Best Tours + Experiences in NYC for Families (Using Tripadvisor)

This article on the best tours and experiences in NYC for families with kids was done in partnership with + sponsored by Tripadvisor.

Two kids with balloons explore the Top of The Rock at Rockefeller Plaza in NYC.

Your search for the best NYC tours for families can stop here with these fantastic options from Tripadvisor! From walking tours of Little Italy and Chinatown to scooter tours of Central Park and even some options in Brooklyn, there are so many fun ways to explore the Big Apple as a family. Not only will you have a wonderful time exploring and bonding with your family, but you’ll also get to learn more about this iconic city and its history. Whether you’re visiting with history buffs, art lovers, teens, or young kids, Tripadvisor has you covered with these options throughout the city. On this list, we’ve put together our favorite options to help you plan your next New York City itinerary with kids.

Using Tripadvisor, we put together this list of the Best Tours and Experiences in NYC for Families with our favorite selections. Stay tuned to plan your next NYC adventure with kids! To top it off, save 10% on any Tripadvisor tour with our code: FLT10.

Unique Tours + Experiences in NYC for Families

Some of the best NYC tours for families have a unique twist! Whether you want to explore Central Park by horse-drawn carriage or cruise down the Hudson River on a boat, there are lots of ways to see the Big Apple in style. Check out these New York City vacation ideas to start planning your next trip! 

Discover our top picks for the Best Museums In NYC By Age For Families.

Official NYC Horse Carriage Rides in Central Park

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See Central Park on a special horse-drawn carriage ride with this Official NYC Horse Carriage Rides in Central Park since 1979 ™! Lasting around an hour, this experience lets kids of all ages explore NYC’s most iconic park in style from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage!

It’s a classic, old-fashioned way to tour the park without tiring your little one’s legs, since it’s huge and easy to get lost in. During your tour, you’ll get to pass some of the park’s best highlights and learn more about them from your guide, including Wollman’s Rink, Sheep Meadow, the Central Park Carousel, and the Pond. Plus, you can stop for photos in front of Strawberry Fields and Cherry Hill. Kids will love the added experience of getting to interact with the horse and even feed them a treat! 

Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Tour: All Options

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Families who want the freedom of a customizable tour will love this Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Tour: All Options! Combine a visit to two of New York’s most famous attractions, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, on this three to five-hour tour for ages 4 and up.

With this flexible option, you can choose how long you want to spend at each attraction based on your kid’s interests. You may prefer spending more time at Ellis Island to learn more about the city’s immigration history throughout the centuries, for example. The tour will start in Battery Park, which you’ll see briefly before taking the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. It’ll end on Ellis Island, so you’ll have more time to visit the museum beyond the tour if you want. This is definitely one of the best New York City tours with kids! 

Click here to discover the 15 Best New York City Outdoor Activities For Kids

NYC Central Park Electric Scooter Tour 

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One of the best NYC tours for families with teens is this NYC Central Park Electric Scooter Tour! Ideal for ages 14 and up, this two-hour tour lets families see Central Park and its highlights from the vantage point of an electric scooter, which is sure to be a blast for your teens!

With the electric scooter, you’ll cover more ground throughout the park with less strenuous exercise for you and your kids. With both morning and afternoon times, you’ll start at Columbus Circle before your guide takes you to famous spots in the park, like Bethesda Fountain and the Reservoir. You’ll learn more about the history of Central Park along the way. Plus, you’ll even get to see the oldest artifact in the park – Cleopatra’s Needle. You’ll end your tour by Museum Mile, so you can go museum-hopping after, too. 

All-Access 9/11: Ground Zero Tour, Memorial, and Museum, One World Observatory

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Learn more about an event that changed NYC history on an All-Access 9/11: Ground Zero Tour, Memorial and Museum, One World Observatory. On this five-hour tour, you’ll get access to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, as well as the former World Trade Center site.

You’ll also get to see the FDNY Memorial Wall with all the names of the brave firefighters who lost their lives. Included in your tour is admission to One World Observatory, where you’ll get sweeping views over Lower Manhattan. Tripadvisor recommends this tour is for all ages, but you should use your judgment as to whether the subject matter is too somber for your children. 

Circle Line: Complete Manhattan Island Cruise 

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Experience Manhattan by boat with this Circle Line: Complete Manhattan Island Cruise! As one of the best NYC tours for families, this two-and-a-half-hour tour lets families take in Manhattan’s iconic skyline from a boat, where you’ll have unobstructed views!

