There are so many things to do with kids in New York City with a visit to Central Park being just one of them. You could spend a week exploring all of the things to do in Central Park with kids, but I wanted to save you some time in case you don’t have a week. Here are six of the top things to do in Central Park with kids. We’d love to hear any more ideas you have in the comments.

things to do in central park

Top Six Things to do in Central Park with Kids

When you travel with a little kid you typically try to get them excited about the trip by telling them about the things you are going to be doing. Well, the carousel was one of those grand things my three-year-old couldn’t wait to experience. Unfortunately we weren’t able to ride the carousel due to the weather. When it rains, no one can ride. Needless to say, my daughter was not pleased. (Which explains the next section regarding the carriage ride.) To be honest, I was also pretty disappointed in not being able to ride the carousel. My daughter and I have become quite the carousel connoisseurs of late so I was excited to see and ride on one of the oldest, working carousel in the US. If the weather is nice, you must go!

things to do in Central Park with kids

Carriage Ride in Central Park

If you go to FAO Schwartz you can easily walk over to Central Park and do a short carriage ride around the park. This was great for us for a few reasons. One, it was raining and the carriages were covered so we were still able to see the park without getting drenched. The driver also provided a great overview of the park, its history and pointed out several historical and/or famous locations along the way. (Remember Ghost Busters? Does this photo look familiar?) Most importantly though, it made up for the fact that my daughter didn’t get to ride on the carousel. Although, the price of the two are not comparable. The carriage ride itself is about 30 minutes and we paid about $80 for the three of us. The price does not change based on the number of passengers. 

One thing I had hoped they would be able to do was to drop us off at a different location within the park but they can’t. Perhaps they can and our driver just wasn’t willing to do that. It won’t hurt to ask.

things to do in Central Park with kids

The Met
We attempted the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Again, we’re still learning that we can’t necessarily do the things WE want to do when we travel; we have to compromise with a three-year-old. Needless to say, we didn’t last long in the Met. It was amazing though and a great escape from the rain. One could seriously spend an entire day, if not week in the Met checking out all the different exhibits.

Visit the Central Park Zoo
I have a three-year-old, thus I go to the zoo rather frequently. In other words, I wasn’t too sold on going to the zoo in another state. (Once you’ve smelled the elephants, you’ve seen all the zoos you need to see.) Yes, the Central Park Zoo is world-renowned and I’m sure it’s truly amazing but we skipped it. Although, if you are spending the day in Central Park, and don’t mind the smell of elephants you may want to try it out.

Fishing in Central Park

If you like to fish, try the Harlem Meer. You can’t keep the fish though so prep your kids that they will need to toss their catch back into the water.

Head over to Conservatory Water and rent a model sailboat. You’re not too far from the Alice and Wonderland sculpture at the pool’s northern end. This is a great picnic spot (if it’s not raining) or just a nice area to sit and relax.

Let us know if you have other MUST’s that need to be on the list of things to do in Central Park with kids.


  1. Wow, looks like so much fun! Thanks for the tips!

  2. Love visiting NY Elaine. Haven’t done it with little kids tho’ but it sounds like you’ve got it pretty much sussed out without exhausting everyone till they get cranky!

  3. I have been to NYC so many times and have NEVER gone into Central Park…guess I’ll have to put it on my to do list …

  4. I love these ideas! I love the size of Central Park. It’s huge and filled with so much life and fun activities!

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