Top 10 family-friendly New York summer activities | Travel


Staten Island Ferry

This five-mile, 25-minute experience presents breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Lower Manhattan skyline and New York harbour – and it is free. The boat has indoor and out of doors seating on a number of ranges and a snack bar. You should disembark at Staten Island’s Saint George Terminal, however you may return to Manhattan instantly by reboarding the identical boat.

Alphabets, East Village

Alphabets is the place to come back for joke presents and enjoyable toys with perspective. The distant management whoopee cushion you did not know existed? It does, and it is right here. Have you been trying to find a waitress motion determine or cupcake-flavoured toothpaste? Seek no additional. You’ll discover the lovable (rubber ducky whistles that quack) and the ridiculous (a scarf that holds a basketball web on high of your head).
115 Avenue A, Open day by day midday-8pm

Big Gay Ice Cream, West Village

Kids at Big Gay Ice Cream, New York.
Cone management … preparing for ice-cream treats

Big Gay Ice Cream elevates chocolate and vanilla ice-cream to premium heights. Adults and extra adventurous kids will like mixtures equivalent to Salty Pimp (vanilla ice-cream, dulce de leche, sea salt and chocolate dip) or Mermaid (vanilla ice-cream, key lime curd, crushed graham crackers, and whipped cream). Most widespread with youngsters is a chocolate or vanilla cup or cone topped with, appropriately, rainbow sprinkles.
61 Grove Street, Open Sun-Wed midday-10pm, Thurs-Sat midday-midnight

Lightship Frying Pan, Chelsea

This isn’t any strange bar however a retired lightship parked on a barge on the Hudson river. Tables on the highest deck have arguably probably the most magnificent view in NYC, a panoramic sweep from the Statue of Liberty to the George Washington bridge, however there’s not a foul seat in the home. Place your order on the bar (steamed mussels and littlenecks, crab muffins, burgers, corn on the cob), take it again to your desk, and glory within the environment. Bring a replica of Fireboat, The Heroic Adventures of the John J Harvey, by Maira Kalman, with you so your youngsters can learn the inspiring story of the true fireboat subsequent door – whereas lots of the buildings (together with the Empire State) and scenes pictured within the ebook. Open day by day midday-midnight, closed Nov-April

The High Line, Lower West Side

The High Line, Lower West Side.
Photograph: Getty Images

Since opening in June 2009, the High Line has change into certainly one of New York’s best-loved parks. Built on an elevated rail viaduct not used for transport since 1980, its design integrates previous observe beds with wild gardens and distinctive views of previous and new New York. Kids will discover an array of interesting options together with the cement bleachers close to the sixteenth Street entrance that, by means of a panoramic window, overlook tenth Avenue and its stream of yellow cabs. There are performers and artists alongside the route, which is a couple of mile lengthy – the size of about 20 metropolis blocks. “Curated” meals vans provide a few of NYC’s most hip and scrumptious consuming alternatives. Open day by day 7am-11pm, varied entrance factors, together with 14th Street, West sixteenth, West 18th and West 20 Streets and twenty third Street, free

Bryant Park, Midtown

Surrounded by skyscrapers on three sides, and the New York Public Library on the fourth, Bryant Park is idyllic. In summer, there is a pétanque court docket the place kids can study the basic French sport utilizing child-sized boules, plus a carousel, a placing inexperienced, chess, backgammon and board video games, ping-pong, bird-watching excursions, jugglers, artists-in-residence, concert events and open-air films. Between November and March, there’s an ice-skating rink. Almost every little thing is free. Open day by day, hours differ, test web site for particulars

Discovery Room, American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side

(*10*)American Museum of Natural History
Photograph: Alamy

The magnificent American Museum of Natural History is a must-see however is big and virtually all the time crowded. Really crowded. The Discovery Room offers a spot to regroup. It’s like a fun-filled classroom with a lot for youngsters aged 5–12 to play with, look at and discover. Upstairs, older youngsters can deal with a stay Madagascar hissing cockroach and an albino leopard gecko (however not the Chilean rose hair tarantula, though employees might be pleased to allow you to watch as they pull silk out of its spinneret). On Wednesday afternoons, the bearded dragon is given his weekly bathtub.
Central Park West and 79th Street, Open day by day 10am-5.45pm, admission grownup $22, under-13 $12.50

Tiny Doll House, Upper East Side

A go to right here will wow each ladies and boys: the world diminished to a Lilliputian scale is mesmerising. Tiny etched glass hurricane lamps, Majolica asparagus dishes, Knole sofas, gilded pier mirrors and hundreds of different miniature objects are all displayed in exquisitely designed dioramas – a library, a patisserie, a room adorned for Christmas, a nursery. The store has many gadgets kids can afford.
314 East 78th Street, +1 212 744 3719 for opening hours,

Governors Island, Lower Manhattan

Governor565s Island, Lower Manhattan
Photograph: Alamy

This 172-acre island, previously a navy base, is a five-minute ferry experience ($2 return) from Manhattan and off the radar for many guests. New Yorkers love its breathtaking views and family-friendly enjoyable (fortress, fort, treehouse, mini-golf, artwork lessons, a grove of fifty pink hammocks, ball fields and youngsters’s play areas). Rent bikes or quadcycles from Bike and Roll, by the Parade Ground. Eating choices embody a Caribbean meals truck and ice-cream stands. Open Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat-Sun 10am-7pm from 24 May to twenty-eight September

Eating out alongside Amsterdam Avenue, Upper West Side

After doing the Natural History museum, skip its basement cafe. Only a few blocks away are informal, scrumptious, and cheap options. Island Burger and Shakes serves greater than 64 types of burger and grilled hen sandwich, known as churrascoses. And it is onerous to discover a higher deal than the lunch specials at Oaxaca Taqueria, the place two tacos or enchiladas with rice and beans, half a torta or a quesadilla with a salad or soup prices $7. If you’ve got by no means tried elote, a corn cob grilled with cotija cheese and chilli powder, that is the place to attempt it. And in case your youngsters need it with out the chilli, they’ll. You can convey your personal drinks.

Lots of younger neighbourhood households are followers of the vegan Peacefood Cafe. Kids’ favourites embody brown rice with cashew cheese ($6) and baked soy nuggets ($7). You’ll discover Mediterranean panini ($11.95), soups, smoothies, juices, and home made desserts.

The Little Bookroom Guide to New York City with Children by Michael Berman and Angela Hederman is revealed by The Little Bookroom (£13.99) and is out on 3 July. To order a replica for £8.99 with free UK p&p name 0330 333 6846 or go to


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