100 Things to Do in NYC with Kids Before They Grow Up

NYC Kids-Things to Do in New York City with Kids

This year I want to focus on spending more meaningful time with my children and do more to take advantage of all the amazing things to do in New York City with kids. To that end, I have created what I call a Life List for Raising NYC Kids. A life list is a list of things you want to achieve in your lifetime. This life list is all the things I hope to experience with my kids in New York before they grow up. Not just the stuff that is fun to do, but the stuff that I think will be important to do with them. The things that will shape them and be formative in their experience as little New Yorkers. The things that they will remember as adults and cherish as part of the cool experience of growing up in New York. Now, off I go to wring every drop of goodness from that damp, dirty rag that is New York City... Life List for NYC Kids (or 100 things to do with your kids before they grow up).

Sign up for our FREE newsletters to get posts like this delivered to your inbox.

  1. Get geeky at the NY Hall of Science
  2. Go on an audition just for the heck of it
  3. Wave to the cameras on The Today Show
  4. Have tea at the Plaza
  5. Ride the Shark Boat
  6. Climb the Statue of Liberty
  7. Ride the row boats in Central Park
  8. Get a sugar rush at Dylan's Candy Bar
  9. Pick up old-time treats at the historic Economy Candy
  10. Ride the crazy three-wheel trike at the Museum of Mathematics
  11. Go kayaking on the Hudson
  12. Take the ferry to Sandy Hook beach
  13. Ride a horse-drawn carriage in Central Park before they're gone
  14. Have dim sum in Brooklyn's Chinatown
  15. Go hiking in the Staten Island Greenbelt
  16. Visit the Little Red Lighthouse
  17. Go fishing in the East River
  18. Go on a fishing boat from Sheepshead Bay
  19. See the money train at the Transit Museum
  20. Explore the Brooklyn Children's Museum
  21. Get a taste of country life at the Queens County Farm Museum
  22. Take the Bronx Culture Trolley
  23. Sail on the historic schooner Pioneer
  24. Sail on the Hudson
  25. Take a helicopter ride
  26. Ride the Cyclone
  27. Show off your hat at the Easter Parade
  28. Spend your wad at Dave & Buster's Arcade
  29. March in the Mermaid Parade
  30. Go to a Brooklyn Cyclones game
  31. Fulfill a child's wish through Operation Santa Claus
  32. See the ballet
  33. Catch a free concert by the Metropolitan Opera in a NYC park
  34. Sleep over at the Bronx Zoo
  35. See the unicorns at the Cloisters
  36. Go horseback riding
  37. Go sledding in Central Park
  38. Cross-country ski down a city street
  39. Bike across the Brooklyn Bridge and get ice cream at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
  40. Take the Roosevelt Island Tram
  41. Scale the outdoor climbing wall in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
  42. See a Broadway show
  43. Play at the Children's Museum of Manhattan
  44. Get creative at the Children's Museum of the Arts
  45. Sketch at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  46. Stargaze at the Rose Center for Earth and Space
  47. Explore the rest of the American Museum of Natural History after the dinosaurs and mammals
  48. Visit the top of the Empire State Building
  49. Marvel at the breathtaking view from One World Observatory
  50. Take an art class at MoMA
  51. Visit the Chinese Scholar's Garden in Snug Harbor
  52. Hit the Cherry Blossom Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  53. Marvel at the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden
  54. Check out the Queens Zoo
  55. See the wallabies at the Prospect Park Zoo
  56. Watch a movie under the stars
  57. Pose with a wax celebrity at Madame Tussauds
  58. Try all the flavors at Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
  59. Look up relatives on Ellis Island
  60. Splash around the Chelsea Waterside Playground
  61. Go colonial at the Fraunces Tavern Museum
  62. Take a medieval art workshop at the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine
  63. Hang at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum
  64. Watch the Dance Skaters perform in Central Park
  65. Fly a kite in Sheep Meadow
  66. See Shakespeare in the Park
  67. Go biking on Governors Island
  68. Find the secret Downing Street Playground
  69. Explore Battery Park City Parks from the South Cove to Penny Park
  70. Ride the Staten Island Ferry
  71. Have knishes and egg creams at Yonah Schimmel's
  72. See the giant Buddha in the Mahayana Temple
  73. Visit the Skyscraper Museum
  74. Play vintage video games at the Museum of the Moving Image
  75. Check out the National Museum of the American Indian
  76. Buy comic books at Forbidden Planet
  77. Catch a free kids' concert in Madison Square Park then eat at Shake Shack
  78. Pick up buds in the Flower District
  79. Buy toys in the Wholesale District (27th Street and Sixth Avenue)
  80. Swing clubs at the Chelsea Piers Golf Club
  81. Stroll through City Island
  82. Take your pets to the Blessing of the Animals
  83. Visit the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  84. Test out the "whispering gallery" at Grand Central Terminal
  85. Cook our own food at a Korean restaurant
  86. Sail model boats on the Conservatory Water in Central Park
  87. Hang at the Billy Johnson Rustic Playground in Central Park
  88. Explore Belvedere Castle
  89. Hit the Medieval Festival in Fort Tryon Park
  90. Ride Le Carrousel in Bryant Park
  91. See the Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum
  92. Get Egyptian at the Brooklyn Museum
  93. See the Greek and Roman Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  94. Go ice-skating in Prospect Park
  95. Marvel at the kid-designed carousel in Riverbank State Park
  96. See the holiday lights in Dyker Heights
  97. Take a trapeze lesson
  98. Watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons get inflated
  99. Get up early to see the living nativity animals arrive for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular
  100. Swim in the floating barge pool

Top image: Riding "Le Carrousel" in Bryant Park. Photo courtesy of Yusuke Toyoda via Flickr.

This post originally published in January 2008.