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New York City

New York City

New York City with kids is a great destination, not only because there’s so many fun things to do (toddlers to teens), but it’s different in every season. Central Park is a shady green oasis in summer, with boating lakes, water play areas in playgrounds, and soft grass for picnics and relaxing. In winter, the park is a winter wonderland, including a large outdoor skating rink. Year round, kids can ride to the top of skyscrapers, visit museums in all shapes and sizes, enjoy fun food and shows.

New York City Photo Album
    Central Park
    Upper West Side - American Museum of Natural History
    Upper East Side - Metropolitan Museum of Art
    Midtown - MoMa & Rockefeller Center
    Theater District - Times Square
    Around Empire State Building
    Chinatown - Little Italy
    Brooklyn Bridge
    Statue of Liberty - Lower Manhattan
    Ride the subway and buses – New York has an excellent public transportation system, and you’ll want to use it. Purchase a MetroCard, good for both the subway and buses, and ride inexpensively all over Manhattan, from Battery Park to the Cloisters at Fort Tyron Park.

Fun food


New Yorkers have always eaten out, there’s food everywhere you look – it’s a terrific city for food with kids. Walking down any street, when you see the yellow Sabrett umbrellas, “dine in the umbrella room” on hot dogs and soft New York pretzels. Bagels are also a must, accompanied by cream cheese in different flavors. Stop into the many delicatessens (deli's) for a great selection of sandwiches. For a sweet, look for black and white cookies, covered with chocolate and vanilla icing.




New York is one of our favorite places to shop, so leave room in your luggage for things to bring back. Macy’s at Herald Square, with 2 million square feet is one of the largest department store in the world.Teens will have a super time shopping in the Upper West Side or SoHo.

family hotels

Travel for Kids has so many fun things to do with kids in New York City, but you'll need a fun place to stay.

Here's Travel for Kids lists of family hotels, all styles and price ranges, in neighborhoods comfortable for families, and near to places you'll want to explore, and convenient to the airport:

New York City family hotels
JFK Airport family hotels
family tours new york city

The Metropolitan is a great and glorious museum, but it has tons to see, and just how do you make the masterpieces come alive for your kids? Take a charming three hour private family tour, with activities such as drawing and treasure hunts:

    Met Museum Tour for Kids
travel tools

Buy a New York CityPass for discounts on museums - Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), American Museum of Natural History, plus admission to the Empire State Building and Circle Line Cruises. Savings for the whole family, and no waiting in lines:

New York CityPass

Explorer Pass, with 4, 5, 7, or 10 attractions, pick what you want to see - Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Empire State Building, American Museum of Natural History, harbor cruises, Central Park bike rentals and more. No waiting in ticket lines, pass is valid for 30 days from first time use.

Go City New York Pass
kids books new york city
city trails new york  
New York: City Trails
Lonely Planet Kids

Nineteen different themed trails through New York – skyscraper flyby, mysteries and legends, underground treasure, best food, exotic animals and dinosaur bones, treasure in trash, great theaters, harbor tour, haunted city and more. (Illustrated chapter book)



Illustrated history of New York City, from the Lenape who lived on the island for thousands of years, to rapid growth of the city, waves of immigrants, engineering feats building the subway, bridges, skyscrapers, includes fascinating maps and details (find out how Canal St., Wall St. got their names, sheep really did graze in Sheep Meadow). Good for older kids. (Picture book)


manhattan mapping story of an island
new york a book of colors  

Take a yellow taxi, view orange leaves on trees in Central Park, visit the green Statue of Liberty, watch the blue lights in Times Square. Fun for toddlers! (Board book)


Walls Within Walls
Maureen Sherry

Follow the Smithfork kids on a treasure hunt through New York; seven poems contain puzzles and clues to seven sights around the city. Find the map hidden behind the walls of the Smithfork apartment, and solve the mystery – what happened to the Post family fortune? (Chapter book)


kids mystery new york city Walls Within Walls
into the lions den  
Into the Lion's Den
(The Devlin Quick Mysteries)
Linda Fairstein

Devlin Quick and her two friends are off to track down a thief, who stole a rare map from the New York Public Library. Their detective hunt takes them all over New York – will they escape the dark tunnels of a ghost station underground? (Chapter book)



Central Park, a green oasis in downtown New York, is for everyone.

