Family Summer: Things to Do in New York City

by : David Reichman

There are hundreds of things to do in New York City. The Big Apple is perfect for families looking for fun, exciting and energy-filled activities for a vacation.

One thing you can do to start your summer vacation is to get a 360-degree bird's eye view of the five boroughs of New York City (Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island), its surrounding waters and the Statue of Liberty from the Empire State Building's Observatory. In addition, within the Empire State Building is an interesting ride that will definitely be a hit to kids of all ages - the New York Skyride, which provides a three dimensional virtual tour of the entire city.

Tours and cruises are best to join at the beginning part of your trip to New York City. They provide an overview of all the things to see and do that the city has to offer. The Liberty Cruise provides an interesting introduction of New York City with amazing views of the Manhattan skyline and Ellis Island. The cruise, of course, includes an up close look at the great American icon, the Statue of Liberty, that will sure give you a renewed sense of freedom.

If you are looking for something educational and interactive for your kids to do this summer, New York City has the world's best museums that you can take them to. The Children's Museum of Manhattan caters to the inquisitive minds of young children which houses exhibits that will challenge their creativity. The museum features themed displays, such as Nickelodeon's Dora The Explorer and Go Diego Go, to catch the little kids' attention and to entice them to participate in the activities. Older kids, however, will definitely enjoy roaming around old aircrafts, particularly those used in the second World War in the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum.

Summer means lots of outdoor activities. Hit any of the New York City beaches and join all sorts of fun things to do. You can take this opportunity to teach the little ones how to swim, build sandcastles with them and look for shells that you can add to your collection. The older kids can learn how to surf and join beach games such as frisbee, volleyball and tennis. Some of the beaches hold events and festivals that you can also check out with your family to feel the New York City vibe.

One of the best things to do to enjoy the nice summer weather is spend an afternoon in Central Park. It is a great opportunity to be close to nature in the middle of a busy city. You can have a quiet family time with a little picnic. Kids (and parents) can have fun with a carousel ride and inline skating. You can also visit the Central Park Zoo for some wildlife encounter - lions, zebras, penguins, polar bears and over a hundred more different species of animals.

New York City is a shopping mecca. Whether you are looking for clothes, shoes, accessories or toys, New York City has a store waiting for you. Your kids can express their creativity by making their personal stuffed animal at the Build-A-Bear Workshop. A visit at the FAO Schwartz will definitely make your kids go wild. It is the ultimate toy store any kid could ask for. You can find everything at FAO Schwartz - from the regular Barbie dolls and Transformers collectibles to kid-sized Mercedes 500SL.

Hotel accommodations are aplenty in New York City. There are even those that are particularly family-friendly. Among the best places for your family to stay is at the Hilton Times Square. Hiton Times Square's lobby has an entertainment complex that houses restaurants, retail stores, a movie theater and even a wax museum. Hilton Times Square prepares programs for children and also offers babysitting services. The best thing about the hotel is that it is located right in the middle of Times Square, giving you an easy access to all the fascinating summer things to do in New York City.