Exploring New York City with Kids

Have you ever been or wanted to go to New York City with kids? Then keep on reading, because I am about to share some tips with you on finding the fun places are to explore with your children.

A view from Central Park. A nice place to relax, play games and enjoy a picnic.
Photo Credit: Eat Pure LoveThe Art of Home Education

One thing I enjoyed about New York City, besides all the sightseeing opportunities, was the diversity. For once we were not the only multiculturals in the neighborhood. Walking among all those different ethnicities felt refreshing and actually made me feel straight at home.

Getting There

We flew from Denver International Airport to La Guardia with Southwest Airlines and had a great experience. Did you know you can still check-in TWO pieces of luggage FREE of charge? Nowadays that seems crazy right?! On the plane, we even got a drink and a snack.

After we arrived at La Guardia, we got ourselves a Metro Card for 10 days, which costs about $34. This is the card you need if you are planning on using the bus and the subway. Kids 44 inches (around 1.12 m) and under ride for free. One adult can accompany 3 children. Just so you know, the subway in New York City is not really accessible for strollers or wheelchairs. So bring your carrier and then it is totally doable. 

We took bus Q70 to 74th St and hopped on subway 7 towards Grand Central Terminal. Depending on where you are staying you have more options for the subway. They come every 10 minutes, so there is no need to hurry. If you miss this one, you can always catch the next one.

You can find a subway map here.

Lodging Recommendation

We stayed at Grand Hyatt New York. It is centrally located next to Grand Central Station and only 4 blocks away from the busy Times Square. Bryant Park and the New York Library are only 2 blocks away and lovely to visit with children. A lot happens at Bryant Park! If you upgrade to the Grand Club, which is located on the 16th floor, you get access to a rooftop patio and continental breakfast and availability of snack, coffee, tea and juice throughout the day.

For larger families, they have adjoining rooms, so my family of 7 could easily be accommodated. One of the perks they offered was a rooftop tour at 10:00 am, which we really enjoyed and we learned a lot about the architecture of the buildings around us. Upon the roof, you stood right in front of the Chrysler Building, which was awesome!

When checking out hotels in New York, make sure to check out Expedia, Hotwire, and Priceline.

10 Things You Must See in New York City!

Photo Credit: Eat Pure LoveThe Art of Home Education
  1. Take the East Ferry ($2.75 pp one way) on E 35th St to Brooklyn Bridge Park and Dumbo. Enjoy the views while you are on the ferry. After you arrive at Brooklyn Bridge Park, try to spend some time here. I think this ended up being one of our favorite spots in New York City. Continue by walking (a little part of) the Brooklyn Bridge.
  2. Explore the North side of Central Park and the Conservatory Garden. Biking around Central Park is another fun thing to do. Groupon often has discounted prices available. For a map of Central Park, click here.
    To get there, take line 2 or 3 to Uptown. Exit at Central Park North.
  3. Visit the Museum of Natural History and check out the dinosaurs, or other exhibitions. If you walk up to the ticket counter you can pay what you wish, instead of the regular price.
    To get there, take line B (on weekdays) or C. Exit at 81st.

    Dinosaurs are huge! Photo Credit: Eat Pure LoveThe Art of Home Education
  4. Explore The Vessel at Hudson Yard. Don’t forget to make a reservation. You can book this two weeks in advance. Before booking, I looped up the sunset hours, because I thought it would be cool to explore the Vessel during sunset.
    What is The Vessel? It is kind of hard to explain. First of all, it checks the boxes for architecture and art. But it also offers a great workout, because it consists of a lot of adjoining stairs. One thing I know for sure is that we enjoyed this experience. And for now, it is still free.
    To get there, take subway 7 to Hudson Yards.
  5. Walk the High Line, while eating ice cream or a popsicle. Can you imagine this was an abandoned railroad? Now it offers a wonderful walk from Hudson Yards to the Meatpacking District.
    To get there, take subway 7 to Hudson Yards.
  6. Visit the Central Park Zoo.
    To get there, take line N, Q, W to uptown. Exit at Fifth Avenue/59th Street (Central Park South).
  7. Take the Staten Island Ferry and see Lady Liberty. You can decide to explore Staten Island some more while you’re there. They have beautiful beaches. Or you can hop right back on the ferry to go back to Manhattan.
    To get there, take line 1 to South Ferry or take line 4 or 5 to get to Bowling Green. Walk from there to Whitehall Terminal where the Staten Island Ferry leaves. The fare for the Staten Island Ferry is included in the Metro Card.

    Well hello to you too!
    Photo Credit: Eat Pure LoveThe Art of Home Education
  8. Walk around Little Italy and enjoy some Italian gelato. We didn’t eat in Little Italy but headed over to Eataly to enjoy dinner. There were so many restaurants in Little Italy that I couldn’t choose.
    To get there, take line 6 to Little Italy. Exit at Spring St.
  9. Whispering Arch at Grand Central Station. It is located on the dining concourse. Stand in opposite corners and talk to each other. Due to the acoustics, you can hear each other, which we thought was pretty fun.
  10. If you have time, spend the day at Coney Island and explore Brighton Beach.
    To get there, take subway 7 from Grand Central Terminal to Bryant Park and transfer to line B to Brighton Beach. Explore the town and walk (or take the Q) to Coney Island. Or take line F or D directly to Coney Island.

We really enjoyed spending time in New York City. I love it so much! There are a lot of playgrounds and parks. Depending on how much time you have, you can even go to the beach.  Depending on the season you are visiting New York City, there are movie nights, theater evenings and concerts at parks. And there are also specific events happening for children. So make sure to check that out before you go.

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Savannah writes for Eat.Pure.Love and The Art of Home Education. She is a Third Culture Kid and a former Business Intelligence Consultant and works as a blogger and freelance photographer. She is a former Dutchie who currently lives in Colorado, USA, where she homeschools her four special needs children. Are you already following her on Instagram?
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