The Coolest Places in
New York City for Kids
There is so much
to see and do in
New York City for kids, especially at Christmas time! Come and experience its magic and the wonder of the season here in this spectacular city!
Here are some highlights of things to do in New York City for kids that I highly recommend.
My kids and I have enjoyed these sights and activities for many years and we keep coming back each year. It's become a Christmas tradition for us!
If you're not from the local area and you want some more information on NYC vacation packages click here.
Let's start at the
famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.
That you must see in person to experience its size and all its brilliant glowing lights. It's located in Rockefeller Plaza between 48th and 50th
street and 5th and 6th avenues.
It is tremendous!
You have to see it at night though to appreciate all the lights and the gigantic Swarovski crystal star glowing
atop the tree.
Tip: Best time to go would be on a weekday at dusk or
late at night to try to avoid the crowds.
At Rockefeller Center is the world famous Rockefeller Center Skating Rink.
It's been in here since 1936 and is 122 ft. long and 59 ft. wide. Thousands of locals, famous celebrities and tourists from all over the world have skated here - in the middle of the most exciting metropolitan city of the world!
Tip: Keep in mind it is not very big so they limit the
number of skaters to 150 maximum at a time. Also, they only take cash and prices per person go up the closer you get to Christmas. Its best to go in the early morning or before 4:00pm sessions -
You have to try this very unusual restaurant in New York City for kids. Its out of this world! It's Mars 2112 located at 51st St. and Broadway.
My kids and I were transported via spaceship to another planet - the red planet - Mars.
We entered a vehicle that actually shook and vibrated like we were taking off!
When we "landed" we were greeted by Martians who brought
us to our table and served us. The food was typical American fare - burgers, fries, nuggets, but the
atmosphere and the experience was like we were in another universe!
My kids love this place!
Tip: Don't forget to take pictures with the aliens.
Another fun place in New York City for kids to eat and be entertained is Ellen's Stardust Diner located at 51st Street and Broadway.
It's a retro 50's style diner where the waiters and waitresses sing on the
counters and tables in the diner! Many Broadway stars started off singing at the Stardust Diner!
And the food was good too.
If your kids love pizza, (my kids sure do!) then John's Pizza on 44th St. between Broadway and 8th Avenue is the place
to go. It's a mouth watering thin crust pizza made with the freshest ingredients then baked in coal fired ovens.
One of the City's finest
pizza places. And wait till you see the building. It was orginally the Gospel Tabernacle Church built in 1888 and was converted
to John's Pizza about 20 years ago. It's huge - with about 400 seats and a five story stained glass cupola overhead.
A favorite Christmas activity we do each year is to go to Toys R Us at Times Square. Its enormous and has many attractions and shops for the kids.
Go on the 60 foot indoor ferris wheel - So Cool! Or visit Barbie's Doll House - 2 floors of everything Barbie. Check out Candyland - a shop full of sweets.
Beware of the life size Tyrannosaurus Rex that actually roars at you! That's Mike, Nick and John (my kids) in the picture looking scared.
And watch out for larger than life Optimus Prime - the transformer!
And your younger kids can build a stuffed animal of their choice and take it home with its very own birth certificate -
born in NYC!
You haven't experienced New York City for kids if you haven't seen the bright lights of Broadway and Times Square and gone to a Broadway show.
I would highly recommend these Broadway shows for kids:
The ever popular Lion King -
what amazing sets and costumes - you would swear they were real animals and you were in the middle of a desert in Africa.
And of course the music we are all familiar with and love.
The amazing Mary Poppins - The character Mary Poppins is brought to life with all her charms and magic.
The music and the special effects are spectacular! How do they do it?? These shows are not just for kids -
My husband and I loved them too.
Wicked - It's the prequel to The Wizard of Oz. It has a great story line with a twist at the end - Can't tell
you what. It's worth going to see it.
Another one we loved.
Billy Elliot - won 10 Tony awards in 2009 - a heartfelt, humbling and humorous story about a boy who
inadvertenly winds up in a ballet class! They get a standing ovation every performance for a reason.
Wonderland - a new spin on the classic story of Alice in Wonderland that takes place in modern day and below the streets
of New York City. All the famous and familiar characters are still in it.
Addams Family Musical - remember the TV series? It's that weird family again - with Gomez and Morticia, and Uncle Fester
...this time Wednesday is all grown up with a boyfriend whose parents come to meet the Addams family. That's were the strangeness
begins. We laughed and felt like we were watching old friends from the past.
Tip: If you want to try to get seriously discounted same day Broadway show tickets, you can stand in line
at the big red TKTS booth at Times Square on Broadway and 47th Street.
For a matinee performance, people begin getting in line around 10:00am
and for an evening performance you should get in line before 3:00pm. First come first serve. But huge discounts.
If you could see just one Christmas show in New York City for kids, then see the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.
It is all about the magic, the dancing Rockettes, the special effects, the wonder of Santa and Christmas.
The second half
presents the amazing, true Christmas story - the birth of baby Jesus. Truly a feast for the eyes when you see the
three kings in all their regalia presenting their gifts to the newborn babe. And the glorious angels and lowly shepherds with their
(live) sheep watch and worship the miracle of Christ birth.
Did I mention the beauty of Radio City Music Hall itself? Its one of NYC's famous landmarks.
The chandelier in the Grand Foyer and the historic architecture of the restored interior will awe you.
What else is there to do in New York City for kids?
Make sure you stop by and see FAO Schwarz on 5th Avenue and 58th St. It's probably the most famous toy store in the
world! As you enter the Grand Hall the kids will be mesmerized by the 20,000 lights and the giant dance on piano keyboard (Tom Hanks
"played" that piano in the movie "Big").
If you have daughters (or granddaughters, nieces, girl cousins), then American Girl Place is the perfect place in New York City for kids. It's located on the
corner of 49th Street and 5th Avenue.
You can find dolls from historical figures to the current Girl of the Year. Shop everything for dolls - outfits, furniture,
and accesories. Design matching doll and girl tee-shirts. Or your daughter can pose for the cover of American
Finally, complete the experience with brunch or afternoon tea at the American Girl Cafe. I hear its
the place to eat if you're a young girl.
Want to make New York City for kids even sweeter? Then visit Hershey's and M & M World - both in Times Square. They are
both located on Broadway within a block of each other - between 48th and 49th Streets.
You can personalize your own Giant
Hershey's Kiss - AND at Hershey's you can even get your child's name or a special message on their scrolling marquee.
Imagine seeing your child's name
on the bright lights of Broadway.
M & M World has the largest wall of M&M's you've ever seen. And in just about every color and every variety. It's amazing
to see it all! Kids will go crazy over it!
If you would like even more information on what there is to do in New York City for kids, I recommend the guide book, Frommers New York City for Kids, available at Amazon.com.
Want more ideas for great activities at Christmas in New York City? Click here.
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