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CityPASS Home  »  City Traveler Blog  »  NYC on a Budget With Kids

City Traveler Blog

NYC on a Budget With Kids

The Big Apple is mysteriously calling your name, because it’s been far too long since you immersed yourself in the melting pot known as New York City. Yet suddenly, the flashback from your last adventure to the big city is cut short when you realize that this trip will be far removed from your previous getaways because your beautiful spouse and loving kids will be accompanying you this time around. With so much to see and so little time, planning your attack on the Big Apple can quickly start to feel like an ‘anything but relaxing’ weekend getaway.

So even though you have the urge to make seeing a game at Madison Square Garden your first stop, we can help you make the kids the main priority, and at the same time help you save a buck (and a headache). To make sure you and your loved ones are soaking up the city for all it has to offer, we put together a little guide to survive New York City on a budget with the kids.

Central Park
At the heart of the Big Apple lies one of the world’s most magnificent parks. The amount of fun lying within the confines of Central Park is enough to leave any child speechless. Covering 843 acres, Central Park is New York City’s literal backyard. Complete with a zoo, a number of playgrounds, ponds and other attractions, this slice of heaven will have your kids in complete awe. Whether it’s enjoying a nice picnic, throwing the football around or checking out the amazing animals at the Central Park Zoo, this (mostly) free and exciting attraction will be sure to satisfy kids of all ages.

American Museum of Natural History
When the weather calls for indoor adventures, there is no better place to take the kids than the American Museum of Natural History, a great educational NYC attraction. Spanning four city blocks and featuring 45 exhibits, you and your children will be transported back to the past while you survey amazing dinosaur and mammal fossils, as well as ancient artifacts and outer space explorations. Your children will be in awe as they discover the uncovered secrets of our planet’s history, sure to leave them with inspiration to keep exploring.

FAO Schwartz
New York City’s biggest and most famous toy store was once referred to as heaven for children, and for good reason; you may have quite a difficult time getting your youngsters to leave this multi-leveled paradise for kids. The nirvana of toys, games, dolls and everything in between, FAO Schwarz is by far the most exciting big apple destination for any child (and many adults). Your biggest worry when entering this endless castle of imagination is leaving with your wallet empty.

Brooklyn Bridge Park
If your family is the walking type, consider heading over the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan to visit Brooklyn Bridge Park. The 85-acre Brooklyn Bridge Park stretches 1.3 miles along the East River shoreline. Construction broke ground in January 2009, so some parts of the park are yet to be developed, but with multiple piers and park areas, there’s plenty to explore. Pier 6’s Water Lab, with a water-jet field and water channel, is a perfect play area for a hot day. Swing Valley features ten swing sets of varying sizes, as well as Tarzan ropes. There’s slide mountain, with slides, jungle gyms and climbing structures. And all of this is just at Pier 6! In others areas of the park, you’ll find Jane’s Carousel, Main Street’s water-edge views of Manhattan and rolling lawns, numerous other play areas, fishing – and the Brooklyn Bridge Wine Bar, when Mom and Dad are ready for a break!

Planning family adventures can be rather stressful, especially when it involves young ones in the biggest city in the world. If you’re looking to save a buck and see some of the most exciting NYC attractions, take a look at the aforementioned list for your weekend away.

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