Many people forget that New York is a town full of families and plan their vacations without providing much thought to the entertainment possibilities that abound for children in New York City. It only makes sense that with so many families living in this city that there would be very many family oriented things to do and sights to see.
For instance, there are 5 zoos in New York City; some of them better known than others. The five zoos are Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, Bronx Zoo, and Staten Island Zoo. Each zoo has something slightly different to offer than the others and if you have a true animal lover in your family there really is no harm in stopping by all of them. Also if you purchase the New York Pass you will find that most of the zoos mentioned above offer free admission to card holder.
For the child who loves drama, New York City offers many theatrical productions that might suit him or her just fine. The first is geared towards girls and is American Girl Place. You can enjoy dining, shopping, and theatre while spending a day with your special little girl. This is a great bonding experience for mothers and daughters. The Manhattan Children’s Theatre produces several high quality shows for children and families throughout the year at quite reasonable prices (season tickets are also available for those who live nearby). The New Victory Theater offers a different type of theater experience for families to enjoy. The Paper Bag Players are a must see experience. They offer a different type of theatre for children that encourages audience participation that gets your children involved in the dramatic process. If you have the time you should also check out TADA! Youth Theater in order to show your children that even children have talents that need to be explored and can make a difference not only in their own lives but also in the lives of others.
In addition to the great activities mentioned above, there are several children’s museums located in New York in addition to other museums that offer exhibitions that may be of interest to your children. The following museums are well worth checking out even if you decide to seek entertainment elsewhere: Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Staten Island Children’s Museum, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, FDNY Fire Zone, Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, New York Hall of Science, Sony Wonder Technology Lab, Queens Country Farm Museum, and Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Times Square. There are many more museums in the city that may provide plenty of family entertainment and education but these are some of the most kid-friendly museums in the city.
Shopping is a fun and often educational process that often gets overlooked or even ignored when it comes to children. However, it would be remiss to mention great family things to do in New York without mentioning some of the wonderful children’s retailers that abound in this city. Books of Wonder is aptly named as it brings back those books that held such wonder for us as children and gives us the chance to share those books with our children. They have old and rare books as well as many excellent current book selections. New York is also home to the largest Build-A-Bear store in the world, which will make the bear lover in your family’s eyes light up with glee. There’s FAO Schwarz, which is a toy store unto itself and almost worth the price of the trip to NYC alone. Old and young kids alike will enjoy spending an afternoon here. Toys R Us Times Square is offering up a Dinosaur portion of competition however by brining in great attraction to get families in the door and buying toys. Be sure that you let your little ones ride the Ferris wheel and that you get a copy of the photograph as a keepsake.
New York City is gaining a reputation for a much softer far more family oriented side. Don’t let the past reputation of this city prevent you from making this the family vacation destination it could be ideally suited to be.