Experience New York City and the best it has to offer families in the fall and winter. The time before, during and after the holidays bring a special energy to the city parents and kids will really enjoy. Let this day take you from midtown to downtown as you enjoy food and fun while remaining mainly indoors in case the weather gets rough. Children can still enjoy a mix of active and educational experiences within four walls in New York if you know where to look.
Please note that this is not an itinerary submitted by an actual family. This day was planned by one of our travel experts as a recommendation for a family of children with ages 4 through late teens, based on knowledge of the city. Factors such as time, cost and distance have been considered to make this a great day to get a sense of the city and keep the children and teens interested and engaged.
Address: 550 Madison Avenue at 56th Street
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM (Closed Major Holidays)
Admission: FREE, however it is recommended you call ahead to reserve timed tickets.
This free technology museum is one of NYC’s better kept secrets. It features 23 activities and exhibits, including a large high definition theater screening an array of kid favorites (see a schedule of screenings here). The exhibits range in subject and level of difficulty to understand, resulting in an experience that a range of ages can enjoy, from small children up through teenagers. Enjoy such features as a Robot Zone, Motion Capture Studio, Nanotechnology Lab, Virtual Surgery and so much more. See a full overview of the exhibits and let your child pick their favorites. They also run special events and there are some great ones lined up for the fall and winter. You must book ahead and some require a small fee ($10 or less per participant) see a full calendar here.
Address: 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Phone: (212) 652-2110
Hours: Monday – Saturday 7 AM – 9 PM, Sunday 8 AM – 8 PM
Getting There: Approximately 15 minutes by cab from last stop or 20 minutes by southbound E Train
This charming downtown market is a modern facility housed in a gorgeous old building. The indoor market and shopping center has a lot of charm and doesn’t feel like a more commercial mall. There are a number of quaint shops and places to eat. This is a great place to grab a midday meal and maybe knock off a little holiday shopping at the same time. It will keep kids entertained as well while you wander as many of the small merchants are engaging. Watch bread be made or cupcakes iced outside a glass walled bakery or see some exotic handmade basketry. True foodies will also enjoy that the upper floor of this building houses studios for Food Network and you might just catch a glimpse of a celebrity chef on their way to work! Check the schedule to see special events that may coincide with your visit.
Address: 62 Chelsea Piers #300, New York, NY 10011
Phone: (212) 336-6666
Hours: Daily, 6:30 AM – Midnight
Getting There: A 6 minute cab from Chelsea Market or a 10 minute, half mile walk if you’re up for it.
Admission: Varies by activity. Consult this Guide to Hours and Prices by facility.
Chelsea Piers is a massive indoor sports and entertainment complex housed in what used to be an active passenger ship terminal used by the Lusitania and was actually the intended destination of the Titanic. Today it houses more activities than a family could do in a day, if not a week. There are drop-in programs at the Field House which has sporting facilities like batting cages, basketball courts and a rock climbing wall to name a few. You may also enjoy the Golf Club, Sports Center Health Club and Spa or some bowling at Bowlmor. If you were set on ice skating this fall/winter and the outdoor options are off limits due to weather, there is an indoor skating facility called Sky Rink to get you on the ice no matter what. There are also dining options if you want to grab a bite before or after you play.
A Fun Addition To Any NYC Day:
Families visiting New York may also want to stop by world famous Times Square for a special treat. While this has always been one of New York’s most awe inspiring sights for visitors, there is a new draw that has been said to have tourists’ “jaws actually dropping.” A new digital billboard spanning an entire city block, on Broadway from 45th to 46th street, will amaze families as they enjoy what over 24 million LED pixels looks like displaying everything from digital art to advertising. We recommend a quick stop (or drive) by to enjoy this epic and free viewing opportunity.