January 22, 2018

New York City: One Fun-Filled Family Weekend


Clare & Kate at American Girl Place in 2010

I just got back from New York last night where I was attending a family travel bloggers conference. I had such a great time meeting fellow bloggers, like Mara at Mother of All Trips and Traci at Go Big or Go Home. So many smart bloggers with so many smart ideas.

I feel like my head is spinning as I’m thinking about all the new things I want to do with Kidventurous. For now, given I was in New York, one of the most fantastic cities with so many fun activities for kids, I thought I’d share with you my five favorite activities for a fun-filled family weekend in New York City.

American Girl Place: I’ll be honest, if you have boys, they may not be quite as excited about American Girl Place as my daughters were. We had a ball though, getting new hair styles for each of their dolls, shopping for clothes and eating at the American Girl Café. If you want to dine, be sure to book ahead.

American Museum of Natural History: I took my girls here last summer and they loved it. There were lots of hands-on activities, like the Dig Pit, where the girls were able to dig for fossils, and even a planetarium show. Take a look at my tips for visiting the American Museum of Natural History.

Belvedere Castle: I’ll be honest, it was kind of a hike to get here, and not easy to find, but it’s a castle in the middle of Central Park. Does it really get much cooler than that? Once you get there, the views of all of Central Park are unbelievable, making it totally worth the time spent getting there.

Circle Line Boat Tours: Two years in a row, we took a 75-minute sightseeing boat ride around the Hudson River, sailing past the Statue of Liberty and the financial district. Seeing the skyline from a boat is amazing, and 75 minutes is the perfect length of time before kids start to pipe up.

Today Show Plaza: Seriously, where else can you see news as it’s happening? The weekends tend to be less crowded and it’s a lot of fun to see the newscast as it’s happening. I watch the Today Show anytime I can wrestle the remote from my kids, so what a neat experience to be there in person.

What are some of your favorite places to take your kids in New York? Let me know in the comments section below.


  1. New York City is one of those places that just never works out on our itinerary. We were supposed to go last summer, but had to cancel due to a family thing. We are supposed to go this summer but my husband has to be back at work earlier than anticipated. Since that was the last thing on the itinerary, it was the first to get cut. I just keep collecting ideas and bookmarking posts for when I finally make the trip. I so want to see NYC in person but if I keep collecting ideas it will take me a month to see everything! 😉

    • Erin Gifford says:

      New York is nice, but I’m with you, I’m also clipping out ideas for places I want to go. There are just too many amazing places to see out there!

      Erin 🙂

  2. I work for a car rental service in New York which is Arrow Transportation. I have had a lot of clients on tours in New York and they all have one thing to say: Wonderful Experience! This place is full of fascinating landmarks, live music, live theatre, history, architecture, sport venues, restaurants and shopping that the city is famous for.

  3. We have two boys ages 9 and 11. We have visited NYC several times and below are a couple additions to the list that we always visit:

    1) The Intrepid Air Craft Carrier – Really neat to visit and tour. Since the museum is not federally run it offers so much more!!!! You can tour almost the entire carrier. Our two boys could have stayed all day long!!! Also there is a submarine you can tour and one of the Concord planes there too.

    2) Dylan’s Candy Bar (owned by Dylan Lauren…Ralph’s daughter). It’s the largest candy store you have ever seen with some nostalgic candy that I remember as a kid. It’s over priced but the kids always request to go. We let them fill one bag each. 1011 Third Ave.

    3) Serendipity 3 – Frozen Hot Chocolate! Its around the corner from Dylan’s so stop there first and put your name on the list before you go to Dylan’s. There is usually an hour wait. 225 E. 60th St (between 2nd & 3rd Ave)

    4) Pizza – (Lombardi’s, Grimaldi’s, Di Fara’s.) They are suppose to be 3 of the best in NYC!

    5) FAO Schwartz – The store is so magical! We love visiting all the life sized stuffed animals!

    6) Toys R Us – Time Square – My kids always request a stop here but be prepared for it to be crowded and cramped!!!

    7) Central Park – A must! Stop and buy 2 pretzels from a street vendor on your way in. My boys can spend so much time feeding the ducks. They will walk right up to the path.
    My boys love crawling on the rocks in Central Park. I swear they could stay there all day!!!!
    A carriage ride is also fun.
    There’s also a zoo in the park but we have never been. It’s quite a walk to it and always decide not to go.

    8) 9/11 Memorial – Reserve your tickets on line….they are free! We stayed at the Waldorf and actually took the subway down to the 9/11 Memorial. Faster than a cab in traffic. Give yourself some extra time. The construction is such a mess that you will end up having to walk almost completely around the site to find the entrance. You have 1 hour extra from the time on your ticket to get in line. Keep the ticket out as you will have to get it checked many times prior to entering. We waited in line as long as we were there. It’s worth seeing but I’d probably plan about an hour between the line and visiting the memorial.

    Enjoy your trip! It truly is an amazing city!!!!

  4. Hi – Where should you stay when you have more than 2 children? Most of the hotel rooms I’m searching won’t let you stay with more than 4 people per room.

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