22 Must-Do Activities in NYC

Written by Info

22 Must-Do Activities in NYC

New York City’s tourism board estimates that around 65 million tourists visit New York annually. The city is filled with so much to offer. Whether you are looking for good food, shopping, or other fun activities for families, you can find anything and everything in the “Big Apple”. Luckily, Jersey City is near NYC, and we can enjoy all these fun activities whenever we want. Therefore, we have created this guide to help you discover some of the must-do activities in NYC.

Little Island At Pier 55, New York

22 Must Do Activities in NYC

Little Island in New York City is an accessible public Park pier within the larger Hudson River Park. They opened to the public on May 21, 2021. It is a 2.4-acre public park in Hudson River Park on the West side of Manhattan. Components of the Pier, nestled among more than 350 species of flowers, trees, and shrubs, include a 687-seat amphitheater, an intimate stage and lawn space, and dazzling views of other portions of Hudson River Park, New York City, and the Hudson River.

Battery Park City Esplanade and Park

Battery Park things to do

The Esplanade stretches along the full extent of Battery Park City, from Stuyvesant High School at the northern tip to Historic Battery Park at the southern end. This scenic pathway offers pedestrians stunning views of the Hudson River, New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the New Jersey coast. The area is dotted with parks, gardens, sculptures, and various public art pieces. The main trail is ideal for jogging, walking, and cycling, while the surrounding lawns provide the perfect setting for activities like frisbee or volleyball.

New York Botanical Garden

2900 Southern Boulevard Bronx, NY 10458

NY botanical gardens near jersey city

The New York Botanical Garden located near Jersey City, is a living museum, featuring expansive gardens and landscapes set within its National Historic Landmark site. The Garden’s mission is supported by comprehensive education programs in horticulture and plant science, along with the extensive research initiatives of the International Plant Science Center. Situated about 45 minutes to an hour from downtown Jersey City by car, the Garden is also accessible by train. Spanning 250 acres, it is the largest botanical garden in any U.S. city and holds the status of a National Historic Landmark. The Garden houses 50 specialty gardens and collections that include over one million plants, as well as the nation’s foremost Victorian-style glasshouse. A visit to this remarkable place is highly recommended.

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West & 79th St, New York, NY

The American Museum of Natural History
stands out as an exceptional educational resource for both children and adults. It boasts extensive collections of dinosaur fossils, offers insights into the structure of the Universe, and features displays of Moon rocks and a 94-foot-long blue whale replica. The Museum provides a diverse array of educational programs tailored for children from preschool through 12th grade, covering topics like science, computer science, astronomy, and cultural studies. Given its comprehensive offerings, it is regarded as one of the premier children’s museums in the Jersey City area. All tickets—including member, complimentary, and pre-paid pass tickets—must be reserved online before your visit.

Museum of Modern Art

11 W 53rd St, New York

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is a beacon of creativity, openness, tolerance, and generosity. Dedicated to presenting the most compelling modern and contemporary art, MoMA offers a platform to explore the art, ideas, and issues of our time. The museum provides numerous opportunities for families to experience art together. Both kids and adults can participate in engaging discussions and enjoyable activities while viewing modern masterpieces and innovative contemporary works at no cost. Admission is free for children 16 and under, who also enjoy access to kid-friendly audio guides, activity guides, labels, and interactive spaces. Be sure to join us for special in-person events and online programs available on select dates.

Bronx Zoo

2300 Southern Blvd, The Bronx, NY 10460

22 Must Do Activities in NYC

The Bronx Zoo spans more than 265 acres, meaning many opportunities exist to connect with the animals you love. The zoo is home to over 11,000 animals, more than 640 species. Part of their mission is to connect visitors to wildlife and inspire them to join our conservation work. Scientists at the Bronx Zoo, and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s four other zoos and aquariums, are working to protect the future of all species and the places they call home. Much of this work has recently been featured on the Animal Planet docuseries, THE ZOO, which has provided behind-the-scenes looks into our work like never before.

New York Aquarium

The New York Aquarium is the oldest continually operating aquarium in the United States, located on the Riegelmann Boardwalk in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City. Experience underwater views of sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, and penguins as they swim up to the glass to get a closer look at you!

The High Line

The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long elevated linear park, greenway, and rail trail created on a former New York Central Railroad spur on the west side of Manhattan in New York City. It is open daily from 7 am to 10 pm. No reservations are currently needed to visit. Built atop an abandoned train track, the High Line offers more than 20 car- and bike-free strolling blocks. Besides plenty of seating and a killer view of the Meatpacking District and Chelsea, there are fun opportunities for little ones, such as monthly family festivals. The Interim Walkway at the Western Rail Yards is open from 7am until dusk through October 2024.

New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

476 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, commonly known as the Main Branch, 42nd Street Library, or the New York Public Library, is one of the Library’s premier research centers, renowned for its extraordinary historical collections and its commitment to providing free and equal access to its resources. Not only is it a beautiful library to visit it also has a dedicated section for children’s books.

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Pier 86, W 46th St, NY

22 Must Do Activities in NYC

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is a non-profit educational institution. Through exhibitions, educational programming, and the foremost collection of technologically groundbreaking aircraft and vessels, visitors of all ages and abilities are taken on an interactive journey through history to learn about American innovation and bravery. Welcoming over one million visitors a year, the Museum includes the Museumace Shuttle Pavilion, home to Enterprise, the world’s first space shuttle that paved the way for America’s successful Space Shuttle Program.

