8 Family-Friendly New York Adventures to Add to Your NYC Itinerary
New York City’s offerings extend far beyond its most famous landmarks—this bustling city has countless attractions, from Roosevelt Island to the Children’s Museum of the Arts. New York City may be known as the city that never sleeps, but it is still the perfect destination for a family vacation. The city’s extensive offerings mean that there will be something that appeals to every member of the family.
Continue reading to discover the eight of the best family-friendly adventures to be found in New York City.
1. Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry offers one of New York City’s most iconic views: that of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. The commuter ferry runs 24 hours a day between Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan and St. George Terminal on Staten Island. The 5.2 mile route takes about 25 minutes, and boats operate every 15 minutes during peak hours and every 30 minutes at other times.
For no charge, visitors can admire the views of New York Harbor from the deck of the Staten Island Ferry. Children and adults alike will love the elegance of the Statue of Liberty and the sweeping vistas accessible from the ferry.
2. The High Line
The High Line is an innovative reimagining of a public park in an urban environment; it is an elevated green space built on a historic railway. Stretching over 1.45 miles of Chelsea and the Meatpacking District, the High Line is home to gardens, art installations, performances, and stunning views of the Hudson River. The entire area is an incredible juxtaposition of urban activity and ecological beauty.
The High Line is not just a park—it is a living work of art, the perfect place for a sunset stroll or family picnic. This historic, repurposed rail line is a must-visit destination in the city, sure to entertain everyone.
3. Children’s Museum of the Arts
Spread out over 10,000 square feet, the Children’s Museum of the Arts brings kids and artists together in a hands-on environment. The museum’s collection includes over 2,000 works of children’s art dating back to the 1930s; it also hosts various exhibitions, including the current “Make Art (in) Public”. The Children’s Museum works with artists to encourage artistic expression by children in its facilities.
Families with avid young artists will love visiting New York City’s Children’s Museum of the Arts, where kids can sculpt, draw, paint, animate, and much more.
4. New York Public Library
One of the world’s greatest libraries, the New York Public Library’s flagship building is definitely worth a tour. The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the main branch of the library, is a gorgeous Beaux-Arts structure on Fifth Avenue. Millions flock to the library each year to admire its architecture and explore its vast collections of books and other research. Exhibits include everything from the Declaration of Independence and the real Winnie-the-Pooh.
5. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Located in Hell’s Kitchen, this museum is a tribute to American innovation and military history. The museum features the Intrepid aircraft carrier and the space shuttle Enterprise, as well as jets and submarines. Its educational exhibits include Pier 86 in the Hudson River and the Exploreum, which offers visitors an interactive look at space and life at sea. Visitors can even embark on spaceflight simulations.
Entire families will love spending a day exploring the renowned, well-crafted spacecraft and seafaring vessels at the Intrepid museum.
6. Roosevelt Island & Tram
Though the tram ride to Roosevelt Island is only about 4 minutes long, the aerial view from the tramway is absolutely gorgeous. Roosevelt Island itself is a 2-mile stretch of land off of the east side of Manhattan, and it is a fun place to explore on foot. The island is home to an Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorial park, a historic smallpox hospital, the RIVAA contemporary art gallery, and unparalleled views of the Manhattan skyline.
Roosevelt Island and its accompanying tram ride are perfect daytime outings; children will love the novelty of the aerial tram and its views, and parents will love the historic offerings of the island.
7. One World Observatory
Perfect for those who are not afraid of heights, One World Observatory offers once-in-a-lifetime aerial views. Situated at the top of the World Trade Center, over 100 floors above street level, One World Observatory is the highest point in the city. It provides 360° views, as well as various city-related exhibits and presentations. There’s even a restaurant—the New York cuisine-inspired ONE Dine.
Take the elevators up 102 floors to look out at all of New York City from the highest point around.
8. Chelsea Piers
Chelsea Piers is a place where playtime is for everyone. Located right on the banks of the Hudson River, Chelsea Piers provides hours of recreation for everyone. The facilities include a golf driving range, skating rinks, a fitness club, bowling alleys, and much more. Chelsea Piers requires advance booking, but children and parents alike will be able to to partake in everything from sand volleyball to to basketball to rock climbing.
Chelsea Piers is the perfect New York City destination for an active family looking for an outlet. Make sure to check the website for availability and prices before booking.