Travel with Kids: A Parent’s Guide to New York City

new york city with kids

Courtesy NYC & Co./Marley White

New York City is not just for grown ups. Family members of all ages will have a blast exploring the city that never sleeps — especially if they have toddlers in their midst that also fit that description! There’s lots of fun and excitement for adventurous families looking to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the self-proclaimed “greatest city in the world.”

When planning travel with babies and kids, you really have four main considerations: where to stay, what to eat, what to do, and how you’ll all get around. Luckily, New York City is bursting with options for families. Flights to New York are plentiful and usually pretty cheap.

Where to Stay in New York City with Kids

Finding a room big enough for your family is probably the biggest challenge you’ll face. And the larger challenge will be finding a room big enough that won’t empty your bank account! What constitutes suitable hotels in New York City is relative — with kids in tow you don’t want to scrimp, and any extra square footage would definitely be welcome. Staying near midtown Manhattan means you’re close to the action but also close enough to retreat back for naps and breaks. There are plenty of decent rooms to be found for under $300 per night, and much less if you’re willing to venture out a bit to Brooklyn or Queens.

What to do in New York City with Kids

A romp in Central Park will be great for the kids and good for mom and dad, especially after blowing the kids’ minds at FAO Schwartz or the Toys ‘R’ Us in Times Square (Ed note: RIP :(). The Guggenheim and Metropolitan Museum of Art both offer free admission for kids under 12, and the New York Public Library, Rockefeller Center, and the Staten Island ferry are all free and super fun for kids. NYC’s family travel ambassador is Curious George, and he’s got lots of ideas for visiting New York with kids.

Eating in New York City with Kids

It’s very easy for families to eat well and inexpensively when visiting New York. Even picky eaters should have no trouble at the many corner delis, many of which have well-stocked buffets that feature a wide range of salads, pasta, and hot entrees like shepherd’s pie. Fresh fruit and yogurt are pretty easy to come by as well, and parents will appreciate the plentiful coffee shops throughout Manhattan.

Getting Around New York City With Kids

When you’re a kid, the subway is great fun. And when you’re a parent, you appreciate that. That and the fact that the Manhattan Transit Authority fares are very reasonable — just $2.50 for a local subway or bus ride. Up to three children under 45 inches tall can ride for free when accompanied by a fare-paying adult. Taxis are not very pricey in New York either, and mini-van cabs have become popular and are ideal for large families looking to zip around town.

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