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New York City
Destinations Within New York City

New York City Trip Itineraries

New York for Kids

Destination(s): New York City

New York's ever-changing mix of restaurants, bars, theater and other nightlife may make it the ideal playground for adults--but it's also a great destination for you to explore with kids of all ages.

Photo: Entrance to F.A.O. Schwarz. By Daniel Morris. read more about New York for Kids

Central Park

Central Park

  • 14 East 60th Street
  • The Central Park Conservancy
  • tel:+1 212 310 6600
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10022

The idea for Central Park was born in 1858, which a competition was held to choose a design for what would be the first public park built in America. The winners were Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, whose Greensward plan proposed an entirely man-made park that would be intended only for public use, as a refuge from the relentless rhythms of New York City's already overcrowded streets. It took more than 15 years and $14 million (the equivalent of about $200 million today) to build the Park, with its 843 acres and six-mile perimeter extending from Central Park West to Fifth Avenue and from 59th Street to 110th Street. Those 843 acres include 136 acres of woodlands, 250 acres of lawns, and 7 different bodies of water totaling some 150 acres.

Starting in 1980, a public-private partnership between New York City and the Central Park Conservancy restored and preserved Central Park, and attendance has only been rising in recent years. Now, more than 25 million visitors per year stroll its 58 miles of pedestrian paths, go horseback riding on 4.5 miles of bridle paths, bike or jog on its 6.5 miles of winding roads, or simply relax on the grass or on the nearly 9,000 benches provided. The famous Tavern on the Green restaurant - the location of the finish line for the New York City Marathon - was originally a sheepfold, housing the shepherd and the flock that grazed Sheeps Meadow until 1934. In nice weather, the still lush meadow now welcomes hordes of sunbathers, picnickers, and people-watchers, all of whom enjoy lounging underneath some of the only sky in Manhattan unmarked by tall buildings. Other special features of the park include the Central Park Carousel, the Marionette Theater, the Central Park Wildlife Center, the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, the Delacorte Theater, the Great Lawn, the Central Park Zoo, the Henry Luce Nature Observatory, Wollman Rink, Lasker Rink, the Loeb Boathouse, and the North Meadow. read more about Central Park

New York Hall of Science

New York Hall of Science

  • 47-01 111th Street
  • (at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park)
  • tel:+1 718 699 0005
  • Visit website
  • New York, 11368
Coney Island

Coney Island

  • 1208 Surf Avenue (Post)
  • (Along Long Island Sound)
  • tel:+1 718 372 7099
  • Visit website
  • New York, 11224

This peninsula in southernmost Brooklyn boasts a diverse community of 60,000 people and a broad, sandy beach with a historic boardwalk. Its selection of amusement parks and attractions may have seen better days, but they can still provide a rich slice of Americana and a day of family fun during a spring or summer visit. As a major resort and amusement destination, Coney Island reached its peak in the early 20th century. Its popularity declined after World War II and for many years it was sorely neglected, but in recent years the area has been revitalized with the opening of KeySpan Park, home of the minor league baseball team the Brooklyn Cyclones. In addition to the Cyclones fans that swarm the area in spring and summer, Coney Island attracts thousands to its annual Mermaid Parade, which takes place on Surf Avenue every summer and features an array of floats and performers in crazy costumes. Another star attraction is the original Nathan's Famous hot dog stand, which opened in 1916 and quickly became a landmark. Its annual hot dog eating contest, held every July 4th since Nathan's opened, has recently attracted widespread attention, including international television coverage.

Those coming to Coney Island shouldn't miss the Astroland Amusement Park, with its selection of rides including the historic Cyclone, built in 1927 and one of the oldest roller coasters still operating in the United States. Wonderwheel Amusement Park provides an even bigger selection of thrill rides, while the Coney Island Aquarium houses dolphins and sea lions. The Riegelmann boardwalk, another landmark, stretches continuously along the beach from West 37th Street in the community of Seagate through Coney Island proper and Brighton Beach to the beginning of the community of Manhattan Beach, a distance of approximately two-and-a-half miles. read more about Coney Island

John's Pizzeria

John's Pizzeria

Bronx Zoo

Bronx Zoo

  • Fordham Road
  • Bronx River Parkway
  • tel:+1 718 367 1010 / +1 718 220 5100
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10460

Opened in 1899 by the New York Zoological Society (later renamed the Wildlife Conservation Society), the Bronx Zoo is the flagship of the largest network of metropolitan zoos in the country. The zoo grounds, as well as the adjoining grounds of the New York Botanical Gardens, were formerly the property of Fordham University. The university sold the land to the city for the price of $1 on the condition that the lands would become a zoo and gardens and serve as a buffer between Fordham and the then-developing Bronx. Today, the Bronx Zoo houses more than 6,000 animals in its 265 acres of wooded grounds, including such rare or endangered species as Asian elephants, Chinese alligators, and snow leopards.

The Bronx Zoo established the world's first formal zoo education program in 1929 and since then has received many awards for its science-based educational programs, geared towards teachers and children in grades K-12. Today, the education program reaches more than 1.7 million schoolchildren in the New York metropolitan area and in school systems in all 50 U.S. states and in 15 countries. The zoo's many exhibitions are also an important part of its educational outreach efforts. They include Jungle World, a recreation of a tropical rainforest, and World of Darkness, where visitors can take a dark walk through the life of bats and naked mole-rats. read more about Bronx Zoo

Central Park Carousel

Central Park Carousel

Shake Shack

Shake Shack

  • Near Madison Avenue and East 23rd Street
  • Southeast corner of Madison Square Park
  • tel:1 212 889 6600
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10010

Billed as a modern-day "roadside" burger stand, Shake Shack goes back to the basics of the hamburger (no truffles, foie gras, pork belly or Kobe beef in sight). As a result, it's won over legions of fans since its opening in Madison Square Park in 2004 (around the corner from owner Danny Meyer's upscale star Eleven Madison Park), and has been a perennial contender for best burger in the city. In addition, the Shake Shack hot dog and frozen custard--a creamy twist on soft-serve ice cream--help build the lines in warmer weather to epic proportions in the park location.
read more about Shake Shack

Nathan's Famous

Nathan's Famous

  • 1310 Surf Avenue
  • Coney Island
  • tel:1 718 946 2202
  • Visit website
  • Brooklyn, 11224
Blue Smoke

Blue Smoke

  • 116 East 27th Street
  • Between Park & Lexington Avenues
  • tel:1 212 447 7733
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10016
Central Park Zoo/Tisch Children's Zoo

Central Park Zoo/Tisch Children's Zoo

  • 830 Fifth Ave
  • (in Central Park)
  • tel:+1 212 861 6030
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10153
Astroland Amusement Park

Astroland Amusement Park

  • 1000 Surf Avenue
  • (Corner of West 10th Street)
  • tel:+1 718 372 0275 / +1 718 265 2100
  • Visit website
  • New York, 11224
Wollman Rink

Wollman Rink

  • 62nd Street
  • Central Park
  • tel:+1 212 439 6900
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10019
Keyspan Park

Keyspan Park

  • 1904 Surf Avenue
  • Coney Island
  • tel:+1 718 449 8497
  • Visit website
  • New York, 11224
Serendipity 3

Serendipity 3

  • 225 East 60th Street
  • (between Second and Third avenues)
  • tel:212 838 3531
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10022
FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz

  • 767 Fifth Ave
  • At 58th St
  • tel:+1 212 644 9400
  • Visit website
  • New York, 10153