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6 Tips for Taking a Toddler to New York City

taking toddler to new york city

I want to bring my toddler to New York City.

Zooming yellow taxis. Giant crowds. Loud noises. Strong smells.

No matter how you feel about New York, few experiences are more exciting for toddlers than a trip there. Open up his or her eyes to New York life by being their guide through such a crazy and exciting city. There’s just so much to do! You can ride the subway, watch a puppet show, eat cheesecake… or do all three at the same time!

There are plenty of ways to give your little one the time of their lives, whatever you decide to do. The following article offers some practical tips for providing the ultimate NYC travel experience for your toddlers.

1. Bring the Right Stuff

First of all – make sure you know what to bring. You do not want to be stuck in the middle of the city and find yourself out of diapers. So we’ll start there — diapers. You’re going to be in a city where there’s plenty of places to stop and use public restrooms. However, you never know if anyone particular store or restaurant will let you use it. Therefore please make sure you have diapers on hand and a diaper bag to put them in.

Another important item to bring is snacks. New York is a city for walking. You’ll go long stretches walking or traveling long distances, so Inevitably, your little guy or gal will become hungry. Have a bag of cereal handy for them so they may keep themselves refreshed when needed. I always have a cup of water just in case they get a little thirsty, especially in the summer months. Better safe than sorry!

There are sights and sounds everywhere in New York City. Your toddlers will see all kinds of exciting stuff they will want to want to take home with them. Therefore– and it pretty much goes without saying — make sure you bring enough money with you. Use it to buy trinkets for them to take home as a Memento of their fun time in New York. Some fun stuff you can buy are keychains, stuffed animals, postcards, or Empire State Building figurines.

2. Keep Your Toddler’s Hands Busy

During the trip, your toddler may become a little bit fidgety. Keep their hands occupied by giving them a toy to hold onto along the way. You can bring stuffed animals, whistles, figurines, or any other doohickey to fidget around with. Just make sure the toy is not too small or expensive. If they throw it on the ground, you may never see it again. Remember — New York City is very crowded!.

Lastly, your toddler will also likely get tired along the way. Bring a blanket with you so your toddler can take a nap while you are sightseeing. Good times to let them nap would be while you’re having lunch, relaxing at the park, or strolling through Museums.

3. Ride the Subway

No New York City experience would be complete without riding the famous New York City subway. Often considered one of the best public transport systems in the world, the subway is a unique experience. It is also incredibly practical and efficient — anywhere you need to go, it will take you there. Your toddler will love riding the subway. There are all sorts of interesting people and other sights to see on the trains. If you are lucky, you may even get an impromptu performance by a musician or poets. If your ride happens to go over a bridge, you can see some incredible views.

Make sure to plan if you decide to take the subway. For instance, many subway stations in New York City do not have elevators. Therefore, make sure to review a map showing where to find stations with elevator access. You can find free maps at most subway stations or by going to Also, bring a light umbrella stroller if you can. Schlepping giant strollers up and down the subway station’s stairs can be dangerous.

4. Go to Toddler-Friendly Parks and Museums

After you get off the subway, you’re going to need somewhere fun to go for your toddler. Luckily, you shouldn’t have to travel too far once you’re in the city to find just the right place. Start by visiting some of New York’s historic museums and parks. There, you can walk freely and take in all kinds of interesting sites. One excellent museum for your child is the Natural Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in the Upper West Side. The NMNH contains all kinds of exciting exhibits and views. You will find dioramas of pre-historical scenes, giant fossil recreations of dinosaurs, and educational movies on the iMax.

Another fun place to take your kids to is the world-famous Central Park — one of the most iconic parks in the world. Central Park has been featured in countless films and TV shows and pieces of writing. Go to one of its many vast fields, where you can play tag or sit down for a picnic. Or just walk around and people watch. No matter what you wind up doing there, at Central Park, your toddler will be sure to have a blast.

5. Experience Toddler-Friendly Shows

What’s a trip to New York without taking in a show or two? And just because you’re not a grown-up doesn’t mean you can partake in an essential NYC experience. One fun activity to do is take him to see a puppet show! At the Swedish Cottage marionette theater in Central Park, you can watch some traditional puppets on string shows. Your toddler will be sure to Delight in these Pinocchio-like performances. Or for the less traditional option, check out the Gazillion Bubbles show in the Theater District. Just like it sounds, your child will delight in bubbles everywhere! Find out more at

6. Shop at Fun Stores for Kids

Whether browsing SoHo’s hip boutiques or Fifth Avenue’s high-end shops, New York is well-known for its distinct shopping experiences. Kids also have plenty of options when it comes to fun shopping. Start by checking out the Disney Store. While there, they can buy some of their favorite Disney themed-items. The store has plenty of other Disney fun experiences there too.

Next, get their creative juices flowing and check out the Lego store in the Flatiron District. There you will see some incredibly designed Lego structures and pick up some New York-themed Lego boxes. Lego Statue of Liberty, anyone? Afterward, go next door to Eataly and have a delicious Italian gelato.

Wrapping It Up: New York City, Baby!

There’s no place in the world like New York City. Whether you’re walking around the big streets or catching a show, you and your toddler will have an unforgettable time. With the tips presented here, you are now well-equipped to ensure your child gets the most out of their time. So what are you waiting for? Bring your toddler to New York!

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