Keep reading to learn more about our list of kid friendly things to do in NYC this weekend. If you’ve ever found yourself on staycation with no ideas for what to take your family to do in your own city, look no further.
The Big Apple may not seem like the most fun place in the world for little ones. Surprisingly, finding fun activities for kids (even ones that the whole family can enjoy taking part in) is not as difficult as you might think out here in NYC. Whether your family is more into something physically active, an experience revolving around tasty treats, or even some sight-seeing, there is no shortage of things to do on a nice weekend in the city that your kids will love.
If you want more ideas for some great activities that don’t cater to kids, also take a look at our list of things to do in NYC this weekend.
In looking for some kid friendly things to do in NYC this weekend, we consulted several sources, but the one that helped us the most was My Little Nomads. This site was extraordinarily helpful, and offered a wealth of information on numerous great options. The items are listed in no particular order.
Keep reading to learn more details about kid friendly things to do in NYC this weekend.
Tours are a great form of entertainment, especially in a city like NYC with so much to see and learn. Kids love tours, because they get to see things behind-the-scenes or more in-depth than on a normal outing. Parents love tours because they get to somewhat sit back and enjoy the experience, while their kids are having a great time and getting an awesome lesson from the tour guide. Does your three-year-old constantly ask “Why?”? Take them on a tour, and you won’t be the one to have to answer that question for once! The variety of tours available in New York is seriously astounding. Some of the best options for the whole family are as follows:
This tour combines two awesome things: cultural history and pizza. Not only will you get a full history lesson that encompasses several boroughs over the course of almost five hours, but you will also get to try out pies from the “best” pizzerias across the city.
If Brooklyn is your stomping ground, or you want to take a detour from your normal Manhattan route, check out the Brooklyn Chocolate Tour. You’ll be taken from Union Square into Brooklyn in order to visit some of the “best” chocolate shops in the borough, and learn something along the way.
If you have a bit of cash and are willing to splurge, your family will go crazy over this idea. Help your kids conquer their fear of heights while letting them see one of the most gorgeous views in the world, with a helicopter tour!
If you want something lighthearted and sweet, this one is for you. Cupcakes and gelato are the focus of this yummy tour. What kid can resist six shops of desserts?
Where would New York City be if not for the theatre? Broadway is a staple institution in the Big Apple. People come from around the world to witness history in the making on the stages of theatres across the city. Luckily, there are usually some really great shows that cater to little ones as well. Start your kids out with an appreciation for performing arts by taking them to see a show! No wonder these suggestions are on our list of kid friendly things to do in NYC this weekend, right?
This amazing experience is truly special for any aspiring star. Not only will kids get to go behind-the-scenes and into the backstage area and prop room of the New Amsterdam Theatre; they will also get to try on costumes from major Disney musical productions and get a full history lesson. Parents love this experience just as much as their little ones.
Another foolproof plan is to simply get tickets to a great show that the whole family will love. There are always deals on show tickets to be taken advantage of, including Rush and Lottery policies, which make the Broadway experience much more affordable. Some awesome shows that kids would eat up include The Lion King, Aladdin, STOMP, Phantom of the Opera, and Wicked.
At number four on our list of kid friendly things to do in NYC this weekend we have something for our sports fans and those who enjoy a more active approach to fun, there is always the option of doing something athletic with the kids. Depending on the season, there are different options for indoor and outdoor activities that will get your whole family up and moving.
Why not get a head start on practicing for the upcoming season at one of NYC’s many batting cages? This is a great option for little kids, since they can’t really hurt themselves or lose the ball, no matter how hard they may try. It’s also great for parents who don’t want to have to stare into the sun all day or constantly retrieve a stray ball.
Isn’t ice skating for winter time? Fortunately, the folks over at Chelsea Piers believe ice skating is a year-round activity, and one that can be enjoyed indoors. Bring the gang down to rent some skates and cut some pretty circles into the ice.
If you’re a big sports fan, there is no shortage of sports teams to cheer on in New York City. From soccer to football and baseball, there is a team to see. If you’re a baseball fan, you can even schedule a super cool behind-the-scenes stadium tour for teams like the Yankees. This is sure to be a hit with kids and parents alike, and is definitely one of the best kid friendly things to do in NYC this weekend.
