New York City is in no way an underrated destination for adults. It gets a ton of buzz, and deservingly so. It’s home to just about anything you could want in a vacation spot, and a lot more that you probably didn’t even know you wanted! But when it comes to youngsters, there’s slightly less hype surrounding the city and its vacation prospects. We’re here to tell you that the City that Never Sleeps is just as much fun for those with 8:30pm bedtimes.
You probably didn’t book your travel arrangements to New York City on the basis of taking in world-class wildlife. But if you’re traveling with kiddos, you ought to reconsider. The Bronx Zoo is one of the world’s largest and best, and is a simple subway ride away from Midtown Manhattan. Home to just about any exotic animal you and your family could imagine, you’ll also enjoy the stroll between exhibits, as the Zoo’s landscaping is gorgeous as well. You could make an entire day out of your Bronx Zoo visit, but if you are feeling especially bold (and the kids aren’t too tuckered out), it shares a border with the equally beautiful Bronx Botanical Garden.
Keeping things in the outer boroughs (full disclosure, this next suggestion is not practical to cram into the same day as the Bronx Zoo!), consider visiting the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. It was the first museum in the world intended solely for kids, when it opened in 1899. Located in the Brooklyn’s happening Crown Heights neighborhood, you can bookend your family’s several-hours-long exploration of the museum exhibits (like the “Brooklyn Block Lab”, and a kid-centric look back at the borough’s fascinating history) with coffee or meals from some truly outstanding nearby restaurants, many of which feature patio dining.
For a peek into the more cinematically-featured parts of the city, head on down to the East Village. It’s an eclectic, always changing neighborhood that’s still managed to hold on to some of its quirky charm. This is the New York City of movies from the 1980s. But it’s also home to Dinosaur Hill, a truly unique children’s store that specializes in creativity-provoking toys and clothing, much of it handmade. Perfect for a quick souvenir purchase, and a taste of a classic New York mom and pop shop.
And if all else fails, turn to a tried-and-true activities favored by exhausted city parents for over a century. Grab a coffee for yourself, an ice cream for your progeny, take a seat on a bench overlooking one of Central Park’s outstanding playgrounds, and cut the kids loose. There is no better way to ensure a tired kid, ahead of a planned quiet family dinner.
Need more suggestions for your family trip to New York? From a scavenger hunt in Central Park to a pre-opening tour of the American Museum of Natural History, we have it all! Click here to take a peek at some of our kid-friendly experiences or contact us for more details.