If you’ve never been to New York City, then you don’t know what you’re missing. There are some cities around the world which offer historic landmarks and rich heritage, such as Paris and London, and there are some which are ultra-modern and at the cutting edge of architecture, such as Tokyo and Manila, but there are none that even come close to matching the jaw-dropping spectacle of the Big Apple.
But if you thought New York would only be of interest to adults, it’s time to think again. This incredible city is home to a vast number of landmarks and attractions, many of which will delight children. Here are four places that are must-visits for families from all over the world. If you’re on your way to NYC, be sure to include them in your itineraries.
Empire State Building
While this hugely iconic building in the heart of Manhattan is a popular landmark with adults, the children will also find it wonderfully enjoyable. The views across New York are simply spectacular, from Central Park to the north to the Statue of Liberty to the south. There are telescopes available on the observation deck, and kids love to check out the vistas and discover just how far they are able to see. For the best results, visit the building on a clear day.
Madison Square Garden
Children love sports, so it makes sense to head to the heart of New York City’s sporting community. Madison Square Garden is the home of, among others, the Knicks (basketball) and the Rangers (ice hockey), and regularly hosts world championship boxing. Tourists can enjoy guided tours of the venue, which offer a fascinating insight into the legends that have made ‘The Garden’ one of the world’s most famous sports arenas.
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Many tourists who visit New York City tend to stay on the island of Manhattan, but it’s worth remembering the Big Apple is larger than most people think. Brooklyn Children’s Museum was created in 1899, the first such establishment in the whole of the USA, and it remains immensely popular to this day. Pleasingly, many of the exhibits are hands-on, so kids can interact from the moment they arrive.
Central Park Zoo
No visit to New York is complete without a trip to the magnificent Central Park, because it offers an oasis of tranquillity in the very heart of this bustling city. But some people don’t realize that there’s a wonderful zoo just waiting to be explored. The three main areas – tropic, temperate and polar – are home to a wide selection of creatures, including anteaters, fruit bats, and red pandas.
Socrates Sculpture Park
The Socrates Sculpture Park has over 4 acres of open space for visitors to enjoy between 10 in the morning and sunset on a daily basis. This hands-on experience will allow you and your family the chance to converse with the many artists and interact with their designs. The park hosts a variety of fun events throughout the year so be sure to check their calendar.
Virtual Sky Ride
The second floor of the Empire State Building houses the New York Sky Ride that gives visitors a virtual tour of this exciting city. You and your family will sit on moveable seats that turn, while you watch the wonders on an 18-foot screen in high definition. The virtual tour takes you on a realistic exploration of attractions like the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Times Square. There is also a wonderful tribute to those that lost their lives at the World Trade Center.
If you and your children are into rock climbing, Central Park has over six climbing walls that are ideal for exploring. Here you will find Kids Rock, Cat Rock, and Overlook Rock the perfect destination for a morning or afternoon of fun and excitement.
The downtown boathouse is a free way to introduce your family to the world of kayaking. You will find beginner instructions on specific nights of the week for those that are a novice to the sport. There are over 159 miles of New York City trails to explore in the water that takes you through the many boroughs and harbors of this beautiful city.
Prospect Park Zoo
The Prospect Park and Zoo is host numerous animal exhibits from farmyard animals to exotic baboons. This is an excellent adventure for both children and adults to learn more about animals, and the conservation efforts that are being made to save their environment. If you are visiting in the fall, be sure to check out their Boo at the Zoo event. The zoo always has some fun family events scheduled that children are sure to enjoy.
New York Hall of Science
The New York Hall of Science is an interesting place where kids and adults can explore over 400 exhibits pertaining to the science field. Children are encouraged to touch and investigate the many displays and interact with the computer simulators on display. There are many programs that are geared to children in different age groups and their Science Playground will keep kids happy and entertained for hours.
Keep Your Children Safe When Traveling
Exposing your children to the world can be a great learning experience, but you need to keep them safe and secure while traveling. New York is a busy place, so you want to make sure you know where they are at all times. Our NY personal injury attorney warns that even the best hotels with a large security force are attractive to criminals, so it is best that parents do now allow children to walk around the hotel without adult supervision.
Never let your children wander around in any unfamiliar areas alone, and you should always keep a current picture of them in case they get lost. When crossing the street and walking through crowded areas, you should hold onto your child’s hand. Before you leave for your destination, explain that they should follow the same safety rules in New York as they do at home.
Traveling to New York City can be an exciting adventure for the entire family. They have an array of wonderful recreational and educational activities to explore both during the day and at night geared toward you and your children.