New York, the big apple, the city that never sleeps. It’s not the first place that springs to mind for a family holiday, with most people favouring a transatlantic trip to Florida with Disney theme park tickets in hand. It can however be the perfect destination for a family holiday and, with so much on offer it’s impossible to do it all. There’s incredible diversity, rich history for learning moments and endless fun - it’s a fantastic place to bring your children.
We spoke to Sally Lucas, blogger at Our 3 Kids v The World, who has travelled to New York with her children, to find out about her experience: “We travelled to New York for New Year’s Eve and stayed a week, it was extremely cold, and I thought we would really struggle and not be able to see everything we wanted to see…but it did not stop us doing anything I had on my bucket list and I would return at the same time of year in a heartbeat. I think the snow added a very special element to our visit and I’m so glad we did it.”
Image Credit: @our3kidsvtheworld
We asked Sally if her children also enjoyed the experience: “The kids did love New York…we had a very full itinerary and they never complained once, they were happy to pack it in and coped very well with the late nights and early starts. My kids are very well-travelled and seem to really enjoy every experience we have provided them with.”
Finally, we asked Sally for her suggestions as to the little things you can do to make your trip amazing: “Ride the subway! It is overwhelming at first but once you get the hang of it, it really is very efficient. You also meet the real locals and we met some lovely people on the subway. It’s where you really get to the nuts and bolts of the city and you can travel anywhere for a really affordable price. Walk as much as you can, get out and explore, you stumble upon the best places when you just get out and about.”
We were also lucky enough to talk to Sina Duvinage, blogger at Happy Grey Lucky, whose love for her family and Scandinavian design come together to create something beautiful. Sina and her husband are very passionate about travelling as a family and have recently travelled to New York.
Image Credit: @happygreylucky
We asked Sina what preconceptions she may have had about travelling to the city with children before she did it: “I honestly thought there wouldn’t be much to do with toddlers. When you visit without kids, you see this giant concrete jungle but there really are so many amazing playgrounds all over the city, green spaces to take your kids, and a lot of indoor places catered to kids of all ages for when the weather doesn’t cooperate.”
We asked Sina if there was anything she could recommended that families do when they visit New York: “If you’re bringing young kids, then definitely Brooklyn Bridge Park! There’s Jane’s carousel which is a must plus a really lovely little playground right by the water. There’s also a Shake Shack which the whole family will love. And those views of the Manhattan skyline, especially at sunset, can’t be beat.”
Finally, we asked what the children thought about the experience they had: “My kids are obsessed with New York! They love visiting, riding the subway, checking out the museums and all the parks across the city. Plus, they love just walking through the city and seeing all the buses and taxis and everything else going on.”
Recently, top blogger Katie Ellison from MummyDaddyMe blog talked us through her top 5 tips for visiting New York with children. From planning tips to her attraction recommendations, it’s definitely worth a watch...
In this article, we look at some of the other top things to do in New York for children, from visiting the world’s most famous park to journeying up the Empire State Building.
See a show on Broadway
As the most famous theatre street in the world, Broadway is a must for any trip to New York. With so many shows going on simultaneously, you’ll be able tofor something perfect for the whole family. Spend an evening sat in some of New York’s most-wanted seats and watch fantastic performances, get tied up in tantalising stories and enjoy theatre at its very best.
If you are unsure on what shows are available, we have taken a look at some of the family favourites:
School of Rock
After the large success of the movie,the musical has blown audiences away. The show features an ensemble of unbelievably talented kids and adults alike. The story talks about being true to yourself and doing what you love, whilst also being filled with brilliant laughs and an unbeatable sound track. You and your little ones will be rocking out when you leave and will want to head straight to the music shop!
The Lion King
Image Credit: @bbsuroyudho
Is there a production more talked about than The Lion King? This classic musical is just that, a classic. As the third-longest running Broadway show it’s a spectacle you’ll have to see to believe. It will give you nostalgic feelings and your kids will fall in love with the story, just as we all once did when we were their age. Sing along to some of Disney’s best, see the fantastic craft behind the costumes and enjoy this bucket list opportunity.
