New York, New York! This delightful city is host to numerous activities that will ensure your family holiday is one to remember.
Possibly one of the World’s most famous cities, New York offers enough attractions for the whole family that will keep you occupied for weeks or months. This fabulous city, most commonly known as the ‘Big Apple’, is home to celebrities, Staten Island, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park and more movies and comedy shows than you’ll ever have the time to watch on television.
Although the city is often thought of as a built up metropolis, and it certainly is that, it is also home to several parks, two of which are large enough to house a small city each. Most people aren’t aware of the opportunities that exist to extend your holiday beyond what would traditionally be thought of as a city break, but for families who want to experience both aspects of a holiday, New York really can offer it all.
One of the best things about New York is its proximity to some of the most exciting attractions the USA has. Not too far away is the Niagara Falls; iconic Manhattan Island is a short distance from its centre; and then of course you have the chance to witness Times Square and the downtown Theatre District for yourselves.
There is no bad time to visit New York, although you should be aware that they can often experience very cold winters with heavy snow. Christmas time is a magical experience, with ice skating in the parks and open carriageway rides through the streets, and this is also a great time for some cheaper Christmas shopping. The summer months bring the heat, and this is perfect for taking advantage of the outdoor activities that the city has to offer.
A great activity for the whole family is to hop on one of the comprehensive tours offered by many companies throughout the city. There are so many to choose from that it’s best to book in advance, and these tours can take in all the major sights in one day. Travel from the Empire State building to Manhattan, or take in the Statue of Liberty and Central Park in the same day. There is no age limit for most of these tours.
Central park was designed in mid 19th century as a “people’s park” and covers over 800 acres of landscaped greenery, lakes, ponds, waterfalls, rustic bridges, and playgrounds. Kids can enjoy flying kites, roller blading, horse-drawn carriage ride, watching jugglers and listening to storytellers and musicians.
The younger kids will enjoy Central Park Zoo, not as big as the Bronx Zoo, but the kids will love the polar bears, penguins, and rainforest creatures. Central Park Zoo has its own collection of exciting child friendly attractions too. Adjacent to the zoo, is Tisch Children’s Zoo, which is full of little delights for young ones, including a petting zoo where they can feed some animals. More details...
Visit the Rockerfella Centre, especially magical during the Christmas festive season, with its shows, gigantic Christmas tree and ice skating rink.
Check out toy stores in Manhatten, the famous FAO Schwarz toy store on Fifth Avenue is very child friendly and home to one of the largest toy collections in New York City.
For a unique tour of the city, grab a helicopter tour and take to the skies above the best recognized skyline in the world. Your trip will take you across the rooftops as you gaze down on some of the best known buildings and the packed streets below you. Flights aren’t long, but they do offer a unique perspective, and there’s no age limit either although the smallest children will have to sit on an adults lap.
Travellers to New York might not think of Whale Watching as a typical experience, but if you travel on this tour to Boston, then that’s exactly what you can do. Jump aboard a high speed catamaran and you and your family will soon be whisked off across the waves to try and catch a glimpse of these remarkable creatures at play. Food and drinks can be bought on the vessel, and you’ll have the services of a guide to ensure you don’t miss a thing. Children aged 2 years and over are welcome. More details...
Don’t forget a trip to the theatre! New York is famous for being the home of Broadway, and some of the best shows can be found playing here throughout the year. The whole family can enjoy a production of Cats or the Lion King, and this is the perfect form of evening entertainment. There are loads of local restaurants nearby to cater for a pre-theatre menu for you as well, so you can get your evening off to a great start.
New York is a bustling city, so at the end of a long day you will want to retire to a relaxing comfortable hotel, where children are very welcome. Although most hotels regard themselves as child friendly, we have listed some of the best and recommended child friendly hotels below:
Doubletree Times Square is ideally located on Broadway. All the spacious suites are furnished with a microwave and refrigerator. There is an entire floor of childproof suites, and a Kids Club for children aged between 3 to 12. More details...
We also love the Omni Berkshire Place located adjacent to Madison Avenue. This child friendly hotel provides children with a bag of sweets upon check-in as well as milk and biscuits on their first night. The concierge can also provide a complimentary children's suitcase, on request, full of fun stuff, such as colouring books, games and checkerboards. More details...
The Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park is an expensive option, but it provides everything needed for an enjoyable stay. The kids will love the in room cookies and milk, whilst parents will enjoy the full-service spa. More details...