New York is a great place to bring young travelers. Of course, there are the quintessential must-sees (the Statue of Liberty, etc.). But, as parent-travelers know, sometimes the entire family isn’t up for a crowded tourist spot. Fortunately, there are also tons of less common sites for kids to see and things for them to experience during their time in New York. From kid-friendly food to museums that will entertain them for hours, here are my top four recommendations for things to do with your kids the next time you visit the Big Apple.
Jane’s Carousel – Brooklyn Bridge Park
Old Dock St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Though the park at the Brooklyn Bridge is a great stop for any visiting family, a ride (or two) on Jane’s Carousel is sure to delight travelers of all ages. Located in the Empire Fulton Ferry section of Brooklyn Bridge Park, the carousel dates back to 1922. It was fully restored and donated to the park by Jane and David Walentas. Artsy parents will truly love the fact that this magical carousel is housed in a glass pavilion designed by the award-winning French architect Jean Nouvel.
Sculpture Garden at Pratt Institute
200 Willoughby Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205
If you’re looking for a low-key way to spend an hour in Brooklyn, head to the Pratt Institute campus. The entire area is covered by sculptures from artists around the world, including luminaries such as Richard Serra, Donald Lipski, and Mark di Suvero. Curated by the renowned Professor David Weinrib, the Pratt Sculpture Park has been hailed by major arts publications as one of the best university campus art collections in the U.S. The kids can frolic and have some much needed outdoor time, and the parents can take in great art. Talk about a win-win!
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Dim Sum – New York’s Chinatown
Downtown Manhattan, NY
For a quintessential New York experience, take the kids out for dim sum in Chinatown. They’re sure to be intrigued by the carts of dumplings and other Chinese delicacies that servers roll up to the table. Each person can pick out what he or she wants (another bonus for kids who may be feeling like they haven’t gotten to make a lot of their own choices during the trip). Two recommended large hall restaurants are Golden Unicorn and Jing Fong. There are also a variety of smaller dim sum restaurants if you’re looking for a more intimate ambiance. No matter which one you choose, you definitely won’t leave hungry.
Children’s Museum of the Arts
103 Charlton St.
New York, NY 10014
One of the only fine arts museums in the country dedicated solely to children, SoHo’s Children’s Museum of the Arts aims to introduce children and their families to the transformative power of the arts by providing opportunities to make art side-by-side with working artists. To this end, they sponsor a variety of classes and workshops geared especially for kids (check out their website to see what will be happening when you’re in town). The CMA also maintains a permanent collection of over two thousand paintings and drawings of children’s art from over 50 countries, dating back to the 1930s.