New York City is one of the most desired travel destinations among American families. For many, the bright lights, masses of people and the sheer size of the city are unimaginable. The whirlwind that is portrayed on TV and in movies make NYC all the more intriguing.

What’s Not to Love?

New Yorker’s are a breed of their own, the world witnessed this after 9/11. Their strength, resilience and the way they stand in solidarity makes outsiders want to experience their culture.  From strong personalities to distinct accents; you gotta love ‘em!

The Big Apple has something for all ages. Finding things to keep your kids occupied while on vacation can sometimes be quite a task. Teens are probably the hardest age group to impress, but even the most jaded, hard-to-please child will find something they love about the city. There are so many iconic things to see, so many experiences to be had, it is impossible for visitors to become bored.


Where to Begin?

The first thing you must do upon your arrival is to get your bearings. The city is massive, being made up of five boroughs: Queens, Manhattan, Harlem, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Tourists tend to migrate towards Manhattan, although each has its own special attributes.

You will need to figure out how you plan on getting around. Walking will definitely be on this list. You can’t get the true New York experience without a little foot travel. Taking a cab is another must-do, it’s just part of the appeal. The subway is the fastest option when trying to get to one end of town to the other. Water taxis are available for your trip to Manhattan and other areas.

Make sure to familiarize yourself with your surroundings so you will always be able to find your way back. Most streets are set up on a logical grid system, with the Avenues running north to south. It’s relatively easy to figure out where you are, but GPS could definitely come in handy.


Where to Stay?

Lodging options are endless, but there are some that are specifically aimed towards families traveling with children. There are also some that are not family-friendly whatsoever. Doing your homework on hotels and their amenities can make all the difference in how your stay ends up.

Where to Eat?

No matter which part of the city you are in deliciousness can be found on any corner. There are so many eateries to choose from it’s hard to make suggestions. Whether you are craving street food vendors or a five-star restaurant, you will not be disappointed. New York is famous for few items that will have your mouth watering, these include hot dogs, Brooklyn-style pizza, cheesecake, Manhattan clam chowder, General Tso’s chicken, and the iconic bagel.


Take a Tour

Sometimes the best way to experience the city is through the eyes of a local. There are so many available tours, you may find yourself overwhelmed. Picking a tour will depend on your personal interests. Some recommended tours for families with children are:

  • Central Park Rickshaw Tours
  • Shark Boat
  • Horse and Carriage Rides
  • Venetian Gondola Tour
  • New York Splash Tours

Things to Do

Okay, so I saved the best for last. It is impossible to cover all the wonderful things there are to explore in this wonderful city, but I have compiled a list of some of the most popular family-friendly attractions you won’t want to miss.

  • Central Park and its many attractions
  • The Empire State Building
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Times Square
  • Rockefeller Center
  • Union Square Park and Playground
  • Top of the Rock Observation Deck
  • Radio City Music Hall
  • Staten Island Zoo
  • Bronx Zoo
  • Citi Field
  • M&M’s World
  • Dylan’s Candy Bar
  • Toys R Us Times Square
  • Yankee Stadium

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family which consists of six children and fifteen grandchildren.

When you are in New York City, it is a given, you must visit Central Park. Your trip is not complete without treating your family to the Central Park experience. Whether you plan on doing a self-guided tour or taking part in many of the tours that are offered throughout the park, this article will cover some of the must-see attractions that your kids will love.

The History of Central Park

Construction on Central Park began in 1857, becoming the first urban park in the United States. The design was the brainchild of superintendent Frederick Law Olmsted and architect Calvert Vaux.   It took more than 10 years to come to life, costing the city of New York millions of dollars. More than 1,500 residents lost their homes and land to make way for the expansive 840-acre construction.

During the early years, Central Park was most frequented by the wealthy, but over the years it evolved into a park of the people. The last century has brought more practical uses to the park. Today, it is the main outdoor recreation hub for New Yorkers.


Experiencing Central Park

There is so much to see and do, that families may be at a loss for where to start. We have a few suggestions for the best ways to see the park when you have children in tow.

Central Park Rickshaw Tours. Rickshaw tours are a fantastic way for families with children to explore the park. One-hour tours are available along the lower loop where you will find some of the best kid-friendly attractions, including the carousel, the Chess and Checkers House, Heckscher Playground, Wollman Rink, Umpire Rock, Bow Bridge and the Children’s Zoo. If you would like to explore a little more, there is also a two-hour tour that covers everything in the one-hour tour plus attractions like the Great Lawn, Belvedere Castle, Turtle Pond, the Museum of Natural History and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. If you prefer to see the entire park, your family can reserve a private 3-hour tour.


Horse and Carriage Rides. Horse and carriage rides are another idea for touring Central Park. You will find several options available throughout the grounds that vary by length and price. Generally speaking, when on a carriage tour you can expect to see sites, such as The Lake, Heckscher Playground, Tavern on the Green, the Upper West Side and Bethesda Fountain.


Bike Tours. If you are looking to get a little exercise, bike rentals and tours are an option. Adult bikes, children’s bikes, tandem bikes, baby seats and baby trailers are all available. You can choose from guided or self-guided tours. If you choose to have a guide, you can expect to see popular attractions, such as Belvedere Castle, Wollman Rink, Gapstow Bridge, Conservatory Garden, Shakespeare Garden, the Loeb Boathouse and more.

Kid-friendly Attractions in Central Park

Once you’ve taken in all the sites on your Central Park tour make sure you check out these popular kid-friendly attractions:

  • Central Park Zoo
  • Alice in Wonderland statue
  • Belvedere Castle
  • Heckscher Playground
  • Umpire Rock
  • The Carousel
  • Wollman Rink
  • The Boat Pond
  • The Dairy

Lisa Crow contributed to this article. She is a travel writer and lifestyle blogger based in Waco, Texas. Lisa is the Head of Content at Gigi’s Ramblings. She spends her free time traveling when she can and making memories with her large family which consists of six children and fifteen grandchildren.