New York, New York, the city that never sleeps! And from my experience that is very true! It is also a city that can become expensive depending on how you travel, where you go and what you want to see. So we’ve put together our guide of our Top 3 things to do in New York City with Kids that are absolutely FREE!
Top 3 FREE Things to do with Kids in New York City
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Although I know that New York City is bigger than Manhattan I’ve concentrated on 3 FREE things (plus a special bonus at the bottom) that you can do in the city with kids that are FREE!
Of course one of the best free things to do in the city is to walk around. As you wander around the streets you have seen of in the movies and on TV it is an amazing experience.
There is, of course, lots more to do in the city and I’m sure we will revisit and return with more information but in the meantime onto our top 3 things!
Seeing the Statue of Liberty on the Staten Island Ferry
Although you can get the boat to visit the Statue of Liberty there is a great FREE ferry that you can take that gives you a fantastic view of the island and the statue plus Manhattan without you having to pay a penny.
It’s the Staten Island Ferry!
This is a passenger Ferry that runs from Whitehall Street on Lower Manhattan to St George on Staten Island. Every 30 minutes (apart from during rush hour – check the timetable here) it takes passengers from 1 terminal to another for FREE!
We took the ferry from Whitehall Terminal across to St George and then walked off and onto the returning ferry. We were however advised that depending on how many people there were we could have to wait for the next ferry around about 20 minutes so not long at all.
If you take this then as you board the ferry at Whitehall Street Lower Manhattan you want to make your way to a window on the starboard (right-hand) side of the boat so you can get a great view of the Statue as you go past. On the return make sure that you are on the port (left-hand) side of the boat.
Walk the High Line
This is a city park with a difference. Situated in the West Side of Manhattan it is a old frieght train track above the city.
Opened in 2009 this is a just under 2 mile walk that the whole family will enjoy. As you walk along the route that the track used to take there are flowers, trees, art, architecture and city life to see.
It’s accessible by buggy and foot with certain enterances with ramps and lifts/elevators to access it.
From Gansevoot Street and the meat packing distract to Hudson Yard and the amazing Architecture that is the Vessel there is so much to see.
The vessel is extraordinary – it’s worth a look and if you head over to Mini Travellers Karen has some great advice on getting a ticket to climb the Vessel.
I don’t think you should visit New York without a visit to Central Park. Our visit was in early spring and we were very fortunate to have a warm day.
So the park was full of life.
For absolutely nothing, your kids can run and play there are so many different playgrounds to explore.
In a city it’s so refreshing to see such a big space that everyone was enjoying.
If you want to spend some money there are lots of activities you can do like hire bikes, ride the horse-drawn carriages and even visit the zoo.
BONUS FREE Activity – Visit MOMA
MOMA or the Museum of Modern Art is FREE for kids to visit under 16, but unless you visit on a Friday during UNIQLO Free Friday Nights there is a fee for adults.
On UNIQLO Free Friday Nights from 4pm till 8pm you can visit the museum and explore for FREE whether you are a child or adult.
It is advised that you visit after 6pm as there is less people and your kids can see the art work easier.
There are some amazing pieces of art and for us, it was like a visit to London to the Tate Modern where kids can see that art doesn’t just have to look like a photograph but like the pictures and sculptures that they create themselves.
What else is there to do in NEw York City?
Not everything is free in NYC. But when you are looking for ideas why not check out the City Guide to New York from Get Your Guide. You can book attractions in advance for the dates that you will be visiting.
We would recommend the New York Explorer pass for flexible visits for many of the attractions. But if you are short on time why not pick one of the skip the line activities on offer.