For kids, the months of July usually mean the start of the long summer periods. After enduring a whole year of school, to children, summer signifies the time to unwind and have fun. However, many parents are usually at a loss on how to handle the herculean task of engaging their children in safe, but fun activities at this time of the year, and avoid dealing with grumpy kids, who don’t want to be cooped up indoors. If you are in this situation, this comprehensive list has been curated for you by Big Apple Visitor’s Center to help you avoid dealing with whiny kids, all summer long. It contains some of the top kid-friendly NYC attractions, and they are guaranteed to keep your kids engaged and well-entertained all summer.
National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey
The National Geographic Encounter is a top choice for fun activities kids can partake in during summer. It is a 60,000 sq foot space where you and your kids can enjoy virtual interactions with sea creatures like dolphins, sea lions, rays, white whales, squids, and sharks. While there, kids of all ages get to experience photo-real animation, immersive sound, huge projections and an area where they can engage in interactive technology like holograms, games involving ocean conservation or research, touch screens and photo areas. Another great thing about the National Geographic Encounter is that it houses event rooms for rent, which can accommodate very large gatherings. This amazing spot costs $36.50 for children below the age of 12 (Subject to change). Click here to purchase tickets ahead of time.
Top of the Rock Observation Deck
Top of the Rock Observation Deck located at Rockefeller Center is an 86-floored observatory at the Empire State Building. It is another great choice for kids because it is situated atop a global icon and it provides them with the sight of the entire New York City from an eagle’s view. Also, from the observation deck, children can enjoy a vista of Central Park without the crazy lines. At TOTR, children can also enjoy other amenities like eating and shopping at a sprawling subterranean mall. The observation deck is located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York and costs $14, $19, $21 for children between 6 &12, seniors and adults respectively (Subject to change). Click here for more details.
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
If your little ones have interests for museums, maritime and the military, then this is where they need to be. The Intrepid was initially an aircraft carrier which was later turned to a science museum. Depending on your kid’s interest, they can spend many hours in either the aviation, nautical, or cosmos sections. When traversing between the various sections, they get to board small boats, wander around the living quarters of the Intrepid’s former crew, learn things like why huge metal ships do not sink and also try on astronaut gloves. The Intrepid is a great choice for keeping kids entertained as well as informed on things they never had prior knowledge of. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is located at Pier 86, Twelfth Ave at 46th St, New York. It is free for children under the age of 3 as well as active and retired military personnel. Click here for tickets.
This amazing and immersive world of miniatures is set amidst the hustle and bustle of Times Square. It can be a great attraction for aspiring engineers, architects and city planners, as it highlights some of Manhattan’s and the world’s interesting and notable landmarks. Some of the landmarks that children will get to see include miniatures of Times Square, The World Trade Center, The High Line, and more. While here, kids can also have some fun looking for Easter eggs, spotting Spider-Man hanging off the Brooklyn Bridge or graffiti art only New Yorkers will understand. Click here for tickets.
Children get to engage in all sorts of fun activities like soccer, cycling, catch, etc. in this beautiful park. During summer, when the temperatures are warmer, the park is usually packed with other people enjoying their days cycling, sunbathing or playing with Frisbees. Children can also hold little picnics and parties with their friends and family members, with their music speakers blaring. Central Park also has a baseball lawn, which is occasionally used for live music performances. It is located at mid-park between 79th and 85th Sts, New York, and is open from April to November. Click here for more details.
Disney on Broadway
This NYC side attraction can bring some of your kid’s favorite cartoon fantasy to life. It was created in collaboration with the Disney Theatrical Group and takes children on a tour of Broadway and Disney characters like Frozen and Aladdin. They also get to learn about the history of the building while a guide describes everything that goes on in the creation and performance of Broadway productions like The Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty, and The Beast, Mary Poppins, etc. They also get to see some of the original props and costumes used by their favorite Disney or Broadway musicals. Kids can also enjoy the recently added Frozen the musical which is a favorite of many. Click here for tickets and show times.
NFL Experience Times Square
This is one of the best places you can take your football loving kids to in NYC. It is a one-of-a-kind attraction which brings football fans closer to the game more than ever before. Your kids can enjoy the journey of the NFL from witnessing the season’s first snap to the confetti shower of the Super Bowl. Football fans also get to enjoy the pulse-pounding action with an incredible 4D experience. Also, there is a photo-op booth where your kids can pose for pictures with the 51 Super Bowl rings, Vince Lombardi Trophy, and AFC/NFC trophies. At the end of the day, they can then cool off in the NFLX Eats located at the sports bar. Click here to purchase tickets ahead of time.
These spots and activities are some the best side attractions in and around New York City, guaranteed to keep your children entertained and occupied all summer, and also enable you to enjoy a peaceful summer.