7 Things To Do In NYC With Kids

New York City is one of the most unique cities in the world and has been one of our favorite places to visit both with and without kids for a long time!  Our itinerary definitely changes with kids in tow, but there are still so many fun things to see and do, great places to eat, and amazing memories to be made in one of the world’s coolest cities!  


If you’ve missed any of our other NYC travel posts, you can find those here:





Below you’ll find 7 things we did on our most recent trip with Eloise (5) and Henry (2) – of course there are SO many more things to do, but this trip was perfect for our family and our kids had a blast!


First tip: As with any big city, it’s definitely important to have a game plan in mind before you go, otherwise you’ll be all over the place, wasting time, and exhausted.  Especially with kids, make a plan in NYC! Pick out a part of town to focus on and try to stay there for at least a portion of the day.



Ellen’s Stardust Diner – This was a highlight of our last trip and one of the places/experiences we’ll look forward to most next time around!  Ellen’s is a diner located just off of Times Square and it was a blast!  There was a line all the way down the street, but it moves quickly and is worth the wait! (We probably waited about 25 minutes to get in and it was a breeze!).  Inside you’ll be treated to a show of some of broadway’s best songs by many of their up and coming stars.  These stars will also be your waiter/waitress!  Our kids had a blast, we sang and danced the entire time we were there, and the food was pretty good! Highly recommend it! 


Big Bus Tour – This was another highlight for the kids as they absolutely loved riding on the top of a double decker bus through the city!  We had perfect weather and were excited to explore!  The bus will pick you up just north of times square, you can purchase tickets ahead of time or on the spot from a vendor.  We purchased just the downtown route and decided to use this as our “taxi” for the day.  You can hop on and off of the bus at any of their stops, and we were heading towards the Ice Cream Museum, lunch, and shopping!  The bus is great, it’s a smooth ride, a unique view of the city, and relatively cheap compared to taxis or Uber.  We generally try to avoid the subway with Henry who wants to touch everything in site!


Museum of Ice Cream – About 20 minutes on the bus and you’ll end up at the Soho stop.  Hop off and walk up the block to the museum, so close!  You have to have tickets to go in, and they must be purchased ahead of time on your phone or computer.  The trick here is that they only offer 30 minute windows, so Bryan purchased tickets the day of, when we got on the bus and were on our way.  A bit risky, but it worked! We skipped a big chunk of the line and only waited for a few minutes.  Inside is an ice cream lovers paradise! Every room is a different flavor with toppings and wild decorations everywhere!  Our kids had an absolute blast!


Just up the block on Prince street (and the surrounding area) is a ton of great shopping and food.  We stopped in at the Vuori store, Faherty, and had lunch at the Fanelli Cafe.


We hopped back on the bus and it continued downtown, through the financial district, towards the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Center, then all the way back up towards Times Square along the Hudson River Greenway.  Without kids, I’m sure we would have stopped more, but with kids, picking two or three to hop off, grab lunch, shop, and explore was plenty.  We were all tired by the end of the day and ready for dinner and a good night’s rest!


Central Park Zoo – Yes, there is a zoo inside of Central Park!  Our kids love the zoo, and this one is relatively small, so you can get through it pretty quickly.  Buy your tickets ahead and skip the line.  There are some unique animals here, not your typical elephants and giraffes, but our kids didn’t mind, and there was plenty of shade if you end up there on a hot day!


FAO Schwarz – Of course we had to take the kids to the toy store, and this isn’t just any toy store… it’s massive, and amazing!  They have workers demonstrating several of the toys which our kids loved, and there is literally something for everyone in there.  If you can’t find it, ask, they probably have a section on another floor.  It’s incredibly fun, and feels a bit like your at Willy Wonka’s factory when you’re inside!  


Magnolia Bakery – Without a doubt, the best banana pudding we have ever had!  It’s incredible, and there are so many other delicious treats there to choose from.  This is right at Rockefeller Center, but they have a few locations, and it’s worth the stop!  


M&M Store – More sweets?  Sure, why not!  Right off of Times Square, this is a fun stop.  You can fill your own bag full of whatever M&M color/type you’d like!


For the adult who doesn’t want to go into FAO Schwarz, it is right at Rockefeller Center, and we discovered they have a new (to us) Beer stop called Rockefeller Center Tap Room that overlooks the roller skating rink.  We stopped here after the toy store and they had some very good craft options!


For the adult with kids who needs a cup of coffee – Most of us!  Our favorite stop for an afternoon coffee in NYC is Ralph’s.  I love the cute cart outside and the white and green decor inside.  And yes, the coffee is very good!  It’s located on 72nd and Madison, just off Central Park and the zoo.  There is also great designer shopping in this area!



Our Go-To hotel in Manhattan is the Conrad NYC Midtown for a variety of reasons.  The location is tough to beat – we love wandering Central Park, and this is just a few blocks away.  The rooms are huge, clean, and give us plenty of space to spread out and rest up for the next day ahead.  The staff is super friendly and very helpful and has always been great to our family, which we really appreciate.  They are Hilton affiliates if you have their honors program, and although it can get a bit pricey depending on the time of year, we will stay there again without hesitation as finding a perfect hotel room in NYC can be really challenging.  


We can’t wait to head back as a family of 5 this fall!



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