New York City offers a variety of family-friendly activities, from art to zoos. Warm, sunny days are ideal for a family vacation, but you may encounter rainy days during your trip to New York City. A list of child-friendly indoor activities gives you a backup plan for days when the weather doesn't cooperate.


The Children's Museum of the Arts ( engages children in various art forms and displays. The Wee-Arts program on certain mornings allows kids 10 months to 3 1/3 years old to make art projects. The museum also has a performing arts and creative play area for an interactive experience.

The Brooklyn Children's Museum ( offers a hands-on experience for young children, with a community garden, live horseshoe crabs and sea stars for touching, child-sized city street with interactive shops, Bedroomland with bedrooms from around the world and a special area for kids 5 and under.

Another option is the Children's Museum of Manhattan ( The museum's areas include PlayWorks, designed for kids up to age 4. All displays are bright, colorful and child-friendly. The New York City Fire Museum ( appeals to young children who love fire trucks and firefighters.

Zoos and Aquariums

While zoos are typically outdoor venues, the Staten Island Zoo ( has the majority of its exhibits indoors, making it an option for rainy days. The exhibits include a tropical forest, African savannah, aquarium and reptile area. If you catch a break in the rain, you can head outdoors to see the rest of the animal exhibits.

The New York Aquarium ( is another animal-themed destination ideal for rainy days. The aquarium's residents include fish, otters, walrus, sea lions, penguins and sea turtles. Some exhibits are outdoors, but you can check them out if the rain stops.


Shopping and young children don't always go together, but New York City offers a few stores that will appeal to kids. FAO Schwarz ( is a New York classic with its floor piano kids can dance on and the wide range of toys on display. The store also features the Muppet Whatnot Workshop, Middleton Doll Newborn Nursery, Styled by Me Barbie, Madame Alexander Doll Factory and a candy store called FAO Schweetz. Other child-friendly stores include the Disney Store ( in Times Square, the LEGO Store ( in Rockefeller Center and American Girl Place ( on Fifth Ave. in Manhattan.

Kids' Play Centers

If your child needs to burn of energy on a rainy day, several indoor place centers are available in the New York City area. Funtasia ( is a jungle-themed indoor play area with free play times on certain days of the week. BounceU ( offers bounce houses and other inflatable play areas for kids. Kids Fun House ( features indoor slides, obstacle courses, mazes and other play activities. The center offers Mommy and Me classes, parties and open play times.

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience come from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.

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