What Ages Get in Free to NYC Museums, Zoos, Amusement Parks
The best things in life may be free—but for families used to the high cost of living in NYC, that sounds like crazy talk. From housing to classes to entertainment, everything here seems to cost so much money...or does it?
The truth is, there's plenty of FREE fun to be had for kids in New York City. And even top family attractions that charge entry fees—like museums, zoos, amusement parks, and water parks—offer no-cost admission for children under certain ages. Those savings can really add up, especially when you have preschoolers or toddlers.
Bookmark this list of when your kids are eligible for freebies at New York City's best family destinations, from tourist hot spots like the Statue of Liberty to all of the children's museums and zoos and gardens. We've included a few of our favorite picks in nearby locales, too.
Note: Some places may ask for proof of age. Looking for a 100% FREE outing? Check out our roundup of no-cost admission hours at NYC museums.
Free Under Age 1
Photo courtesy of the New York Transit Museum
Free Ages 23 Months and Under
American Museum of Natural History
Legoland Discovery Center Westchester
Liberty Science Center
Museum of Chinese in the Americas
Museum of Mathematics
New York Botanical Garden
New York Hall of Science
New York Transit Museum
Staten Island Museum
See the marine life at the Bronx Zoo. Photo by Christopher Postlewaite for NYCgo
Free Ages 2 and Under
Central Park Zoo
Museum of the Moving Image
New York Aquarium
New York City Fire Museum
Prospect Park Zoo
Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari
Spyscape: New York's Spy Museum
Staten Island Zoo
Statue of Liberty museum on Liberty Island offers visitors a new way to engage with the Statue of Liberty. Photo by Jody Mercier
Free Ages 3 and Under
Free Ages 4 and Under
Free Ages 5 and Under
The 9/11 Memorial & Museum offers age-appropriate programs to help children learn more about the events of 9/11 and how people responded in the days and months after.
Free Ages 7 and Under
Free Ages 8 and Under
Kids will love the unique shape of the Guggenheim. Photo by Fatboo via Flickr.
Free Ages 11 and Under
Free Ages 12 and Under
Free Ages 16 and Under
The new Whitney Museum also has plenty of outdoor spaces with gorgeous views of the city. Photo by Shinya Suzuki via Flickr
Free Ages 18 and Under
Free Ages 19 and Under
Catch some thrills at the Victorian Gardens Amusement Park. Photo courtesy of the park
Free Under 36 Inches
Victorian Gardens Amusement Park
(Children under 36 inches tall enter the park for free with a paid adult; rides cost extra.)
Free Under 42 Inches
The National Museum of the American Indian is always free! Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian
Free for All Ages
This article first published in July 2013 and is updated annually.