July 17, 2019

Best Children’s Activities in NYC

Best Children's Activities in NYC by Brooklyn Blonde

Last week, Nate and I had the best day! He’s currently in camp 3x a week, so I’ve been trying to find things to do on the other days aside from strolling around our neighborhood parks. We started off with taking the ferry to Dumbo (the ferry is such a fun activity in itself) and our day was filled with two playgrounds, Jane’s Carousel, grabbing lunch, ice cream and then taking the ferry back.

Aside from the above, I turned to all of you to find out what your favorite children’s activities were. It’s no surprise that I got some of the best recommendations.

These are divided between outdoor and indoor activities and if you’re reading this and feel that there are any details or places that are missing, please comment! This list is meant to be helpful to our community, so I’m always eager to add any recommendations.

 

Best Children’s Activities in NYC

Indoor Activities

MUSEUMS

American Museum of Natural History

Location: Upper West Side (at 79th St)

Price: General Admission ranges from $13 to $33 depending on student/senior discounts & special exhibition add-ons. For full details, click here

From dinosaurs to outer space and everything in between, this huge museum showcases natural wonders with monthly special exhibitions. Ps, there’s a secret sprinkler playground on the roof of the museum for kids to enjoy during the summer months!

Brooklyn Children’s Museum

Location: Crown Heights (145 Brooklyn Ave)

Price: $11 for all ages (adult & child); Book in advance here

Brooklyn Children’s Museum offers three floors of interactive exhibits and hands-on cultural and science programs for ages 6 months to 10 years.

Children’s Museum of the Arts

Location: Hudson Square (103 Charlton St)

Price: Children & Adults $13 (ages 1-65), Under 1 Free,  Seniors 65+ pay as you wish; Book in advance here

Hands-on arts experiences for kids & families, including classes, performances & exhibits.

Children’s Museum of Manhattan

Location: Upper West Side (212 W 83rd St)

Price: Children & Adults $15, Seniors (65+) $12, Children (under 1) Free!

Kids’ museum featuring five floors of fun & discovery, along with a range of hands-on, educational & entertaining exhibits & activities.

Liberty Science Center

Location: Jersey City (222 Jersey City Blvd)

Price: General Admission Adults $25, Children (age 2-12) $20

Liberty Science Center is 300,000-square-foot learning center offering 4 floors & 12 galleries of hands-on science exhibits plus an IMAX Dome Theater.

New York Hall of Science

Location: Queens (47-01 11th St)

Price: General Admission Adults $16, Children $13. Also offers Special Combo Packages

Located at the former 1964 World’s Fair pavilion, NYSCI offers informal, hands-on learning through various products and services that use the “design-make-play” method of bringing delight and play to educating science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

New York Transit Museum

Location: Brooklyn Heights (99 Schermerhorn St)

Price: General Admission Adults $10, Children (2-17) $5, Seniors (65+) $5; Free on Wednesdays!

Housed in a 1936 subway station, the New York Transit Museum displays historical artifacts of the New York City Subway, bus, and commuter rail systems in the greater New York City metropolitan region.

INTERACTIVE PLAY PLACES

Apple Seeds

Location: Flatiron (10 W 25th St)

Price: Membership Only; See pricing options here

The all-in-one indoor play space for children newborn to five years old and their families. Apple Seeds offers incredibly unique indoor playgrounds & over 100 classes a week – from music classes like songs for seeds, to art, cooking, science, construction, ballet, tap, movement, gym, soccer and language.

Color Factory

Location: Soho (251 Spring St)

Price: General Admission $38, Children 2 & Under Free; Book in advance here

Color Factory is a pop-up interactive art exhibition with brightly colored room-sized installations, each themed around the concept of color.

Recess Dumbo

Location: Brooklyn (81 Washington St)

Price: Flexible Pass Options; Membership Options

Indoor recreation center with custom-made play structures designed for curious minds and busy bodies to explore & learn in a fun, safe environment.

Best Children's Activities in NYC

Best Children’s Activities in NYC – Outdoor Activities

PARKS & ZOOS

Battery Park

Location: Downtown Financial District

Attractions: SeaGlass Carousel

Historic park with Ellis Island & Statue of Liberty views & ferry service to both islands.

