While some people write Instagram off as superficial, we know that these days, Instagram is anything but that. People use Instagram as a means of self-expression, self-appreciation, communication with friends and loved ones, and even business ventures. More than anything, Instagram is an outlet to tell your story. It’s a place to share the precious moments of your life with others. While Instagram has a genuine purpose, we also can’t deny that we care a great deal about our Insta aesthetic. The Insta feed has to have a coherent theme, and with superior editing apps like VSCO, you can easily achieve the look you’re going for. And there’s nothing wrong with caring about how your Instagram looks, because that’s just part of the fun in telling your story: you get to decide what you share and how you share it. NYC has thousands of Instagrammable spots. Whether your Insta vibe is all about color, food, architecture, nature, or art, NYC is sure to have the photo-ops that you’re looking for. As you tell your family story with your kids, we want to make sure that you know about the best Instagrammable spots to capture all of the heart-warming, funny, fashionable, and educational moments of childhood. Get your iPhones ready for our top 25 Instagrammable Spots with Kids in NYC!
If you happen to be across the way in NJ, Six Flags Great Adventure is a top NJ Instagrammable spot with kids. We’ve got The Ultimate Guide to Six Flags Great Adventure for Your Family Trip!
251 Spring Street, Hudson Square, Manhattan
If you haven’t already checked out our Review of the Color Factory With Kids, do so before your visit! The iconic, huge blue ball pit is the perfect place to take pictures of your little ones. You could even get a few cute boomerangs of them playing in the ball pit for your Instagram story. The big, colorful metallic balloons with school children’s wishes on them are also a great photo-op, as are the colorblock spinning wheels, which make for beautiful photos or videos if your kids lie down on one of the colors and you lightly spin the wheel. There are also plenty of delicious treats to snap pics of! The Color Factory has all of the unique colors, exhibits, and backdrops to upgrade your Instagram feed.
Jump in the blue ball pit at The Color Factory and take plenty of Instagram boomerangs! Photo by The Color Factory.
174 Elizabeth Street, NoLita, Manhattan
This delectable Italian restaurant’s all-pink aesthetic makes for adorable pictures of your kids. Take a few photos outside, in front of the pink decor and wall art on the bricks. Then enjoy a nice meal together as a family. I’d recommend the Home Made Gnocchi Al Pesto — a delicious and Instagram-worthy dish! Afterwards, be sure to get a few photos of your kids inside the restaurant on the pink booths and chairs. You could also have them pose against the pink door or leaning over one of the pink tables. If you can also get your kids to hold one of the cute, pink napkins that they give out, you’ll surely have the best photos to post.
Check out this all-pink interior! Photo by Pietro Nolita.
Even the door is pink at this cute Italian restaurant. Photo by Pietro Nolita.
835 Washington Street, Meatpacking District, Manhattan and 1991 Broadway, Upper West Side, Manhattan
When you walk into the Sugar Factory, you’re immediately met by candy from the floor to the ceiling: there’s your first photo-op. The photo-ops continue before you even get to the main event (the desserts), as you head upstairs to snap photos of your kids against the famous candy-button wall. The Sugar Factory is known for their Goblet Drinks, which they make right in front of you at the table. Kids love to share these huge (non-alcoholic) drinks because the drinks are fun colors and full of gummies. Be sure to take a video when they prepare the drink! While all treats are pretty much Instagram-friendly at The Sugar Factory, some of my favorites are: Sugar Factory Rainbow Sliders, Cookie Monster Make a Wish Milkshake, Giggles Snickers Milkshake, and the World Famous Sugar Factory King Kong Sundae (which serves 12, so it’s perfect for your little one’s birthday party). If you really want to go all out, try the Chocolate Gold Fondue. Remember, your phone always eats first at The Sugar Factory!
Rainbow sliders? Yes, please! Photo by The Sugar Factory.
Check out this huge sundae at The Sugar Factory! Photo by Matt Harbicht via The Food Network.
