Are you planning a trip to New York City for your entire family? With sites and attractions for all ages, the Big Apple offers plenty of activities that will delight both kids and grandparents. These must-see attractions appeal to all generations and are the perfect way to explore New York City on your next family trip.
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
Taking a ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is a fantastic option for those who want to teach their children or grandchildren about the history of America through the eyes of immigrants. Enjoy the breathtaking views of New York City from the crown or pedestal observatory in the Statue of Liberty or explore the Statue of Liberty Museum to learn more about the design and history of the statue.
After visiting the Statue of Liberty, the ferry will take you to Ellis Island where more than 12 million immigrants first set foot in America. Galleries and interactive kiosks tell the stories of immigrants, and activity books are available to keep children engaged. Parents and grandparents will enjoy tracing their own family history as they explore artifacts, videos, and oral histories.
The Mall in Central Park
Lined with towering elm trees that form a natural canopy, this pedestrian esplanade runs through the middle of Central Park and is one of the largest remaining stands of American Elms in North America. The promenade leads to the beautiful Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, and the Literary Walk at the southern end of the Mall is home to statues of several well-known literary figures, including William Shakespeare, Sir Walter Scott, and others. Street performers, vendors, and locals alike gather on this popular walkway, making it the perfect spot for the whole family to relax, people watch, and escape the bustle of the busy city streets.
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
Located in the heart of Times Square, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum is perfect for families and children of all ages. The over 200 lifelike wax figures include musicians, movie stars, politicians, and cultural icons like Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Taylor Swift, Iron Man, and King Kong. Taking selfies with the figures is highly encouraged, and the museum offers numerous interactive experiences for everyone to enjoy. Your entire family can interact with superheroes in the Marvel 4D Experience, embark on a tropical adventure in Kong: Skull Island, and search for ghosts in the Ghostbusters Experience.
This New York City treasure is the largest urban zoo in the U.S. and is revered for its vast animal collection. Children, parents, and grandparents will all enjoy getting up close to a wide variety of animals including bears, crocodiles, lions, and monkeys. The Bronx Zoo is extremely child-friendly and includes the Children’s Zoo, where children can pet donkeys, sheep, and goats. Children also love exploring the Treetop Adventure and Nature Trek, where they can zipline, build forts, and climb through obstacle courses. Outside food is permitted, so feel free to pack a picnic lunch to enjoy when everyone is ready for a break.
DiMenna Children’s History Museum
Housed in the New York Historical Society, the DiMenna Children’s History Museum offers entertaining exhibits and games for children to learn about 350 years of American and New York history. Everything in the museum is child sized, including a map of the five boroughs, and stories are told from the perspective of famous New Yorkers from when they were children. The museum is designed to explore in one day and is an entertaining way for your entire family to learn more about the city’s history and the lives of the famous people who have called it home.
Jeffrey Ferraro is Director of Marketing and Sales at Diamond Tours, America’s leader in group bus tours. With over 20 years of experience in the bus tour industry, he enjoys sharing his knowledge to inform and inspire others to experience something new and make memories. Learn more about Diamond Tours on Select Traveler Conference.