Sure, there are the same old, same old things to do with kids in NYC, but on your next trip to the city, why not try something new and very cool? From sliding into a sprinkle pool at the Museum of Ice Cream to walking out on the all-glass Edge NYC for sky-high views to getting slimed at the Sloomoo Institute, you can find enough unique things to do with kids in NYC to talk about for days and weeks to come. So before you start planning to head back to the old standbys, scroll down to include one or more of these incredible spots in your day or weekend. (featured photo taken at Edge NYC)
Here are 9 unique things to do with kids in NYC
This elevated park sits atop tulip-shaped concrete pods and appears to be floating over the Hudson River. But Little Island isn’t just about the Instagram-worthy scenery—a 687-seat amphitheater offers a full range of family-friendly festivals and performing arts events, most of which are free and don’t require reservations. Check out the island’s mobile hub for DIY art activities, get a behind-the-scenes look at how artists create stage productions, or embark on a new creative challenge led by local museums. Little Island is open daily, and no reservations are needed at any date or time.
Pier 55 in Hudson River Park @ West 13th Street, New York, NY 10014
Want to live life on the edge? Then this stunning outdoor sky deck—the highest in the Western Hemisphere—is an awesome place to bring the kiddos. You’ll all get a thrill from the 52-second high-speed elevator ride that will take you 1,100 feet into the sky, onto an out-of-this-world observation point. The glass-angled walls will make you feel like you’re suspended in mid-air, and the breathtaking 360-degree view lets you take in the entire NYC skyline, from Central Park to the Statue of Liberty. Don’t forget to look down at the glass floor to view the city streets 100 stories below. Ticket prices start at $33 for children and $38 for adults, and the deck is open daily.
30 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001
Be prepared to get a little messy at this sensory playground, all centered around the wonders of slime. Travel through an immersive ASMR tunnel or stroll across a colorful slime lake. The fantastical experience includes a custom eight-ounce jar of slime created at the DIY bar. With an enhanced ticket, kids (and moms) can don a poncho and goggles and get “slimed.” General tickets are $39.
475 Broadway, New York, NY 10013
Museum of Ice Cream
There is nothing sweeter than this one-of-a-kind ice cream extravaganza in Soho, where 13 interactive and multi-sensory installations will dazzle adults and kids alike. Go for a swim in a pool filled with 100 million sprinkles, slide down a three-story indoor ice cream portal, and take a trip through the rainbow tunnel. And you won’t want to leave without stopping at the cafe to sample one or all of the scrumptious, unusual ice cream flavors (we’re partial to the PB&B made with peanut butter and chocolate-covered pretzel pieces). Tickets are $36 during the week and $44 for the weekend each and include ice cream and admission into all 13 installations, open daily except Tuesday.
558 Broadway, New York, NY 10012
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Located on the iconic aircraft carrier Intrepid, this museum is an educational and immersive experience the whole family will love. Young astronauts-in-training can explore the space shuttle Enterprise and make fascinating discoveries throughout 17 exhibit zones in the Space Shuttle Pavillion. A virtual flight zone and restored aircraft, including the world’s fastest military jet, a spy plane, and the famed Concorde, will inspire imagination. Also, don’t miss the regularly scheduled special exhibits and programs for more about the carrier’s history and science. Tickets are $33 for adults and $24 for children (veterans and active military are free), and the museum is open daily.
Pier 86, W 46th St & 12th Ave, New York, NY 10036
One of the coolest things to do with kids in NYC, littles and bigs will love to glide around this aquatic-inspired carousel ride inhabited by 30 giant fiberglass fish that feels as if you dove deep into the ocean. The whimsical architectural masterpiece in Battery Park resembles a chambered nautilus, and the color-changing LED lighting emits a dreamy, iridescent water effect. Tickets are $5.50 per person, and the carousel is open daily.
Enter across from 17 State Street
Circle Line Sightseeing Tours
For one of the most scenic things to do with kids in NYC, take in the city’s most famous landmarks, like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Yankee Stadium, on a relaxing cruise with a comfortable outdoor deck offering incredible views of the skyline. Five cruises ranging from 45 minutes to 2.5 hours—depending on how much time you have and how patient your kiddos are—give an entertaining and informative glimpse into New York’s remarkable history while also presenting a ton of great Instagram ops. Ticket prices start at $33 per person.
Cruises depart from Pier 83, West 42nd Street in Midtown, or Slip 6, Battery Park in Downtown.
Dylan’s Candy Bar
Candy, candy, and more candy—the flagship location of this confectionery emporium is a real-life Willy Wonka factory with over 7,000 sweet treats. Mouthwatering installations like a lollipop tree and massive candy cane columns will entice every child and child-at-heart. Kids will love to fill their baskets with the bulk candy offerings along the wall, featuring yummy retro treats like malt balls and over 50 types of fruity gummies (gummy legos, anyone?). Another shop is also open at Hudson Yards.
1011 Third Avenue at 60th Street, New York, NY 10065
20 Hudson Yards, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10001
National Museum of Mathematics
Whether you have a budding Einstein or a kid who likes numbers, this award-winning museum highlights mathematics’s role in everyday life. There are two floors of math-centric interactive displays to learn about math where kids can try their hand at exhibits like Formula Morph, Pattern Mesh, Polypaint, and Hoop Curves, where participants use statistics to angle a basketball shot. Even if your kids are new to adding and subtracting, they will find the exhibits user-friendly. This is one of the unique things to do in NYC when you want to sneak in some education. The museum is open 7 days a week, 10 AM – 5 PM, except for Thanksgiving Day. Tickets start around $25.
11 East 26th Street, New York, NY 10001
Redfin asked us about our favorite unique activity in New York City. Check out the article we were featured in: Get in the Empire State of Mind with These 15 Unique Things to Do in NYC | Redfin.
Tell us—which unique things to do with kids in NYC are you planning to visit?
Become an NJMOM Insider! For all the best things to do with your family around New Jersey, be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter delivered right to your inbox each week, and don’t forget to tag your photos #NJMOM and @njmom for a chance to be featured on our social media.