Travelling to the Big Apple with Kids: 5 Activities that are Fun for the Whole Family
There is no doubt about it – New York is exciting, with sights and sounds you can’t find anywhere else in the world. When families want to visit, it can be overwhelming to separate the vast array of possibilities into activities that appeal to all ages and interests. Here are five that are sure to appeal to everyone in the group when you travel with kids, promising marvelous memories for years to come.
Madame Tussaud Wax Museum, Times Square
In the 200 years since Madame Tussaud created her first wax figure display, millions have visited locations in London, Paris, and several major United States cities. Madame Tussaud learned her craft at a young age, demonstrating such artistic skill that she was hired on to tutor members of the French Royal Family, living at the grand Palace of Versailles. During the French Revolution, she nearly lost her life until she proved her allegiance was no longer with the crown by creating death masks of some of the executed nobles. This talent translated into her own business when she arrived in London to create a new life for herself.
Unlike the original displays, today’s museums have done away with ropes and obstacles so you can see your favorite celebrities and historical figures up close. Take a family photo with today’s most influential world leaders, or join your favorite entertainer in a number or two. Practice your technique with sports greats, and step right into historical events that changed the world forever.
Just next door to Madame Tussauds, you will find a collection of some of the world’s most unusual and bizarre artifacts. The Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium will shock and delight you with weird treasures from Robert Ripley’s travels around the globe. Two floors house twenty galleries of such items as shrunken heads, a life-size albino giraffe, a six-legged cow, and a lock of hair from the King himself. Photography is permitted, which means you can take home keepsakes that will astound your friends and family.
Strange exhibits aren’t the only thing Ripley’s Believe It or Not has to offer. A LaseRace has you crossing a maze while avoiding a web of lasers, just like in the movies. Challenge each other to see who can get through the laser maze most quickly. Since breaking one of the laser beams adds 30 seconds to your score, you have to be pretty bendy if you want to win. Regular live shows are included with your ticket, so prepare to be shocked by Albert Cadabra, the Human Blockhead, Jellyboy, the Sword Swallowing Clown, and more.
There are dozens of shows to see in New York, but finding one that everyone will enjoy can be a problem. Fortunately, Blue Man Group is perfect for all ages, with sights and sounds that mesmerize the entire audience. Three performers, whose skin is a brilliant blue, don’t speak – instead they examine the new technology of the world with great wonder. The show takes a deep look at our concept of progress, and inspires thought at the same time it has you laughing. Beware of sitting too close to the front if you plan to stay dry – seasoned audience members know that raincoats don’t always keep the spray out.
New York Aquarium and Coney Island
After checking out the iconic Coney Island, take a break with a tour through the world below the sea at the New York Aquarium. Open every day, year round, visitors can see more than 10,000 species of marine life. The exhibits include giant sea turtles, sea otters, walrus, and a variety of sharks. Many visitors take advantage of the 4-D theater, which brings all of your senses into a single performance. Best of all, when budgets are tight, there is an opportunity to visit the Aquarium at a reduced rate. Every Friday afternoon from 3pm to close, guests make a donation for the amount they can afford.
Sony Wonder Technology Lab
For a fascinating look at technology at an affordable price, the Sony Wonder Technology Lab is a destination for the whole family. As soon as you enter, you become part of the technology on display, getting an ID card that plots you on a map with the other guests. Visit an interactive piece that shows internet traffic, and learn how today’s popular mobile devices operate. There are opportunities to try your hand at robotic surgery, and you can record the next hit in a digital recording studio. Follow the history of communications technology and watch phones and other devices get smaller and smaller over time. Discover the current and possible future uses of nanotechnology, and learn what the true meaning of small is. Before you leave, you log out and have your card stamped with a record of everything you did during your visit. Admission is free, so reservations must be made in advance. The Lab is closed on Sunday and Monday.
New York has a reputation for being too complicated for families to visit. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to share big moments with your loved ones in the Big Apple. Visit FlyForLess.ca for help getting to New York City.