Adventure, baby!

Christine Knight

Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Frankland Islands: A Great Barrier Reef Day Trip

Frankland Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Visiting the Frankland Islands, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

The pristine Frankland Islands are located 10km offshore, 45km south-east of Cairns. Surrounded by healthy coral that is teeming with sea life, a day trip to the Frankland Islands is one of the best and easiest ways to explore the Great Barrier Reef.

There are five islands comprising the Frankland Islands: Normanby, High, Russell, Round and Mabel. The islands are part of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. 

How to get to the Frankland Islands

There is only one way to visit to these uninhabited islands: booking through Frankland Islands Reef Cruises. The islands are uninhabited, which means no bathroom or running water. While camping is allowed on Russel Island, Frankland Islands Reef Cruises are the only company to hold a permit to visit Normanby Island.

The day trips depart from Deeral. You can self-drive like we did, or take the Frankland Islands Reef Cruises air conditioned coach that departs Cairns daily at around 7.45am. Transfers are also available from Mission Beach. 

The drive takes about 45 minutes. It’s a gorgeous drive south, past fields of sugar cane and the iconic Gordonvale Pyramid. 

The departure point also has no facilities so prepare to board the luxurious boat Turtle Islander straight away, where there are restrooms and drinkable water available. The boat has two levels, air conditioning, shade and plenty of comfortable seating inside the boat.

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

It’s a 30-minute calm water cruise along the Mulgrave River, which is lined with rainforest and mangroves, before a short 6-mile open water crossing to the Frankland Islands, which takes about 15 minutes. If you’re lucky like us, you’ll see crocodiles on the banks of the river.

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

Morning and afternoon tea is provided on board the boat – tea, coffee and some bikkies are very happily received.

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

If you’re like me and suffer from extreme seasickness but still want to see the reef, then this is the best option for you. The Frankland Islands day trip is the shortest open water crossing of any Cairns reef day tour (approx 15 minutes).

What’s included in the price

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

Included in the price is generous buffet lunch, which is served on the island. The menu includes a choice of several salads, chicken, ham, prawns, breads and an abundance of fresh tropical fruit. I received fresh vegetarian wraps. 

Also included in the price are flotation devices, snorkeling gear (prescription masks are an extra $15), seasonal protection suits, free guide for certified divers. Wetsuits are available for an extra cost ($15).

When we visited in July the water was too cold for me to swim without a wetsuit.

Things to do on the Frankland Islands

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

Once you’ve arrived on the island, there are plenty of activity options and the day just flies by.

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

Snorkelling is easy to do right off the beach. Only a few metres out we saw parrot fish, clown fish, giant glams, sea cucumbers and more.

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

While it would be quite easy to spend the day just snorkelling, walking around the island and relaxing, there are optional extras that can be added on to make the day more adventurous.

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

I chose to do the Adventure Snorkel Safari ($10). The onboard marine biologist took took swimmers around to the other side of the island where the coral is in abundance and the sea life similarly so.

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

It was incredible to see the healthy coral teeming with fish, giant clams, and I even spotted a sleeping green sea turtle. Sea life that is found in this part of the reef also includes anemonefish, nudibranchs, sea stars, stingrays, feather stars, wrasse, butterflyfish, angelfish, parrotfish, damselfish and manta rays.

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

While I was doing the adventure snorkel, Alec and Cheese took a ride on the semi-submersible ($5). The tour went to the same reef that my snorkelling tour visited, but from the comfort of the enclosed boat. It’s a great option for kids who aren’t strong snorkellers. From their excellent position they saw the same stunning coral and fish life that I did on my snorkelling tour.

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

After lunch we did the Guided Island Walk ($5) with the cruise’s marine biologist. The walk was one of the highlights of the day for us. We took a very slow walk around the island, through the rock pools, rainforest and beaches, learning about the islands and their unique creatures. 

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

One of the distinctive features of the Frankland Islands are their coral beaches, rather than soft sand. On the walk we learned that in the ocean coral only lasts around 10 years, after which it washes ashore and eventually forms the rock shelf. 

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

We also learned that the islands were made into a National Park after a special star protozoa was found on Normandy Island, in one small spot on the shore. The protozoa (too small to photograph) is only found in one other place in the world, Okinawa, Japan, making is a special place in need of protecting. 

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

Other optional activities: scuba diving (from $99), clear kayaks ($15), stand up paddle board ($15), sea-doo scooter ($70). 

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

If you want to camp on Russell Island, you can also be transferred to the island for a fee. Permits apply. 

Photography on the Frankland Islands

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

There is an underwater photographer onboard daily. Ours was excellent at getting lots of photos of us snorkelling and on the beach. He also brought his drone so we were able to get the fantastic shot of us on the beach from above. I thought his package to buy all of the photos at the end was very reasonable (I can’t remember how much it was however!).

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

You can hire an underwater camera ($35) from Frankland Island Reef Cruises. I used my GoPro underwater, however the water was a bit cloudy on the day we visited so I didn’t get amazing shots that do justice to how beautiful the reef was. 

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

What you need to know about a Frankland Islands Day Trip

Check in at 8.15am for an 8.30am departure
The tour returns to Cairns around 5.15pm.
Bring shoes to walk around on the beach as it is coral, not sand. We took reef shoes but thongs/flip flops would also be fine.

Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia Frankland Islands Cairns Australia

Frankland Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

franklandislands.com.au

We were hosted by Frankland Islands Reef Cruises. All opinions are my own. Additional images with thanks to Frankland Islands Reef Cruises.

Frankie’s Food Factory at Flower Power Milperra Sydney

Frankie's Food Factory Flower Power Milperra Sydney

Enjoy modern classics in the heart of a leafy nursery at Frankie’s Food Factory, inside Flower Power Milperra.

Frankie's Food Factory Flower Power Milperra Sydney

The massive new Flower Power sure packs a punch with its excellent cafe, Frankie’s Food Factory, making it a destination for dining as well as shopping for plants. 

Frankie's Food Factory Flower Power Milperra Sydney

Frankie’s Food Factory has a breakfast and lunch menu served inside large indoor and outdoor dining areas with a lovely leafy nursery view. The outdoor dining area leads into the fully fenced playground.

Frankie's Food Factory Flower Power Milperra Sydney

We thought the menu was a bit on the pricey side, however couldn’t fault the staff, ambience, decor or food. 

The food is a bit American in style – the burgers we ordered were extremely “American”, with soft buns and thin French fries sprinkled with gentle spices.

Frankie's Food Factory Flower Power Milperra Sydney

Frankie’s Cheeseburger (single $21 | double $27 | triple $32, wagyu beef burger with melted cheese, pickles, onion, tomato sauce & American mustard, served with fries, add bacon +4).

