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Family friendly travel to New York City: The best attractions and highlights of the Big Apple for all

New York City is one of the best cities in the world to visit with children.

By LLM Reporters  |  July 20, 2022
Panoramic aerial view Statue of Liberty and Jersey City and Manhattan cityscape in New York City, NY, USA

The city that attracts attention the world over for its attractions galore, huge skyscrapers, top-notch restaurants and more, New York City is a place where most people want to visit at least once in their lifetime, and it really isn’t hard to see why. Experiences abound in the Big Apple and everyone from children to couples to solo travellers will be enjoy the wide range of ways they can spend their days and evenings in the famed city.

From the dazzling theatres on Broadway to the dizzy heights of the Empire State Building, a glance at the past and notable sights on Ellis and Liberty Islands, endless shopping opportunities and cultural highlights such as the MoMa, alongside outdoor spaces bursting with both events and moments to reflect in equal measure, it’s safe to say that the city has plenty of ways to please.

If a family trip is on the cards, then rest assured that New York City has it all for the whole family, so from theatres shows to museums, to famous monuments and more we take a look some of the popular ways the family can enjoy all that the city has to offer.

Let Broadway delight

Times Square, featured with Broadway Theaters
Broadway is NYC’s famous theater district. Image credit: SL Timelapse/Bigstock.com

From The Lion King to Wicked to Aladdin, there are numerous Broadway shows for the family that will please all ages, from children to teens to adults. Full of big songs, fantastic costumes and impressive stage sets, a matinee or evening show is sure to have you tapping your foot and leave you smiling and longing to return for more dazzling, uninhibited entertainment.

Head up high

The Rockefeller Centre
There’s an unlimited number of things to see and do at Rockefeller Center and in the heart of midtown. Image credit: Cnejevici Ioan Florin/Bigstock.com

One experience that cannot be missed is to view the expansive city and beyond from up high. The Rockefeller Centre offers enviable views of Central Park and further afield from its 67th, 69th and 70th floor observation decks, while the Empire State Building provides even more elevated and breath-taking views of Manhattan’s skyline and so much more on a clear day from its 86th and 102nd floor observatories.

Visit Liberty and Ellis islands

Ellis island with the New Jersey and manhattan
Ellis Island may not appear large on a map, but it is an unparalleled destination in United States history. Image credit: SCPhotog/Bigstock.com

Liberty Island houses the Statue of Liberty – a symbol of freedom, while a short ferry to Ellis Island introduces visitors to the journey of immigrants in centuries gone by at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. The gift from France is a popular choice for many visitors looking to pose in front of the green lady and combined with a visit to nearby Ellis Island gives travellers an all-round experience.

Get up close with nature

Spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) sits on a rope
Children and adults alike will enjoy the opportunity to get up close with creatures such as monkeys, penguins, bears and snow leopards at Central Park Zoo

Children and adults alike will enjoy the opportunity to get up close with creatures such as penguins, bears and snow leopards at Central Park Zoo, while the expansive Bronx Zoo houses some 6,000 species including tigers, bison, gorillas, lions and rhinos. Head to Coney Island where you’ll find the New York Aquarium, which boasts 266 species of aquatic wildlife and is dedicated to educating visitors about issues facing the ocean, conservation and science.

For some quiet time, Central Park, New York Botanical Gardens, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Bryant Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, The Battery and Liberty State Park all offer a welcoming retreat and green oasis from the bustle of the city.

Magnificent museums

Science fanatics will love the American Museum of Natural History with its dinosaur exhibits, planetarium, meteorites. Image credit: Serg73/Bigstock.com

Step into some of the world’s most exciting museums to learn about all manner of things via interactive exhibits, talks and artefacts – you and your family won’t be disappointed. The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum is set on an aircraft carrier and houses a British Airways Concorde, space shuttle Enterprise, guided missile submarine and more.

Science fanatics will love the American Museum of Natural History with its dinosaur exhibits, planetarium, meteorites, in addition to the hands-on New York Hall of Science and Liberty Science Center. Child specific museums include the Staten Island Children’s Museum, National Museum of Mathematics, Children’s Museum of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum while the Met and MoMa are must-visits for all.

What else is there?

Ice skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park on a freezing New Years Day
If you’re visiting from late October to early April, then head to Wollman Rink, an ice-skating rink in Central Park. Image credit: kraskoffphotos/Bigstock.com

If you’re visiting from late October to early April, then head to Wollman Rink, an ice-skating rink in Central Park, while late autumn is a great time to visit the famed department stores to stock up on Christmas presents. The amusements rides at Coney Island will delight and Madison Square Garden plays host to big sporting events and concerts, while baseball provides a great afternoon out – take in a Mets or Yankees baseball game and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported into a movie.