Safe and Fun NYC Things to Do
- 50 Awesome and Safe Things to Do in NYC
- Open in NYC: 9-11 Memorial, The Highline, Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, Edge, The Bronx Zoo, Liberty Island, in-person Sample Sales. MoMA, The Met, Natural History, Madame Tussauds and much more.
- NEW Traveler Quarantine Guidelines - Only 3 days with negative Covid tests
Central Park, Statue of Liberty, Candy Bar and More!
Our One Day in NYC with Kids itinerary is Day 2 of a weekend vacation, and is jam-packed with the Statue of Liberty, lunch at Serendipity, Dylan’s Candy Bar, FAO Schwarz, Plaza Hotel and Central Park. Five year old Maggie called it "the BEST day of her life." Feel free to check out Day 1 of the New York City with kids itinerary, at New York City Vacation with Young Girls, where Kim’s family already saw SoHo, The Highline, Stomp and sang their way through dinner in Little Italy.
Day 3 – Sunday (My 5 year old says this was the BEST day of her life)
Staten Island Ferry for a Statue of Liberty View
We took the Staten Island Ferry for closer view of “The Statue of Litterty,” as Maggie calls her. The ferry is free, runs every 30 minutes and takes approximately 25 minutes each way.
NYC Insider Note: 1, 4, 5, N, R subway lines as well as the M1, M6 and M15 bus lines. Exit South Ferry, Whitehall Terminal is the Manhattan port and St. George Terminal is the Staten Island port, 4 South Street.
To get to Serendipity from the Ferry, take the 4/5 subway to 59th Street, 15 minutes to go 80 blocks (~4 miles). Would be a $20 taxi!
Lunch at Serendipity 3 – One Day in NYC with Kids
I think the funhouse mirrors would have kept the girls happy for hours. Of course, we had the famous frozen hot chocolate, one of Oprah’s favorite things. Limited reservations accepted for lunch and dinner, but not for dessert only.
225 East 60th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Aves), serendipity3.com
Dylan’s Candy Bar
Welcome to Real Live Candy Land, the world’s largest candy store, founded by Dylan Lauren, daughter of fashion designer, Ralph Lauren.
Think Willy Wonka…but not just chocolate. Over 5,000 types of candy including classics and new creations, spa products like hot-chocolate bath beads, custom ice cream flavors and candy clothing and jewelry.
Take a virtual tour of the Candy Bar. 1011 Third Ave (60th and 61st). This is a super fun addition to any New York City with kids itinerary!
NYC Insider note: Right across from Bloomingdales. You may also stop at the Sony Wonder Technology Lab on the way.
FAO Schwarz (not Schwartz)
When we got to FAO Schwarz, my daughter said she never wanted the day to end. We’ve been here before, but every time it feels new for the kids. The store is set up with lots of areas for different toys, themes, castles, characters and games. Tons of life-sized stuffed animals…and is there anyone who doesn’t jump on the keyboard from the movie, “BIG”?
Address: Rockefeller Center
As Eloise fans know, the The Plaza hotel is where Eloise lives. The lobby is as elegant as ever, after The Plaza’s recent $400M renovation.
768 5th Ave at Central Park South
(CPS is 59th Street, but the portion of it bordering Central Park is called Central Park South)
NYC Insider Note – If adding in American Girl Place, 10 blocks south at 609 Fifth Avenue at 49th Street, near Rockefeller Center. If skipping the "girly" attractions, spend more time at the Apple Store, or try the Sony Wonder Technology Lab, 550 Madison @ 56th St, which is a free technology and entertainment museum that is hands on and creative.
Carriage Ride in Central Park
Every Princess deserves her Carriage Ride…and it was worth the money, but we learned a LOT about the rates.
The signs say “$34 for 30 minutes or any fraction thereof” – but the REAL DEAL is the Hansom Cab Drivers take you on an assigned 1.5 mile route through the park that takes approximately 20 minutes (18- 23 minutes, depending on the horse pace). Current Price Info: Central Park Ride.
So what the sign really should say is “$34 for 1.5 mile tour, $10 per 15 minutes thereafter,” although the Hansom Cab Drivers do not like to add on time. The bottom line is you are paying for the tour, not hiring the Hansom Driver by the minute. Suggested tip is $6 if the driver does a great job, so budget $40.
NYC Insider note – Prices are for 4 Adults, or up to 5 people with 3 Adults and 2 small children.
Playing in Central Park
During the Carriage Ride, we saw the Carousel, Wollman Rink, Sheep Meadow, Belvedere Castle, Strawberry Fields, The Bandshell and the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace.
But as all NYC Insiders know, Central Park is meant to be PLAYED in, not just looked at! So, we spent our last minutes in NYC climbing the rocky hills in Central Park.
Sadly, we didn’t get a chance to go to the Zoo…there’s always next time we head to New York City for a day with kids!
Reader Favorites – Our Readers Share Their Favorites in NYC
First Time in New York City for Kids
This was our first time in New York City for Kids, and we took a quick weekend tour. It was the first time our kids were going to the city and they were very excited. We were lucky to be able to stay at a relative’s apartment and save hundreds on two nights of lodging. Although short, the trip was a huge success !
Day 1 – First Time in New York City for Kids
Our base was near the upper east side so we started day one by walking to Central Park. The kids loved the zoo. You can walk through sections of it and see the seal exhibit for free. We also saw the horse and buggy carriages and many funny street entertainers dressed as the Statue of Liberty.
From Central Park, we walked south down 5th Ave and visited the famous FAO Schwarz toy store (now located in Rockefeller Center), Tiffanys, Trump Tower and St Patricks Cathedral. Then we hit what the kids had been looking forward to for weeks…M & M World! They have a wall of M & M’s and many fun characters and products.
Coming down from the “chocolate high”, we continued to Times Square and went to another big favorite…Toy R Us (now closed). This Toys R Us has a huge ferris wheel inside the store as well as a big doll house and dinosaur area.
To wrap up this day, we visited Ripleys Believe it or Not. They have numerous exhibits showcasing odd and unusual items such as the worlds tallest man, the hair from JFK, folks with 3 legs…and more.
Day 2 – First Time in New York City for Kids
On our 2nd day, we visited the Ground Zero Site (now the 9-11 Memorial and 9-11 Museum). This was an emotional experience. They are in the process of building new towers and it’s a very impressive area to visit.
Our final activity was taking a ferry over to see the Statue of Liberty. Although it was a very hot day, we enjoyed the short boat ride and my wife and I really enjoyed seeing the Statue. It’s a very powerful message and possibly my favorite part of our visit.
We loved our quick trip to NYC and hope you enjoyed our brief summary.
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One of the best parts of NYC is that what is fun for kids is usually just as much fun for adults.
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