Your tour will start on the Hudson River before circling Manhattan and giving you close views of the Statue of Liberty. You’ll also be able to spot the One World Trade Center’s Freedom Tower, the Empire State Building, and Ellis Island. When you turn up the East River, you’ll also get to pass Brooklyn and Manhattan’s Upper East Side. This tour is especially ideal for photos of NYC’s best landmarks without all the crowds. Tripadvisor recommends this tour for ages 3 and up

New York City Freedom Liberty Cruise

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If you’re short on time while visiting NYC, don’t miss this New York City Freedom Liberty Cruise! Sailing down the Hudson River, it only lasts around an hour and fifteen minutes, but still covers the basics when it comes to the city’s famous landmarks.

From the Freedom Tower to the Statue of Liberty, it’s a great opportunity for selfies and family photos without all the crowds. Plus, the vessel has a double-decker configuration, so you can take in the fresh breeze from the top deck or stay inside if you’d prefer. No wonder this is one of the best guided tours of New York City for families with kids of all ages!

Best NYC Bus Tours for Families

Looking for the best NYC bus tours for families? From Brooklyn to Manhattan, we’ve rounded up the best options for all ages for families who want the convenience and ease of a bus. Keep reading to find the best NYC tours for families! 

Want to take a day trip from the city? Consider one of our favorite 11 Best Cute Towns To Visit Near NYC With Kids.

NYC Must-See Highlights of Manhattan Bus Tour

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See all the city’s most famous landmarks on this NYC Must-See Highlights of Manhattan Bus Tour! Ideal for all ages, this six-hour tour combines a visit to some of the best landmarks in the city by bus with a river cruise.

First, you’ll start by Rockefeller Center before checking out the Empire State Building, Washington Square Park, Chinatown, etc. Then, you’ll have the chance to take a 1-hour boat ride and sail by destinations like Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. It’s a comfortable way to see the city, since you cover a lot of ground and still get good views from the bus without killing your feet. Plus, you have a chance to stretch your legs for a half hour and stroll through Central Park!

Boroughs of NYC: Harlem, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn & Coney Island 

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Explore NYC’s hidden gems on this Boroughs of NYC: Harlem, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn & Coney Island Tour! Though lots of city tours usually concentrate on Manhattan, there’s so much to see in boroughs like Brooklyn and Queens. This 7-hour tour lets kids of all ages see spots like Harlem, Yankee Stadium, Crown Heights, Dumbo, and Williamsburg.

You can even select a version that includes a trip down to Coney Island, where kids can see Luna Park, walk the boardwalk, and have more fun. Along the way, you’ll learn about the history of the city and how it became the incredible place it is today. This is undoubtedly one of the best NYC tours for families! 

New York City at Night Bus Tour 

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There’s nothing like seeing NYC illuminated on a New York City at Night Bus Tour! Lasting around 4 hours and offered for all ages, this combined walking and bus tour takes families through some of Manhattan’s most charming neighborhoods, all illuminated by the city lights!

You’ll start by Times Square before getting a guided tour of Grand Central Station, then continue to Lower Manhattan and neighborhoods like Greenwich Village, Soho, and Tribeca. Your guide will tell you some fun facts about each neighborhood, too, so you don’t miss anything. In the end, you’ll also get to stop and walk along the High Line with your guide, admiring the art and cool architecture. 

NYC TV & Movie Tour

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Movie and television lovers can’t get enough of this NYC TV & Movie Tour! Lasting around 3 hours, this tour offers kids of all ages a chance to go behind the scenes of iconic TV shows like Friends, Seinfeld, and Girls. You’ll meet your guide at Ellen’s Stardust Diner in Midtown before hopping aboard your bus and taking off.

During the tour, you’ll pass filming locations for famous shows like Friends and Seinfeld, as well as The Mindy Project, How I Met Your Mother, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Glee. Plus, for the movie lovers in your group, you can also see where they filmed I Am Legend, When Harry Met Sally, and Spider-Man. Since your guide is also a professional actor, they’ll give you fun facts about each location, plus insider tips on the industry and what it takes to make it in New York!

