fun things to do with kids manhattan new york city - family travel   Travel for Kids
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New York - Midtown

 

MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) – Visiting MoMA with kids is a great introduction to modern art.

   

On floor 5, look for Starry Night by Van Gogh, The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau, Cat and Bird by Paul Klee, Waterlilies by Monet, Three Musicians by Picasso, plus (perfect for teens) works by Magritte, Basquiat, a fur-covered tea cup.

   

Floor 4 has art from the 1960's – especially fun is Baked Potato by Lichtenstein, Oof by Ruscha, and concert posters from 1967.

     

Don't miss the Bell helicopter dangling between the first and second floors (kids may have their own ideas as to why this is in a museum). And go out to the courtyard for the stellar Picasso goat sculpture.

     

Tip: Use your New York CityPass, no waiting in lines.

    Rockefeller Center –
Christmas tree Rockefeller Plaza
   

Rockefeller Plaza – In winter, kids will want to take a turn around the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Plaza. Skates can rented and the rink is open daily, until 10:00pm (and sometimes later), daily from October to March. In the plaza is also the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, a huge tree, at least 65 feet high, decorated with thousands of lights. Each year there is a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, usually at the end of November.

      LEGO store – Pop into the store next to Rockefeller Plaza to see the ice skating rink, fountain, flags, Rockefeller Center buildings, statue of Atlas, and other New York landmarks, created out of LEGO.
    Top of the Rock – Ride the elevator to the 68th floor of Rockefeller Center for panoramic views of New York in all directions (the nighttime view is stunning, the skyscrapers are all lit up). The observation deck has three levels, one is enclosed (perfect for bad weather), the other two are open air (child-safe). The view of Central Park is especially nice in autumn, when the trees have turned color.
 

FDNY Fire Zone (next to Radio City Music Hall) – Meet New York firefighters, climb on a real-fire truck, try on equipment, check out fire fighting tools and learn fire safety. (The Fire Zone is free). There’s also a Fire Simulation Presentation every hour. Kids need to be 4 and up for the simulation (a fire drill and smoke).

  Radio City Tour – Go backstage to find out about Radio City Music Hall, one of the great performance venues. The Great Stage is a technical tour de force, with four elevators and a nifty hydraulic system (budding engineers will find this fascinating). The tour lasts one hour.
   

Fun food

     

Down below Rockefeller Plaza is a dining concourse, with lots of restaurants and casual eats, sandwich shops, pizza, sushi, Chinese, hamburgers, bakeries, ice cream. And restrooms. A hidden gem!

kids books museum modern art MoMa New York City
     
Seen Art? kids books museum modern art new york  
Seen Art?
Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith

A delightful exploration of MoMa, looking for a friend named "Art." Playful and personal, this is a super introduction to the Museum of Modern Art. (Picture book)

 

     
The Cat and the Bird
Geraldine Elschner, Peggy Nile

Read this delightful story, inspired by a painting at the museum called Cat and Bird by Paul Klee. A cat lives in a lovely house, but envies a little bird, who flies free. One day the bird sets the cat free, and he dances on the roof of his house in the moonlight. (Picture book)

 

 
The Cat and the Bird kids books art museum modern art new york
     
 
Matisse's Garden
Samantha Friedman, Cristina Amodeo

It all started when Matisse cut a white bird out of a piece of paper, then he added more birds, and a blue sky and sea background. Two page fold-outs and fabulous cut-paper illustrations, kids will want to immediately get out scissors, and start creating their own garden! (Picture book)

 

(More children's books on other New York City pages)
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