Frankie's Food Factory Flower Power Milperra Sydney

There is an excellent, reasonably priced kids’ menu from which we ordered the Scrambled Eggs ($8, served with toast & tomato sauce). 

Frankie's Food Factory Flower Power Milperra Sydney

My Halloumi Quinoa Salad ($21, halloumi, quinoa, Spanish onion, roasted cauliflower, spinach, avocado, brown rice & sunflower seeds) was excellent and I would absolutely order it again.

Frankie's Food Factory Flower Power Milperra Sydney

The Nutella Hot Chocolate ($6, served with whipped cream & marshmallows) was an absolute winner, too.

Frankie's Food Factory Flower Power Milperra Sydney

Kids will love drawing on the paper covering the tables while they wait for their meals to arrive.

Frankie's Food Factory Flower Power Milperra Sydney

There is a small kids’ games area at the front of the cafe that mostly requires money to operate. 

Frankie's Food Factory Flower Power Milperra Sydney

We visited during the school holidays and it was packed. According to staff school holidays and weekends are always busy. We arrived at 11:30am and waited about 30 mins for a table.

Frankie's Food Factory Flower Power Milperra Sydney

Don’t forget to flash your Garden Lovers Club membership card for a 5% discount. Frankie’s is 100% pet friendly so you can bring your furbabies too.

Frankie's Food Factory Flower Power Milperra Sydney Frankie's Food Factory Flower Power Milperra Sydney Frankie's Food Factory Flower Power Milperra Sydney Frankie's Food Factory Flower Power Milperra Sydney Frankie's Food Factory Flower Power Milperra Sydney Frankie's Food Factory Flower Power Milperra Sydney Frankie's Food Factory Flower Power Milperra Sydney

Frankie’s Food Factory at Flower Power Milperra
479 Henry Lawson Drive, Milperra
Phone: (02) 9899 2299
Hours: Daily, 8.30am-5pm
http://frankiesfoodfactory.com/

Get Directions

Claris High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

Claris High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

Claris High Tea at the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

Ooh la la! Join Claris, the most fashionable mouse in Paris, for an elegant High Tea the French way at Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour this winter.

Claris High Tea at the Sofitel Darling Harbour Sydney

Every Saturday afternoon through October, indulge in an exquisite afternoon tea inspired by Australian fashion illustrator Megan Hess and her acclaimed children’s book, Claris, the Chicest Mouse in Paris.

Claris High Tea at the Sofitel Darling Harbour Sydney

The High Tea is served on level three, in the bright and airy dining room with a fantastic view over Darling Harbour. Each table is set with the most gorgeous specially designed Claris limited-edition fine porcelain plates with matching cutlery, designed by Megan Hess, with matching cutlery.

This tea is not just for kids – I would highly recommend it for adults minus the kids, too. It is elegant, sophisticated, and absolutely delicious!

The High Tea includes a tea stand filled with three tiers of savoury and sweet treats, free-flowing tea and coffee, a chocolate fountain, soft drink option for younger guests and a Claris the Mouse gift bag for kids containing a Claris book.

Claris High Tea at the Sofitel Darling Harbour Sydney

SWEET
Red berry pannacotta glass
Raspberry macaroon
Ruby chocolate madeleines
Chocolate pocky sticks
Profiterole – cocoa nib cream
Scones – jam – cream

Claris High Tea at the Sofitel Darling Harbour Sydney

Claris High Tea at the Sofitel Darling Harbour Sydney

SAVOURY
Mini sausage rolls *
Mini quiche Lorraine *
Avocado smoked salmon green bun *
Tomato bocconcini pink bun

* Our vegetarian substitutes included a mushroom quiche, vegetable sausage roll and a cheese and tomato sandwich. 

Claris High Tea at the Sofitel Darling Harbour Sydney

CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN
Homemade guimauve
Marshmallow
Mini churros
Beignet fried dough
Fresh strawberries

Claris High Tea at the Sofitel Darling Harbour Sydney Claris High Tea at the Sofitel Darling Harbour Sydney

Kids have the option of colouring in a Claris stencil.

Claris High Tea at the Sofitel Darling Harbour Sydney

This is without a doubt one of the best high teas I have ever done. The food was impeccable – every single item delicious – but it was more than that. The staff were attentive, asking if we would like more tea and how was everything, and the atmosphere was so relaxing. I loved the beautiful view over the harbour and how much space was between the tables. It felt like our own private tea party. 

I also loved how our vegetarian substitutes were created thoughtfully – not just the same sandwich with the meat protein removed, for example. 

The food was also all very accessible for kids, pretty and simple, without sacrificing the taste for adults who have more developed taste palates.

Claris High Tea at the Sofitel Darling Harbour Sydney Claris High Tea at the Sofitel Darling Harbour Sydney Claris High Tea at the Sofitel Darling Harbour Sydney Claris High Tea at the Sofitel Darling Harbour Sydney Claris High Tea at the Sofitel Darling Harbour Sydney Claris High Tea at the Sofitel Darling Harbour Sydney Claris High Tea at the Sofitel Darling Harbour Sydney

Available every Saturday afternoon 1-4pm until 13 October 2019:

$69 per person | $58 for AccorPlus Members

$79 including a glass of French sparkling

$95 including a glass of Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée Brut

$35 for children 2 – 11yo | Free for children under 2.

Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour
12 Darling Dr, Sydney

Get Directions

We were hosted for this high tea. All opinions are my own.

Casula Parklands Adventure Playground

Casula Parklands Sydney

The brand new Casula Parklands has something for everyone, from toddlers to adults. Located near the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, the park features play equipment and fitness training for all ages.

Casula Parklands Sydney

The $4 million park opened in May 2019 on the site of an old golf course. Spread across 15 acres, the new park includes:

Casula Parklands Sydney

Ninja training circuit for adults and teenagers

Casula Parklands Sydney
Eight-metre-high Sky Walk and tunnel slide for older kids and teens

Casula Parklands Sydney

Casula Parklands SydneySwings including a nest swing
Accessible carousel

Casula Parklands Sydney
Dual flying foxes

Casula Parklands Sydney
Toddler playground

Casula Parklands Sydney
A fitness training area for adults that is located some distance from the main facilities
Separate off-leash parks for big dogs and small dogs
Flat paths for scooting or bike riding

Facilities

Casula Parklands Sydney
Shaded picnic shelters

Casula Parklands Sydney
Large, clean bathrooms
Water bubblers

There is parking right near the main playground equipment, however it is minimal. There is more parking available at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre further down the road, however it is a long walk back particularly for small kids. 

How to get there
Finding the park can seem tricky. Enter Powerhouse Road via Shepherd Street and keep driving – the park is on your left hand side. 

Casula Parklands Sydney

If travelling by public transport, take the train to Casula station, then walk 10 minutes to the adventure playground

Facilities
Casula Parklands adventure playground has men’s, women’s and disabled toilets. Covered picnic shelters are available along with water bubblers.