NYC Bus Tour of Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens: Contrasts, Color, and Character

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New York City is a melting pot of cultures, and there’s no better way to experience this than on a NYC Bus Tour Of Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens: Contrasts, Color, and Character! On this six-hour tour, kids of all ages can explore four of NYC’s boroughs from the comfort of a bus.

Along the way, you’ll learn more about what makes each borough unique from your guide, as well as a bit more about the city’s cultural history. You’ll start in Times Square before proceeding to Harlem, for example, where you can learn more about African American’s contributions to its music scene. Plus, you’ll also get to visit Yankee Stadium to learn more about the Yankees and Bushwick to see all the beautiful murals at the Bushwick Collective!  

Best Walking Tours in NYC for Families

NYC is a city of walkers, so a walking tour is only fit when trying to explore everything this place has to offer! Instead of trying to navigate the city by yourself with your kids, these best walking tours in NYC for families streamline the process and take you through some of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Here are our favorite options for things to do in NYC with kids! 

Need somewhere to stay in NYC with kids? Check out these Best Family Hotels In New York City With A Pool (Including 1- to 3-bedroom Suites!)

Chelsea Market and High Line Food Tour 

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Foodie families will love this Chelsea Market and High Line Food Tour! It’s recommended for ages 4 and up, and takes you through three of Lower Manhattan’s most popular spots: Chelsea Market, Hudson Yards, and The High Line. Lasting around three hours, you’ll start with a visit to Chelsea Market, where you can explore the stalls and taste pizza, doughnuts, pastries, and more.

Then, you can stroll along The High Line to appreciate the art, architecture, and ambiance. Finally, you’ll get to visit Hudson Yards, where you can browse the shops and take photos of the Vessel, a giant honeycomb-esque structure that towers over the area. It’s undoubtedly one of the NYC tours for families! 

New York Walking Food Tour with Secret Food Tours

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Find out why NYC is considered one of the great food capitals on this New York Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours! Families can choose between Greenwich Village or Chinatown and Little Italy on this two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half-hour tour, which is recommended for ages 4 and up.

If you choose Greenwich Village, you’ll get to sample classic bagels, New York-style pizza, doughnuts, and more. Your guide will teach you more about Greenwich Village’s iconic history between bites as you pass the various sites. Meanwhile, if you choose Chinatown or Little Italy, you can indulge in dumplings, fresh mozzarella, and more mouth-watering delicacies. It’s one of the best NYC tours with kids, for sure! 

Gangsters and Ghosts Tour in NYC

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Experience New York City’s darker side on this Gangsters and Ghosts Tour in NYC! From the city’s mafia history to the haunted mansions of the West Village, this two-hour tour takes families through New York’s storied past in a fun and engaging way. You’ll get to walk through Little Italy, Chinatown, and the West Village while you listen to spooky tales and mob stories from your guide. Also, your tour ends at Washington Square Park, which you can explore at your own leisure.

Even though Tripadvisor recommends this tour for all ages, use your discretion to decide whether the subject matter is appropriate for your kids and their maturity level. 

Central Park Walking Tour

Photo Courtesy: Tripadvisor

Why wander through Central Park alone when you can take a Central Park Walking Tour? As one of the best NYC family tours, this small-group tour lasts around two hours. During the process, your guide will take you to some of the prettiest parts of the park, from Sheep Meadow to some lesser-known hidden gems. You’ll also get to learn more about the history of the park, its various structures, plants, animals, and more.

Recommended for kids ages 6 and up, it’s a great way to explore the park at a relaxed pace while still ensuring you see everything there is to see (without getting lost!) 

Soho, Little Italy, and Chinatown Walking Tour In New York

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Explore Lower Manhattan with this Soho, Little Italy, and Chinatown Walking Tour! For ages 4 and up, this two-hour tour mixes ghost and mob tales with classic history and even some stops for food samples. You’ll meet in Spring Street Park before walking to Greene Street, where you can see the site of the Manhattan Well Murder, the first recorded homicide case in New York City.

Then, stroll through SoHo to learn more about the Cast Iron Historic District, which has over 500 buildings. In Little Italy, families can learn more about mobsters like John Gotti and the big wave of Italian immigration NYC saw in the 20th century. Finally, you’ll head to Chinatown, Columbus Park, and Five Points, which was notorious for being crime-ridden in the 1800s. 

The Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour: “The Brooklyn Revolution!”

