New York City is home to some two million children, so it only makes sense for family oriented activities to abound. There’s a bevy of activity for all types of families of all ages. For your family’s trip, make sure you bring a camera to make memories last, enough umbrellas to keep each person dry, and sensible, supportive shoes to keep everyone comfortable.
Surely you’re already familiar with cultural landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and popular events like the Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, the fireworks on the 4th of July, and New Year’s Eve. Here, we’ll try to hook you up with some of the less well known NYC attractions that are sure to provide hours of family fun.
FILL THE FAMILY’S BELLIES AND GET READY TO HAVE FUN
Now, if you’re interested in a fancy NYC dining experience, head to those nicer restaurants for lunch instead of dinner. It’s usually cheaper, less crowded and much more family friendly. Diners and pizza joints are great for your evening meal. At any time, though (even in the middle of the night), kids and parents alike will think the Renaissance Diner an awesome choice. The broad scope of the inexpensive menu will ensure that there is something for all palettes, from picky to refined. No one in the family will be disappointed with their meal and the casual atmosphere and speedy service is perfect for young ones.
If you’re planning your family fun trip in advance, definitely book tickets to the Sony Wonder Technology Lab. Reservations are free, but required. This museum is more like a trip to the future, where interactive technology is a vital component. The creative, cutting-edge, hands-on tech at SWTL will inspire everyone from your spouse to the baby of the family. You can program robots, dance with animated characters, and perform a virtual vivisection. It’s not all just flashy lights, either; your little ones will leave having learned a great deal about the communication technology of today and tomorrow.
For families with kids who love animals or nature, the Alley Pond Environmental Center in Queens is a wonderful place to pass some time. Kids get hands-on time with all sorts of small friendly fauna, like caterpillars, frogs, lizards, prairie dogs, rabbits, snakes, turtles and more, all while learning about their life cycles or how to care for them. From there, explore the trails, woods, and marshes surrounded by the concrete jungle. Be prepared to turn down the kids when they harass you for a pet as you’re leaving!
If you are looking for fun things to do with the family where you can also learn about some of New York’s illustrious (or infamous) history and its ancient neighborhoods, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum is the perfect destination. Tour an historic tenement building and find out about the lives of the families who lived there. There are a few hands-on components, and surely experiencing a bit about how the disenfranchised were forced to make due in cramped quarters surely will help your kids appreciate all of their modern luxuries. They offer different tours for different age groups, and welcome anyone above 5.
TAKE THE FAMILY FROM THEATER TO MOVING THEATER
Spider-Man leapt off the comic book page and onto TV and movie screens years ago, but only recently has a live action, in person iteration appeared. Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Broadway’s answer to the web-head, is a brilliant rendition of the famous superhero, and it’s totally different from any other Broadway theatre experience in the city. It’s an impressive, high-energy show, and the heroics will get family members of all ages out of their seats for a rousing standing ovation by the end.
The Blue Man Group’s show doesn’t offer an extended story line, but better yet several tricks, episodic gags, and rhythmic musical performances. Though the three blue bald men have been onstage for over a decade, the laughs are timeless, and they keep the show fresh by incorporating new content alongside their iconic, colorful bits. This show is fast paced and easy to get into, so it’s great for any little ones with small attention spans.
Last, but certainly not least…to give your family a truly fun time in New York City, come experience THE RIDE! Covering Times Square, the Theatre District, and Columbus Circle, this hybrid performance piece/tour bus will teach you New York trivia while keeping everyone entertained. The interactive monitors, humungous windows, and talented performers will make it hard to keep your jaws off the floor! Check out our upcoming NYC shows and bring the kids, we’ve got afamily discount pack.