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Travel From Home: New York City

Mom and son with the Manhattan skyline as they travel to New York City.
Photo Courtesy: Beth Beckman

Let’s make travel accessible to everyone around the world, virtually, from home! This is a place where we will celebrate culture, language, history, and acceptance of people around the world. Here, families can travel to New York City comfortably! Written by a true New Yorker, families will discover NYC like never before – at their fingertips and their keyboard! This is a wonderful opportunity to inspire young travelers, introduce kids to a place you will travel to in the future, and/or simply teach your family about another city in the world. Enjoy, explore, and create memories together!

Find virtual fun, tours of famous destinations and museums, cooking lessons, and more in our Travel From Home section. Kids will get hands-on experiences and learn about a variety of cities, countries, and regions through these wonderful at-home travel guides. Additionally, these resources can be used as an educational tool.

This Travel From Home edition is curated by Beth Beckman

Travel From Home | New York City

Mom and son watching the sunset from empire state building with Manhattan skyline in New York City.
Photo Courtesy: Beth Beckman

A City so Nice, They Named it Twice!

New York, New York: the greatest city in the world also has the greatest things to see and do! From history to iconic landmarks, sky-high views and world-famous cultural destinations – a trip to New York City needs to be at the top of every family’s must-visit list. While travel may be on hold for a bit, there are still plenty of ways to explore America’s bustling metropolis from the comfort of your home! We’ve rounded up the best attractions from museums, theaters, and iconic landmarks so that you can experience the energy and excitement of the best of New York City… virtually!

Getting There

Are you ready to take a bite of the big apple? Grab a map or a globe so kids know which direction you’ll take to travel to New York City! It’s also a great opportunity to explain just how big New York City actually is. With 5 boroughs and over 8,000 miles of streets, it’s surely easy to get lost in this populated United States city. To help you get your bearings and begin your adventure, a great interactive map of NYC can lead the way! Once you have arrived in the amazing NYC, it’s time to explore its glittering streets with your kids!

Crossing Over the Brooklyn Bridge

A view of the Brooklyn Bridge, one of our stops as we travel to New York City.
Photo Courtesy: Beth Beckman

Lace-up those running shoes – we have some walking to do! Walking from Brooklyn to Manhattan is one of the most iconic (and free!) experiences New York City has to offer. It is also the perfect place to start our New York City tour. 

Once dubbed the eighth wonder of the world, the Brooklyn Bridge is an architectural marvel known today as one of the most recognizable icons of NYC. Children will love to hear about one of the bridge’s most famous visitors – an elephant! In 1883, right after the bridge opened to the public, 21 elephants walked across the bridge to prove its incredible strength. Younger children can learn about this amazing feat through a read-aloud book, 21 Elephants and Still Standing, by April Jones Prince and read by Rebekah Wall.

Make Your Own Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge craft of popsicle stick construction and toy cement truck.
Photo Credit: Reida Project

What makes this bridge special is the elevated pedestrian passageway above the vehicle lanes of traffic that speed underneath. The pathway is the perfect way to see the bridge on foot, bike… or trike! This virtual tour walks visitors over this world wonder, from Brooklyn into Manhattan without words or narration, only the sound of the city whizzing by underneath it.  Cross over at home by building a bridge out of popsicle sticks, or recycled objects. Kids will love trying to make it as strong as the Brooklyn bridge by adding 21 pennies, or small toys atop of it. Did your bridge pass the stress test?

Little Passports Banners

Time in Times Square

Boy in Times Square in New York City, one of the stops as we travel to New York City.
Photo Courtesy: Beth Beckman

Now you are in Manhattan! Next up on your trip to New York City, let us journey to the heart of the city’s action… Times Square! 

Times Square, land of over-the-top billboards, art installations, costumed characters, cowboys in underwear, and thousands (yes thousands) of tourists….is a must-visit. Why? Quite simply: there’s nothing else quite like it in the world! Times Square’s lights, sights, and billboard signs are truly a mesmerizing sight for all ages. Plus, the neighborhood has also become a must-visit spot in recent years thanks to family-friendly Broadway shows, iconic restaurants, and a slew of new destinations. Here, families can enjoy a wet and wild encounter with National Geographic and a yummy visit to the world of M&M’s Chocolate! This fun Crossroads of the World virtual tour will bring the square’s chaos and craziness to the comfort of your (hopefully not as chaotic) home. 

Create Your Own Ball Drop

Ball Drop art featuring numerous stars on a paper plate with a countdown starting at 10.
Photo Credit: jdaniel4smom

3…2…1… Let the countdown begin! Times Square is the location of the nation’s largest New Year’s Eve celebration. Each year millions of revelers gather to see the famous New Year’s Eve crystal ball descend at the stroke of midnight. To host your own countdown, (maybe to your favorite event.. dinner?) create your own ball at home with this fun tutorial using paper plates and glitter! Additionally, families who choose to can relive last year’s confetti celebration here.

