Updated: Oct 3
I have been asked to create a template itinerary for a family with young kids who are planning to visit for 5 days in the city. The kids love gaming experiences but do not like shopping or walking much around the city.
Day 1: (Rockefeller Center, Evening: Times Square)
Start the day with Rockefeller Center. It’s a great area for sightseeing. Snap some photos, have a great breakfast. Absorb the first morning in the city in one of the most beautiful urban areas of the city.
Also, your kids love gaming. Right at Rockefeller Center you can find the Nintendo World store. It’s not a regular store. It is a heaven for gamers where they can explore new Nintendo games and have the chance to play and have fun. It is the perfect combo to start the trip.
Location: 10 Rockefeller Plaza, New York
If you arrive during between November and March, then you can have so much fun on the ice-skating rink.
If you are interested to go into the beautiful Saint Patrick Cathedral, it’s just around the corner. St. Patrick's Cathedral measures 332 feet long, with a maximum width of 174 feet, an absolute masterpiece of beauty and something that the kids will be amazed to see.
Location: 5th Ave between 50th/51st Streets, New York
Visit Magnolia Bakery (Rockefeller Center). It has been making America’s favorite baked goods the old-fashioned way: from scratch in small batches and using the finest ingredients. You will start the day energized, tasting masterpieces.
Location: 1240 6th Ave, New York
And there are a few other toy stores around Rockefeller Center:
FAO Schwarz is a magical experience for kids of any age, from dancing to the big piano keyboard, to seeing oversized stuffed, to a massive selection of board games and so much more. I went with my kids there a few times and they literally didn’t want to leave the store, just exploring every corner and having tons of fun.
Location: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York
The Lego store on Fifth Avenue provides so many interesting experiences to all ages. The Brick Lab is an experience that brings walls, floors, and ceilings to life with interactive animated content, lighting, sound, and music to invite kids into a virtual world that plays right along with them. The Mosaic Maker is a unique experience that captures your kids’ imagination and creates their own personalized LEGO mosaic portrait in just a few minutes. Who doesn’t want that? And the Minifigure factory allows them to design and create a unique LEGO Minifigure, the perfect souvenir for your visit.
Location: 636 5th Ave, New York
The NBA Store on Fifth Avenue. At this hall of hoops, ballers can salute their favorite teams and find NBA and WNBA merchandise. Fans will want to bring home bobblehead dolls or autographed jerseys. Location: 545 5th Ave, New York
After all these activities, go back to the hotel to rest a bit. Leave around dinner time go to Times Square. Seeing Times Square at night will be an amazing experience for the kids.
There are so many stores that your kids will enjoy even if they don't like shopping, the top 3 that I recommend are:
Hersey's Chocolate World: smoosh a Hershey's double chocolate S'more, sip a decadent milkshake and pick up the World's Largest Hershey's bar in the heart of Times Square!
Location: 20 Times Square, 701 7th Ave, New York
M&M Store: Nothing brings more flavor to Manhattan than our two-story color wall packed with thousands of your favorite Milk, Peanut and Specialty M&M'S Candies.
Location: 1600 Broadway, New York
Disney Store: find all of the best gear for the Disney fan in your life. Find Disney Princess dresses inspired by Ariel, Elsa & more. Shopping for a fan of Star Wars and Marvel’s Avengers? The store has costumes from Mandalorian & Grogu, affectionately known as the Child or Baby Yoda, to Spider-Man, Captain Marvel & The Hulk.
Location: 1540 Broadway, New York
Looking for evening activities around Times Square?
Madame Tussauds at Times Square offers a closer look of your favorite Marvel superheroes. Make selfies with your Meet dozens of celebrity selfies sparkle next to Audrey Hepburn, Lady Gaga, Lionel Messi, and the Kardashians. This is how New York is meant to be experienced.
Location: 234 W 42nd St, New York
Dave and Buster's Gaming Arcade: Location: 234 West 42nd Street 3rd Floor, New York
An amazing place for having a lot of fun with tons of games and great prizes!
Or Bowlero Time Square for some arcade games, bowling and more, New York Style.
Day 2: (Financial District/ Evening: Broadway Show)
Either book the tour for Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
You take the cruise from Castle Clinton National Monument, Battery Park - Liberty Island, New York.
Or choose to cross Brooklyn Bridge. I am suggesting to cross just half of it, give them the thrill of walking on one of the most iconic bridges in the world. Tell them about all the movies that were taken on that bridge. Snap beautiful photos and come back to the Manhattan side.