Food and Drink
The nearest cafe is Bellbird Dining and Bar at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre. Advertised as a 10 min walk, it would be longer with kids.

Casula Parklands Sydney Casula Parklands Sydney Casula Parklands Sydney

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Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Barbie's High Tea Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Live your Barbie world dreams out at the outrageously pink Barbie High Tea at the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney.

Barbie's High Tea Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

From 5 to 28 July 2019, Executive Pastry Chef Anna Polyviou’s creative and delicious High Tea is on offer, themed to pay tribute to the iconic Barbie.

Barbie's High Tea Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

The lower Lobby Lounge is decorated beautifully in Barbie pink, including a retrospective photo wall of Barbie throughout the years and a throne for taking photos. Kids will adore the Barbie play house that is tucked into a little nook.

Barbie's High Tea Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Kids can BYO Barbies or play with the Barbie that is given to each adult throughout the meal to take home and keep.

Barbie's High Tea Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Sweet

“Fairy Bread Cake” 
(white chocolate mud cake, bubble gum, Froot Loops)

“Rainbow Trifle” 
(rainbow jelly, vanilla creme, fruit salad)

“Barbie Macaron”
(strawberries and cream butter creme)

“Choux Burger” 
(apple compote, rhubarb jelly, cinnamon crumble)

Pink Whippy Ice Cream

Savoury

Vegetable Sushi
(avocado, cucumber, carrot)

Sausage Roll
(flaky pastry, pork mince, tomato sauce)*

Chicken Sandwich
(roast chicken, coleslaw, mayonnaise)**

Egg Wraps
(egg, lettuce, wrap)

* Vegetarian substitute was a vegetable quiche
** Vegetarian substitute was the sandwich minus the chicken

Scones

Buttermilk Scones, Clotted Cream, Mixed Berry Jam

Barbie's High Tea Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Add ons

Barbie Shake $12
Glass of Chandon Rose $15
Glass of NV Chandon Brut Sparkling $15
Glass of NV Verve Cliquot Champagne $30

Barbie's High Tea Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

The theming at the High tea is extraordinary. Everywhere is decorated neo pink, pink, pink. With these thoughtful details, the mood is for a festive, fun dining experience.

Barbie's High Tea Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Kids are even offered a sweet treat on arrival, with a variety of vintage lollies on offer including ring pops and candy necklaces.

Barbie's High Tea Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

We loved the kid-friendly savoury items, with the plain sushi a hit and egg wraps my favourite. The scones were fresh, fluffy and delicious, and the sweets inventive and so bright it felt bad to eat them.

The creative choux burger was a delicious surprise – adorably made to look like a burger but tasing like an apple sweet. The rainbow trifle was the other favourite desert, with the bright, tangy jelly popping with flavour in between layers of fruit and cream.

It’s a must to add the Barbie shake! So fun and delightful to look at, the kids just adored eating the fairy floss from the top before drinking the strawberry shake underneath.

Barbie's High Tea Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

As always, at the Shangri-La Hotel, the High Tea is pink perfection!

Barbie's High Tea Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney Barbie's High Tea Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney Barbie's High Tea Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney Barbie's High Tea Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

The Barbie High Tea, priced from $50 per child and $65 per adult *** (adult price includes a Barbie Doll), is available daily at The Lobby Lounge from 5 to 28 July 2019, between 11 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.; 1:15 and 3 p.m., and between 3:30 and 5:15 p.m.
***15% surcharge on Sundays and public holidays.

The Lobby Lounge, Shangri-La Hotel
176 Cumberland Street,
The Rocks, Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9250 6000
Prices: $$$
Bookings are essential. Please call (61 2) 9250 6000 or email dine.slsn@shangri-la.com
Online: shangri-la.com/sydney/shangrila/offer-detail/dining/easter-garden-high-tea/
Get Directions

We were hosted for this magical high tea. All opinions are my own. Additional images courtesy of the Shangri-La Hotel.

More things to do in Sydney

Find a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids here.

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

Get a list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

Check out things to do in Sydney on a rainy day here.

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

First time visiting Sydney? Get tips for first time visitors to Sydney here.

Cool down at one of these free water parks in Sydney.

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney here.

Blast into space with the Apollo 11 exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

Moon Powerhouse Museum

Blast off into space at the new Apollo 11 exhibition commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Moon landing at the Powerhouse Museum.

Moon Powerhouse Museum

The new exhibition explores the defining moment in history when the first astronauts landed on the moon, with over 200 objects including Luke Jerram’s iconic Museum of the Moon, archival objects from the Powerhouse Museum collection and a new virtual reality work (ages 11+). Apollo 11 will also explore the crucial role Australia played in transmitting the famous footage of the landing around the world.

Moon Powerhouse Museum

The exhibition is in two sections. On the lower level is the highlight of the exhibition, the incredible Museum of the Moon, seven-metre wide, internally-lit artwork created by artist Luke Jerram. It combines detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface with a sound installation by award winning composer Dan Jones. The Museum of the Moon is at an approximate scale of 1:500,000. Each centimetre represents 5km of the moon’s surface.

Walk underneath and admire the incredible detail. It’s as close as most of us will ever get to looking at the surface of the moon.

Moon Powerhouse Museum

The second part of the exhibition is accessed by escalator or elevator to the floor above. It contains over 200 pieces on display including archival pieces, scientific models and installations.

Representing Australia’s involvement is part of the iconic CSIRO Parkes Radio Telescope, responsible for receiving some of the first images of the moonwalk and broadcasting over 2 hours around the world.

Moon Powerhouse Museum

Visitors can peer into a life-size replica of the Mercury Capsule, look at a piece of moon rock and try their hand at landing a lunar shuttle.

Moon Powerhouse Museum

Those over the age of 11 can experience the Apollo 11 mission from the unique perspective of Michael Collins, the third astronaut who remained in orbit aboard the Command Module, through a virtual reality program.

Moon Powerhouse Museum

Moon Powerhouse Museum Moon Powerhouse Museum Moon Powerhouse Museum Moon Powerhouse Museum Moon Powerhouse Museum Moon Powerhouse Museum Moon Powerhouse Museum Moon Powerhouse Museum

The gift shop houses a wide range of space-related goodies to take home.

Moon Powerhouse Museum

Apollo 11 opens June 29, 2019.

Powerhouse Museum
500 Harris St, Ultimo
maas.museum/powerhouse-museum

The Best Things To Do In NYC With Kids (Or Without!)

The Best Things do to in NYC with Kids

The Big Apple might appear to be a playground made for adults. However, the city that never sleeps also caters very well for our little ones who might similarly never rest, which makes it the perfect vaycay when you think about it! There are plenty of things to do with kids in NYC – so many so that you’ll need to extend your trip to fit them all in!