Play in the Park – Central Park

Boy in Central Park in New York City, one of the stops as we travel to New York City.
Photo Courtesy: Beth Beckman

Next, contrast Times Square’s chaos with some natural serenity when you travel to New York City! One of the city’s most spectacular green spaces, Central Park is one of the most popular attractions in town, and for good reason, too. Its 800 acres of magical green space smacked in the middle of Manhattan is more than just a pretty natural oasis. From a zoo to endless playgrounds, horseback riding to rowboats – there’s something for all ages to do here! During your virtual visit, make it a fun scavenger hunt to see how much history you can spot! Famous statues include the Hans Christian Anderson tribute and Balto, the Sled Dog Hero!

Culture Addict – Iconic New York City Museums and Attractions

Considered the cultural capital of the world to many, New York City has an endless array of museums and cultural institutions to explore. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the largest museum in the Western Hemisphere and a must-visit for any art aficionado! Roam the halls through the award-winning virtual series, inviting viewers to explore some of the museum’s iconic spaces such as the Egyptian Wing or the Arts and Armor exhibits. Also, don’t miss #metkids, the museum’s interactive online program, allowing little ones to hone in on their favorite subjects! 

Boy walking along an ancient exhibit in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
Photo Courtesy: Beth Beckman

Afterward, let out a historic roar at the American Museum of Natural History!  From the museum’s famed fossil halls to fun activities such as a field trip to Mars, this educational museum offers incredible things to do and see. As a bonus, it’s heavily focused on STEAM and science, so kids can also have a ton of fun learning along the way! Explore these virtual tours, games, and, stories that the museum made especially for families to keep little ones on their toes.

Dig For Fossils at Home

Creating your own fossils at home with sand and stencils.
Photo Credit: lifewithmoorebabies

And, if you have a little dinosaur fan at home, you’re in major luck! Now, you can dig further into fossils with an at-home fossil dig! This at-home activity is perfect for future archaeologists!

Sky High – New York City From Above

It’s no secret New York City is HUGE! To fully grasp the scale and size of the city, then, you’ll need to go high to the top of the buildings! For a king-sized view of the Big Apple, check out the Empire State Building. Next, their virtual audio and visual tour is the ultimate window to NYC. It offers a 360-degree digital panorama to place the city directly in front of you! This amazing view will also allow children to take in the city’s amazing size and learn about the iconic skyline from their homes.

Craft Your Own Empire State Building & Skyline

Then, continue your visit with the Empire State Building’s awesome educational resources. Or, try these fun coloring pages you can customize to your liking! Families can also try creating the skyline at home with household objects like paper plates, construction paper, crayons, etc. Don’t forget to include other famous towering skyscrapers, like the Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center, and One World Trade Center!

Take Flight with the Intrepid Museum

Boy running near a huge figher jet in Intrepid Museum in New York City.
Photo Courtesy: Beth Beckman

Don’t take flight from NYC without visiting the Intrepid! Intrepid Museum is an incredible educational institution, and a family favorite for its sea, air, and space experiences. In fact, kids will be amazed by how the entire museum actually floats on water. It was built on an authentic aircraft carrier! Climb aboard historic fighter jets, go underwater on a submarine, and blast off into space with the space shuttle Enterprise. The best part? All experiences are now available online for families to experience from home! 

Build Your Own Airplane

Continue the high-flying fun with an airplane craft at home. This tutorial gives you a few different options and includes easy to find objects, like clothespins or cardboard! Kids will love creating their own airplanes.

Travel to New York City with Bite Out of the Big Apple

New York City is also a well-known top foodie destination! From the iconic NYC pretzel to a crispy slice of cheese pizza, there is no way anyone will leave hungry. Families who travel to New York City usually enjoy favorites like Serendipity 3 and the singing waitstaff at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. In addition, the Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain can’t be missed. Families will also love the ooey-gooey chocolate creations at Max Brenner. Looking for a sweet treat to make at home? Shake it up by re-creating the Insta-famous milkshakes at Black Tap with their recipes. These sugary sweet concoctions are sure to have everyone smiling!

Travel to New York City Through NYC Instagram Accounts

Boy riding a scooter around the Hudson River, one of the stops as we travel to New York City.
Photo Courtesy: Beth Beckman

Teens and parents can tour NYC through square lenses with a tour of our favorite NYC Instagram accounts! Official pages like @nycgo and @timeoutnewyork offer a great overview of the city, as well as many current events and activities. Photo feeds @newyorkcity, @nyclovesnyc, and @giginyc offer amazing pics. Foodies flock to @feedyourgirlfriend and @foodbaby for the best food spots. Next, culture addicts will love @fomofeed for art events to keep up with New York’s hottest attractions. Finally, families will also enjoy following @kidonthetown @mommypoppins and @fomofeedkids for fun kids activities and diversions!

Happy (Virtual) Travels to New York City

Mom and son sitting in NYC pier facing water and Jersey City.
Photo Courtesy: Beth Beckman

From history to iconic landmarks, sky-high views, and cultural destinations, travel to New York City is an unparalleled experience. Whether you are preparing to travel to NYC or looking to explore NYC from home, this article has you covered. We hope this virtual vacation helps you and your kids get a taste of the Big Apple! Want to read more about NYC? Families can find additional articles, itineraries, and blogs in the NYC section of our website!

Want to see more from Beth? Find her on Instagram, @littlekidnyc, and @fomofeedkids 

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