Unique & Unusual Attractions for Babies & Toddlers in New York City

New York City: The Big Apple. The City of Dreams. The Capital of the World. The City that Never Sleeps. These are just a few nicknames for the world-renowned, iconic New York City. It’s home to amazing tourist attractions including the Empire State building, the Statue of Liberty, Broadway, and more! But have you ever wondered what New York locals do? And even more specifically, what do New York locals with babies and toddlers do?

baby at new york childrens museum

We were curious so we reached out to a select group of New York mommies and asked for cool, unusual, and unique things to do with babies or toddlers in the city! So, next time you’re traveling to New York with little ones in tow, check out these awesome recommendations!

Here’s some unique, cool, baby and kid friendly things to do in New York City from 5 awesome New York mamas (make sure to follow their blogs and Instagram accounts for more great content!):

1. Bring (or rent!) a stroller and wear good walking shoes; there’s tons to see on foot.

New York Central Park

The hilarious, Tara Clark, from @modernmomprobs, says, “Having an infant or a toddler in NYC can be an adventure as long as you have a great stroller! Take them for a stroll along Park Ave and check out the exotic cars. (When my son was a baby, we used to do this so often that he knew the logos of cars before he knew the alphabet.) Once you get bored of car-oogling, go for an adventure in Central Park. Walk through the Ramble or go near the Jackie Onassis reservoir, especially at sunset. Another fantastic thing to do is visit as many city playgrounds as you can. NYC is loaded with fun-tastic playgrounds for kids of all ages. With the right stroller and good walking shoes for Mom, NYC is an urban adventurer’s paradise.”

2. Take a class at the Museum of Natural History.

New York T-Rex

This is especially great for long term visits or if the kids are staying with grandma and grandpa during the summer. They have drop in, one time classes and activities as well as longer enrollments. Brianne Manz, founder of StrollerInTheCity.com and @strollerinthecity, says, “Raising a child in New York City can be quite an unique experience. There’s one class I encourage all my readers to take with their kiddies ages 2-6 years old, and that is the Early Adventures Program at the Museum of Natural History! This program encourages preschoolers to use their natural curiosity to investigate and explore the world around them in an environment designed for young children. The classroom has a variety of educational materials, museum specimens, live animals, and early childhood teachers who support active learning. But the best part is when the lesson extends into the Museum Halls and exhibitions for further discoveries, where the kids take flashlights along and go explore into the museum! Such a wonderful experience for them!”

3. Ready for TAKE OFF!

New York Intrepid Air and Space Museum

Casey Scollo, NY mommy blogger and mommy to two boys (23 months apart!), highly recommends the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum (make sure to go during kids week in February!): “My toddler loves everything exploration and flying. We are planning a trip to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in the city; we are headed to check it out in February during their kids week! Having little ones, I plan to purchase tickets online to avoid the lines. The museum allows you to get up close and personal with aircrafts and space shuttles! It’s going to be a great learning experience as we explore things we’ve never seen before!” Check out Casey’s blog and follow her on Instagram.

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4. Create a little “foodie”.

New York Chelsea Market

This is one of our favorite recommendations, because….food. Need we say more? Michelle Gindi of Buddha Bowls and Burpees says, “I love to do a “foodie crawl” with my baby in NYC! Plant yourself anywhere in the city and find new tastes and textures for her to explore! The Union Square Market is an amazing way to teach my baby to love fruits, veggies and plants! We touch, taste and smell everything! My daughter loves the croissants! Chelsea Market is another fun (and indoor) event for her! I do things like lift her to smell the spices in the spice shops, taste tahini off a spoon and eat new and interesting flavors off my lunch plate! Even coffee shops like Starbucks, which don’t seem interesting to an adult, are fun sensory places for babies – with noises, new faces and, of course, the smell of coffee!” Follow Michelle for yummy recipes and more NYC insights!

5. Here’s a complete itinerary from @jazzkatat – what a perfect way to spend your next NYC adventure!

New York Museum

Make to sure to follow Jasmine Katatikarn on Instagram and read her blog too! New York City is a great place to visit with little ones in tow. Personally, my kids see so many different things everyday by just walking around a neighborhood or hopping on the subway (“choo choo train” as my daughter says). Here are a few of my favorite non traditional touristy things to do with my kids. I hope you enjoy them too! NYC is full of museums, these are some that may not be on your radar but are great with kids. Moving Image Museum has many interactive exhibits and also a craft/work room where you can make your own art. Fun for both parents and adults!

Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, offers family workshops and I also love the courtyard area during warm months to sit outside and let the kids run around! Color Factory is fun and super colorful for all! How could you not smile when you are surrounded by all that color! Other than museums, take a break and go to the theater! The Marionette Theater in Central Park is a great way to entertain kids and adults. The Art Farm NYC is also great to escape the city for a bit and have some down time with some animals!”

We hope you add all of these ideas to your New York bucket list! Take pictures while enjoying these places and pit-stops; tag us on Instagram, @babyquip, so we can see your little ones exploring New York City like the locals do!

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