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Things To Do in New York City with Kids, Big and Small

When my family moved to New York City three years ago, I was both completely overwhelmed and scared. I’d lived in the suburbs of Florida nearly my entire life and had no idea if city living was going to be right for my family. Little did I know that the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle was actually perfect for us.

As one of the largest cities in the world, New York City has so much to offer for families, from museums to parks, and more. One of the upsides of living in a small apartment is that we are hardly ever there because we are constantly on the go exploring new parts of NYC that we’ve never seen before. Because we don’t know if our stay here is indefinite, we make sure to take advantage of everything that this city has to offer. We find a new neighborhood to explore every weekend and take the girls and the stroller and just walk. Along many of our adventures, we’ve found some of our favorite places to visit. Many of them are ones that the girls love to visit too.

I am always asked by friends and relatives who are planning a trip where they should visit when they bring their family. Although I’m no expert, and still consider myself rather new to this wonderful city, I share with them some of our favorite places that we often visit with my family.

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  • Children’s Museum of Manhattan 1 of 12
    Children's Museum of Manhattan
    The Children's Museum of Manhattan has something to offer children of all ages. From ongoing exhibits like Adventures with Dora and Diego, to temporary exhibits like EatSleepPlay, the museum will spark your child's imagination while learning new things!
    Learn about the Children's Museum of Manhattan.
  • Serendipity 2 of 12
    Serendipity
    A New York City favorite among both tourists and locals. Both you and your children will love their famous Frozen Hot Chocolate. Make sure to get there early because there is almost always a line out the door for a table. Try not to bring your stroller. They don't allow them inside because the space is quite small and you probably don't want to leave it outside on the sidewalk.
    Learn more about Serendipity.
  • New York Public Library 3 of 12
    New York Public Library
    Both of my girls love books, so it's only fitting that we love going to this spectacular library. Between the architecture, amazing exhibits, and the children's library room, you could spend hours in this library exploring.
    Learn more about the New York Public Library.
  • High Line 4 of 12
    High Line
    The High Line is one of the most unique and beautiful places in the city. It was constructed from an old elevated railroad. It is now a beautiful park with gorgeous landscape, spectacular views of the West Side of NYC, and has local artists and restaurant vendors that are set up throughout the park. I love taking our family just to sit and relax or to go for a great stroll.
    Learn more about the High Line.
  • American Museum of Natural History 5 of 12
    American Museum of Natural History
    New York City is very fortunate to have so many wonderful museums. The American Museum of Natural History is one of our favorite museums in the city. You could spend an entire day in this museum and still not finish seeing everything it has to offer. Our favorite exhibits are the African Mammals Hall and the Fossils Hall. This museum is very family friendly, so you don't have to worry about your kid speaking too loudly because many other kids are doing the same!
    Learn More about the American Museum of Natural History
  • Central Park 6 of 12
    Central Park
    During the warmer months, my family and I visit Central Park every Saturday morning for a walk and breakfast at the Boat House. We are so lucky to live only blocks away because it really is the best park in the world. Between the gorgeous greenery, the ponds that you can boat on, the playgrounds, carousel, and even restaurants, this park has it all.
    Learn more about Central Park.
  • Books of Wonder 7 of 12
    Books of Wonder
    If you have a child that loves books, you definitely want to make a stop at Books of Wonder before you leave the city. This is New York City's oldest children's book store. It has everything from the classics that you loved as a kid, to new series that your children will love to read. The store is perfect for a relaxing afternoon sitting on the floor and reading your child one of your favorite books from your childhood.
    Learn more about Books of Wonder.
  • Chelsea Market 8 of 12
    Chelsea Market
    Chelsea Market is the place to go for great food, succulent sweets, and good shopping. Take the family when they are hungry because Chelsea Market will definitely have something that will satisfy everyone. From fresh lobster rolls to homemade italian meals, the food is absolutely incredible. They also have great clothing stores to shop at between eating the great food.
    Learn more about Chelsea Market.
  • Eloise at the Plaza 9 of 12
    Eloise at the Plaza
    One of my daughter's favorite books is Eloise at the Plaza. Little did she know that we lived only minutes away from the actual hotel that Eloise "lives." Downstairs of the Plaza Hotel your little girl can get her Eloise fix at the shop that is filled with Eloise gear. They also have a Fashion Room that they can try on different costumes to dress up! And one of our favorites is to have a tea party in the tea room just like Eloise does!
    Learn more about Eloise at the Plaza.
  • Dylan’s Candy Bar 10 of 12
    Dylan's Candy Bar
    It's dangerous living only minutes from this place. I think my daughter learned the name of this candy store before she learned her own name (only kidding.) Dylan's Candy Store has any kind of candy that you can think of. They also have a great eatery upstairs that has ice cream, sweet treats, and even candy inspired adult beverages.
    Learn more about Dylan's Candy Bar.
  • Governor’s Island 11 of 12
    Governor's Island
    We visited Governor's Island for the first time last summer and I don't know what took us so long to go. It is a little island off of Manhattan that is only accessible by boat. Take the ferry over to get incredible views of the city and a direct view of the Statue of Liberty. They have food trucks, bike riding, mini golf, and more. It's so easy to spend the day there and explore or relax.
    Learn more about Governor's Island.
  • Central Park Zoo 12 of 12
    Central Park Zoo
    This zoo is on the east side of Central Park and is so much fun for everyone. They offer a variety of animals, including my favorite, the penguin. Adjacent to the zoo is a petting zoo that has goats, cows, sheep, and more that your child can feed and pet. Such a fun little zoo in the middle of the most gorgeous park.
    Learn more about Central Park Zoo.

More from Lauren on Baby’s First Year:

Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram! Check out more of Lauren’s Babble posts at Being Pregnant and Baby’s First Year.

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