Various Entry Points
With gardens, walkways, nature backdrops, and gorgeous views of the city, The Highline is the spot for adorable photos of your kids. Some of my favorite spots on The Highline for photos are the 26th Street Viewing Spur (have your kids sit on the grand bench and get the city in the background of the photo), 10th Avenue Square & Overlook, and the Diller-von Furstenberg Sundeck & Water Feature between 14th and 15th Street, which features a wetland species garden for photos and a water area for kids to cool off. You’ll also come across lots of public art on The Highline that makes for a beautiful backdrop for photos. Be sure to grab a bite to eat at one of the many cafes and restaurants while you’re there — a little reward for your kids after the photoshoot!
You can get photos just like this one- with your kids front and center and the window peeking into the city in the background! Photo by Liz Ligon.
The gardens on The Highline make for picture-perfect moments. Photo by Liz Ligon.
One more, just because we’re big fans of The Highline! Get fashionable with kids clothing for your photoshoot. Photo by Lawrence Sumulong.
Not only is the Brooklyn Bridge an aesthetically-pleasing place to take pictures, but it’s an exciting adventure that your kids will love. Take a stroll across the bridge, and enjoy the sunny weather. When taking your photos, be sure to get as much of the bridge and Manhattan skyline in the background as you can. If you’re able to catch the sunrise or sunset on the bridge, then your photos will be even better. The whole walk takes about 40 minutes if you stop for photos.
Center the Brooklyn Bridge perfectly to get the best photo for Insta! Photo by Orbitz.
3059 West 12th St., Coney Island, Brooklyn
It’s the 99th season of Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel! With no height requirement, kids of all ages get a kick out of the huge ferris wheel. The NYC Landmark is open seven days a week at 12 pm. The Wonder Wheel makes a perfect backdrop for photos of your little ones. But the photos don’t stop there: hop on the ride with your kids for more. Snap photos of your kids up on the ferris wheel with the beautiful background of Coney Island.
The Wonder Wheel is the iconic symbol of Coney Island. It’s definitely Instagram-friendly!
Put your hands up if you love The Wonder Wheel! Photo by Coney Island Instagram.
20 Hudson Yards, Manhattan
The centerpiece of Hudson Yards, the Vessel boasts an intricate display of 154 interconnected flights of stairs and 80 landings. The photos of the massive Vessel speak for themselves, but the Vessel is very Instagram-friendly. Climb the Vessel to get photos of your kids at different levels with various views of the city, or stand at the bottom to get the whole Vessel in the background. The Vessel looks especially beautiful around sunset. Looking for more things to do while you’re at Hudson Yards? Check out our guide to the Best Places in Hudson Yards to Visit With Kids!
Stand in front of The Vessel for a larger-than-life picture! Photo by @supercritch Instagram via Hudson Yards New York.
Capture some photos from inside the vessel as well! Photo by Hudson Yards New York.
The Flatiron Building
175 5th Ave., Flatiron District, Manhattan
The extremely narrow, yet incredibly tall building in the Flatiron District serves as a background for hundreds of thousands of photos each year. Kids especially look adorable in front of The Flatiron Building because they’re so small, and the building is so tall! The Flatiron Building is definitely not your typical NYC skyscraper with its interesting architecture, influenced by French and Italian Renaissance art and architecture. The triangular shape of the building combined with the architectural design makes The Flatiron Building an iconic symbol of NYC (and perfect for your photos!). Another perk for kids is that The Lego Store and Shake Shack are nearby, so head to these destinations afterwards for some Lego play and Shake Shack milkshakes. If you want to make a whole day out of your Flatiron Building photoshoot, visit Madison Square Park, which as also walking distance from the Flatiron Building.
Pose with your kids in front of the Flatiron Building! Photo by Arianna Tettamanzi.
The Flatiron Building takes any already adorable photo to the Insta level! Photo by Olivia Jeanette.
35 West 40th St., Bryant Park, Manhattan
With 14 colorful and beautifully designed animals, you’ll get plenty of cute photos of your kids riding on the Bryant Park Le Carrousel. And what better way to get your kids to smile for the photos than a spinning ride? Le Carrousel goes along with Bryant Park’s French classical style. Head over sometime between 11 am and 8 pm, but make sure you choose a sunny day for the best photos. The cost is $3 per ride or $20 for a 10-ride discount card. Bryant Park is full of engaging activities for children, so explore the park afterwards for more family fun.
