Visiting New York as a family is a wonderful idea. It’s the kind of place where there is something for everyone, from the very smallest to the oldest and everyone in between. No matter what it is you’re into, no matter what you love to do and what your hobbies and interests are, you’re going to love the many different aspects of New York. Of course, there is so much to do that it is easy to miss out on some of the best elements of New York by accident and because you don’t want any regrets after a great family vacation, it’s best to plan things out in advance to ensure you know just what to see and do. With that in mind, read on for some fantastic ideas in our ultimate NYC family guide.
The food in New York City is a crucial part of any stay. Thanks to its diverse history and the many different cultures that have come together to live in New York, it’s no surprise to find that you can discover plenty of delicious and different places to eat when you’re in the city. Whether you have a particular type of food in mind or you have no ideas where to start, the following restaurants are highly recommended.
Source: Instagram, posted on May 16, 2022, KatzsDeli’s official profile.
- Katz’s Delicatessen
You might wonder what’s quite so special about a delicatessen in New York because there are so many of them. However, Katz’s Delicatessen is famous, and the queue that snakes around the block at lunchtime is a testament to that. It’s all down to the pastrami, which is absolutely perfect with a gorgeous spicy crust. Since Katz’s has been there since 1888, it’s no wonder the sandwiches are so good – there’s been a lot of time to perfect them.
Source: Instagram, posted on May 19, 2022, DiFaraPizzaNYC’s official profile.
- Di Fara Pizza
As we’ve said, lots of different food types make up the cuisine of New York City, but if there is one thing that will instantly come to mind, it has to be a good, authentic Italian pizza, which is exactly what you’ll get at Di Fara Pizza. Although there are rivals to the crown of the best pizza place in New York, including Grimaldi’s and Lombardi’s, it’s Di Fara that always wins out in the end. This family-owned restaurant is small, but it is mighty in terms of the flavor and texture of its famous pizzas.
Source: Instagram, posted on October 11, 2020, Hudson Smokehouse’s official profile.
- Hudson Smokehouse
On a family trip to NYC, the last thing you want is fine dining. It might be nice for a treat, but it’s not great for family, which is why Hudson Smokehouse has to be on your list of places to eat when you’re in the city together. This is a barbecue restaurant, but you’ll find plenty of interesting things on the menu that you just won’t see anywhere else, like chorizo, for example. It all comes together to create a dining experience that you can savor – perhaps in the outdoor garden dining area.
If there is one thing that New York City is not lacking, it’s things to do. This is why it’s such a well-loved city for locals and visitors alike – there is always something fascinating to do and see there. Read on for some of the best things to do when you’re in New York with your family.
Source: Instagram, posted on May 13, 2022, AMNH’s official profile.
- American Museum Of Natural History
It’s almost impossible to pick just a few of the hundreds of things to do in New York that your entire family will love, but the American Museum of Natural History has to be on the list. This is where you can learn about the natural world, and you’ll do it with wonder and excitement at every turn. Where else can you walk beneath a giant whale or see dinosaur bones or search for fossils all under one roof?
Source: Instagram, posted on May 7, 2022, CentralParkNYC’s official profile.
- Central Park
If you think Central Park is just a patch of green in the middle of a city, think again. It’s so much more than that. The park has a special place in many New Yorkers’ hearts, and when you look into its history and how it was designed, you’ll see that it is a special place – that’s why more than 25 million visitors go there annually. To give you an idea of what you might find in the park, there are 50 different statues, monuments, and sculptures, 21 playgrounds, Central Park Zoo, lakes, and even a castle.
Source: Instagram, posted on May 18, 2022, OneWorldNYC’s official profile.
- One World Observatory
One World Observatory isn’t just the tallest building in New York City; it’s the tallest building in America. When you get to the top of this stunning piece of architecture – built to honor the fall of the Twin Towers World Trade Center – you’ll find the most incredible view. What’s fun is that the Sky Pod elevators are fast and futuristic, plus you’ll learn a lot while you’re there.
The very fact that there is so much to do and see in New York City means that having a great hotel room to come back to after a long day of sightseeing or an evening out at a great restaurant or perhaps the theater is even more important than it might be elsewhere. Luckily, there are some truly iconic and family-friendly hotels in New York that will fit the bill. Here are some of them to get you started in your quest for the right one for you and your family.
Westgate New York Grand Central
The Westgate New York Grand Central is in such a great location that the resort has even written a blog about 51 things to do in NYC – and you can do them all using the Westgate Grand Central as your base. The rooms are gorgeously decorated and comfortable, ensuring that everyone at your party will have a great time. It’s also a quiet hotel, which is something that can be hard to find in New York. If you want to get around the city, you can take any of the many subway stations located nearby. Other facilities include an onsite restaurant, a fitness center, and a business center.
Source: Instagram, posted on May 16, 2022, The Lowell Hotel’s official profile.
The way The Lowell Hotel is set out makes it feel like a real home from home – the rooms are so big that everyone can have as much space as they need, no matter what the size of your party might be. Each suite will have a kitchen or kitchenette, and some come with terraces or fireplaces. The hotel is located on the Upper East Side, and therefore it’s very close to Central Park, but you’ll also be able to do plenty of shopping, and the famous Museum Mile is on your doorstep. The hotel doesn’t have a pool, but that’s not a necessity in New York, and it does offer babysitting facilities which could be extremely useful.
Source: Instagram, posted on May 19, 2022, Thompson Central Park’s official profile.
Thompson Central Park
If you’re looking for a family-friendly NYC hotel that also offers a hint – or perhaps more than a hint – of luxury, you might think it’s an impossible task. However, with the Thompson Central Park, you can have the best of both worlds. This is a modern, grand, special hotel that offers both rooms and suites. You can walk from here to Carnegie Hall, Central Park, and all the Broadway shows you might want to see (and you should try to see at least one). Use the elevator – that plays cartoons – to the rooftop pool, and then have something to eat in one of the two child-friendly onsite restaurants.
Source: Instagram, posted on March 19, 2020, FSNewYork’s official profile.
Four Seasons Hotel New York
When you’re staying at a Four Seasons hotel, you already know you’re getting quality and comfort, and the Four Seasons Hotel New York certainly lives up to that reputation. In fact, in this particular hotel, the staff are always happy to see children, and they will make it their mission to ensure your kids have the very best time. That includes giving them child-size slippers and robes, DVDs, and coloring books, and for the really little ones, there are baby monitors, bottle warmers, and strollers to rent. There are even specially designed children’s city tours, making this an event more than a hotel.
Source: Instagram, posted on November 19, 2021, Freehand Hotels’ official profile.
Freehand New York – Flatiron
Freehand New York is another great kid-friendly hotel in New York City. Each room is designed beautifully, and you can make sure the children are comfortable in their own set of bunkbeds. For those days when you’re too tired to go out sightseeing, the two onsite restaurants will do nicely, or perhaps you can grab a snack from the coffee shop.