1. Experience the Choco-Story at The Chocolate Museum
New York’s very first museum of chocolate, with star chocolatier Jacques Torres at the helm, is the city’s best answer to Willy Wonka’s ubiquitous factory (minus the violence, of course). Tour your child through 5,000 sq. feet of chocolate love, and learn how this delicious coca product journeys from “tree to bar.” Tasting, of course, is part of the adventure. Learn more about the Choco-Story New York at The Chocolate Museum.
2. Walk The High Line
Once destined for annihilation, this elevated freight line is now transformed into a planted walking path which spans above over 20 blocks of the sprawling city and offers plenty of fun for kids along the way. Balance and play upon antique tracks in the rail yards with your little one and enjoy the panoramic views of the Hudson River. Or, head to the Diller Von-Furstenberg Sundeck and have coffee in a lounge chair while your child splashes in the water feature. Learn more about The High Line.
3. Go for a carriage ride in Central Park
Horse carriages have been trotting their way through the lush and storied greenery of Central Park for nearly 160 years. And though at times you may find yourself wondering why you are spending top dollar only for your child to be preoccupied with what exactly the basket is collecting beneath the horse’s derriere, you will also appreciate the lulling sound of the clip clop as you pass by incredible landmarks such as Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, Tavern on the Green, Central Park Zoo, The Loeb Boat House, The Central Park Carousel and the Strawberry Fields tribute to the late John Lennon. Learn more about Central Park Horse Carriage Rides.
4. Visit the Amusement Park in Victoria Gardens
The Victoria Gardens Amusement Park, seasonally located in Central Park’s popular public skating grounds, Wollman Rink, is not as legendary or as quaint as the Central Park Carousel but is definitely a real-life mirage for a kid who feels put upon by mom’s NYC shopping—Sno-Cones, Whack-a-Mole and rides galore! Offer your kid a tour through this mini carnival and mom’s the best (again). Learn more about Victoria Gardens.
5. Treat them to a show on Broadway
There are few things more suited to children than singing, dancing and a little razzle dazzle, so enjoying a couple of hours in front of the stage is time well spent. Of course, the selection of child-friendly plays is limited but the list is continually growing. Last year, Disney’s Frozen was mounted for Broadway into a light-filled, chilling spectacle, joining Aladdin, The Lion King and Wicked as a dream come true for any child to see. Learn more about what shows are on Broadway.
6. Take selfies in Times Square
Take a deep breath, hang onto your kids’ hands, don’t get swindled by the countless Spidermen impersonators taking your cash for photographs and make your way around the dizzying, giant- screened, people-packed universe that is Times Square. Even better, hop on a Pedicab and get off at one of the many kid-friendly spots in the area: The Disney Store, The American Girl Store, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and M&M’s World Store, to name a few. Learn more about Times Square.
7. See the sea lions at Central Park Zoo
The enormity of Central Park is suddenly comprehensible when you get lost with your child in its animal-packed zoo. Featuring a silly and engaging sea lion show, an amazing bird sanctuary, a tropical animal zone, and a children’s area where little ones can climb, play and feed the animals, this surprising gift of wildlife in the heart of the city is a must see. Learn more about Central Park Zoo.
8. Indulge at the Flour Shop
A little bit of a magic and a lot of whimsy are behind Amira Kassem’s trendy Soho bakery, Flour Shop. Grab some #instaselfies inside the modern, whitewashed space, featuring a vibrant rainbow wall that extends down to the floor, while your child dives into one of the bakery’s famous multi-coloured, confetti-filled, exploding cakes. At this spot, rainbows are mandatory. Unicorns? A very good option. Learn more about Flour Shop.
9. Visit the Children’s Museum of Manhattan
Touch and learn on five-floors of exhibits that range from rescue missions with Dora and Diego, dance discovery, the dynamic world of water and more. The interactive exhibits cover the gamut of ages in kids, so do your research before you go—it’s a big place. And, remember, if you hear someone yell, “don’t touch!”, you’re in the wrong museum. Learn more about the Children’s Museum of Manhattan.
10. Take in a Bubble Show
Using over 40 gallons of bubble solution per week and 50 bubble machines per show, this off-Broadway mainstay has been delighting children with its Guinness Record Breaking bubbles for over a decade. Thrilling laser light effects, bubble domes and even a child-trapping bubble tide all build to a beautiful bubbly crescendo, making moms, dads and kids squeal and giggle with glee. Learn more about Bubble Show.
11. Book a hotel with a pool
Going for a dip probably isn’t the first thing that pops into one’s head when dreaming of a trip to New York but it’s a guaranteed kid-pleaser—hey, everyone needs a break from all that sightseeing. The James Hotel, in the heart of the humming Soho area, offers a rooftop pool with views of the Hudson, the Brooklyn bridge and the New York Skyline. Sip on a cocktail from Jimmy, the surrounding bar, and soak in the scenery while your child unwinds (and unwinds, and unwinds) in the water. Learn more about The James Hotel.
12. Explore Pip’s Island
Beginning in March 2019, your tiny explorers can take a journey through Pip’s Island under the guidance of live performers, puppets, interactive set-pieces and animated characters. During the one hour journey, they will navigate a series of challenges and one-of-a-kind games all designed to save the Island from darkness and restore harmony to the land. Along the way, they will collect signature achievement badges, called “sparks”, which are a play on the many elements of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) curriculum. It’s an educational adventure they won’t soon forget. Learn more about Pip’s Island.