Visiting NYC with a preschooler

New York is the city that never sleeps, but your kids sure do! Daily Mom has advice on how to maximize the fun visiting the “big apple” by day with preschool aged kids. With so much to do in the bustle of the big city, we have a mix of activities and places to go that will please everyone in your family from the sightseers to the thrill seekers and even the nature lovers! Don’t miss out on making memories that will last a lifetime.

Central Park

Central Park is a must-do with kids. This oasis amid the busy city boasting 80 acres of beautiful woodlands holds plenty to do for families. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride, ride one of the 57 horses on the famous Carousel, check out the zoo, and visit one of its 21 playgrounds! Stretch your legs on the Great Lawn, a 55 acre area in the center of the park, or Sheep’s Meadow, a 15 acre space surrounded by trees and the skyline, and let the kids run! Before your visit, make sure to look at the park’s calendar to find out about special events.

The Bronx Zoo

From the Congo Gorilla Forest to the Wild Asia Monorail, the Bronx Zoo is a crowd pleaser! With extensive and impressive indoor and outdoor exhibits and over 265 acres of things to see and do, it’s best to plan your visit in advance so you can visit what your child is eager to see the most. Join a tour or a program and get some in-depth knowledge from the experts!

The Brooklyn Bridge

Take a break from Manhattan and take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge into Brooklyn. This bridge is a fantastic sight and experience for budding engineers, architects and sight seers! Once across, visit Brooklyn Bridge Park and ride on Jane’s Carousel, and make sure you visit the Pier 6 Playground’s “Swing Valley.”

Children’s Museum of Manhattan

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is loaded with hands-on fun. Be ready to get your hands wet (or maybe gooey) as your child participates in learning at this museum. Check out the museum’s website to see current exhibits to let your little explorer in on what he or she will be seeing and doing. Performances, programs and interactive exhibits will keep your preschooler busy here!

Broadway

If your preschooler’s interest is piqued by song and dance, don’t leave NYC without checking out a matinee! Tickets are cheaper for matinees than for evening shows. Kid-themed musicals such as Newsies, Aladdin, Mary Poppins and the visually stunning The Lion King are big hits with the little ones and definite memory-makers.

American Museum of Natural History

Where else can you see life-sized dinosaur bones and see an educational IMAX movie under one roof? The American Museum of Natural History is a must-do! Don’t leave without seeing the museum’s famed permanent exhibits, or without visiting the Discovery Room, a hands-on interactive exhibit geared for kids.

Times Square

Be prepared. Times Square is BUSY and crowed! If you have a child who is easily overloaded by an intake of sights and sounds, you may want to avoid a visit here. If not, check it out! Your child may think that he or she has landed in Disneyworld when he or she is greeted by Mickey and Minnie. A host of other characters, Spiderman, Dora and Hello Kitty will be more than happy to greet your child and pose for a picture for tips.

Around the holidays

Visiting around the holidays? Make plans to visit Rockefeller Center and see “THE” Christmas tree! Want to be extra festive? Rent ice skates and take a few laps around the rink with your family. If Rockefeller Center is too busy for your preschooler, check out Bryant Park! A smaller but equally gorgeous tree is the backdrop of the ice skating rink there. When you’re through, warm up with some hot chocolate and browse the shops in Winter Village.

Photo Credit: Ruffles and Trains

Sources: The Bronx Zoo, American Museum of Natural History, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, The Official Website of New York City’s Central Park

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Erin

Erin, aka "Mommy" to a 5, 3 and 1 year old, is an adjunct professor, amateur photographer and sci-fi junkie, mostly in that order! She lives in northeast New Jersey with her much adored husband, kiddos and strange looking but loveable hairless cat and revels in baking pureed vegetables into muffins to trick her children into eating (and liking) them. You can find her capturing the beautiful moments of her life's chaos and calm on Instagram and Twitter.

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