Central Park in New York City.
Alden Gewirtz

Best of NYC with Kids

Beneath its noise, grit, and air of jaded cynicism, New York City is extremely kid-friendly. It opens its arms to kids of all ages, with some of the top children's attractions in the country, magical kid-centric holidays, and a world of treats for the eyes, ears, and tummy. What kid can resist?

Photo Caption: Central Park in New York City.
A lemur has a snack at the Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Park.
Sara Brittany Somerset
Bronx Zoo
The largest urban wildlife conservation facility in America, the Bronx Zoo has some 4,000 animals roaming 265 acres (106 hectares). It's hard to believe that you're actually in the Bronx as you watch lions, zebras, and gazelles roam the African Plains, a re-created savanna. Don't miss Tiger Mountain, featuring Siberian tigers, or the Congo Gorilla Forest, where 23 lowland gorillas, assorted monkeys, and other species live in a 6½-acre African rainforest environment.

Details: Fordham Rd. & Bronx River Pkwy. tel. 718/652-8400; www.bronxzoo.com
A rider on the Seaglass Carousel in Battery Park City
K M/Flickr
The Seaglass Carousel
One of the world's first aquariums delighted New Yorkers at this very spot in the 19th century. That attraction was moved to Coney Island in the 1940's but in rememberance this splendiferous, and seriously high tech, carousel was opened in 2015. After choosing which fish's belly to occupy, riders are treated to a whirl that feels very much like swimming at the bottom of the ocean. It may be the city's most psychedelic kid's attraction. The ride is very near the ferry dock for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (two other attractions that kids love).

Details: In Battery Park. www.thebattery.com.
Stettheimer Doll House in the Museum of the City of New York.
Audrey Kang
Stettheimer Doll House
This remarkable dollhouse in the Museum of the City of New York was the creation of Carrie Walter Stettheimer, a theater set designer who, with her two equally talented sisters, entertained the city's avant-garde artist community in the 1920s. Among the exquisite furnishings are period wallpaper, paper lampshades, and an art gallery featuring original miniatures of famous works such as Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase. The museum has more vintage dollhouses and timeless toys on display.

Details: Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave. (103rd St.). tel. 212/534-1672; www.mcny.org
American Museum of Natural History.
Alden Gewirtz
American Museum of Natural History
One word: dinosaurs, which devour the entrance hall and take up the entire fourth floor. Not to mention diamonds as big as the Ritz, and much more. The American Museum of Natural History is a treasure that belongs to the country, not just to New York and not just to kids.

Details: Central Park West (btw. 77th & 81st sts.). tel. 212/769-5100; www.amnh.org.
The Alice in Wonderland sculpture near the Central Park Zoo in New York City.
Alden Gewirtz
Alice in Wonderland Statue & the Sailboat Pond
This 1959 bronze statue of Alice sitting on a giant mushroom is catnip to the little ones. The Sailboat Pond, officially called Conservatory Water, is an ornamental pond where kids can sail miniature boats or watch radio-powered model yachts compete in racing regattas.

Details: Central Park, east side from 72nd to 75th sts.

Photo Caption: The Alice in Wonderland sculpture near the Central Park Zoo in New York City.
A family creates an animated film at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens.
Eden, Janine and Jim/Flickr
Museum of the Moving Image
This superb museum, devoted to the artists who create films, television shows and video games, is wonderfully interactive. Visitors can dub their voices over famous movie clips, create their own animated films (pictured), play iconic video games and more. And though it's in the borough of Queens, it's only two subway stops from Manhattan. The museum is a sure-fire hit with tweens, teens and anyone who loves media.

More info: Click here.
The Tisch Children's Zoo at the Central Park Zoo.
Alden Gewirtz
Central Park Zoo
The Central Park Zoo dates from the mid-19th century, when caged animals on loan from circuses were put on display near the Arsenal. The current zoo was built in 1988 to replace a 1934 WPA-built structure. Today the zoo's 5½ house more than 400 animals, among them sea lions, polar bears, and penguins. In the small Tisch Children's Zoo, kids can feed and pet tame farm animals. Check out the Delacorte Clock, with six dancing animals designed by the Italian sculptor Andrea Spadini.