Bronx Zoo

Location: The Bronx (2300 Southern Blvd)

Price:Total Experience Adult (13+) $40, Child (3-12) $30, Senior (65+) $35

Metropolitan zoo with 265 acres that harbors 4,000 animals in replicas of their native habitats.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Location: Prospect Heights (990 Washington Ave)

Price: General Admission Adult $15, Children (under 12) Free!

Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a kid-friendly urban botanic garden that connects people to the world of plants, fostering delight and curiosity while inspiring an appreciation and sense of stewardship of the environment.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Location: Dumbo/East River (334 Furman St)

Attractions: Jane’s Carousel, Pier 6 Playgrounds

An urban oasis, 85-acre waterfront park featuring shaded picnic tables, hibachi-style BBQ grills & river views along with weekly events & attractions for all ages.

Tip: As mentioned above, we took the ferry (I use the NYC Ferry app) and it was the best way to start and end our adventure!

Central Park

Location: Between Upper East & West Sides (at 59th St)

Attractions: Balto Statue, Carousel, Model Boat Pond, Zoo

Sprawling park with pedestrian paths & ballfields, offering a variety of attractions including boat rentals & a reservoir.

Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk

Location: South Brooklyn (37 Riegelmann Boardwalk)

Attractions: Luna Park, New York Aquarium

Coney Island offers an ideal summer getaway from the hectic and steamy city. With nearly 3 miles of sandy beaches, along with exciting outdoor recreation opportunities & amusements, you’re guaranteed hours of entertainment.

Domino Park

Location: Williamsburg (300 Kent Ave)

Price: Free Admission

Situated at a former sugar refinery, Domino Park offers a green space complete with an elevated walkway, children’s playground, & dog run, all alongside breathtaking East River views.

Governors Island

Location: 800 yards from Lower Manhattan

Price: Park Admission Free; Ferry Round Trip $3 (ages 12 & older), Free on weekends before 12pm

Governors Island is a 172 acre island in the heart of New York Harbor. This car-free oasis awaits for miles of recreational activity, including cycling, play areas, sports, grilling and even ziplining! It is only accessible by ferry, going to & from 10 South Street at Battery Maritime Building and Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park (Sat & Sun only). See the weekly ferry schedule here.

Hudson River Park

Location: Chelsea Piers (b/t Battery Place & 59th Streets)

Attractions: Pier 25 Playground

Hudson River Park is known as the longest riverfront park in the US, sitting on 550-acres of land alongside the west side of Manhattan. It offers a tremendous variety of exciting and unique activities, from mini golf to carousel rides, and from historic walking tours to boat building.

Riverside Park

Location: Upper West Side, Hudson Riverfront (b/t 72nd & 158th Streets)

Attractions: Hippo Playground

Riverside Park is widely regarded as Manhattan’s most spectacular waterfront park, as it is one of only eight officially designated scenic landmarks in the City of New York. Recreational facilities include a range of sports courts & fields, a skate park, & a large portion of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway for riding bicycles.

Victorian Gardens Amusement Park

Location: Central Park (at Wollman Rink)

Price: Day Passes start at $18; Book in advance here

Old-timey summer venue offering concessions & carnival-style games, plus rides & live entertainment.


If you like this post about Best Children’s Activities in NYC,  you may find helpful: Kid Friendly Restaurants in NYC. & The Best Children’s Books

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9 comments

  • Rena

    Oh, this list is fantastic!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    http://www.dressedwithsoul.com

  • Francine

    Treasure this one-on-one time with your son. It’s amazing the bond we develop with our first!

  • Maaike

    I didn’t realise that there’s so much to do for children in NYC. Somehow that’s something I wouldn’t expect looking at all the skyscrapers and traffic racing by. Thanks for sharing!

  • Leslie

    we stumbled upon the Children’s Museum of the Arts a few weekends ago and absolutely loved it, very hands on, leave the mess there craft heaven! Our 7 year old had an absolute blast for a couple hours in blessed a/c! An absolute gem!

  • Rena S

    What a great list!! Also, there is Victorian Gardens Amusement Park in Central Park.
    Thank you !

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