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Family Adventures in NYC

Celebrate the warm weather with a family getaway to New York City with Sonesta Hotels of New York. From the coolest museums to outdoor movies and playgrounds around every corner, it’s the perfect time to enjoy family time and capture special memories with the littles ones. Plan your city adventure with our curated list of family activities for kids of all ages in New York City. The city is full of fun activities for the whole family, from kid-friendly Broadway shows and museums to family-friendly restaurants and outdoor activities.

Visit the Children’s Museum of Manhattan offering five floors of interactive fun with age-specific exhibits including Playworks and Superpowered Metropolis: Early Learning City. Let your kid’s creativity run wild in an institution strictly devoted to budding artists at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, located in the Upper West Side.

Explore an historic and enormous aircraft carrier with 30 vintage planes on the flight deck, a guided missile submarine, and the space shuttle Enterprise – all at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. The museum is full of interactive fun like climbing into a helicopter and steering the wings of a plane.

A must-see when visiting NYC; the Empire State Building offers inspiring city views from the 86th floor.

Discover the best in fashion, art, design, shopping & dining all at Rockefeller Center. Enjoy all the art, history, landmarks, and more all in one place. Stop into the Lego Store, American Girl Store, along with the Nintendo Store to see the grand shops and all they have to offer. Take a Rock Center Tour, a historian-guided Tour that takes you from the past to the present with an insider’s view of the incredible architecture, art, iconic buildings, and outdoor gardens.

The Paley Center for Media is a cultural institution whose mission is to preserve our media history and explore media’s powerful shaping influence on our culture and society. Check out the video game exhibit that they are currently having for a fun New York City activity.

The dinosaurs may be the biggest draw at the American Museum of Natural History; but don’t forget the giant blue whale, the African elephants or the fabulous gems and minerals with treasures. The museum adjoins the Rose Center for Earth and Space with exhibits and spectacular shows at the Hayden Planetarium. Awaken your inner child and ignite your love of learning as you explore the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation’s new wing at the American Museum of Natural History. The architecturally stunning, 230,000-square-foot is now open with new exhibition galleries and one-of-a-kind experiences, including an insectarium, butterfly vivarium, floor-to-ceiling collections displays, and more.

Get your camera ready for this walkway high above the East River from Manhattan to Brooklyn with endless panoramas along the way on the Brooklyn Bridge. Feel free to bike or walk along the walkway which is 1.3 miles long!

An abandoned overhead freight railway has been transformed into an incredible elevated park at The High Line. It offers river and city views with lush landscaping that reflects the wild plants that grew up along the neglected railbeds. Check out the High Line’s Family Guides (Chelsea Grasslands and Diller – von Furstenberg Sundeck) and explore many of the plants and animals found along the High Line. These guides encourage children to observe, draw, and explore.

The Staten Island Ferry is a 25 minute, five-mile sail with unbeatable views of New York harbor, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the skyscrapers and bridges of Lower Manhattan – and the ride is free for all!

Check out the largest city zoo in America; home to thousands of animals at the Bronx Zoo. Among many highlights are Tiger Mountain and the Congo Gorilla Forest where glass walls put you close-up to these wondrous animals. At the children’s zoo little ones can climb into a birds nest and feed tame animals. Kids can also join in on camel rides and ride the bug carousel.

A former movie and TV studio; the Museum of the Moving Image is dedicated to the development of moving pictures from flip books to the digital age. Enjoy a chance to see exhibits that illustrate the development of film and television cameras, projectors, television sets, and sound recording equipment.

No trip to NY is complete without a visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Views from the boat ride and from Liberty Island are spectacular and standing close-up to the Statue of Liberty is a guaranteed thrill for everyone.

Love sports? Chelsea Piers is a riverfront sports complex with activities that include a bowling alley and indoor ice skating in winter and a summer skate park. The Field House includes batting cages, soccer fields, basketball courts, a gymnastics area, and a rock wall.

Calling all aspiring witches and wizards! From toys to rare collectibles, Harry Potter New York houses the largest collection of Harry Potter products. Stepping inside Harry Potter, you will be immersed in a magical world with exclusive products, interactive experiences, and photo ops.

Hudson Yards is New York’s newest neighborhood and home to more than 100 diverse shops and culinary experiences. It is a great place to spend the day with your family with plenty of Family Fun activities that are exciting for all ages! Play, sing and dance together with Mozart for Munchkins and continue the fun with MakeInspires workshops centered around science, tech, art, and math.