Things To Do In NYC With Kids

#NewYorkCity For Families via christineknight.me

Upper West Side

Children’s Museum of Manhattan

Winter Hibernation Guide: Children's Museum of Manhattan via brunchwithmybaby.com

Located on the Upper West Side, the Children’s Museum has several levels of interactive exhibits for kids of all ages. Cafe Lalo, right across the street, was in the movie You’ve Got Mail and does an amazing frozen yoghurt with fresh berries. If you’ve got a rainy or cold day, the Children’s Museum is a perfect activity to add to your list of things to do with kids in NYC.

Read more about our experience at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan here.

American Museum Of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History is home to the largest collection of dinosaurs in the world. It’s also a great place for hot/cold days to let kids run free. Check out the Titanasaur, the 122-foot long dinosaur skeleton and the amazing blue whale suspended from the roof.

American Museum of Natural History

Kids will love the Discovery Room, which is a hands-on area for little ones to explore science. The room is available for certain time slots every day only.

American Museum of Natural History

If you have a dinosaur fan, then a visit to the AMNH absolutely must be on your list of things to do in NYC with kids.

Read about visiting the American Museum of Natural History here.

Central Park

Central Park

The incredible Central Park is 843 acres of sprawling lawns, large rocks, playgrounds, gardens lakes and sculptures. There is so much to see and do in the park, for adults and also kids. It is without a double one of the best things to do with kids in NYC.

Central Park Carousel

Central Park for Families via christineknight.me

It’s a bit pricier than the other carousels at $3 a ride for kids and adults accompanying them, but all horses go up and down and super fast. We regularly seek out carouses and New York has them in spades. Ticking them all off your travel bucket list is a really fun way to experience New York with kids.

Central Park Conservatory Water

Central Park

This is the pond where you can rent little remote control sailboats boats that you’ve seen in movies, and then climb all over the nearby Alice In Wonderland statue. The sailboats are pricey to hire and are slow to navigate but lots of kids really enjoy sailing them.

Alice in Wonderland Statue

Central Park

A beautiful bronze statue that kids love to climb on top of (and adults too!). Saying “hello” to Alice is a memorable way to visit New York with kids.

Hans Christian Anderson Statue

Central Park

Another bronze statue in the same area.

Bethesda Fountain and Terrace

Bethesda Fountain

Bethesda Fountain and Terrace overlook the lake. The angel on top of the fountain is beautiful to behold. The terrace often has buskers performing.

Playgrounds

There are 16 to explore! While you might never visit them all, they are a truly local experience, and a good addition to any list of things to do with kids in NYC. Our faves are:

Heckscher Playground

Heckscher Playground Central Park

The oldest playground in Central Park, Heckscher Playground is also the largest at nearly three acres. Best suited for kids aged 6-12, it features a variety of slides, swings, and seesaws, a water fixture and giant rocks for climbing. 

Ancient Playground

Ancient Playground Central Park

Located just north of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the playground features pyramids, obelisk and sundial, inspired by the museum’s collection of Egyptian Art. The playground is located on 85th Street right off of Fifth Avenue. The playground features equipment for kids of all ages.

Find more playgrounds in Central Park here.

Belvedere Castle

Belvedere Castle

This miniature castle offers great views of the park and also turtle spotting in the water below. The castle is currently used as a visitors centre.

Central Park for Families via christineknight.me

Central Park Zoo

Central Park Zoo via christineknight.me

In the main part of the zoo, kids love watching the seals and penguins. The attached Tisch Children’s Zoo is where you can feed animals. There’s also an Imax theatre if it’s a hot/cold day. Kids will also love the Delacorte Music Clock, near the children’s zoo, which plays music every half hour from 8am until 5pm daily. It plays a total of 44 songs that change with the season.

Row a boat

Central Park for Families via christineknight.me

Rent a boat at the Loeb Boathouse and row around the Central Park Lake. What an iconic experience, straight out of the movies! A really fun way to create memories in New York with kids.

Get more tips on things to do in Central Park with kids here.

Ice Skating (seasonal)

Ice Skating Central Park

Is there a more iconic experience in New York than skating in Central Park? The Wollman Rink is located on the east side, close to the Central Park Zoo. The rick is open from late October to early April. Skate hire, bathrooms and lockers are available. 

Upper East Side

Dylan’s Candy Bar

Dylan's Candy Bar, New York

The world’s largest confectionary emporium and lifestyle brand, Dylan’s Candy Bar is a real-life candytopia. The original flagship location on New York City’s Upper East Side features three floors of delicious treats, including a cafe on the top floor.

Read more about visiting Dylan’s Candy Bar here.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan’s Museum Mile, is the largest art museum in the United States and one of the world’s largest and most visited art galleries. With over two million works spread throughout seventeen departments, you could easily spend an entire day inside and still not see everything the museum has to offer. 

It is very do-able with kids as it is absolutely massive and has plenty of space for strollers, with no requirement to be super quiet. You can read more about their offerings for families here

Be sure to visit the rooftop garden if it’s open for a stunning view and their latest rooftop culture offering.

Read about visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art here.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim New York

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, often called “The Guggenheim” is renowned for its spiral design by A Frank Lloyd Wright. The museum is extremely kid-friendly, with activity packs, family activity guides, Find and Flip cards and a variety of family programming including stroller tours, which we did several of. Note: kids under 12 are free. Don’t let them run down the ramp!

Read about visiting the Guggenheim here and the Guggenheim family programmes here

Roosevelt Island

#RooseveltIsland Day Trip via brunchwithmybaby.com

For a sunny-day outing that’s out of your regular routine, catch the sky tram to Roosevelt Island. This narrow island is situated in New York City’s East River, between Manhattan and Queens.

#RooseveltIsland Day Trip via brunchwithmybaby.com

It’s a tiny island, running from Manhattan’s East 46th to East 85th Streets, and is only about 2 miles (3.2 km) long, making it an easily conquerable size for a fun day trip with young kids.

Read more about visiting Roosevelt Island here.

Museum of the City of New York

The Museum of the City of New York preserves and presents the history of the city, including important artefacts. They often have excellent exhibitions that are family-friendly. When we visited, the exhibition was on local author Mo Willems.

Dimenna Children’s History Museum

Dimenna Children's History Museum New York

The Dimenna Children’s History Museum is located inside the Museum of the City of New York. It is an excellent hands-on area for kids to learn about New York City.

Dimenna Children's History Museum New York Dimenna Children's History Museum New York Dimenna Children's History Museum New York

Read about visiting the Museum of the City of New York here.

Midtown

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Museum of Modern Art New York

One of the largest and most influential museums of modern art in the world is also one of the most welcoming to children. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is a place to take kids to encourage their creativity, let them explore and, most importantly, have fun.

