Traveling to New York on vacation – with the whole family – doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With some planning, there are many things you can do for free.
The hotels in downtown Manhattan tend to be, by their very nature, tend to be extravagant and fun to browse compared to the average hotel (You can see what we mean by checking out the New York hotels listings on Orbitz).
Toys R Us on Broadway cannot be missed. It’s not just any Toys R Us store, there’s a ferris wheel in the store that kids can ride for free! And Ray’s Pizza? Always packed but always a hit with the kids with every slice.
That being said, there is so many more attractions to visit while in New York that you simply must experience for yourself and through the eyes of your children.
Below are a few of our favorite places to bring the kids in no particular order.
The Bronx Zoo is a great place for kids of all ages. The zoo contains more than 4,000 animals, the bug carousel, camel rides and more; although, additional charges may apply. There’s also Prospect Zoo and Queens Zoo but we are partial to the Bronx Zoo.
Jump on the subway to Coney Island and enjoy a day at the New York Aquarium. It’s rainy day friendly and boasts more than 10,000 species of marine life which is great fun for you and your toddler. During your visit, don’t forget to check out the Planet Earth: Shallow Seas, 4-D show.
Located on Sixth Ave. in Brooklyn, PuppetWorks caters to children ages 3 and up. They perform classic fairy tales such as Aladdin and Cinderella.
Acrobats, clowns, horse and more! This one-ring circus is two hours and 15 minutes long and runs from October through January at Lincoln Center and May 14 through 30th in Cunningham Park in Fresh Meadows.
From soaring views of Top of the Rock to a backstage pass at NBC Studios, outdoor gardens and historic buildings and more. This is a must see, particularly if you are visiting during the holiday season. They host the biggest Christmas trees in the area.
Little ones enamored with firemen and fire trucks will love visiting the New York City Fire Museum, which houses one of the nation’s most prominent collections of fire related art and artifacts from the present back to the late 18th Century.
Like Toys R Us, World of Disney is more than a store. Located in Times Square it houses several exhibits and activities for the kids which also includes a chance to meet some of the Disney characters. It’s worth the visit.
You can’t visit New York and not have pizza! Adding in a tour only makes your pizza experience that much better. Learn the history of pizza, visit locations from movies, Coney Island’s landmark amusement park and boardwalk and more. While on tour you also get to sample their thin-crust pizza and Sicilian style pizza.
Kids of all ages will get dizzy with delight at the views atop the Empire State Building, which also has the New York Skyride. Parents will enjoy it just the same, even if they’ve already been there.
If you have time, also try to squeeze in Books of Wonder, NikeTown and Dylan’s Candy Bar, for a Willy Wonka experience.
And there you have it, some of our favorite New York City attractions for the whole family! And most of them are affordable which is always nice when going on vacation.
Rae is a mom of four, a work from home mom and owner of various small niche websites, including ApronAddicts.com which highlights the best in women’s aprons and gives tons of ideas on simple recipes, including slow carb recipes.