Planning a Trip to New York City with Kids

new york city with kids
© NYC & Company/Julienne Schaer

It’s one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and the second largest city in North America. But I’ll bet New York is probably not the first place that comes to mind when planning a family vacation.

One of Have Baby Will Travel‘s very first articles was submitted by a colleague who traveled to Manhattan with her toddler and had a fabulous time. So, it was always top of mind to bring my kids there.

I like to think of my previous visits to the city that never sleeps (the ones where I actually didn’t sleep by choice) as research for our family getaway to New York City.

We had a blast!

westin hotel, westin grand central, new york city with kids
Westin Grand Central Station

Where to Stay in New York City with Kids…

New York City hotel rooms are notoriously small, but there are lots and lots of amazing and affordable cheap hotels and other accommodation options that are totally suitable for families. Even big families! We stayed at two hotels, the Best Western Hospitality House, and The Westin Hotel Grand Central Station. These are very different properties that are similarly priced and fairly near to each other. And all the action!

By visiting New York City in late fall we could take advantage of still-tolerable weather and the kick-off of the holiday season.

statue of liberty, new york city with kids
© NYC & Company/Marley White

What to Do in New York City with Kids…

We don’t have a limitless budget, but there are lots of fun and free (or cheap) things to do in New York City with kids. We all had one “must-do” and we built our itinerary from there.

Touristy New York City Family Wish List

In spite of not being able to count the number of times we’ve visited, my husband and I had never seen the Statue of Liberty, so that was on the list. I was so excited to skate in Rockefeller Plaza. I envisioned myself twirling around in a jaunty scarf and chic hat, of course.

My daughter wanted to visit American Girl (natch), and my son wanted to hit the crazy toy stores he heard so much about. As a family, we all looked forward to visiting the Empire State Building (as seen in Elf), and just hanging out and playing in Central Park.

Of course we planned a teensy bit of culture. We couldn’t decide between the Museum of Natural History and The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. It was a tight race but being big fans of the Night at the Museum movies, take a guess which one won 🙂

new york city with kids
© NYC & Company/Marley White

Getting to New York City…

And for something new, we drove to New York from Toronto. Although there are lots of cheap flights to New York from Toronto, when there’s four of you flying it can quickly add up. The cost can seem quite prohibitive for just an extra long weekend. By driving (around a 9-hour trip) and parking our car in a garage, it’s about one quarter of the cost of airfare.

I hope to use any extra money for another trip.

Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say about visiting New York City for Families at Tripadvisor

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8 Responses to Planning a Trip to New York City with Kids

  1. Danni at #

    I can proudly say that it is one of the best holiday destinations. It’s a dream place for so many people. I always love to visit New York.

  2. Liane at #

    NYC is such an amazing and exciting city! Have a fantastic time there with your family and let us know if you could do all the things you have planned. Safe travels!

  3. itsgoa at #

    New York City rocks..

  4. Rendina at #

    Planning to visit New York this Christmas season.

  5. randiv at #

    New York is my favorite destination for travelling.

  6. james at #

    New York is My Favorite Travel Destination.

  7. Awesome Info, My Dream City New york.

  8. Ranav at #

    Thank you very much for sharing the interesting information, I read it completely. This is very informative.

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