New York is a city associated with grown-up entertainment and activities, like bar hopping and night clubbing. But the Big Apple is also a great place to visit if you have kids. It’s one of the best cities for children to play in, learn about nature and culture, and foster a sense of community from an early age.
So if you’re wondering if it’s a good idea to take your kids with you on your dream vacation to NYC, the answer is yes! There are many attractions you can enjoy together just in the area of Midtown Manhattan. Here are just a few that should get children (and anyone who’s young at heart) excited about a trip to New York:
Visit Grand Central Terminal
Transport hubs may not be an exciting destination to kids, but NYC’s Grand Central Station is definitely different from what you’re used to. There’s ample space inside Grand Central to walk around, get some exercise, and stoke the imagination.
For starters, you and your kids can check out the famous clock at the Main Concourse’s Information Booth. See if you can re-enact the tender meetings you see in the movies. Next, try to visit the “Whispering Gallery” near the Oyster Bar. You can enchant your kids with the acoustic anomaly in the walkway. Stand in corners up to thirty feet apart and “whisper” something to them; your kids will be amazed that they can hear you perfectly!
Grand Central is the perfect place to go to if you want to introduce your kids to New Yorker culture. It’s also a great place to teach them about the importance of public transport. Family-friendly accommodation options are also available nearby, like The Westgate New York.
Attend a Children’s Program at the New York Public Library
The New York Public Library isn’t only famous for its 53-million strong book collection; it also offers some superb enrichment programs, and many of them are targeted toward children. Upcoming programs in 2020 include storytelling, music, and socials with other kids.
Be sure to check the library’s website for updates on their children’s activities. The NYPL staff will let you know of the date, time, and age group per program.
Take a Stroll Along Bryant Park
Just a stone’s throw away from the New York Public Library is the park for all seasons, Bryant Park. Visiting the park is a healthy, fun activity that is fitting for a trip to NYC.
Bryant Park is also renowned for its many children’s programs. Some events your kids can join here are puppet shows, storytelling, juggling, and interactive science classes. This is on top of other timeless activities that you can do together, such as playing catch or picnicking. Do visit Bryant Park’s official website to see its opening times and its schedule of kids’ programs.
Play at Robert Moses Playground
Robert Moses Playground is located in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Midtown, a short distance from the United Nations Headquarters. Its namesake, Robert Moses, was New York’s so-called “master builder” of the mid-twentieth century era. His legacy lives on in NYC’s excellent public spaces.
The Robert Moses Playground has all of the staples your kids will want in a play space, like slides, swings, seesaws, and a jungle gym. But what the park is famous for is its sporting facilities. This is where you and your kids should be if you want to watch—or even play—sports like basketball, handball, and roller hockey.
Practice Spy Tactics at Spyscape
Spyscape is a spy-themed interactive museum in Midtown that will get the whole family’s imagination going. If anyone’s a fan of Spy Kids, James Bond, and the like, you’ll have a blast practicing your best espionage tactics!
Your kids can practice their agility by dodging lasers, or their smarts by solving puzzles. Spyscape will even run assessments to see who among your family would make a great agent handler or intelligence analyst. This is the place to be to live out one’s dreams of being a secret agent.
Travel Safely through Midtown Manhattan with Your Kids
Before you embark on a trip to Midtown Manhattan with your kids, make safety and convenience a part of your planning. NYC has special ordinances with regard to car seats, seatbelts, and traveling with young children on public transport. Make sure you read up on these well before you arrive.
Always watch out for your kids, and let everyone know the importance of looking out for each other. Brief your older children about where they should go and who they should contact in case of an emergency.
And lastly, involve your kids in your preparations. Get info on the attractions and tell your kids what they can look forward to. This should get everyone in your family fired up for your trip to NYC.