NYC with a 4 year old – what to do with kids in the Big Apple

We don’t specialize in travel with kids on this blog, mainly because I don’t have kids, But we did focus on Italy with kids a while back, and the time has now come for everyone reading to share their expertise with a reader who asks:

Going to NYC at the end of the month with my 4 year old boy. Thinking of hitting up Natural History Museum and Intrepid. Any can’t miss places to go while I am in town that he might love?

Well, I have a few ideas.

1. If he likes dinosaurs, and he probably does, you will be at the Museum of Natural History for a while.

2. Visiting the top of the Empire State Building might be cool for him. I recall it being fairly expensive, though, so it might not be worth it just to learn that he is afraid of heights.

3. Toys R Us in the city is impressive. I would love to see his face when he walks in for the first time. Of course it doesn’t compare to the face when you have to say NO to every purchase request,
but maybe a small stuffed dinosaur at the end of the Natural History trek is a good way to end the day.

4. Liberty Science center could be a lot of fun…

5. Children’s Museum of the arts in Soho is loved by many kids. Not cheap. There is a nice public park on Thompson, and Ben’s Pizza is right there as well.

6. I forget what days it is now but if you get to FAO Schwartz right when they open there is still a little show that is put on to welcome kids in, and they still have the piano from BIG and have shows where two people play songs on it.

7. Central park zoo is always fun, see the polar bear, and whatnot.

8. You can stop at Bryant Park for a carousal ride, and hit up the Library.

9. In/around Times Square, you have the Hershey Store and the Lego Store is pretty cool (it overlooks Rockefeller Plaza). Happily, FAO Schwartz and Toys R Us stores are right around there, too. FAO Schwartz would be a long walk for a kid though.

10. A 4-year-old might like a rooftop double-decker bus ride (tour), too. Pretty cool for a bit of a wow factor.

11. If you don’t stay in Manhattan, try the Bronx Zoo. They have cool animatronic Dinos and the rest of the zoo is fun too.

13. The NY aquarium is great as well. This is in Brooklyn, near Coney Island.

14. Did I mention the Central Park carousel (plus there are some other fun places, things to see, snack carts etc. walking around central park)?

Which reminds me, you might not have to work too hard to impress a four-year-old. I know one dad who took his kids to NYC and one was most impressed by the subway ride and another said the highlight of his trip was… “You can buy a hot dog right on the street!”

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  1. Sharon says:

    Central Park for sure, rent a boat, or maybe splurge on a carriage ride although they are very expensive. Then there’s the Children’s Museum on W.83rd. He might like a ferry boat ride to Staten Island. Besides pizza, kids like hot dogs from any street vendor. If you venture into Soho, stop in the Scholastic Store at 557 Broadway to see the 11′ orange dinosaur,Clifford the Big Red Dog, Harry Potter stuff, and all sorts of games, books, etc.

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