New York City is one of the top travel destinations in the world. It’s hard to believe, but the Big Apple welcomes almost 50 million visitors every single year. So if you’re planning a trip to New York, and you have kids in your party, it’s important to pick out some really cool places to visit. The great thing about New York attractions is that grownups will enjoy them too!
So if you’re on your way to New York, here are ten great attractions that have something for everyone, even the most jaded tweens and teens.
– American Museum of Natural History.
Truly one of the classiest museums in the world. Their amazing permanent exhibits include birds and reptiles, planetary systems, human origins, fossils, and of course, the must-see dinosaur exhibit. The AMNH also puts on a continual menu of changing displays. If you go this spring, you’ll catch shows on whales, butterflies, and intergalactic travel. Allow at least a day!
– Ferry Ride Around Manhattan
The history and lifeblood of New York is tied to the water. Manhattan is surrounded by water, and taking a boat ride around the island is an amazing way to see it all without the crowds. A company called Circle Line runs a variety of cruises, including evening rides. The Statue of Liberty is a key sight on the cruises, and you can even plan to hold a kid’s birthday on select cruises. How cool is that!
– New York Aquarium
Sticking with the aquatic theme, how about taking in America’s oldest aquarium? The kids will love to see penguins, harbor seals, sea lions, otters and walruses. The Coney Island aquarium is part of New York’s Wildlife Conservation Society, which also operates the several zoos located in the Big Apple.
– The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
No mention of New York’s water heritage is complete without the USS Intrepid. This world-class museum is housed about the USS Intrepid, one of the most famous aircraft carriers in U.S. naval history. The Intrepid saw action from World War II to the Cold War. Now decommissioned, and permanently docked at New York, it is a national historic landmark and a top destination for the kids.
– Discovery Times Square
Back to land, and here’s a stop that is sure to provide a lot of excitement for kids. Discovery Times Square is a destination exhibit space that features the latest in traveling shows and exhibitions. Recent extravaganzas included the Dead Sea Scrolls, the King Tut exhibition, and, currently, the hugely popular Harry Potter Exhibition.
– Ripley’s Believe it or Not
While you’re in Times Square, the kids will absolutely not want to miss Ripley’s. It’s a piece of classic Americana, updated for the 21st Century. Originally, Ripley’s was a cartoon created by Robert Ripley in the 1920s. It grew into a franchise that today is housed in Times Square. Kids will love the bizarre and unusual relics and treasures from all over the world.
– Central Park Zoo
For a complete change of pace, head over to world-famous Central Park, and check out their kid-friendly zoo. Besides polar bears, leopards, snow monkeys, and red pandas, there is a children’s petting zoo, barnyard, and duck pond. Perfect for the littlest members of your party.
– Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum
Originating in France in the 18th century, Madame Tussaud’s has opened galleries in several world famous cities, including New York. Uncanny lifelike figures, ranging from Hollywood celebrities, to historical figures, to today’s sports stars, will fascinate and delight the kids (and maybe the grownups too).
– Empire State Building
No trip to the Big Apple is complete without a visit to perhaps its most recognizable landmark, the Empire State Building. Completed in 1931, the Empire State Building is a National Historic Landmark, and even has its own zipcode (10118). Visitors today can zoom up to the Observation Deck on the 102nd floor, for the most amazing 360 degree views of New York City.
– Lion King on Broadway
At the end of a day filled with sightseeing in America’s greatest city, what could be more fun than to end the evening with a Broadway show? And what better show to take the kids to, than Disney’s Lion King? For the little ones, a magical, memorable ending to a wonderful New York day.