Read about visiting the MoMA here.

Ellen’s Star Dust Diner

Ellen's Stardust Diner

This iconic diner with singing waitstaff is a bit of a tourist trap and the food is average, but it’s an amazing experience that the whole family will enjoy.

Read about visiting Ellen’s Star Dust Diner here.

See a Broadway Show

Wicked Broadway New York

Seeing a Broadway show is always number one on my priority list when we visit New York City – and there are plenty of kid-friendly ones to choose from. Check here to see which kid-friendly shows are playing during your visit. I advise booking tickets in advance from Broadway.com or directly from the production’s website. You can also score cheap tickets if you’re lucky – info on how to get cheap Broadway tickets here.

When booking tickets to see a Broadway show, I highly recommend checking the age requirements and suggestions on the production’s website. Each show has it’s own requirement (meaning kids under a certain age are not permitted) and suggestions (its advised kids are a certain age or over but they will permit younger kids). 

Remember that Broadway shows are aimed at entertaining adults and are long – usually around 2 hours 45 mins or 3 hours. They may contain adult language, concepts and visual content. Please consider the rest of the audience as well before taking young children into full-length Broadway shows.

Times Square

Times Square New York

An absolute tourist trap, Times Square is a throbbing hum of people and should be approached with caution. Yes, walk through it and see the famous lights, however keep your wits about you, your bags zipped and kids tightly in hand or a stroller. There are lots of pick pockets in this area who love to target tourists.

Keep an eye out for people dressed as characters. If you take a photo with them they will harass you for money.

Disney Store

Disney Store NYC via christineknight.me

If you do visit Times Square, you must visit the Disney Store. It is absolutely massive and jam packed with everything Disney. 

Hard Rock Cafe 

Hard Rock Cafe New York Times Square
We dined at the Hard Rock Cafe and really enjoyed the experience, despite it being a bit touristy. It’s a great place to grab dinner before a show and is packed with amazing memorabilia. They have a great range of kids meals and food the whole family will eat.

Hard Rock Cafe New York Times Square Hard Rock Cafe New York Times Square Hard Rock Cafe New York Times Square

The Plaza Hotel

#Eloise Rawther Fancy High Tea at the #Plaza via brunchwithmybaby.com

The Plaza Hotel is the perfect fancy outing for little girls. Take older kids to try the Eloise-themed high tea in the famous Palm Court upstairs, or enjoy a preschooler- and toddler-friendly rawther fancy tea party in the special Eloise room inside the Eloise store on the lower level of the Plaza Hotel. In our opinion, this is a classic experience and a must when visiting New York with kids.

Read more about the Eloise-themed afternoon tea here, and the fancy tea party the special Eloise room here

New York Public Library

New York Public Library via christineknight.me

It’s free to enter this iconic library – with nearly 53 million items, the New York Public Library is the second largest public library in the United States, and fourth largest in the world. It has a great children’s section downstairs.

Read about visiting the New York Public Library here.

Bryant Park

Bryant Park New York

Right behind the New York Public Library is Bryant Park. It features a fountain, lush gardens and a carousel. In winter the park has an ice skating rink and large Christmas tree. The park is a fantastic spot to sit down and eat lunch or just take a break from the busy city.

Bryant Park Carousel

Bryant Park New York

Le Carrousel in Bryant Park was especially created to complement the park’s French classical style. An homage to European and American carousel traditions, the carousel is quite tiny but feature really sweet animals to ride like a rabbit and cat.
 
Bryant Park ice skating (Seasonal)

Bryant Park Ice Skating Rink New York

The ice skating rink at Bryant Park is open seasonally, along with the Winter Village. Typically the rink it open around October to April.

Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center Ice Skating New York

The historic Rockefeller Center is a must visit – and one of the top things to do in NYC with kids in my opinion. The centre itself is magnificent to behold, and there are plenty of family-friendly activities to do there.

Rockefeller Center New York

I love the seasonal displays leading down to the amphitheatre that holds the skating rink in winter.

Ice Skating (seasonal)

Rockefeller Center Ice Skating New York

The Rink at Rockefeller is another iconic spot to ice skate during the winter months. Skate hire, bathrooms and lockers are available.

LEGO Store

Rockefeller Center Lego Store New York

The LEGO Store features incredible LEGO sculptures, pick-a-brick areas and consumer-friendly play areas.

American Girl Place

Rockefeller Center American Girl Store New York

American Girl Place is the flagship store for the iconic doll brand. The store stocks the full range of American Girl dolls, clothes and accessories, a cafe and salon where girls and their dolls can get their ears pierced and receive spa treatments.

Read about visiting American Girl Place and dining at the cafe here.

FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz New York

The iconic toy store re-opened in late 2018 in this new location. It’s an absolute must add to a list of things to do with kids NYC, even if you’re not planning to buy anything. Make music on the giant piano, hug a larger-than-life plushie, play with cars on the racetrack and much more.

FAO Schwarz New York

Read about FAO Schwarz here. Thank you to Have Wheelchair Will Travel for the pics.

The Top of the Rock

Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center, New York

Top of the Rock Observatory sits at the top of the Rockefeller Center in the heart of New York City. From this incredible location, the Observatory offers breathtaking views of the city including the Empire State Building and Central Park.

Read about visiting The Top Of The Rock here.

Empire State Building

Empire State Building

The Empire State Building in Midtown Manhattan, is an Art Deco masterpiece. Built in 1931, the skyscraper is 102-stories tall and features the highest open-air observatory in New York City.

Read about visiting the Empire State Building here.

Union Square

Murray’s Bagels

Five New York Foods You Need To Eat via christineknight.me

New York does bagels like no other city. It’s something to do with the water. My favourite place for bagels is Murray’s. Just don’t ask for it toasted.

Union Square Playground

Union Square Playground New York

This is a really quirky playground, featuring a gleaming hemispherical dome, checkerboard rubber flooring, slides, spiral climbers and horns that seem like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. 

14 St – Union Square Station

New York 14th Street Station
Oddly, the station is actually fun for kids. There are lots of the quirky Tom Otterness sculptures to spot everywhere and there are always street performers, usually musicians or dancers, performing.

Flatiron

Flatiron Building

Flatiron New York

The Flatiron Building, which was originally called the Fuller Building, is a triangular 22-story, 285-foot tall building located at 175 Fifth Avenue. It might not seem like one of the top things to do in New York with kids, however in my experience kids love it because the triangular shape is so unusual.

LEGO Store

LEGO Store Flatiron New York

The LEGO Store is near the Flatiron Building. It is a smaller version of the Rockefeller store, featuring small play areas and plenty of LEGO sculptures.

Dylan’s Candy Bar

Dylan's Candy Bar, New York

A small outlet, it’s worth dropping by if you can’t make it to the original Dylan’s Candy Bar uptown.