New York City Fire Museum (closed until further notice)

278 Spring St, New York, NY 10013

New York City Fire Museum | New York Landmarks Conservancy

The New York City Fire Museum illustrates the evolution of firefighting from bucket brigades to modern firefighting techniques and equipment. The New York City Fire Museum attracts 40,000 visitors annually from all over America and almost every country worldwide. Retired FDNY firefighters proudly volunteer to relate stories of New York City’s “Bravest” and, with the help of the Museum’s stunning collection, tell how they earned that distinction.

Bryant Park & Le Carrousel

35 W 40th St, New York, NY

Bryant Park is a beautiful park filled with many activities in NYC. More than 12 million people visit the park annually to enjoy over 1,000 free events, including summer and winter activities, cultural programming, daily amenities, and the park’s lush gardens featuring seasonal displays. Bryant Park carousel is super charming and open from 11akm – 7 pm daily. the price: $4/ride; the discount card is $30 for 10 rides.

Governors Island

22 Must Do Activities in NYC

Governors Island, New York, is a 172-acre island in the heart of New York Harbor. It is a world unto itself, unique and full of promise. If you want to escape the daily city life without going too far, check out Governors Island, New York. With many exciting activities for the family, beautiful views, good food, a play area, a slide, and so much more, you can have a perfect weekend here. Enjoy a day of biking, birding, and picnicking.

Pier 25 Mini Golf

225 West St, New York, NY 10013

Play mini-golf in Lower Manhattan’s Back Yard! Mini-Golf is just $12 for teens/adults (13 years and up) and $5 for children (12 years and under). No reservations, walk-ins only! Mini-golf parties are a great way to reserve space to play with your group. Pier 25 also offers a snack bar to grab a bite while you enjoy playing golf. Your kids will love Pier 25’s playground with swings, water features, and things to climb on. Check out their board games and enjoy family fun in one of Pier’s seating areas. Take in the cool breezes and the Hudson River views at the end of the Pier, extending a thousand feet past the shore’s edge! For more information, you can call (347) 756-5813.

Broadway Shows

The Lion King Broadway Tickets in New York - Hellotickets

Sings, dance, and marvel at the magic of a New York City Broadway play or musical! Create a memory that will last a lifetime with the different performances fit for frequent musical goers or first-timers! Your family can enjoy the wonders of Aladdin, hear Simba roar in The Lion King, get in on the magic of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, and so much more!

The Art Farm NYC

419 E 91st St, New York

The art farm NYC Indoor Things To Do With Kids In And Around Jersey City

In 2002, The Art Farm NYC was founded on the Upper East Side in Manhattan and was a nature-focused children’s educational center offering a break from city life with art, music, cooking-themed classes, playtime, drop-ins, and birthday parties, and camps that your whole family will love! Home to New York City’s only indoor petting zoo, The Art Farm is a unique space to meet and interact with animals from bearded dragons to chinchillas and chickens! So, are you playing with animals? Yup, it sounds like a winner on our list of indoor activities for kids. Free trial classes are available.

Empire State Building 

Intended to be the world’s first 100+ story building, construction of the Empire State Building began on March 17, 1930. Construction was completed in a record-breaking one year and 45 days. If you haven’t visited this NYC staple, you are missing out. There are shops and eateries on the ground floors and two observation decks on the 80th, 86th, and 102nd floors. You can buy tickets here. 

Central Park 

Central Park is New York City’s 843-acre backyard, a virtual space that welcomes over 42 million visitors annually. The park is home to a variety of attractions including lush meadows, expansive bodies of water, beautifully manicured gardens, unique bridges, centers for music and performance, educational facilities, and classical architecture, all set against a backdrop of natural scenic beauty with views that stretch endlessly.

Central Park offers something for every visitor, no matter your interests or the season of your visit. Explore famous landmarks through guided tours by horse & carriage, bike, on foot, pedicab, or while jogging and engaging in fitness activities. Families can enjoy the playgrounds or visit the Central Park Zoo, relax with a picnic on the grass, or participate in numerous sports and recreational activities like yoga, running, and biking

Hudson Yards 

Hudson Yards is New York’s newest neighborhood and home to more than 100 diverse shops and culinary experiences, offices for leaders in the industry, significant public art, and dynamic cultural institutions, including The Shed, modern residences, 14 acres of public plazas, gardens and groves, and the world’s first Equinox Hotel.

Times Square 

Times Square is a significant landmark in NYC that cannot be missed. With flashing neon lights and giant digital billboards,  Times Square is a prominent, bright, fun place to check out. It’s filled with shopping, restaurants, Broadway shows, kids’ activities, and more! So take a stroll and enjoy everything it has to offer.

9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero

Whether to pay their respects or learn more about the event that changed this country, millions visit the 9/11 Memorial each year. The 9/11 Memorial is free to enter. The only entry cost is for the National September 11th Museum on the memorial grounds.

The Ferry to NYC

Fares, Routes & Schedules

The ferry is a fun part of the adventure when visiting NYC! Your kids can experience a fantastic ride on the Hudson River! It’s a short ride but a fun one. Catch the ferry at the Paulus Hook Terminal at the end of Sussex Street at the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway in Jersey City. You can also take the ferry from Harborside, JC. Finally, the ferry takes you to the World Financial Center Terminal in lower Manhattan. For a quicker and easier experience, download NYWaterway’s smartphone app and purchase your tickets in advance. Besides, there are brand-new (and clean) bathrooms at the Paulus Hook Terminal in the building where you buy tickets. The ferries depart every 15 minutes, and the travel time is approximately 7 minutes.

Updated: May 22, 2024

About the author


Skip to toolbar