1. Central Park

    Myriad activities for kids include storytelling, carousel rides, bike riding, boating, ice skating, nature workshops, and guided walks. The Central Park Zoo is excellent, not too large in size, and the Tisch Children’s Zoo allows petting and feeding of farm animals.

    Central Park’s carousel

    Polar Bear in Central Park Zoo
  2. Bronx Zoo

    America’s largest city zoo offers authentic environments for exhibits such as the Himalayan Highlands, African Plains, Jungle World, the Congo Gorilla Forest, Tiger Mountain, and newest attraction Madagascar! All enclosures are easily reached via shuttle trains and elevated rides .

  3. Children’s Museum of Manhattan

    Five floors of educational hands-on fun with exhibits like Body Odyssey, exploring a giant crawl-through body; Inventor Center, using scanners and digital images; and a TV studio where kids produce their own shows. Under-fours have their own play area .

    Children’s Museum of Manhattan
  4. American Museum of Natural History

    Join throngs of New York parents introducing children to the world-famous dioramas of wild animals in realistic natural habitats and the fascinating dinosaur exhibits. The totem and giant canoe in the Northwest Coast Indian exhibit and the enormous meteorites and mineral rock specimens are also favorites. The Rose Center will intrigue older children and teens .

  5. New Victory Theater

    The “New Vic,” a 1900 landmark, has been transformed into New York’s first major theater devoted to family entertainment. Troupes from around the world offer plays, circus acts, and other diversions to delight young audiences. Pre-performance family workshops with staff and cast are scheduled, offering interesting insights into how a theater functions.

    • 209 West 42nd St, between 7th & 8th Aves

    • Box office open noon–7pm Tue–Sat, 11am–5pm Sun & Mon

    • Admission charge

  6. F.A.O. Schwarz

    Expect to be awed by this toy store selling giant stuffed animals to the last word in action toys. This wonderland of fun was founded by German immigrant Frederick August Otto Schwarz in 1862 and is now the flagship store for dozens of locations nationwide. Kids love looking, but be prepared to be wheedled into a purchase.

    • 767 5th Ave at 58th St

    F.A.O. Schwarz
  7. Coney Island/ New York Aquarium

    Although a bit frayed since its early 1900s heyday, Coney Island (undergoing some development) is still home to the landmark ferris wheel and roller-coaster rides, and the long sandy beach and beachside boardwalk. The excellent New York Aquarium, along the boardwalk, is an indoor/outdoor complex where whales, walruses, and dolphins play, and finny creatures range from sharks to seahorses. A great day’s outing for the family.

    Coney Island
  8. Tall Ship Cruises

    A boat ride in Manhattan harbor is always a thrill, and what better way to go to sea than aboard the 1885 Schooner Pioneer at South Street Seaport? Ninety-minute lunch sails are good for those with short attention spans; two-hour cruises depart afternoon and evening.

    South Street Seaport Museum

    • Pier 16 at South Street Seaport

    • Thu–Sun May–Sep

    • Admission charge

  9. The Circus

    New York’s own non-profit Big Apple Circus, with a delightful one-ring show, pitches its tent from October to December in Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center. Those who want the traditional three-ring extravaganza will find Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey in town in March and April.

    Big Apple Circus

    • Lincoln Center Plaza; Ringling Bros./Barnum & Bailey, Madison Square Garden, 7th Ave at 32nd St

    • Admission charge

  10. Children’s Museum of the Arts

    When little ones get fed up with sightseeing, bring them to this SoHo stop where children can enjoy interactive exhibits. Those under the age of ten can create their own works of art using paint, collage, chalk, or you name it, and work off energy in the play areas. Under-fives have their own WEE (wondrous experimenting and exploring) Artists Drop-In section. Children’s art from other nations is on show.

    • 182 Lafayette St, between Broome & Grand Sts

    • Open noon–5pm Wed–Sun, noon–6pm Thu

    • Admission charge


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