Being described by The New York Times as ‘the defining musical of the decade’ is no small feat. Wicked pulls that title off with ease. As Broadway’s most prominent musical, the story of the wicked witch of the west is a fantastic one. Experience Oz long before Dorothy arrived and sing along to some of theatres greatest hit’s including the incredible ‘Defying Gravity.’ This tale of acceptance and the power of friendship is filled with a message just as amazing as the show itself.
If your home still echoes with the tune of ‘Let It Go’ then the Frozen musical is for you. After the phenomenal success of the movie, the Broadway show continued the world’s love for Anna, Elsa, Olaf and the rest of the crew. Although new, this production continues to receive rave reviews from fans, and the expanded score means you’ll have twice as many songs to sing along to as in the original film.
If your little ones are lovers of the unconventional and can make a drum kit from a saucepan then Stomp will be for them. This musical performance filled with talented dance and theatre is a complete treat for the senses. Stomp has lived in New York City for over 20 years now and for all of that time it’s been giving electric performances to mesmerised onlookers. It’s a fantastic opportunity to experience music like you never have before.
See the city from the water
If you children are keen explorers, and you’d love to see Lady Liberty close up then a sightseeing cruise is a fantastic activity. Get out onto the water and get not only a unique view of the city, but within 100 feet of one of the world’s most famous sights.
The 60-minute tour will give you plenty of time to take in everything and will be fully narrated by expert guides who will bring the skyline to life. The trips take place daily and can be booked before you even leave so it’s a great surprise to plan into your trip and a fantastic experience for the whole family.
Take a tour
When arriving in a new place it’s hard to know where to start. Do you jump on the subway and venture down to the Highline, or perhaps Central Park? The best way to get your bearings in a new city, and see the best bits is with a tour. You and your family will also learn a lot as you take the weight off of your feet and hop on a tour bus. Informative guides will point out the best spots in the city and make sure you don’t miss a thing.
If you do this on the first day of your trip, you can then work out where you may want to revisit in more detail. Perhaps you will find somewhere you never thought you’d want to visit! The great thing about the Hop-on Hop-off tour is that if you do see somewhere that takes your fancy you can hop off and re-join the tour later on. Perfect for inquisitive explorers!
Get up very high
New York is famous for its skyscrapers. Its skyline is instantly recognisable and with incredible buildings like the Empire State and the Rockefeller Center you get an opportunity to see the city from a whole new angle.
Of course, the most famous landmark of them all is the Empire State Building. At nearly 1,500 feet high this is an experience like no other. Journey to the 86th floor and experience 360˚ views of New York. On a clear day you can actually see five states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
If you’d rather see the Empire State Building from your view, you should go to the Top of the Rock. Get fantastic views of Central Park from one side of the observation deck and the Empire State from the other side. You could easily spend hours just watching the city buzz beneath you, and we are sure your little ones will love the experience.
Eat big food
If your little ones love food, they’ll love New York. With so many cultures in one destination, it’s impossible not to fall in love with every meal you have in the Big Apple. New York does food, and it does it big, with the city filled with exciting food opportunities unlike anything you’ve ever seen. It’s a great opportunity to allow your kids to take control and pick a place to dine; perhaps they want to try $1 pizza, enjoy larger than life burger and milkshakes or something completely new!
Image Credit: @feedyourgirlfriend
As we said, New York is home to a great range of cultures and sometimes you can even step into one of them. Check out Chinatown in Lower Manhattan for some fantastic and authentic Chinese cuisine. Check out Little Italy next to Canal and Bowery Street for some traditional Italian American treats. Everywhere you go there will be something brand new and delicious!
Explore the world’s most famous park
Central Park is one of the most beautiful parts of the city. It’s 3.41km squared footprint should be plenty of space to be filled with exciting activities and the perfect location for some family fun. Pack a picnic during the summer and spend the day in the sunshine on the grass playing games. In the afternoon pack up and meet the animals at the Central Park Zoo. During the spring you can take a horse and carriage ride around the park or take to the water on a row boat.
If you are lucky enough to be in New York during the colder months, Central Park is a must. The fallen autumn leaves look beautiful and when the snow comes it creates the most fantastical haven amongst the skyscrapers. Wrap up warm and have a snowball fight before testing your balance (and trying to keep up with your kids) on the famous Rockefeller ice rink.
So, if you are your clan are inspired to travel to the Big Apple and experience all they have on offer, our range of brilliant New York attraction tickets will set you up for the trip of a lifetime.
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