Then, take them to the 9/11 memorial & museum. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum is the country’s principal institution concerned with exploring 9/11, documenting its impact, and examining its continuing significance. Location: 180 Greenwich Street, New York.
Afterwards, go to Westfield World Trade Center. It is a shopping mall… so parents, be prepared to have a limited time of shopping before the kids will start asking to do something else. Location: 185 Greenwich St, New York
Going back to the hotel to rest a bit. In the late afternoon, go to a dinner and a show.
There are so many amazing Broadway shows that the kids will absolutely love and will remember for a long time. One show that I would like to highlight is Lion King. I saw the show twice with the kids and they absolutely loved it.
Here is a promo for the show that is making me emotonal everytime I see it.
Day 3: (Central Park With 1 Museum, Evening: Gaming Interactive Experience in Midtown)
Plan to go to Central Park and one museum. For kids who don’t like to walk much, focus on the south east side of the part. It is the most iconic area for taking beautiful photos and do some exploration of the park.
Continue to the mall, and end at the terrace. That’s it. It’s about an hour walk in a slow pace.
Then you can either take right to visit the Met Museum or the American Museum of Natural History. Spend 2-3 hours there, no more. After walking in the park, and kids will start loose attention and be hungry.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, colloquially "the Met", is the largest art museum in the Americas and the most-visited museum in the Western Hemisphere. Its permanent collection contains over two million works, divided among 17 curatorial departments. Location: 1000 5th Ave, New York
The American Museum of Natural History Explore the natural world, and the known universe. Location: 200 Central Park West, New York.
Go to the hotel to rest. In the late afternoon, you can go to the Harry Potter Store that has an amazing VR gaming experience. I promise you they will be over the moon. It is so much fun!
9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Monday – Saturday.
Location: 935 Broadway, New York
Day 4: (Midtown West, and in the Evening: Interactive Experience)
Start the day with the Intrepid museum and don't miss its great simulators. Location: Pier 86, W 46th St, New York, NY 10036
Then, proceed by foot to visit Little island for a quick photo shoot. Little Island is a new public park, located in Hudson River Park, where all New Yorkers and visitors can experience nature and art in a unique urban oasis on the Hudson River.
Location: Pier55 in Hudson River Park @, W 13th St, New York
Then, go to grub some lunch at the nearby Chelsea market.
Location: 5 9th Ave, New York
In the afternoon, choose one of the immersive experiences: Rise NY, Immersive Gamebox, Game of 1,000 boxes, etc.
So many options to do with the kids in the last day of the trip... Try to pick two from the list below.
Sloomoo institute: Sloomoo Institute celebrates joy through sensory play. The mission: embrace the power of satisfying through vivid color, the sense of scent, tactile compounds, and captivating visuals and sounds. Location: 475 Broadway, New York
Color Factor: Color Factory is an interactive art museum located in Soho. Visitors are invited to experience the joy of color through interactive installations, immersive rooms, and carefully curated moments inspired by the city of New York. Color Factory collaborates with artists, art institutions, nonprofits, and brand partners to tell compelling stories that make life a little more joyful. Locaton: 251 Spring St, New York
Museum of Ice Cream: The museum brings to life the universal power of ice cream by creating experiences that inspire imagination and connection. The best part of the museum is... the ice cream and the experience finding more and more of it as you progress with the different rooms. Location: 558 Broadway, New York
Museum of Illusions: Enter the fascinating world of illusions which will test your confidence in your senses yet amaze you by doing it. It is a world that will confuse you completely, educating you in the process…
Location: 77 8th Ave, New York
Spyscape Museum: Spyscape is a contemporary edutainment brand focused on secrets. Spyscape's physical HQ in New York City uses immersive stories and experiences to help people uncover their own potential.
Location: 928 8th Ave, New York
Batman x Spyscape is a hybrid experience that uses a live-updating smartphone app to guide visitors through the experience.
The experience puts you in the middle of a Gotham City mystery: You’re enlisted to help Batman solve the puzzle. It’s not an escape room per se, but your progress through the installation is determined base on what details you uncover in each of the areas.
And then, before the sunset, climb up to one of the observatory decks. My favorite is Summit One Vanderbilt. Perfect ending to the trip. SUMMIT One Vanderbilt blends elements of art, technology, architecture, and thrill to take the concept of “observation deck” to entirely new heights. Location: 45 E 42nd St, New York