Kids can get bored easily – we have all been there! Thankfully, New York is one of the most exciting cities in the world and will not let you down. During your trip, you’ll be surprised at how many choices you have if you want to experience some fun things to do in NYC for kids. So let’s dive right into our top 8 family fun activities in New York City.
So where to start when looking for the most fun activities for kids in New York City? In order to find activities that will engage all of your little ones, you have to look beyond major attractions, playgrounds, and carousel rides. To make things a little easier for you, we’ve filtered out our favorite fun family things to do in NYC that are guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face. After all, finding activities that can bridge the gap between parents and children by bringing enjoyment to the whole group is certainly worth experiencing.
Top 8 Fun Things to Do for Kids and Families in New York City
1. Work together in an Escape Room
Escape rooms are fun group adventures for all ages, making it the perfect activity in NYC for families. Every escape room will challenge you with a different mission and there are always lots of unique themes to choose from. Especially as a family, you can bring to bear different strengths during your quest. A great game for families is Escape the Room NYC‘s “Jurassic Escape”. Regardless of the theme you choose in the end, trying to solve an escape room is one of the most fun things to do in NYC for kids and adults!
2. Slurp milkshakes at Gayle’s Broadway Rose
Traveling as a family is expensive. If you think your kids would enjoy listening to live Broadway performances without having to pay high ticket prices, then we’ve got an awesome solution for you: Gayle’s Broadway Rose in Midtown Manhattan. It’s located directly across from the Majestic Theatre hosting the Phantom of the Opera. Waiters and waitresses will sing the best Broadway songs to you while you can indulge in their delicious, over-the-top milkshakes. In my opinion, coming here is one of the most fun activities for kids in NYC and I’d even recommend it over Ellen’s Stardust Diner.
3. Explore New York’s Rooftops together
No, your kids are not too young to visit a rooftop bar in NYC! All you need to know is when to go. While bars and rooftop bars follow very strict rules in the evening hours, many rooftop bars allow kids during the day. Most rooftop bars will offer you amazing skyline views of the city making it the perfect sport for a lengthy break from all the sightseeing and other exciting activities. Knowing when to go to a rooftop bar allows a visit to be one of the best family fun activities in New York City.
4. Add the Treetop Adventure to your Bronx Zoo visit
Visiting the Bronx Zoo belongs on every list of family fun things to do in New York City. What most people don’t know, however, is that you can upgrade your experience! Besides visiting the Bronx Zoo, you can enjoy outdoor activities, including climbing courses and ziplining. The zoo and the treetop adventure are a phenomenal combination for a family visit. All offered trails are marked in different colors and with different animals to indicate their level of difficulty. The yellow chipmunk courses are ideal for families. Be sure that your kids meet the minimum eligibility requirements before you go ahead and purchase your tickets.
Admission to the Bronx Zoo is covered by most attraction passes!
Even better: If you can schedule your visit on a Wednesday, you can take advantage of the pay-what-you-wish offer. When taking advantage of this offer, consider contributing a donation.
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5. Hop on bicycles
Riding bicycles is relaxing, yet it is one of the most fun things to do in NYC with kids. Two great places to hit the pedals are Governors Island and Central Park. Both are large and beautiful green spaces offering you plenty of different routes. While Central Park has lots of attractions, Governors Island offers you idyllic views of Lower Manhattan. You can’t go wrong with either one! Regular rentals, as well as CitiBikes, are available at both locations. For those of you who already have or are thinking about a New York pass, bike rentals are typically included!
6. Dive into the ocean without getting wet
For a completely immersive experience in the city, you don’t even have to go too far. Midtown’s Ocean Odyssey by National Geographic Encounter offers you one of the most fun activities for kids in New York. As a group, you will be taking a journey across the Pacific Ocean. During each stop, you will discover and learn more about the ocean’s flora and fauna. It’s not just exhibitions you walk through, however; everything you learn will be imparted through multi-sense, virtual experiences.
7. Take a day trip to Coney Island
To escape the hustle and bustle of the city as a family, head to Coney Island. You can choose to either spend a relaxing day at the beach, go to Luna Park, or even do both in one day. Either way, there will be plenty of cool stuff at your disposal. It’s the perfect getaway if you’re looking for fun activities in NYC for families that are located outside Manhattan. It’s only a subway ride away!
8. Get your daily sugar intake
New York is home to some of the sweetest candy stores. From what we’ve seen and all the feedback we’ve received so far, most kids LOVE creating their own M&Ms at Times Square’s M&M’s World. They can choose their colors and design themselves and take them home as souvenirs. That is, of course, if they even last beyond the trip. You see, sometimes fun family things to do in New York City can be as simple as visiting a candy store!
My Personal Best Fun Activities for Kids & Families in New York City
One place I always recommend when being asked for the most fun things to do in new york with kids is the MoMath. It stands for the National Museum of Mathematics and at this point, you may already be thinking why should math be fun? This museum is more than just a museum. It features fun illusions that can all be explained with math. The high degree of interactivity truly engages the kids and makes the museum enjoyable even for those who don’t consider themselves math enthusiasts.
More Fun Things to Do in New York City
New York City has so much more to offer than its must-sees. In order to inspire you with not so typical activities, we’ve compiled a list of the top fun things to do in NYC for you. Also, you’ll find the most fun activities in New York City in different categories on this overview page. We made sure there’s more than enough fun stuff to discover for everyone!
I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 25 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!