Escape the city and head down to Coney Island to walk along the 2 ½-mile boardwalk, enjoy a legendary hot dog at the original Nathans and Luna Park –with classic rides like the 1918 Wonder Wheel, the 1927 Cyclone roller coaster and a carousel.

The New York Aquarium includes a coral reef and an African lake, walruses, sharks and a sea lion show. Baseball fans can enjoy a game at the MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Check out historic fire engines and equipment at the New York City Fire Museum with stories of firefighting from the days of bucket brigades to hand pumps, horse drawn steam engines to high-tech fire boats. The museum is housed in a 1904 triple bay firehouse with its sliding doors, brass sliding pole and winding staircase intact.

Looking to experience nature and art in a unique urban oasis on the Hudson River, check out Little Island, a new public park, located in Hudson River Park. Watch the sunset, grab a bite, and take a moment to leave the bustle of the city behind. Kids can hand out at the Art Cart, attend one of the free educational programs held by resident artists and museum staff, or just explore the windy trails and hills that the Island has to offer.

Sports fans will find games year round in New York. Some are iconic, like Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and Madison Square Garden where the basketball Knicks and Liberty and hockey Ranger teams play. There are newer venues including the Barclays Arena, host to Nets basketball and Islanders hockey in Brooklyn, and Citi Field where the Mets play baseball in Queens. It is exciting to be part of the crowd, but these venues are fun to see even when the teams are not playing with behind-the-scenes guided tours.

Learn about the days when this area was a bustling port with its piers crowded with ships from around the world at the South Street Seaport. Stroll through a collection of shops and restaurants with spectacular water views. Explore Our Waters with Eric Carle where children ages 2-7 can explore a room of murals from two of Eric Carle’s illustrated picture books. Discover a gallery showcasing art and artifacts from 19th century NYC and you can also board and explore 1885 cargo ship Wavertree and early 20th century lightship Ambrose.

Take a stop in Times Square to see all the amazing bright lights, shops, advertisements, and building. As the Broadway Theatre District hub and a worldwide entertainment hub, it always has excitement to offer.

Visit some of your favorite celebrities at the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum! With over 200 wax figures of famous movie starts, singers, athletes and politicians, you are bound to meet some of your favorite celebrities.

The Brooklyn Children’s Museum is the country’s first museum specifically made for children of all ages! With fun educational exhibits that teach children about world cultures, history, science and nature, including live animals and a collection of 30,000 historical artifacts, parents are bound to enjoy it too!

Cool off the summer heat with a trip to the Museum of Ice Cream. Be transported to an ice cream wonderland when visiting the Museum of Ice Cream that transforms concepts and dreams into spaces that provoke imagination and creativity.

Come explore what things are made of at The Met Museum’s new art and science discovery and play space, 81st Street Studio, for kids ages 3–11 and their families. Encourage an exploration of scientific properties found in both the natural world and artworks within the museum’s collection.

Explore the nation’s largest public library system at the New York Public Library. The iconic building known for its stunning architecture and remarkable historical collections and has been an essential provider of free books, information, ideas, and education for all New Yorkers for more than 100 years.

Experience wildlife in the heart of the city at the Central Park Zoo. Spot a snow leopard, take in a sea lion show, or find your inner child at the Children’s Zoo.

Lights! Camera! Action! Get ready for bright lights and amazing show tunes as you take in one of Broadway’s iconic performances!

Spend a fun-filled day at Central Park with a family picnic, a guided bike tour around the park, or a stroll through the Central Park Zoo. With over 840 acres of land, there are plenty of paths to stroll down and things to explore.

Go behind the curtain into the making of Broadway show with a special exhibit at the new Museum of Broadway. A great interactive and experiential museum that celebrates Broadway’s rich history.

Check out Manhattan’s last farm house with a private tour connecting the past to the present through the farming life experience in colonial times at Farm in the City.

Fall down the rabbit hole into a world of secret rose gardens, mad tea parties, in a living gallery that puts you inside the artwork. Artist Alexa Meade brings to life the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in a hand painted immersive exhibit at Wonderland Dreams.

Experience a mystical underwater experience while riding the SeaGlass Carousel. Sit within iridescent fish that glide through the sights and sounds of a 360° aquatic adventure, located in Battery Park.

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