3. NYC Classics
For a true taste of what makes our gorgeous city what it is, check out a classic New York experience that rank 3rd on our list of kid friendly things to do in NYC this weekend. There is so much to see and do that it is sometimes hard to remember that some of those “touristy” attractions are really worth checking out.
Coney Island boardwalk
For some old-fashion boardwalk fun, check out Coney Island in Brooklyn. There are rides, games, a variety of classic carnival treats to munch on, and of course, the beach is just a few steps away.
For something to do 365 days per year, no matter what the weather, head over to the famous Empire State Building. Kids will flip over the amazing 86th story views of the sparkling city. You can even make this a more kid-friendly activity by ordering your tickets online to avoid the ticket line, or even ordering the express ticket option, which lets you skip the ticket line AND the elevator line.
The annual Cherry Blossom Festival is the most ideal time to visit this beautiful floral paradise. But have no fear, the rest of the year is just as beautiful. Take a nice stroll through the gardens and take in all of the beautiful sights and smells.
2. Animal Experiences
We are continuing our list of kid friendly things to do in NYC this weekend – just because New York City is a concrete jungle, doesn’t mean that its only inhabitants are human. There are a ton of awesome animal experiences to be enjoyed in our city. From domesticated to totally wild, there are a lot of furry friends to get a good look at.
Hit the New York Aquarium for a chance to learn all about everyone’s favorite sea-dwelling creatures, including sharks, otters, fish, sea lions, walruses, and more. There are always new exhibits and shows, so do some research before heading to the aquarium to be sure to find out what the best time is for you to visit.
To get more experience with some land-dwelling animals, there are also multiple amazing zoos within the New York City boroughs. Each is unique, but all have the same goal: to educate the public about the animal residents and raise awareness surrounding the needs of those species in the wild. See which zoo sounds like the best bet for your family.
If you’re looking for more of a hands-on approach to animal encounters, stop by one of New York’s new cat cafes. Here, kids and adults can both enjoy a nice cup of tea and a yummy pastry while snuggling with some pretty kitty residents. A bonus: all of the cats that live in the cat cafes are available for adoption, if you’re in the market for a new pet.
You may not believe it, but there is only one working farm in all of NYC. A visit to the historic Queens County Farm Museum gives you and your little ones a glimpse into the past, with tours of the grounds and lessons on how farming worked in the 17th century. Included in the tour is time for everyone to interact with some awesome farm animal friends, from goats to geese. Kids get to see these animals roaming free, which is a strange sight in NYC!
Some museums can be a bit too adult or too stuffy for kids to really enjoy. Luckily, if you know where to look, there are actually quite a few museums that kids will really love. Our picks on today’s list of kid friendly things to do in NYC this weekend, include fun hands-on activities in addition to educational resources.
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum was founded in 1899, and is the world’s first children’s museum. Some of the permanent exhibits include the Sensory Room, Block Lab, and World Brooklyn (a miniature version of a Brooklyn neighborhood, complete with bodegas!). A current visiting exhibit called Wilderness Camp gives families the opportunity to discuss and role play situations regarding the great outdoors. There is always something going on at this awesome museum just for kids.
Another amazing attraction for kids, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan has a variety of awesome kid-friendly exhibits and activities. The littlest kids will love Playworks, while slightly older kids will get a kick out of Adventures with Dora and Diego. Especially great for warm weather is the City Splash water play installation, where kids can get wet and have a great time.
The Intrepid is something that you will want to allot the entire day to explore. There is more to see than you might expect, from the enormous aircraft carrier that constitutes the body of the museum itself, to 30 vintage planes, a submarine, and space shuttle Enterprise, your little ones will find things to get into for hours. If they head down to the hangar level of the museum, they will find The Exploreum. Here, they can take part in a number of interactive kids’ activities. They can even steer a plane’s wings and climb into a real helicopter. Don’t forget that a large bulk of this experience takes place outdoors, so be sure that you look up the weather forecast and prepare for our visit.
If your kids are super high-tech (or even if they just like to have a bit of fun with tech-based gadgets), take them to Sony Wonder Technology Lab for a real hands-on experience. You can join your kids in creating music, movies, and video games. Learn all kinds of interesting facts about different facets of the tech world, even how to be a virtual surgeon and how to program robots!
Thanks for staying with us through our list of kid friendly things to do in NYC this weekend. The next time you are looking for a weekend activity that the whole family can enjoy together, head to one of these spots to take part in something special.