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Learn more about Brooklyn’s fascinating past on The Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour: “The Brooklyn Revolution!This three-hour tour invites families with kids of all ages to explore the iconic borough of Brooklyn, including DUMBO, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn before seeing Brooklyn Bridge Park from above. You’ll also get to stroll the quaint, tree-lined streets of Brooklyn Heights while your guide tells you more about each place’s history. Some of the stories you’ll hear date back to the Revolutionary War, making this one of the best NYC tours for families who love history! 

Best Private Tours + Experiences in NYC for Families

A private tour is a wonderful way to experience NYC without all the crowds! If you want to skip the line for a museum visit or get a behind-the-scenes tour of Ellis Island, a private tour lets you customize your experience based on what your kids want to do. These are our favorite NYC private tours for families!

Visiting NYC for Thanksgiving? Read our Comprehensive Guide to Watching Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC with Your Kids

Museum of Natural History – Exclusive Guided Tour 

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Get an insider look at an iconic NYC institution on this Museum of Natural History Exclusive Guided Tour! Even though this museum is famous for being huge, taking a two-and-a-half-hour tour lets you see the top highlights with a guide, saving you time and effort.

Ideal for kids of all ages, you can tailor this tour to your interests, so your guide will spend more or less time in certain parts of the museum that your kids are more interested in. This way, you can also breeze through the admission line! See the iconic giant whale as well as other well-known parts of the museum as you learn fun facts and behind-the-scenes stories on each installation. 

Met & Natural History Museum Skip-The-Line – Exclusive Combo Tour

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What better way to see two of NYC’s finest museums than with a Met & Natural History Museum Skip-the-Line – Exclusive Combo Tour? With this five-and-a-half-hour tour, families with kids of all ages can see two of the biggest museums in New York, the Natural History Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Skip the hassle of waiting in line for a ticket and deciding which parts of the museums to see with your little ones, and let your guide do all the work for you. Your tour will start in the morning with a visit to the MET, where kids will see work from the Middle Ages all the way to Picasso and Matisse! After a break for lunch, head to the Museum of Natural History to see millions of prehistoric artifacts, including dinosaur exhibits! 

Skip the Line Kids and Families New York Metropolitan Museum Private Tour 

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One of the best NYC tours for families is surely this Skip The Line Kids and Families New York Metropolitan Museum Private Tour! On this two-and-a-half-hour tour, kids of all ages can explore the iconic Metropolitan Museum of Art with a guide who will make the experience all the more fun.

It’ll be an entertaining, interactive excursion, as your guide will tailor the visit to what your kids show the most interest in. Plus, they’ll also learn more about art history as you pass through the Egyptian, Roman, and Greek collections and more. Best of all, you’ll get to skip the line, making this one of the best fun tours in NYC for kids! 

NYC Kid & Families American Museum of Natural History Private Tour

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Maximize your visit to one of New York’s most iconic museums with this NYC Kid & Families American Museum of Natural History Private Tour! Kids of all ages will love this two-and-a-half-hour tour, which will take them through some of the best parts of the museum with an informed guide.

Expect to see dinosaurs, the giant blue whale suspended from the ceiling, and more displays that little ones will love. It’s a great chance for them to learn more about natural history in an intimate setting, since the guide is always happy to answer questions and give more background information. You’ll even get to learn about the museum’s famous Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil during the tour. This is surely one of the best NYC family tours! 

Private Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour 

Photo Courtesy: Tripadvisor

Say hello to Lady Liberty on this Private Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour! Ideal for kids of all ages, this private, half-day tour (around 4 hours) takes families to see two of NYC’s most legendary attractions: The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Learn more about America’s immigration history and the special role NYC played in it. Not only will you get panoramic views from the ferry ride, but being in a smaller group means more personalized attention from your guide. Plus, entrance and ferry rides are included in the tour, making it one of the best guided tours of New York City! 

Happy Travels!

We hope you liked this list of the Best Tours + Experiences In NYC For Families With Kids! From the Statue of Liberty to Lower Manhattan or Brooklyn, there are so many things to do in New York City with kids. Enjoy your family vacation in the Big Apple! 

*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.

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The Families Love Travel Team has a zest for life and an even bigger passion for globetrotting! Comprised of real-life travel professionals, we work hard behind the scenes to provide dynamic solutions for adventuring with children. Our enthusiastic team understands the challenges that often accompany traveling with kids and is committed to making Families Love Travel an inclusive space to convey these experiences.