How to Visit New York City with Kids

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The city that never sleeps can be a hit for the naptime set.
The city that never sleeps can be a hit for the naptime set. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

With its electric atmosphere and exciting things to see at every turn, New York City is a visual delight for kids. The Big Apple holds appeal for adults and kids alike, making it an ideal family vacation spot. While grown-ups naturally might be attracted to the shopping and food, be sure to check out some kid-friendly attractions New York City has to offer to keep your kids engaged.

Hop aboard a double-decker tour bus. These buses give great overviews of the city, covering more ground than you could do on your own, especially if your kids are small and not great walkers.

Get a seat on the on the upper deck of the bus. You'll get a unique, birds-eye view of the city that way. While touring, make note of the attractions you'd like to return to and explore more. It will be easier for your kids to look around up top.

Take your kids toy shopping -- New York-style. Nothing says heaven to a kid like Toys R Us. And the Toys R Us in Times Square is in a league of its own. Leave time to ride the indoor, three-story Ferris wheel and to explore the huge Lego creations of the city's landmarks, including the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty.

Take a ferry ride to Ellis Island. Here your kids can marvel at the Statue of Liberty, a landmark they're likely already familiar with. Take an elevator ride to a pedestal observatory, take a guided tour and explore the museum exhibits.

Give your kids a breath-taking view. Visit Rockefeller Center and its the Top of the Rock observation deck. At seventy stories high, it offers breathtaking views of Manhattan, including Central Park. While perhaps less famous than the Empire State Building observatory, Top of the Rock offers the advantage of a great, sky-high view of that landmark.

Fly a kite, take a walk or even see the animals in New York City. Central Park is a great kid-friendly choice and a welcome oasis in the middle of the city. Plan a picnic lunch with your kids here, especially if you need down time after all the city sightseeing. Kids are sure to enjoy the Central Park carousel, the zoo and even a horse-drawn carriage ride or rickshaw ride.

Take in a play on the Great White Way. Broadway shows aren't just for grownups anymore. Some of the most popular Broadway fare is based on children's movies. The Little Mermaid, Mary Poppins and The Lion King will all be popular with kids and parents will enjoy them too.

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