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Touring NYC With the Family: 4 Free Activities for Your Kids

New York is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world offering some of the best attractions than any other city in the US. NYC is also home to an incredible variety of entertainment, which means a ton of possibilities for your entire family to have an unforgettable vacation. Consider adding a couple of free kid friendly attractions to your vacation itinerary, whether you’ll be exploring the city using your own car or if you’ll be taking a bus you can hop on & hop off.

While nothing in life is free, there is always an exception to the rule. Here are four free activities that will keep your kids and your entire family ultra busy as you explore New York City – and there’s plenty of fun to have! The list contains some seasonal and some year-long ideas that will ensure you have the most fun possible; after all – from a New Yorker’s point-of-view – NYC is the best city to raise a family!

MoMA – A Closer Look for Kids

The Museum of Modern Arts (MoMA) runs a family program called A Closer Look For Kids in which families of up to two adults and three children can participate in several fun activities on Saturdays and Sundays. Plus, if your children are movie buffs, they will enjoy the MoMA Family Films. While both events are free, it’s important you check out scheduled screenings and activities ahead of time and get a ticket that is distributed on a first-come first-served basis at the Education and Research Building’s desk.

A High Line Adventure

From the famous Haunted High Line to the Pershing Square Beam; the High Line is choke-full of activities for your kids the entire year. Make plans to check out the plants, sights and famed public art, while exploring what is in offer in three programs designed for kids in the months of July and August. In these months, Lawn Time for ages 0 to 3 is open for public readings by storytellers; and Wild Wednesday for age 4 and above features nature-related activities and crafts that allow your children to explore their inner creativity with hands-on art projects.

Get Creative at LEGO


Every first Tuesday of each month, the LEGO megastore runs a free workshop for your budding builders. Kids have a chance to build cool LEGO creations like space rockets and robots, and they can even take them home afterwards. These workshops are designed for kids between 6 and 14 years with limited quantities; if you can’t make it to the store, download the assembly instructions on their website.

The Coolest Playgrounds in NYC

In New York City, playgrounds are the backyard that most urban kids will never enjoy. The playgrounds offer kids a chance to climb, explore, participate in games and even escape to fantasylands for the imaginative younglings. These are more than just swings, slides and play structures; they are designed specifically for kids and their parents to make new friends.

The Billy Johnson Playground is an iconic place to slide down a stone spiral slide on a piece of cardboard, while the Tom Otterness Playground gives your young ones a chance to scale a huge art piece. If you are looking for the imaginative experience for your kid, then visit the playground at Governors Island that gives children a chance to build things using real hammers and nails (of course, supervised), as well as play with recycled materials.


On your journey through New York, you’ll also want to visit the classic playgrounds like Heckscher Playground, Playground for All Children and Ancient Playground. For more exciting fun outdoors, you can visit spectacular carousels, but for a fee.