Read about the creation of the park, transforming swampland into lush woodlands, with ice skating and boating on a lake, playground, croquet lawn, baseball field for children, thirty-four bridges, fountains, pagodas, band shells, even a castle. Fabulous illustrations capture Central Park then and now. (Picture book)


a green place to be
her right foot  
Her Right Foot
Dave Eggers, Shawn Harris

The Statue of Liberty, iconic symbol of freedom, has welcomed millions of visitors and immigrants to the United States. How can she stand still? Look at her immense right foot, taking a big step to meet "the poor, the tired, the struggling to breathe free." (Picture book)


Coqui in the City
Nomar Perez

In Puerto Rico, Miguel's pet frog Coqui comes with him everywhere, playing baseball with friends, buying quesitos (pastries) at the panaderia, going to sleep at night listening to frog sounds “coqui, coqui, coqui.” When Miguel's family moves to New York City, it's all very unfamiliar, until he hears frogs in the park and finds a local panaderia with quesitos. (Picture book)


coqui in the city
My Chinatown  
My Chinatown
Kam Mak

Gorgeous paintings and poems of Chinatown – lighting the lanterns for the Moon Festival, a colorful kite shop, fresh fruits and live fish for sale on the street, dancing lions on New Year’s Day. (Picture book)



Grandpa and Grandma have stories of their arrival in New York from Russia. Grandpa tells of golden wagons leaping across the ocean, a castle on Hester Street, buttons carved from diamonds and emeralds, while Grandma describes cramped ships, a one-room apartment, working long days to sell tiny buttons. Warm-hearted illustrations, this is a classic. (Picture book)


kids books immigrants new york city Castle on Hester Street
this is the rope  
This is the Rope
Jacqueline Woodson, James Ransome

An African American family moves to New York, bringing a rope, a rope for hanging laundry, jumping rope, playing games, tying suitcases, a rope passed down through three generations, an old rope from back home, a rope of hard work and hope, and a new rope in Brooklyn. (Picture book)


Arthur Dorros, Elisa Kleven

Fly with Rosalba and her Abuela (grandma) way above Manhattan, over the parks and streets, stopping to drink limonada in her uncle’s store, then soaring higher than the tallest buildings. Magical collage illustrations. (Picture book)


Abuela kids books hispanic new york city
what is the statue of liberty  
What Is the Statue of Liberty?
Joan Holub, John Hinderliter

History of the Statue of Liberty, from 1865 to present day – how French sculptor Frederic Bartholdi designed it, built the hand holding the torch separately, shipped the statue to America, and the statue became a symbol of the nation, with photos and drawings. (Illustrated chapter book)


What Was Ellis Island?
Patricia Brennan Demuth, David Groff

Starting in 1892, immigrants from Europe to the United States arrived at Ellis Island. Read this comprehensive history of Ellis Island, now the museum, where immigrants landed by boat, were interviewed, fed and treated for sickness, given landing cards, and a new life in America. (Illustrated chapter book)


what was ellis island
Subway toddlers books new york city  
Anastasia Suen, Karen Katz

Sights, sounds and rocking rhythm of a subway ride in pictures and rhymes. “Rock left, rock right, we hang on tight.” Bright, colorful illustrations will delight little ones. (Board book)


New York is ...
Elisa Parhad, Alexander Vidal

New York City landmarks, fun food, neighborhoods, entertainment, museums in colorful pictures and rhymes. (Board book)

Buildings above, bridges to love

Bagels and lox, walking for blocks

The lady in green, tall and serene


New York Is
new york city abc  
New York City ABC
John Skewes

New York City from A to Z with Pete and his adorable dog Larry - A is for art, B for Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, delis, Empire State Building ...Yankee Stadium, Bronx Zoo. Delightfully illustrated. (Picture book)


The Met Lost in the Museum
Will Mabbit, Aaron Cushley

Stevie is lost in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Can you help her find her way through the museum, and meet her family in the Great Hall? Explore Greek and Roman, Ancient Egyptian, Arms and Armor galleries, and locate artworks. A fun introduction, before visiting The Met. (Picture book)

Also: My MET Sticker Collection


lost in the museum
little kid big city new york  
Little Kid, Big City! New York
Beth Beckman, Holley Maher

Plan your visit to New York City, climb up to top of Statue of Liberty, take Staten Island Ferry, but get off and visit Chuck the groundhog, in Chinatown watch noodles made by hand, stop into miles of books at The Strand bookstore and Chelsea Market where Oreo cookie was invented, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, then play in the park, be sure to eat a New York bagel (why it tastes different), and look for bubble magicians in Central Park. Plus more fun facts, history and helpful hints, fold out map. (Picture book)


Tip: Read our blog post "New York City mystery books" for new and favorite children's mystery books, set in New York.
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