New York for Kids

New York City is a great place for kids. Before my nieces and nephews got to the age when they didn’t want to hang out with me anymore, I’d plan a range of activities and let them choose which ones they wanted to do. Here are the ones that never failed to amuse, educate or surprise them, and entertain their somewhat slightly jaded auntie.

Sony Wonder Technology Lab: Hands down, Sony Wonder is one of my favorite places to take kids. This gem of a museum might seem a bit out of place among the ritzy shops and office buildings that line Madison Avenue but inside there are treats for kids and adults alike. Highly immersive, you log in when you arrive and a profile is created for you. At the end of the visit, you get a certificate listing all the exhibits you interacted with. You get to see how communications technology developed, feel what it’s like to perform open-heart surgery, mix music, build computer games, and other activities. There’s also a high definition theater that shows feature films on Saturdays.

Admission to Sony Wonder museum and high definition theater is FREE however, reservations are recommended. Sony Wonder Technology Lab is located at Sony Plaza, 555 Madison Avenue at 56th Street. Hours: 9:30 – 5:30 pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Closed Sundays, Mondays and major holidays. 212-833-8100.


Dave Lindblom

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum If your little ones are interested in planes, helicopters or space ships, the Intrepid is the museum to visit. The Intrepid offers an array of interactive exhibits from aircraft carriers to space ships, to supersonic jet simulations, that will keep your kids entertained and educated at the same time. Two days ago, on July 19th, the new Space Pavilion featuring the Enterprise, NASA’s first space shuttle, opened at the Intrepid. (I saw the Enterprise in 1983, I can’t wait to see it again up close.) The day I took my nephew to the Intrepid, we also saw the Aurora 7. I was shocked how small the interior was. The highlight of the visit for me was riding in the jet simulator. What a cool experience! Also at the Interpid is the Concorde.

Intrepid Air, Sea and Space Museum, 700 W 46th Street at 12th Avenue, 212-245-0072. Hours (Spring/Summer): Monday-Friday, 10-5; Weekends and Holidays 10-6. Winter Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10-5; Closed some Mondays, Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. Admission: Adults $24; Children (3-6) $12 and (7-17) $19. With admission to the newly opened Space Pavilion, tickets are $30, $16, and $23 respectively. Check the website for ticket prices for seniors, the military, veterans, and students with IDs. You’ll save $2 if you purchase online. Or buy a New York Pass, which will grant you free entry to several museums and landmarks.

New York for Kids - Barbie house at Toys R Us
New York for Kids – Barbie house at Toys R Us

Toys R Us Times Square: If you love your kids, you’ll want to take them to Toys R Us; if you love your kids, you’ll not take them to Toys R Us because they’re going to want everything they see. When you pass through the revolving door to this cavernous 110,000 square foot store, you’ll spot toys and games and the 60-foot Ferris wheel even before the photographer snaps your photo (you can decline). It’s as if you’ve just landed on the red carpet! Head to the escalator or take the elevator to the 4,000 square foot Barbie house, or the life-sized T-Rex at their Jurassic Park or take a ride on the Ferris wheel. Toys R Us Times Square is ginormous and your kids will have a whale of a time. Wear comfortable shoes, pack your patience, be prepared to pull out the plastic often. Just don’t get carried away.

Toys R US, 1514 Broadway at 44th Street. Hours: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturdays until 11 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. 646-366-8800.

Have fun in New York City!


33 comments on “New York for Kids

  1. We’ve been to New York three times with our kids and they LOVE it! And the wonderful thing about NYC is that you can never do it all so they will always want to go back. Of the three places that you mentioned, we have been to the Toys R Us store but not the other two. Guess we need to go back again! 🙂

  2. Great tips, Marcia. Somehow we missed the Sony Wonder Technology Lab when we were there, so I’m putting that on the list for next time. And that Toys R Us is craaaaazy!! 🙂

  3. We did Toys R Us when we were there this spring, but I’ve never even heard about the other two. We might even have walked right past the Sony Lab. These sound like great ideas, and they’re definitely going on my list for the next time we’re there. Thanks for the ideas.

  4. We did 1 out of 3 so I guess we need to go back again. We didn’t have enough time to do the Sony Wonder and really wanted to do it. It just looks so fun and for it to be free is even better. My kids have declared the NYC Toys R Us as the best one EVER. 🙂

  5. The kids would absolutely to be at such places. Good post for kids! Wish you a wonderful week ahead Marcia:)

  6. I agree, Deej. I had just as much fun as my nieces and nephews.
    I had FAO on the list — been there myself several times with kids and without — but took them off at the last minute. FAO is still the coolest toy store in NYC, Toys R Us is just over the top crazy.

  7. There are quite a lot more, Christine, but I like these because they’re not the typical kids activities. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

  8. NYC is one of those places that appeals to people of all ages. I remember visiting as a kid and just being wowed by the skyscapers. Also loved going to the beaches off of Long Island. And now I’d add the SONY Museum but I think the ToysRUS place sounds a little too over the top for me.

  9. You’re right, Leigh. NYC does appeal to every age group. Even though skyscrapers are now in most major cities, they have a different feel in NYC. There are two toy stores I originally planned to mention: FAO Schwartz and American Girl. FAO Schwartz is a longtime fixture in NYC and not as crazy as Toys R US.

  10. Even though a lot of parents might be weary of taking their kids to NYC, it’s a great place for the family! In addition to your suggestions, there is also the Central Park Zoo and the virtual helicopter ride in the Empire State Building!

  11. I still haven’t been to NYC. For some reason, I always think of it as place more for adults than for kids. Amazing how much is going on in this city.

  12. Yes, you’re right, Zoe. There really is quite a lot of kids stuff to do in NYC. I’d forgotten about these. Thanks for sharing and for visiting.

  13. In all my travels. I’ve never been to NYC. I wouldn’t think of it as a kid-friendly place but glad there are lots of fun things to do for people of all ages. I need to get there one day (I loved upstate NY and may go back this year).

  14. I haven’t been in New York yet, but my friend has visited this city with children. She says that New York is a woderful city that offers a lot of interesting activities and entertainments for kids.

  15. It feels like a city for grown ups but there’s quite a bit to keep kids entertained.
    Hope you get to the city when you go upstate. I’m sure it’ll be fun.

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