Fun Things to Do in NYC With Kids

Fun Things to Do in NYC With Kids
New York City is like a giant playground, and kids (and their parents) will find much to do. Aside from the museums, the giant toy stores and the many fun themed restaurants--such as Jekyll and Hyde and Mars 2112--there are also plenty of opportunities to take the kids outside to enjoy nature and have fun under the sun.

Central Park

No visit to NYC is complete without stopping in Central Park. While the park is huge and offers everything from a zoo to a botanical garden to a Summer Stage Festival, it's the more active destinations that help kids burn some energy and have great fun. Central Park is home to 21 playgrounds, several themed, including the Ancient Playground, playing off the nearby Metropolitan Museum history exhibits, and the Mariners' Playground, with plenty of fish, boats and lots of other equipment and rides with a strong nautical theme. Most popular is the Safari playground on West 91st Street. It offers treehouses, climbing structures in the form of giant hippopotamuses and a kid-size jogging path. If there's energy left, take the kids to the The Charles A. Dana Discovery Center for fun nature-related activities or the free basketball clinics for kids at the North Meadow Recreation Center. To catch your breath, head to the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre or ride the original 1950 carousel.

Central Park Conservancy
14 East 60th St.
New York, New York 10021
(212) 310-6600

New York City Aquarium

NYC's only aquarium is located next to Coney Island, the oldest amusement park in the state. Home to more than 8,000 animals, the aquarium also serves as a rescue and rehabilitation center. The Alien Stingers is one of the most popular exhibits. This giant tank is home to a large number of jellyfish, including colorful red striped sea nettles and moon jellies. A deep-ocean exhibit features a variety of sharks, while Glover's Reef and Conservation Hall has a giant coral reef with an impressive number of stingrays, fish and eels. The Sea Cliffs area attracts many visitors as well--this outdoor 300-foot-long protected coastline is home to walruses, penguins and sea otters. Visitors can access an underwater area to see the animals swimming and playing. The Planet Earth: Shallow Seas 4-D Experience ride offers kids a chance to see the ocean and its many inhabitants up close and personal.

New York City Aquarium
Surf Avenue & West 8th Street
Brooklyn, New York 11224
(718) 265-FISH

Queens County Farm Museum

NYC's last remaining piece of farmland has been turned into the city's only living and working farm. Kids and parents can tour historical buildings, visit an orchard (which offers a pick-your-own session), plantations and an herb garden. Take a hay ride led by a tractor or make your way to the back of the farm to see the farm's animals. Feed for goats and sheep can be purchased at the general store. During October and November, the farm hosts one of the largest corn mazes in the state. The rest of the year, country fairs and other events are also held here. There is no entrance fee to the farm.

Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway
Queens, New York 11004
(718) 347-3276

Article Written By Sarah Dray

Sarah Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including "Woman's Day," "Marie Claire," "Adirondack Life" and "Self." She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.

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