The National Museum of Mathematics

National Museum of Mathematics New York

The National Museum of Mathematics or MoMath is the only hands-on science center in Manhattan. Dedicated to mathematics, the museum explores math through dynamic exhibits and fun activities. You’ll never look at math the same way again!

Read about visiting the National Museum of Mathematics here.

Madison Square

Madison Square New York
This little park has a great playground and the original Shake Shack, and is right across the road from Eataly (delicious kid-friendly place to grab lunch, coffee or gelato).

Read about things to do in Madison Square and dining at Eataly here.

Chelsea

Ample Hils Creamery

Ample Hills New York

If you love ice cream then you must try Ample Hills Creamery, located near Chelsea Market. The name for the creamery came from a Walt Whitman poem, who liked to wax lyrical about what an awesome place Brooklyn was back in the 1800s (he was an early adopter). The poem goes: “I too lived. Brooklyn of ample hills was mine…” And thus, Ample Hills Creamery was born, using only the freshest local and hormone-free ingredients. The dairy and eggs come from farms in upstate New York. There are tables inside to side and enjoy your scoop.

Read about visiting Ample Hills Creamery here.

Whitney Museum of American Art

Located at the foot of the High Line, the Whitney Museum of American Art is an art museum focusing on 20th- and 21st-century American art. The Whitney is very family-friendly and their Whitney Family Programs offer interactive tours, art making workshops, and special events, with a focus on encouraging kids and adults to enjoy art together.

Read about visiting the Whitney here.

Chelsea Market

Willow Road, kid-friendly restaurants, Chelsea, New York, via brunchwithmybaby.com

Chelsea Market is an indoor food court and office building located under the High Line. It’s a great spot to grab a bite to eat or wander through on a cold or rainy day. There are restrooms and elevators inside and the food offerings range from grab and go to sit down.

Read about visiting the Chelsea Market here.

The High Line

New York High Line

This public park is elevated above street level. It’s a fantastic spot to stroll above the city through greenery and public art – with a stunning view of the streets below.

New York High Line

The High Line was created on the former New York Central Railroad and features points of interest along the way such as sculptures and murals and plenty of trees and plants.

The entrance at 34th street and 12th avenue has a great little area thats been designed for kids to play in. There is also a ramp at this entrance.

Read about visiting the High Line here. Get information about access points including elevator access here.

SoHo

Books of Wonder

Books of Wonder

Book worms will adore New York’s oldest children’s bookstore (founded in 1980). Books of Wonder stocks a vast selection of books for kids of all ages: board books, picture books, novels, reference books, YA books, collectible first editions and rare children’s books. Pull up at a table and read away a wet and rainy day.

Read more about visiting Books of Wonder here.

Dominique Ansel Bakery

This bakery is a must-visit. The bakery was made famous by cronuts, however I prefer their made-to-order mini madeleines, which are served hot and fresh.

Dominique Ansel bakery NYC via christineknight.me

I also loved their cookie cup filled with milk – perfect for kids.

Read about visiting the Dominique Ansel Bakery here.

Vesuvio playground

Vesuvio Playground Soho

Located right behind right behind Dominique Ansel, this is a fab playground to run off steam between eating and shopping.

Children’s Museum Of The Arts

Children's Museum of the Arts NYC via christineknight.me

This gorgeous SoHo facility has an all-ages drop in for their art studio, full of materials for kids to just explore and create messy masterpieces. They also have a ball room to jump in with big balls and story and music times. Older kids will love the clay studio.

Read about visiting the CMANY here.

TriBeCa

Rockefeller Park & Tom Otterness “Real World” Sculptures

Tom Otterness Real World New York

A truly unique park that is worth visiting, Rockefeller Park is home to an incredible collection of Tom Otterness sculptures.

Tom Otterness Real World New York

The installation, entitled “Real World” was opened in 1992. Wander though this whimsical park and enjoy the fine detail in these sculptures, which are a mix of stylised human and animal characters with reference to the financial world.

Tom Otterness Real World New York Rockefeller Park

There is an excellent fenced playground near the park as well.

Washington Market Park  & Playground

Washington Market Park Playground

This beautiful park is an oasis of green in the city. The actual garden itself is fenced, and there are no further fences inside. Washington Market Park features a large playground with a section for older kids and one for younger.

Washington Market Park Playground

There is a cute little wooden train to play on too. The park also features a butterfly garden.

Pier 25

Pier 25 Playground New York

Pier 25 is an excellent little recreation spot on the Hudson River. It features miniature golf, bathrooms, food options (seasonal) sand volleyball and play areas. The playground at Pier 25 is excellent. It was recently renovated and has eight seasonal water features. 

Financial District

National September 11 Memorial & Museum

New York September 11 Memorial Pools

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum commemorates the September 11, 2001 attacks, which killed 2,977 people, and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six. The Memorial Pools are free and open to the public to wander around. The museum is ticketed. We’ve been to the Memorial with our daughter when she was a baby and then as a seven-year-old. Babies and toddlers I would take with no hesitation as they are too small to understand what it’s about. Older children I would take with caution as they will want to have the circumstances of the Memorial explained. I would only take much older children into the Museum.

Read about visiting the National September 11 Memorial & Museum here.

One World Observatory

One World Observatory, New York

Climb to the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, the One World Trade Center, in New York City. The One World Observatory is located on the 100-102 floors with breathtaking views, restaurants and exhibits on offer.

Read more about visiting the One World Observatory here.

Oculus

Oculus New York

This incredible structure is a train station and shopping center, and I highly recommend a visit and walk inside to explore. It feels like walking inside a whale skeleton. The glass-and-steel structure was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava to look like a dove in flight.

Oculus New York

There is also some very cool street art outside.

Oculus New York

Fearless Girl Statue

Fearless Girl New York

The Fearless Girl statue has been adopted as a symbol of female empowerment. It was originally placed in front of the Charing Bull sculpture, but has since been moved in front of the stock exchange.

Imagination Playground

Imagination playground New York

Imagination Playgrounds are famous for the blue, foam blocks that they have in the playgrounds for kids aged two and up to play with. They’re basically huge shapes made out of non-toxic lightweight foam. 

The blocks are only one feature of this great, Nautical-themed playground. At one end lies a huge sandpit, with a ramp running over the top and a twisty slide that ends up back in the sand. In the afternoons, this section is fully shaded, so gives a great respite from the heat if you can just get your kid to stay there.

Read more about visiting the Imagination Playground here.

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty New York

The iconic Lady Liberty was a gift to the United States from France. If you want to see her up close, your options are the free Staten Island Ferry, which goes past the island but does not land on it, or the ticketed ferry which lands on the island. 

