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NYC For Kid’s… A New Yorker’s List

NYC For Kid’s… from Real Mom & New Yorker; Nikki Kelly

Nikki and Lalani have been friends since they were 14 years old.  They went to high school together in Las Vegas, and have stayed in touch ever since.  After college, Nikki moved to New York and worked for as a writer.  She now is married to her love; Cameron and together they have 5 children that they are raising in the city.  We are super excited to have her as our first “Real Mom”.

New York is a Great City for Kids

Bringing kids to New York City can seem like bringing kids to an adults only dinner party, but this city is a party for all ages.  I have lived in New York for almost 14 years, and I have had 5 kids in the city, so I like to think I know a thing or two about navigating with kids as well as taking advantage of all the amazing experiences this city has to offer.

New York City is too vast to tackle all areas in one day. That would be like trying to see all of the Louvre in one day. It would be exhausting, overwhelming and probably leave you feeling dissatisfied. Depending on the number of days you will be visiting, divide the city into regions or neighborhoods and make the most of what is in that area, which will eliminate a lot of unnecessary public transport that can often be time consuming and unpleasant. If travelling with smaller children, it’s best to work a playground or park into the day as well, which is not hard since there are a lot of amazing playgrounds and parks all over the city.

So here is my short list…

Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn:

One World Trade Center
9/11 Memorial Pools and Museum
Brookfield Place
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
Governor’s Island (Open May-October, and is a great place to escape while having amazing views)
Brooklyn Bridge
Juliana’s Pizza
The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory

Kids Love:
Rockefeller Playground and Teardrop Park in Battery Park City Seaglass Carousel
Imagination Playground
Brooklyn Bridge Park – there is something for everyone here

Manhattan Skyline

Chelsea, Flatiron and Tribeca:

This area is great for eating and shopping. It’s also great for art. If you are an art lover but don’t like the crowds in large museums, take a self-guided tour of the art galleries in Chelsea. From around 18th up to 25th between 10th and 12th Avenues, you can find a lot of beautiful art from up and coming artists as well as more established contemporary artists. You can also follow @Fomofeed on Instagram for more interesting and fun exhibits.

The Highline
Chelsea Market
Union Square
Madison Square
Dough Donuts
Doughnut Plant
The Doughnut Project

Children’s Museum of the Arts

The Lego Store

Pier 25 – great playground, mini golf and kayaking on the Hudson on the weekends at neighboring Pier 26 in the summer (the earlier you go in the day, the shorter the lines.)


While I don’t love Times Square, it is an iconic location in the city. Save it for a pass through on your way to something cooler, like a show. If you want to do Broadway, there are shows that are kid friendly. There are also several ways to get tickets: TKTS , TodayTix , lottery, and rush tickets. If you come in the summer time, hit up Shakespeare in the Park , which happens in Central Park behind Belvedere Castle. You have to stand in line pretty early in the morning until tickets are handed out at noon, but it’s so worth it.

Kids love:
The Intrepid
The Tram to Roosevelt Island
Dylan’s Candy Bar
Bryant Park : Le Carousel and books and games for kids and adults
MOMA : kids under 12 are free and there is a kids lab where they can learn and discover and make art appropriate for them, which is a great way to enjoy art with kids. See some stuff around the museum and pitstop at the art lab.

Central Park Area

It’s a big beautiful park with something for everyone. There are about 21 playgrounds throughout the park. So no matter where you end up, you can be sure there is a playground close by.

Central Park Zoo
The American Museum of Natural History
The Metropolitan Museum of Art : in nice weather, head to the roof The New York Historical Society
The Jewish Museum

The Museum of the City of New York
Levain Bakery on 74th and Columbus
Gray’s Papaya
Lincoln Center – Opera, Ballet, NY Philharmonic as well as Juilliard

A lot of museums are free for kids, and some are pay what you wish (The Met, AMNH). Most museums also have a free day where they open up for a few hours at no charge, but be prepared for crowds. Many museums have a Family page on their website with ideas and suggestions for kids. Just do art museums in small doses and see things that will be interesting and thought provoking for kids. Most kids love the roof, the Impressionists, and the Temple of Dendur at The Met.

Get out and explore. Kids love all the sights, sounds and smells of the city, and it will surely make lasting memories. Don’t be afraid to try something different or do something that may not be “kid-friendly”. You might surprise yourself and your kids how much fun you’ll have.


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