My family just returned from an impromptu trip to New York City. (Impromptu as in we were going stir crazy here in Vermont and needed a reprieve.) NYC is one of the very best places to bring a kid. There are a million things to see, try, taste, and do. And just being in New York is an experience, especially for people who didn't grow up there. New York is remarkably family friendly. (And is becoming more so - Manhattan recently experienced a baby boom). That said, one of the great things about an NYC adventure is that it rarely needs to be dumbed down into a kiddie trip. On our recent 72-hour visit to New York with our six-year-old, we spent many hours in MOMA (free on Fridays), the Metropolitan Museum, and at the Hayden Planetarium. We ate incredible food (with a mandatory best pizza quest), walked across the Brooklyn Bridge (an awesome experience for any curious kid) , viewed skyscrapers, looked up our genealogy in the New York Public Library, browsed the Strand Book Store and Forbidden Planet comics, and visited the Lego store at Rockefeller Center. It's never been easier to visit and explore NYC with your kids. There are hundreds of guidebooks, websites and apps dedicated to exploring the city. I especially recommend the RedRover app.
Red Rover is a powerful tool for easily finding kid-friendly activities and events happening around you. It works as promised, has a great design, and it's easy to use. Essential for any trip to New York with a kid. Learn more. Regarding books, The Little Bookroom Guide to New York City with Children is great for grownups. Not For Parents New York City: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know is great for younger kids. Other thoughts: I recommend buying your kid their own map to the city. Show them where you're staying and some of the site you're seeing. It's theirs to keep. If they want to write on it, let them. Our family discussed what we wanted to see and do in the city. A side benefit of this was that it helped our kid understand that she'd be doing a lot of walking. Avoid your kids pleading for expensive, cheezy souvenirs and toys by setting allowance and spending expectations before the trip. Here are tips for managing allowance might come in handy.
Our kid had fun keeping an NYC travel journal.