Planning a family vacation can be a tricky task. Trying to balance where everyone in your family wants to go and the activities they want to add to the trip, all while trying your best to stick to a budget, is challenging to say the least. Your best bet is to visit a spot that offers something for everyone.
New York City is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. In fact, tourism to New York City tripled over three decades, with half of that growth occurring in the last decade alone. Planning your next family vacation to this dynamic city can leave you with years’ worth of memories.
Why New York City?
New York City is considered a melting pot of cultures, which is one of the reasons there’s something for everyone in the city. It’s rare to find a metropolitan center that offers everything from theater to sightseeing to even ample nature sites. NYC has all of these items, which can make planning your next vacation a breeze.
How to Decide What Type of Trip to Take
As mentioned, balancing the desires of each family member for a vacation can be difficult. In a city as big as New York City, there is more than enough activities to do, but you will need to decide what type of trip you want to go on. Consider some of the following factors:
- Are you looking to relax on your trip by sightseeing, or would you prefer to always be on the move with a new activity?
- Do you want to stay in the outskirts of the city, or right in the center of it all?
- Are you planning on visiting museums or do you prefer to be outside?
- Are you hoping to cross off a large number of landmarks on your list or do you want to spend more time at locations?
All of the above will help you better determine what you want your New York City trip to look like. Building off of that, if you’ve never been to New York City then figuring out what to do could be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve compiled ten of the best sightseeing and all-around activities to do in NYC.
Top 10 Things to Do in New York City
If you’re looking to discover the best of New York City on a sightseeing tour, rest easy knowing there will be ample opportunity when you arrive. This can be a great way to visit multiple destinations in a single activity, saving both time and money on the trip. Sightseeing tours may come in many forms including classic vehicle drives, helicopter flights, buses, and more.
New York City is, without a doubt, one of the best places to people watch. Street performers are on every corner in areas such as Times Square, which means grabbing a seat on a bench or just dining while looking out at the city can be a great activity in and of itself.
Tour some of the famous museums
For those who enjoy museums, the famous Museum of Modern Art, American Museum of Natural History, and Tenement Museum are attractions that may catch your eye. This is a great family activity to consider and many museums offer entry discounts for those with young children.
Spend an Afternoon Relaxing in Central Park
The hustle and bustle of New York City can be overwhelming for some, so consider taking a break in Central Park. Its 843 acres gets an average of 42 million visits yearly, and is home to many animals. Take a stroll through the center pathway or branch off and walk through some of the trees and grass.
Visit Times Square to See the Hustle and Bustle in Action
Times Square is part of the magic of New York City. Group performers, shops, restaurants, and even filming for television all take place in this shopping center, making it a great spot for your family.
Take a Trip to the Empire State Building
The 102-story Empire State Building is famous and offers dining opportunities, as well as observation decks on two floors. However, it’s best to avoid this iconic landmark if you’re afraid of heights.
Go Ice Skating or Roller Skating
Ice skating and summer roller skating are two popular activities for visitors to New York City. In the winter, Central Park will be packed with ice skaters which can be an amazing experience. Alternatively, the edge of the Brooklyn Park has an amazing roller rink in the summer.
Walk to the Iconic Rockefeller Center
Famous for its 19 commercial buildings and observations decks offering skyline views, Rockefeller center is an excellent spot for any family to consider visiting.
Consider Teaching Some History at the 9/11 Memorial
The 9/11 memorial is a beautiful and haunting reminder of the tragic events that occurred on September 11th, 2001. Visiting this gorgeous memorial and walking through the museum inside is a great way to teach history to your children and honor those who lost their lives over two decades ago.
Drive Out to Legoland
While Legoland isn’t technically in New York City, it’s about an hour drive away and is too famous to not include on this list. Dedicate at least one day to getting your kids over to this iconic theme park with good food, thrilling rides and, of course, Legos. Day passes are available which makes it easy to work this location into your schedule.
Make Your Trip a Memorable One
All every parent wants to do is leave their kids with excellent memories throughout their childhood. Rest assured knowing that New York City offers so many sightseeing opportunities and activities that you couldn’t possible do it all in one vacation. Choose this city for your next vacation to have something to talk about for years to come.