10 FREE THINGS TO DO IN NYC WITH CHILDREN! ALL YEAR ROUND!
If you are thinking about vacationing in NYC here are some places that are FREE to explore with your families or friends!
You might think that NYC is going to cost A LOT of money. And, surprisingly they have so much to do that doesn’t cost anything. You just have to know where to look at what to look for!
-The Staten Island Ferry
The Ferry is completely FREE! That means you can ride to and from Staten Island from NYC for FREE and back! This was a lot of fun and my 3-year old loved it! In the terminals in both NYC and Staten Island there are restaurants and souvenir shops. The ride is about 20 minutes or so and if you want to buy any food on the Ferry you need cash (Found this out the hard way). It leaves during the day hours every 30 minutes pretty much on the dot at the hour and half hours. This is a must see. When you come up onto NYC from the Ferry it looks almost like a painting (the top picture above is taken from the Ferry going to NYC from Staten Island)! You also can see Governors Island, The Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island from the Ferry!
Chinatown is a must see! There are dozens of little shops, restaurants, and random things to see in Chinatown. They have lots of little souvenirs to buy or just look at. They have food markets and festivals. It’s fun to just take a few pictures and walk around to be immersed in the culture that surrounds Chinatown.
If you keep walking North through Chinatown you end up at Little Italy. Chinatown is hustling and bustling and when you cross over to Little Italy you are taking to a more slowed down theme throughout it. They have tons of shops and restaurants. If you are just going to look, it’s great to see and take pictures. It doesn’t cost anything to look! My suggestion is if you do go to one of the restaurants try something you don’t normally get! I did and I was pleasantly surprised!
-The Empire State Building
This is something that was really cool to see! Its one of New Yorks oldest landmarks! Now, to go up it its like $40 or $60 bucks but, really you see the same view from the plane. You can go to it while you are exploring the area and not pay a dime!
-The 9/11 memorial reflecting pools
This is one of the places I absolutely recommend. It is memorizing and heartbreaking at the same time. You can walk around both of them and there is a park next to it. It’s interesting to look up at Freedom Tower and gasp how huge it is. If you are looking to go into the museum it was $18.00 with a US college student ID and it was free for my 3-year-old. If you are looking to spend money in NYC you will NOT regret going there! I was so glad that we went in. We could have spent days in it! It is a MUST SEE!
You can go here for information on it : http://www.911memorial.org/visit-911-memorial-museum
-Grand Central Station
You have seen the amazing ceilings in this huge NYC landmark. Dozens of movies have been filmed inside of it. It is beautiful and really shows NYC architecture! This was an amazing place to check out! There are shopping areas and restaurants inside also.
You can’t go to NYC without seeing Central Park. It is a great place to go and relax and for the kids to get out and run around. My son loved it! It is so huge! I never realized how big it actually is until you get into it! There is so much room and its fun to people watch! It is always really great to let the kids get out and have fun. It’s a nice place to relax from the hustle and bustle of the city. In one area there is a memorial for John Lennon and across the street is his apartment building where he was shot outside of. There are carriage rides and bikes you can rent. But, for the best experience, I would suggest letting the kids play in the green grasses.
-The National Museum of the American Indian
This museum was beautiful. It is in the old Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House. When NYC was New Amsterdam it was one of the first government buildings built. It is huge with so much history just of the building. The museum houses multiple different exhibits of American Indians throughout the years. And it is FREE!!!!
Here is the website for more information: http://www.nmai.si.edu/visit/newyork/ which is also where the picture came from
-Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens (Staten Island)
This place was beautiful. The Secret Garden and Castle were amazing! My son love it! And it is all stroller friendly!
“Initially built in the 1800s as a home for retired sailors, Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is said to be the largest ongoing adaptive reuse project in America. The 23 historical buildings, nine botanical gardens and 10 acres of wetlands—set on an 83-acre campus—are the elements of a regional arts center where history, architecture, visual art, theater, dance, music and environmental science provide dynamic experiences for all ages. The venue, a Smithsonian affiliate, is home to the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, the Noble Maritime Collection, Staten Island Children’s Museum, the arts school Art Lab and the Staten Island Museum.”
-The Bronx Zoo (Weds. Is pay what you want, they accept $1 donations)
This is more like a wildlife preserve than the ZOO’s here in Arkansas. They had all the major attractions such as the lions, giraffes and elephants. If you take the Train it goes right to the Zoo with a walk less than half a mile from the Subway stop to the Zoo and there are directions leading you there.
One of the most famous toy stories in NYC and also the backdrop to several movies this store is packed with fun. There are exhibits for different characters all over the store. You can find human-sized Lego Storm Troopers and the Foot Keyboard from the movie BIG. The store is three stories and you can find pretty much anything you are looking for. I found one of the ninja turtles for my son for a few dollars less than I had found in Arkansas, so it is not expensive. But, if you are just wanting to look and play with the different things they have than it’s a great place to spend some time.
There is so much to do in NYC but, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to see it! Even just walking along the streets looking at all of the buildings and things going on you are going to run into lots of things to do. If you have an extra day, I suggest just getting into the city without any real plans and see where you end up.
Here is another website that shows free things to do in NYC
I hope you have a good trip! Enjoy NYC there is no other city in the world like it!