You can get all the information you need on visiting the island, including tickets and how to access the crown and pedestal here. A grounds only ticket is the easiest to get – tickets to the pedestal and crown are limited and sell out very quickly in advance. Crown tickets often sell out six months in advance.

Children must be at least four (4) feet, or 1.2 meters, tall to visit the crown but there is no height requirement to visit the pedestal.

SeaGlass Carousel

Seaglass Carousel At the Battery Conservancy, New York City via christineknight.me

Take a magical underwater spin on the SeaGlass Carousel – a fish-themed carousel in Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan Island in New York City that opened in August 2015.

Read about visiting the SeaGlass Carousel here.

Governor’s Island (seasonal)

Governor's Island Survival Guide via brunchwithmybaby.com

A fun day trip during summer: catch the ferry and spend the day. Get food from the food trucks, bring a ball to kick around, lounge in the giant hammocks. They have a lot of events so look on their site for anything fun happening. Ferries go from the Financial District and Brooklyn.

Read more about our experience on Governor’s Island here.

Bronx

Bronx Zoo

Bronx Zoo via christineknight.me

It’s not as far to get to as you’d think – a fast train trip and a good option if the kids are going a bit crazy in the city. They have a fun monorail type thing where you watch all the animals around the park, a revamped kids’ zoo with a bug carousel, and a lot of space for kids to run free.

New York Botanical Garden

Bronx Botanical Gardens via christineknight.me

A great trip out of the city for the day, the New York Botanical Garden is particularly beautiful in spring when all the flowers and cherry trees are blooming. Check what’s on as they always have great exhibitions. The food is pretty average so I’d pack my own and have a picnic lunch.

The gardens are so easy to get to by train. The B, D or 4 are all nearby, and it’s a short walk from the station to the garden. The gardens are MASSIVE. There is a tram to get around, but we always walk and haven’t found it too large for strolling between each area. 

Read about visiting the New York Botanical Garden here.

Brooklyn

New York Transit Museum

New York Transit Museum

Climb aboard the transport of yesterday at the New York Transit Museum. There are plenty of trains and buses to pretend to drive as well as fascinating historical artifacts and information for adults.

Read about visiting the New York Transit Museum here.

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge New York

The Brooklyn Bridge joins Manhattan to Brooklyn, spanning the East River. Since its completion in 1883, the bridge has become one of the city’s most famous icons. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the best ways to explore the city’s neighbourhoods and experience breathtaking views along the way. The whole route is stroller-friendly.

Read about walking across the Brooklyn Bridge here.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park New York

This beautiful waterfront park wraps around the Brooklyn shoreline from DUMBO to Brooklyn Heights. It has numerous sporting fields and green spaces, gardens and playgrounds spread across six piers. Bring a picnic lunch or buy lunch at one of the many restaurants along the way. Brooklyn Bridge Park is extremely stroller-friendly!

Brooklyn Bridge Park Toddler Playground

There is a toddler playground at Pier 1 that is excellent for little ones. 

Brooklyn Bridge Park Main Street Playground

For older kids, the nautical-themed Main Street playground on Plymouth Street is a great bet. 

Walk further along the entire length of the park if you have time to explore all of the green spaces and playground. 

Pier 6 is home to a variety of playgrounds including the Water Lab, Swing Valley and Sandbox Village.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6 Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6

Pier 6 is also where the ferries to Governor’s Island depart.

Read about visiting Brooklyn Bridge Park here.

Jane’s Carousel

Jane's Carousel, Brooklyn: The Best of New York for Families via christineknight.me

Jane’s Carousel opened in the Brooklyn Bridge Park on the East River on September 16, 2011 after a full restoration. The carousel itself actually dates back to 1922. 

Jane's Carousel Brooklyn New York

The carousel is cheap at only $2 a spin on our last visit. Check their opening days and hours carefully as they change seasonally.

Read about visiting Jane’s Carousel here.

DUMBO Brooklyn Eats 

One Girl Cookie

If you’re walking around DUMBO, be sure to check out some of the amazing cafes and restaurants in the area. I highly recommend: Jacques Torres chocolates, One Girl Cookie (they make amazing layer cake and cupcakes), Almondine (famous for croissants and fruit tarts), pizza! (Juliana’s is the best of them all), Superfine (a bar that is super kid-friendly, has a pool table and also makes amazing cocktails). 

Brooklyn Children’s Museum

Brooklyn Children's Museum

A bit tricky to get to due to its location in the residential area of Crown Heights, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum was founded in 1899 and is the first children’s museum in the United States (possibly also the first one worldwide).

Brooklyn Children's Museum

The museum features plenty of hands-on play for kids including a brooklyn-themed area, water play and sensory room.

Read about visiting the Brooklyn Children’s Museum here.

Prospect Park

#ProspectParkZoo via brunchwithmybaby.com

The sprawling Prospect Park was constructed between 1865 and 1895 by the same designers who created Central Park. The 585-acre park feels a lot more natural than Central Park, with plenty of foresty areas and lots of trees. The park features sporting fields, running paths and playgrounds and is simply magnificent to visit in the fall.

Grand Army Plaza Brooklyn New York

Attractions in Prospect Park include the bandshell, Audubon Center, the zoo and Grand Army Plaza. 

Read about visiting Prospect Park here.

Children’s Corner

This area of the park is home to several features that are excellent for kids, including the historic Lefferts Historic House, Zucker Natural Exploration Area, Prospect Park Carousel (one of the few wheelchair-accessible carousels in the world) and the zoo. The Children’s Corner is located near the Willink entrance, at Flatbush Avenue and Empire Boulevard.

Prospect Park Carousel

Prospect Park Carousel Brooklyn New York

This beautiful 1912 carousel is only open between March and November. It features hand-carved horses, dragon-pulled chariots, a lion and a deer, and only costs $2 a ride.

Read about visiting the Prospect Park Carousel here.

Prospect Park Zoo

Prospect Zoo Brooklyn New York

The Prospect Park Zoo makes up the Wildlife Conservation Society along with the Central Park Zoo, the Queens Zoo, the Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium. Home to 400 animals of over 80 species in environments that have been designed to imitate their natural habitats.

Prospect Park Zoo

Kids will love the Barn and Garden area with farm animals who can be fed grain.

Read about visiting Prospect Park Zoo here.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens New York

A must-visit during spring when the cherry blossoms are in full, stunning bloom. The 52-acre garden is located next to Prospect Park. They have strict rules about sitting on lawns so choose where you sit wisely.

Read about visiting the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens here

Ample Hills Creamery

Possibly the best ice cream of all time. Crazy flavours and reasonable prices, this Brooklyn ice creamery is worth the trip to Gowanus, but you can also enjoy a scoop in Chelsea.

Read about visiting their Gowanus store here.

