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Turn New York City Into a Kid-Friendly Experience

by Susan Finch

Dec 27, 2017

© Songquan Deng | Dreamstime

Destinations / North America

There’s a reason they call New York City the city that never sleeps. There’s something going on around the clock and the bright lights, bustle and activity makes it a family vacation where everyone can have fun. And if your kids already never seem to sleep, then they’ll be in good company and can grab a midnight slice or cupcake with the rest of Manhattan.


But decision fatigue creeps up on you fast in a city like New York City. Where do you start and what do you do while still making it a kid-friendly experience? Here’s how to get started.


Make it Magical

New York City has no shortage of things to do, and that includes those magical experiences that just beg children to come by and enjoy. Alice’s Tea House serves up high tea and tasty treats in a tea house that looks like it belongs in Alice in Wonderland. Dubbed New York City’s most whimsical tea house, this place prides itself on doing upscale tea with a touch of fairy dust.


Turn It Into an Adventure

New York City beckons adventurers looking to explore. Get your kids involved in the fun and plan an outing that involves figuring out the subway, taking a taxi boat and climbing to the top of tall buildings like the Empire State Building. You can even turn it into a game where each attraction earns a point with a prize of their choice waiting at the famed FAO Schwarz.


Get Off the Beaten Path

New York City’s must-see attractions like the Statue of Liberty are fun, but can be stressful and crowded. Mix in some off-the-beaten path adventures like renting a bicycle built for four on Governor’s Island during warmer months or sailing over the city on the Roosevelt Island Tramway and seeing the lighthouse on the other side. There are plenty of attractions that are local favorites that seem to go unnoticed by most tourists and could turn into the favorite part of your trip.

NYC at Christmastime

Photo: Bigapplestock | Dreamstime


Find the Right Tour

New York has dozens of tours to choose from, ranging from high-end cultural elite to cruising past television and movie locations. But you can also find tours that cater to your kids’ interests whether pizza or cupcakes. There’s even a Sports Arena tour where guests see iconic sites like Madison Square Garden and area stadiums and step into the dugouts and exclusive VIP boxes.


Take Selfies

Snapping selfies seems to be a right of passage for kids and grown-ups alike when travel is involved. Encourage them to take selfies and share with friends to show off what they saw and did. Turn it into a game and see who can snap the most selfies net to iconic sites. There’s even a Selfie Tour in New York that takes groups through Central Park and gives tips on mobile photography.


Find a Quiet Spot

New York City is an exhilarating place to visit, but can be overwhelming for even the best adjusted kids. Plan to visit some quiet spots around the city and grab a snack. Go by and see the white peacocks at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, make the trek out to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and take a quiet hike to go bird watching or see Mount Loretto Unique Area and visit the one of the southernmost points of New York. It could also be the quietest.


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