.

Be careful, your kids will never want to leave!

Central Park
Central Park is a classic must-see in New York. Some activities you can do there include Ice skating (in the winter), taking a horse-drawn carriage ride through the park, and many other activities and events that come and go at different times of the year. Central Park is the perfect place to enjoy a little nature while in the big city and for the kids to burn off some energy running around or playing on one of the many playgrounds.

You'll find another famous place in the park as well. The Central Park Zoo is one of the smaller zoos in NYC but could make for a fun addition to your time exploring Central Park. Tickets range from $20 for adults and $15 for children.

If you decide to skip the zoo, you may still be greeted by some of the park's wildlife. Such as squirrels, ducks, geese, and if you've got a good eye you may be able to spot some turtles in the ponds around the park.

You could easily spend half a day or more in the park if you have the time.

Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is a symbol of the city and one of the most visited and appreciated skyscrapers. You can climb up to the 86th floor or up to the 102nd floor, with price scales that grow as you go higher. It may be a little costly, but the view from above is phenomenal! The line to get to the observation deck can be fairly long most days. Make sure you have some tools to keep everyone entertained during the long wait!

We simply cannot forget to mention Broadway: the beating heart of the city and Mecca of theatre worldwide. Here the most famous names of today's and yesterday's cinema perform in musicals, comedies, and dramas with high-budget productions full of special effects and huge sets. In all this, the famous Disney musicals stand out: "Mary Poppins" and the "Lion King”. I can't promise a budget-friendly trip to a Broadway show, but if you're willing to spend a little extra money it can be an amazing time for the whole family.

Experience a Scavenger Hunt in New York City
One of the best ways to tour the Big Apple is through a fun and exciting New York City scavenger hunt. There’s no better way to explore Lower Manhattan, Wall Street, and The Rockefeller Center than through an adventurous scavenger hunt! It’s a terrific bonding activity the family will surely enjoy.

Companies that organize scavenger hunts have lots of creative ideas and additional games that will make each hunt more customized to your preference.

Rockefeller Center and Lego Shop
Every adult visiting New York cannot fail to see the spectacular Rockefeller Center with its famous ice skating rink that appears in every movie. If your trip happens to be planned during the holiday season you have all the more reason to visit Rockefeller Center. You'll be able to ice skate under the stunning Christmas tree that gets lit up every year.

Even during other times of the year, Rockefeller Center is a sight to behold. Then there's the LEGO shop. Where the bricks are assembled in the reproduction of the same Rockefeller Center as well as many other imaginative creations that decorate the two floors of the store. The presence of the LEGO store in this context also ensures the satisfaction of young tourists along with that of their parents no matter what time of year you're visiting!

Statue of Liberty
No list of things to do in New York City for families would be complete without mentioning the Statue of Liberty. The national monument is not only one of the most popular site in NYC but in all of the United States.

Taking the ferry out to Liberty Island is a wonderful activity in itself. You get to see the city from a new perspective as you cruise across the Hudson River and the kids will love the boat ride. Once on the island, it's impossible not to be impressed by the grandness of the statue. Most of the packages you can purchase include a trip to the historic Ellis Island as well. The ferry package costs $25 per adult and $16 for children. With more in-depth tours of the statue costing the same.

Last-Minute Tips
For the main museums-buildings or in any case for all the very touristy attractions within the city, it is advisable to arrive as early as possible to avoid the long lines.

You can also choose to do the NY PASS which helps you save money if you plan to visit as many places as possible.

Remember to consider picking up a car rental in New York City as well. It can really help you get around to some of the farther out locations you may want to visit. Navigating the city can be a little tricky, but if you are a confident driver it's totally worth it.

As with any trip, it is better not to keep the time too tight, especially with children following. New York City is a wonderful place to explore and you'll need some time to see everything your heart desires.

I hope you enjoyed our little guide to New York City for families. Leave a comment with your favorite place or activity in NYC!

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