Capture those bright smiles as your kids ride on the Bryant Park Le Carrousel. Photo by Angelito Jusay.
Central Park (near Turtle Pond), Enter on West 81st St., Manhattan
Belvedere Castle is now open to the public after a 15-month restoration project, and they’re ready for your photoshoot! With a new lighting system, the castle will look truly magical at nighttime, but you can also get amazing photos during the day. Take plenty of boomerangs of your kids walking up and down the spiral staircases for your Instagram story. The views of the Manhattan skyline from the various terraces in the castle make perfect backdrops of pictures as well. It’s not every day you see a castle on an Instagram feed, so surprise your followers this summer with Belvedere Castle! Want to know more about the renovations to Belvedere Castle? We previewed the castle before it opened to the public, and we’ve got the scoop on Tips for Visiting Belvedere Castle with Kids.
Get this stellar view from Belvedere Castle in the background of your photos!
The castle makes for a unique Instagram photo to mix up your feed, and kids love the Belvedere!
1011 3rd Ave., Lenox Hill, Manhattan
Dylan’s Candy Bar takes the “candy store” experience to a whole new level, so be prepared for your kids to be super excited when they walk in. You’ll be surrounded by candy and colorful, artistic designs that all make for great backdrops. I recommend the Giant Cupcake Booths for photos! The ice cream cone 3D art on the ceiling and the lollipop 3D art that extends from the wall to the ceiling also look aesthetically-pleasing in photos. It’s a win-win situation at Dylan’s Candy Bar, because your kids get to indulge in delicious candy, and you get to capture all of the sweet moments!
Pose with the classic rainbow swirled lollipops at Dylan’s Candy Bar! Photo by @dylanscandybar Instagram.
The art installations inside Dylan’s Candy Bar make for great Instagram photos too! Photo by Chute Gerdeman.
300 Kent Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn
As the previous Domino Sugar Refinery, Domino Park still contains remnants of its roots, making it a unique park with a design perfect for photos. There are a few places to snap pictures in Domino Park. First, the Elevated Walkway has a beautiful view of the river and skyline. The playground is also good for photos (as long as it’s not overly crowded) because it features wood from the original refinery walls, a Sugarcube Centrifuge, Sugar Cane Cabin, and aluminum molds that all make for stunning photos. Finally, the Fountain & Seating Steps is also a nice location for photos, especially at night when the fountain lights up!
This fascinating playground makes for the perfect Insta posts! Photo by Landscape Structures via YouTube.
Catch in-action photos of your kids having fun at Domino Park! Photo by Domino Park.
60 Grand St., Soho, Manhattan
Ocean Cube is all about taking your Instagram feed to the next level. Take photos of your kids in the Coral Tunnel, Net Guard, Jellyfish Station, Bubble Mall, and Recycle Bank as they make their way through this interactive, pop-up exhibit. Ocean Cube immerses you into a futuristic under-sea world, surrounded by beautiful creatures, shopping malls made of pearls and bubbles, and coral reef as traffic. Ocean Cube raises awareness about our impact on the environment, all while providing you with the perfect backdrop for your photos. Kids will have a wonderful time navigating through Ocean Cube!
Smile through the coral for the picture! Photo by Ocean Cube.
Pop-ups like Ocean Cube always make for the best Instagram posts. Photo by @oceancubenyc Instagram.
East Drive and 102nd St. Crossing, North End of Central Park, Manhattan
Head through four butterfly gardens in Central Park for an up-close experience with these beautiful insects. Be sure to quickly snap a photo of your kids as they’re holding a butterfly in their hands or sitting right near one. The butterfly gardens in Central Park were established to support butterfly populations, so you’ll surely come across a variety of butterfly species. The garden itself provides a great background for photos of your little ones!
Pose with the butterflies!
Be sure to get photos of the butterflies when they land in your kid’s hands!
Tiffany Street & Viele Avenue, Barretto Point Park, Bronx
This public pool isn’t your typical outdoor NYC pool — the pool itself is floating on water! Docked in Barretto Point Park, this unique Floating Pool offers a great way to beat the summer heat and simultaneously snag some nice photos for Instagram. It’s not every day that you see a pool like this one, so take plenty of photos of your little ones to show off the exciting venue. Be sure to get all angles and views of the pool in your photoshoot so that you have many options!