Details: Fifth Ave. btw. 63rd & 66th sts. tel. 212/861-6030; www.centralparkzoo.com
Skating at Wollman Rink, Central Park.
Rob Flynn
Wollman Rink/Victorian Gardens
The small ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center is right in the center of midtown action, but this much bigger rink in Central Park is built for stretching out and perfecting your moves. Plus, it has views of skyscrapers along Central Park South. 

Details: Fifth Ave. btw. 62nd & 63rd sts. tel. 212/439-6900; www.wollmanskatingrink.com
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, New York City.
Frommers.com Community
Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum
The aircraft carrier known as the "Fighting I" served the U.S. Navy for 31 years, suffering bomb attacks, kamikaze strikes, and a torpedo shot. The Intrepid is now a very cool sea, air, and space museum on the New York waterfront. You can crawl inside a wooden sub from the American Revolution, inspect a nuclear submarine, or manipulate the controls in the cockpit of an A-6 Intruder. Note: Summers are crowded; get here early or buy tickets online.

Details: Pier 86, 12th Ave. & 46th St. tel. 212/245-0072; www.intrepidmuseum.org
Outside the New York Public Library.
Ellen Rooney
New York Public Library
The New York Public Library main branch's Humanities and Social Sciences Library usually has a few fascinating exhibitions on, which have included the real Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal owned and cherished by Christopher Robin Milne, and props from the movie Mary Poppins.

Details: Fifth Ave. (btw. 42nd & 40th sts.). tel. 917/275-6975; www.nypl.org. Free admission. 
The central 2,000 square foot gallery at Children's Museum of the Arts hosts large scale exhibitions, featuring work by established and emerging artists from around the world. This new space also affords room for daily workshops inspired by our exhibitions.
Junenoire Mitchell
New York City
The central 2,000 square foot gallery at Children's Museum of Manhattan hosts large-scale exhibitions featuring work by established and emerging artists from around the world. Parents with toddlers should head to the Development Center's wonderland of a playroom.
Luna Park, at Coney Island, at night.
Justin Appenzeller
Coney Island
Coney Island, the quintessential summer playground, conjures up carny rides, wooden boardwalks, and breezy salt air. It's a long subway ride out, but once you're here you can ride the 1927 Cyclone roller coaster or the 1920 Wonder Wheel or play at Luna Park, the first new amusement park built on Coney Island in 40 years.

Details: 1208 Surf Ave., Brooklyn. tel. 718/372-5159; www.coneyisland.com. Luna Park: www.lunaparknyc.com
Serendipity 3, New York City.
Serendipity 3
The ice cream sundaes are legendary at Serendipity 3, a whimsical Upper East Side dessert palace that also serves kid-friendly burgers, pastas, and chicken pot pie. Try the Shake, Batter & Bowl: half a chicken, fried and oven-roasted, and french fries.

Details: 225 E. 60th St. (btw. Second & Third aves.). tel. 212/838-3531; www.serendipity3.com.

The facade of the Museum of Math in Manhattan
Think Global School/Flickr
The Museum of Math
It's name may be off-putting for some, but there are few attractions in the city as fun for the pre-school and elementary school set. The curators have transformed mathematical concepts into hugely fun, interactive exhibits. So your child might find herself wheeling around different sorts of terrains on a tricycle with square or triangular wheels, creating exquisite geometric drawings on a computer or replicating famous mathematical and scientific experiments by Galileo, Copernicus and other great minds. You may have trouble getting your kids in the door, but we guarantee it will be much more difficult convincing them to leave.

More Info: Click here.
The new Yankee Stadium, Bronx.
Yankee Stadium
Is there a better way to spend a sun-dappled summer afternoon than at a baseball game at Yankee Stadium? You can take a subway right to the stadium or -- even better -- a NY Waterway ferry from several departure points (www.nywaterway.com).

Details: 1 E. 161st St. (Jerome Ave.), the Bronx. tel. 718/293-6000; www.yankees.com.
People stroll along the Highline in New York City
Daniel Pruitt/Flickr
The Highline
Adults and kids alike enjoy exploring this innovative park, created two-stories above the city streets on what once was an abandoned elevated railway track. There are areas where you can sit in an amphitheater and watch the traffic whiz by, other areas that look like railway tracks, food vendors and lots of chances to peer into the windows of downtown offices and homes. 

More Info: Click here.