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Family Activities in NYC

Attractions and More for the Whole Family

Planning a trip to the city? Don’t leave the kids behind! The five boroughs host a variety of fun-filled activities that you and the kids can enjoy together. Whether you’re looking for museums, zoos, or amusement parks, there a number of family activities in NYC that will keep your vacation rolling.

Hotel Wales provides premier access to the best family attractions in NYC. Kid-friendly shopping at American Girl Place and the Nintendo World Store is just a few minutes away in Midtown, while the Central Park Zoo provides hours of enjoyment for the family, showcasing a diverse selection of animals from around the world. Many of the city's museums provide all-ages opportunities for education and learning, with plenty of fun thrown in for good measure. 

Along with the number of nearby family-friendly activities in the Upper East Side, Hotel Wales offers spacious accommodations (including family suites) and standout dining that are sure to make the whole family happy.

Consult the map below for more information on the best family activities in NYC.

Place Name Address Phone Distance Show on map
92 Y 1395 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10128 212-415-5500 0.2

Located walking distance to Hotel Wales you will find 92nd Street Y which is a world-class cultural and community center where people all over the world connect through culture, arts, entertainment and conversation. In addition, the 92Y’s May Center is your place for expanded fitness, health, sports and swim destination.

Alice's Tea Cup Chapter I 102 West 73rd St. New York, NY (212) 799-3006 1.61

Alice’s Tea Cup has three magical locations in the Upper West & East Sides, where your special princess can host a tea party for two, three, or twenty! These storybook cafes are always a great treat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Alice's Tea Cup Chapter II 156 East 64th St. New York, NY (212) 486-9200 1.61

Alice’s Tea Cup has three magical locations in the Upper West & East Sides, where your special princess can host a tea party for two, three, or twenty! These storybook cafes are always a great treat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Alice's Tea Cup Chapter III 220 East 81st St. New York, NY (212) 734-4TEA 0.89

Alice’s Tea Cup has three magical locations in the Upper West & East Sides, where your special princess can host a tea party for two, three, or twenty! These storybook cafes are always a great treat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

American Girl Place 609 5th Ave, New York, NY 10017 2.26
American Museum of Natural History Central Park West & 79th Street New York, NY 10024 (212) 769- 5100 1.13

Showcasing spectacular sights of prehistoric animals, marine life, space exploration, and much more, the American Museum of Natural History is sure to leave the whole family breathless. Awaken your inner child at the Fossill Halls, where you and the kids can find life-size skeleton replicas of a tyrannosaurus rex, apatosaurus, and other dinosaurs. When you’re done with the dinos, don’t forget to check out the Miilstein Hall of Ocean Life for the whopping 94-foot-long blue whale model. With all these and more, the AMNH stands out as one of the best family attractions in NYC.

Big Apple Circus Amsterdam Ave. and W. 62 St., New York, NY 10023 2.31

Children will love The Big Apple Circus, an amazing circus show that travels the NYC area, and they will be amazed by exotic animals and death-defying performers in this delightful show. Enjoy a colorful night with funny clowns, graceful trapeze artists, and charismatic ringleaders.

Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory 1 Water Street Brooklyn, NY 11201 (718) 246-3963 7.19

Take a trip across the river for some of the best ice cream in the city. Featuring homemade ice creams and a tantalizing collection of toppings and syrup, the Brooklyn Ice Cream is sure to keep the kids happy. After you get your scoops, enjoy stellar views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline.

Central Park Statues 1000 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10028 1.04

Head out a Central Park scavenger hunt to find the iconic statues hidden throughout the park. Your kids can join Alice and her friends, perched on a Wonderland mushroom. Balto’s statue was constructed in 1925, just 10 months after his famous trek in Alaska. Hans Christian Anderson’s statue also features a little ugly duckling perched at his feet. Alice in Wonderland: East Side at 75th Street Balto: East Drive at 67th Street Hans Christian Anderson: 74th Street near Fifth Avenue west of Conservatory Water.

Central Park Zoo 64th St & Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10021 (212) 439-6500 1.52

Animal lovers rejoice! One of our picks for fun things to do in NYC, the Central Park Zoo houses wildlife from all over the world for you and your family to enjoy. From polar bears to sea lions, red pandas to monkeys, your children are bound to find their favorite animals here. In May, come to welcome the zoo’s newest arrivals, grizzly bears Betty and Veronica for a fun, family-friendly evening!

Eloise at the Plaza Fifth Avenue at Central Park South, New York, NY 10019 (888) 850-0909 1.77

At the colorful Eloise at the Plaza shop, your child can don their brightest pink frock and play in the Plaza just like the Plaza’s most famous resident. Kids can try on outfits in The Fashion Room, enjoy storytime in The Reading Room, and even try afternoon tea!

Empire State Building 350 5th Avenue New York, NY 10118 (212) 736-3100 3.06

New York’s most iconic building is also one of the best family activities in town! Located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building is best place for you and your family to feel the heart of New York. Jet up to the observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floor for an astounding view of the city that is sure to leave your kids in amazement.

M&M World 1600 Broadway New York, NY 10019 (212) 295-3850 2.57

M&M World is the sweetest destination in the city. Offering dozens of different colored M&Ms, as well as gifts decorated with those cute M&M characters, this Times Square attraction is perfect for kids and adults with a big sweet tooth.

Nintendo World 10 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020 2.41
Rockefeller Center 45 Rockefeller Plaza New York, NY 10111 (212) 332-6868 2.23

This New York landmark has something for everyone. For TV buffs, the NBC store is loaded with memorabilia, and you can take tours of the SNL and Tonight Show sets. The Top of the Rock Observatory gives you an eye-opening view of the whole city. In winter, the plaza turns into a famous ice rink, where kids can take their first steps on ice.

St. Catherine’s Playground 1 Avenue between E. 67 St. and E. 68 St. New York 1.79

This unique park mimics the layout of the Santa Maria Sopra Minerva church in Rome. A flagpole represents the altar, play areas are the pews, and even the elephant sprinklers are an adaptation of a sculpture that resides in front of the Roman church.

The Art Farm in the City 419 E. 91st Street New York, NY 10128 (between York & 1st Ave.) (212) 410-3117 0.67

This eco-friendly and organic indoor petting zoo (the only one in NYC!) helps teach your children about nature, animals, and the environment. They have a menagerie of animals, including bunnies, chinchillas, guinea pigs, lizards, turtles, birds, and more!

Hotel Wales
1295 Madison Avenue (between 92nd & 93rd), NY, 10128, USA
Phone: (212) 876-6000