It’s not everyday you see a pool floating on another body of water. Your followers will marvel at this unique pool and your adorable kids in it! Photo by Phillippe Baumann.
2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx
The Bronx boasts a huge zoo with over 6,000 animals! Your kids will love meeting new animals, and you’ll love to capture these moments of excitement. Have your phone ready for your zoo trip as you take lots of photos of your little ones looking at the various animals. You could even try to get selfies with the adorable animals. The Bronx Zoo is not only a fun, interactive, and enrichment experience, but the unique photos with giraffes, tigers, zebras, and penguins will add a bit of pizazz to your Instagram feed! Don’t forget to go to the petting zoo and get tons of photos of your kids petting the animals.
Photos with animals are definitely Insta-approved! Photo by Bronx Zoo.
Sign up for an interactive experience at the zoo to get even more options for Insta! Photo by Bronx Zoo.
101 Park Ave., Murray Hill, Manhattan
This specific, interactive experience at The AKC Museum of the Dog is very popular among kids, and it makes for a great photo-op. Take a photo of yourself on the screen, and then wait to see which dog breed looks most like you. Learn all about your matching breed, then send your matching breed profile and photo to your email to post on Instagram later! Moms and dads, you can either post the photo sent to your email, or take a few photos of your kids as they’re going through the exhibit, being sure to get the screen in the photos to show what your kid’s matching breed is. Discover your Dog Look-Alike and post it for everyone else to see!
Find Your Match will surely make your followers laugh and like/comment on your picture. Photo by AKC Museum of the Dog.
30 Rockefeller Plaza, Entrance on 50th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue, Manhattan.
Up high, 70 floors high to be specific, you’ll get to see (and capture) amazing views of the city. There are endless places to take photos here with the three indoor and outdoor viewing decks. Check out all the different angles, mix up the poses, and appreciate the views while you’re at it. And the best part- children under 6 are free! Children ages 6-12 are $32 and Adults are $38. Even if your kids are over age 6, the experience is definitely worth it!
There are endless poses and backgrounds to explore at Top of the Rock! Photo by @mothers_finest via @rockcenternyc Instagram.
Capture that picture-perfect photo of your little one peering out over the observation deck. Photo by @rockcenternyc Instagram.
One more, just because we absolutely love this photo-op! Photo by @luxmumma via @rockcenternyc Instagram.
Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village, Manhattan
Both the Fountain and Arch in Washington Square Park make for not only beautiful backdrops for photos, but fun ones as well! Catch photos of your kids in action as they play in the fountain, and try to get the arch in the background. On a sunny day, your photos in the fountain will turn out so adorable as your kids splash around. The arch is also an iconic monument for photos that spans all ages. Capture your relaxing, summer day in the park at this Instagram hotspot!
Capture plenty of photos of your little ones splashing around in the fountain! Photo by NYC Parks.
Be sure to get this arch in the background of your photos! Photo by NYC Parks.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
Designed for the New York World’s Fair of 1964-65, The Unisphere is the iconic symbol of Queens. It is both a representation of history and a great spot for photos. The Unisphere displays continents, mountain ranges, the tracks of early satellites, and the capital cities of the world. Have your kids say “cheese” and snap a few photos in front of the sphere! The sphere is also surrounded by a fountain that adds to the aesthetic.
The Unisphere is a sight to see (and a great photo backdrop)! Photo by Silvervoyager.
9 Crosby St., Soho, Manhattan
NoMo Soho hotel combines modern & nostalgic designs for an epic photoshoot. You’ve likely seen the iconic archway on Instagram before, as it is an irresistible backdrop for photos. Kids will love the grandness of this archway and the greenery and lights intertwined along it. No need to book a room at the hotel; just stop for a photoshoot in front of the hotel! Although, you may have to wait a bit before you can take your photos if guests are coming in or out of the hotel, or if there are other people waiting to take their photos- it’s a pretty popular spot.
Even this cute puppy loves NoMo Soho for photo-ops! Photo by @nomosoho Instagram.
