Hitting the Streets: Why New York Works for a Family Vacation


Trying to think up a great destination for your next family vacation? Consider New York City. Sure, the Big Apple is chock full of amusement for adults, but it’s a grand vacation site for little ones, too. If the notion of yet another family trip to a pricey theme park leaves you less than thrilled, take a look at all the wonderful kid-friendly things you can do in New York.

Where to stay and what to do

First, choose family-friendly, centrally located lodging. If it’s luxury you like, the Marriott New York will suit your purposes perfectly. Located on 24th Street and Madison Avenue, the Marriott boasts a 41-story tall clock tower that practically defines the New York City skyline. Offering breathtaking metro views, the Marriott sits within easy walking distance of Madison Square Park and other must-see city attractions.

Play where the locals play

A classic since the 19th century, Coney Island is a playground for all ages. Here you and the kids can try your luck at carnival games and ride a sky-high Ferris wheel. To get to Coney Island by subway takes a little less than an hour, and you should expect to spend at least half a day at the park. As a word of caution, you might want to save your Nathan’s Famous hot dog for after a ride on the Cyclone roller coaster. If you visit Coney Island in the morning, head over to the New York Aquarium in nearby Brighton Beach. This is an especially refreshing visit on a muggy afternoon.

Set aside a day for exploring

If you think kids don’t like visiting museums, think again. To make your trip to the American Museum of Natural History more fun for the little ones, begin your adventure at the gift shop. Purchase a stack of postcards that feature in-house exhibits, and then make a game of looking for them. Children ages five to 12 are invited to participate in the hands-on fun in the Discovery Room, while teens can satisfy their curiosity about astronomy, mineralogy, and other scientific disciplines throughout the spacious museum, say travel gurus at NYC Tourist magazine.

The Staten Island Ferry offers free rides for families who wish to admire a view of the city from a watery vantage point. Be sure to point out Ellis Island and the Statue of LIberty while enjoying your sea cruise. Once you are on the other side of the harbor, hop on a bus that’s going to the Staten Island Children’s Museum where your kids can get involved in myriad hands-on activities that are both educational and entertaining. Overseen by the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, the museum property offers acres of manicured gardens where the whole family can tuck into a tasty picnic lunch.
New York City isn’t just for adults. As your hotel concierge how to get tickets to kid-friendly Broadway plays like The Lion King, Cats, Aladdin, and Sponge Bob Square Pants. Be sure to pack comfortable walking shoes, and enjoy your family vacation to New York.

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