fun things to do with kids upper west side new york city - family travel   Travel for Kids
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New York - Upper West Side

The Upper West Side is our favorite neighborhood in Manhattan, with wide, shady streets, the buildings feel homey, strollers and kids are everywhere.

American Museum Natural History Photo Album
Dinosaur American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History – The American Museum of Natural History is a “must-see” for your visit with kids to New York.

    Head to the fourth floor Fossil Halls for a boggling collection of dinosaurs – full size T-Rex, Stegosaurus, Allosaurus, Triceratops, and more, plus dinosaur tracks, and kids can touch a real dinosaur skull, bones, etc.
      More wonders of the natural world include amazing dioramas of mammals from Africa (second and third floors) and North America (first floor), and Ocean Life (first floor).
      On the second floor, don't miss the Mexico and Central America, South American Peoples, with a huge Olmec head, Teotihuacan and Aztec artifacts, Maya stele, replica of a Sipan tomb,ancient Andean pottery, gold and textiles.
      On the first floor, see the Star of India, biggest sapphire in the world (Hall of Gems), or a 4.5 billion year old meteorite (Hall of Meteorites).
      Take in a show at the 3-D LeFrak Theater, or Hayden Planetarium and Hayden Big Bang Theater in Rose Center for Earth and Space.
      Tip: This museum is large and there’s so much cool stuff to see, allow plenty of time, don’t rush through it. Use your New York CityPass, no waiting in ticket lines.
      Playground – Across from the museum in Central Park is the Diana Ross playground, at 81st St. and Central Park West. Little kids can play on the climbing structures and swings, water play area in summer.
    Children’s Museum of Manhattan – The museum has plenty of hands-on activities for kids of all ages, from infants to bigger kids. Toddlers can “drive” a NY fire truck or mail truck, paint on a wall, build a city, have fun in the water play area (summers), bigger kids can explore with Dora the Explorer, and older kids will find out about the Trojan horse and other myths and legends of ancient Greece.
    Lincoln Center – Lincoln Center, home of the Metropolitan Opera and other music and dance companies, has a wonderful selection of family events. During your visit, attend family concerts, ballet productions of Swan Lake or Cinderella, salsa dancing, puppet shows, juggling, African drumming and dancing for kids. Click here the schedule.

Fun food


Alice’s Tea Cup (102. W 73rd St.) – Kids will enjoy “wee tea” with scones, homemade graham crackers, cookies and milk, sandwiches with homemade peanut butter and fruit preserves, chocolate mousse. (Pureed baby food is also available.)


Zabar’s – If the weather is good, take a picnic out to Central Park. Zabar’s, the ultimate deli, is a West Side favorite, with everything under the sun (really) for a picnic – sandwiches made to order (tons of ingredients to choose from), bagels and cream cheese, sweets, cookies, and more.




For teens, there's lots of shops with fun clothes and shoes on Broadway. Start at around 63rd St. and walk north.

kids books american museum natural history

Lift the flap on the latest discoveries about dinosaurs, find out about fossils and tools for paleontologists, Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous timeline, how dinosaurs lived, and extinction. Excellent illustrations. (Pop-up book)


On This Spot
Susan E. Goodman

Start with New York City and step back in time – on this spot, 400 years ago it was a great forest, 15,000 years ago wooly mammoths roamed the rocky hills, 20,000 years ago it was covered in ice, 190 million years ago dinosaurs munched on plants, 370 million years ago, New York was under a tropical ocean. (Picture book)


On This Spot natural history new york city kids books
(More children's books on other New York City pages)
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