A beautiful, natural, and bright background for your pictures! Photo by NoMo Soho.
45 Rockefeller Plaza, Rockefeller Center, Manhattan
The NYC public beaches are great, but what if you could bring the beach into the heart of the city? Well, Channel Gardens in Rockefeller Center has done just that for the month of July. This urban beach is the perfect photo-op, because you get a stunning contrast between the sandy beach and the urban skyscrapers that surround it. Sometimes the best Instagram posts are the surprising and unusual ones. If you’re looking to stray away from the basic NYC Instagram spots, then the urban beach is your place. And your kids will love getting a taste of the beach so close to home!
What better way to mix up your feed and surprise your followers than with a beach right in the middle of the city? Photo by Channel Gardens Rockefeller Center.
Pier 17, 89 South St., Seaport District, Manhattan
The Nautilus brings an interactive art experience to the Seaport District. Your kids get to actually create their own art with this Instagram-friendly exhibit. The sensory active technology of the 95 poles responds to each person’s touch individually to craft a visual display. As your kids make their way through the exhibit, be sure to get plenty of photos. The multi-colored lights also make The Nautilus perfect for Instagram, as does the gorgeous Brooklyn waterfront.
These rainbow-colored poles with the waterfront view make for Insta-material. Photo by The Nautilus.
Roosevelt Island’s Technicolor Waterfront Pool
30 River Rd., Roosevelt Island, Manhattan
Both a pop-up art installation and a place to cool off, Roosevelt Island’s Technicolor Waterfront Pool must be on your Instagram feed this summer. Not only will your kids love splashing around in the pool, but they’ll also be amazed by the assortment of colors surrounding the pool. This striking pool area is truly a sight to see (and to take photos of). However, this is not a NYC public pool, so the cost of admission for non-Roosevelt Island residents is $40 on weekdays and $60 on weekends. If you live on Roosevelt Island, the cost is $25 for weekdays and $30 for weekends. Hop over on a weekday for the best deal and a smaller crowd. Have your kids pose on the colorful chairs or laying on their towel on the rainbow colored pool deck.
This overhead view of the pool says it all- Instagram, be prepared. Photo by Max Touhey.
Cool off at the pool, and then gather your little ones for a few photos underneath the umbrellas! Photo by Max Touhey.
212 West 83rd St., Upper West Side, Manhattan
Finding an Instagrammable spot around the city doesn’t have to only be about the aesthetic of the place. In Art, Artists & You, kids get to use their imagination and create their own art in the studio. There is also artwork by contemporary artists that fill the exhibit for inspiration, but this artwork also makes for great photos. The entire exhibit is very Instagram-friendly with its artistic designs, colors, and the mini-masterpieces that your little ones make!
Get creative with your poses at the various art exhibits in Art, Artists & You! Photo by Children’s Museum of Manhattan.
The beautiful art makes for fun and aesthetically-pleasing backgrounds. Photo by Children’s Museum of Manhattan.
Explore a few of these (or all of these!) Instagrammable spots with kids in NYC this summer and fall! To accompany the Instagram spots, we’ve also got three quick tips to create the best photos. First, sunny days are Insta-days. Use the sun to your advantage and test out the photos beforehand to make sure that the sun is shining perfectly on your little ones to capture that beautiful glow. Next, dress to impress. If you’re going to go out of your way to take photos (please do!), then spend a little time pre-planning your kids’ outfits. Do you want to color coordinate with your family? Or maybe you want to dress in all white if you’re going to a super colorful exhibit? Break out the newest and cutest swimsuits for your pool days at The Floating Pool or the Technicolor Waterfront Pool. Finally, don’t be afraid to mix up the angles. I always find that taking the photo at a lower angle works well, but try tilting the camera or trying out a higher angle. Just keep taking photos over and over, and you will definitely have a lot of options to work with. Bonus tip: VSCO is Instagram’s best friend! The VSCO app is free. Play with the various effects to bring your photos to life — my personal favorite is C1. Where you take your photos is key, but don’t forget about the other factors that go into an Insta-ready photo (caption!). Most importantly, tell your story the way that you want to tell it.