Coney Island

Coney Island New York

Catch the train to iconic Coney Island to people watch swim at the beach, ride the Cyclone rollercoaster or try one of Nathan’s famous hot dogs.

Totonnos Coney Island New York

You can also get some of the best pizza in New York here – don’t visit Coney Island without trying a slice from Totonnos.

Read about visiting Totonnos here.

New York Aquarium

New York Aquarium Coney Island

The New York Aquarium is the oldest continually operating aquarium in the United States. It opened in Castle Garden in Battery Park, Manhattan in 1896, and was relocated to the boardwalk in Coney island in 1957. The aquarium was hit hard during the 2012 hurricane and was closed afterwards for renovations (it has since reopened). It features otters, seals, sea lions, walruses and a Giant Pacific octopus.

You can read about our experience visiting the aquarium before its renovation here.

The Cloisters, Washington Heights

A Day Trip To The #Cloisters via brunchwithmybaby.com

During the warmer months, a perfect family day trip is just north of the city at The Cloisters.

The Cloisters museum and gardens is the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to medieval European art and architecture. The building and its gardens are located in Fort Tryon Park, in Washington Heights, just a hop, skip and a jump away on the A train. Kids will love running around the gardens and smelling the herbs in the medieval garden.

Read more about visiting the Cloisters here.

Rockaways, Queens

Rockaways New York

The Rockaways are a beachside community located around an hour and a bit from Manhattan. It’s a quiet spot, popular in summer, and is easily access by train.

Read about a day trip to the Rockaways here.

Splash Parks

NYC Splash Park via christineknight.me

There are splash parks all over the city in summer, so if you’re visiting then, bring lots of sunscreen as there are very few playgrounds with shade. Also pack shoes that the kids can run in the water in (like crocs).

Read about visiting splash parks in NYC here.

Helpful information to navigate NYC with kids

Eating Out With Kids

You can find my top list of kid-friendly restaurants in NYC here, and all of my reviews on kid-friendly restaurants here

Cupcakes

#Georgetown Cupcakes + #The Scholastic Store: #Kid-Friendly Activities, #SoHo, #New York, via brunchwithmybaby.com

There are so. many. cupcakes. My favourites are Georgetown, Magnolia, Two Little Red Hens, Butter Lane.

Getting around

Use the subway! Get a weekly pass and take kids in either an umbrella stroller or baby carrier. Find accessible subway stations here. Up to three children 44 inches tall and under can ride for free on subways and local buses when they’re accompanied by a fare-paying adult. 

If you need to get a car, call Uber and request a car seat. 

Tipping

Tip a minimum of 15% for service in restaurants. You’ll also need to tip in bars, hotel staff, cabs, nail salons etc.

Looking for more ideas on things to do in NYC?

After some cheap holiday ideas around the USA? Check out this list.

The Best Things do to in NYC with Kids The Best Things do to in NYC with Kids The Best Things do to in NYC with Kids The Best Things do to in NYC with Kids The Best Things do to in NYC with Kids

11 Kid-Friendly Restaurants in NYC That Adults Will Enjoy Too

Kid-Friendly Restaurants in NYC That Adults Will Enjoy Too

New York is a city to eat your way through, one cronut at a time. It’s also the perfect spot to introduce junior diners to the finer things in life, such as ramen burgers and artisan cannolis, not to mention some of the best pizza money can buy. Enjoy your next foodie outing at one of these kid-friendly restaurants in NYC where the food is so good, you’d happily visit sans kid!

11 Kid-Friendly Restaurants In NYC That Adults Will Enjoy Too

Rosemary’s

Rosemary's NYC

Freshly grown and picked fare is what you’ll get from Rosemary’s, an Italian restaurant with a rooftop farm in the heart of Greenwich Village. Rosemary’s is a large restaurant where they have space to stash strollers and a rooftop garden for little ones to stroll around while waiting for food to arrive. Take them to the veggie patch to identify what’s on their plate! Kids are also offered colouring sheets and crayons on arrival. Rosemary’s is one of the best kid-friendly restaurants in NYC.

Rosemary's - Kid-Friendly Restaurants, West Village, NY, via brunchwithmybaby.com
Mozarella focaccia

Read more about Rosemary’s here.
18 Greenwich Ave, New York

Balthazar

Balthazar NYC

The famous French bistro in SoHo loves children (even the Cheerio-tossing kind). The friendly staff happily pick up dropped cutlery over and over again (even with a grin on their faces!) and bring out fresh slices of house-made bread for kids to gnaw on. The dining room is squishy to the highest degree (hello their neighbour!), so take wriggly little ones downstairs when they need a break. Let them climb into the plush armchairs outside the restrooms and make sure you snap a pic to ‘Gram the occasion: “Baby’s First Balthazar!”.

Balthazar NYC

Read more about Balthazar here.
80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

Brooklyn Farmacy - kid-friendly restaurants, Carroll Gardens, NYC
The perfect grilled cheese.

This beautifully restored 1920s pharmacy in Carroll Gardens is home to one of the best grilled cheeses in New York. The friendly, hip staff offer kids long pretzel sticks to gnaw on at the counter while waiting on their egg creams and malted shakes. There are plenty of quirks to love at the Farmacy, including their single high chair that may also date back to the 1920s. Strollers can be parked at the tables or left at the front door. Order grilled cheese for everyone! Brooklyn Farmacy is an absolute must-visit, and is always a top choice for a kid-friendly restaurants in NYC.

Brooklyn Farmacy

Read more about Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain here.
513 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Sugar and Plumm

Sugar and Plumm

With decor and a menu right out of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Sugar and Plumm is a visual delight that will please adults and kids alike. They have all the usual kid-friendly necessities (kids’ menu, high chairs, change table, stroller storage, special cups and crayons for kids), plus a gift shop that will induce a sugar high just by looking at it. The restaurant is popular so on busy weekends, order takeaway and eat at the communal table at the front of the restaurant. 

Sugar and Plumm

Read more about Sugar and Plumm here.
377 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

Table 87 Coal Oven Pizza

Table 87

Some of the best pizza in Brooklyn can be found at Table 87, as it’s often called by the locals. This cosy pizzeria treats their customers like extended family members, welcoming its youngest customers with kind smiles and giant slices of pizza (sold by the pie or by the slice) dripping with house-made mozzarella. They’ll offer to cut up your slice into little bite-size pieces for the kids, too. After chowing down on their speciality margherita pizza or calzone, take the kids to run off steam at the playroom in the nearby Moxie Spot or take a stroll through Brooklyn Bridge Park. Walk down Atlantic Avenue to the playgrounds at Pier 5, then north to Brooklyn Bridge for a calorie-burning stroll with a view. Pizza is always a good choice for kids, making this one of my fave options for kid-friendly restaurants in NYC.

Table 87

table87coalovenpizza.com
87 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Lucali

Lucali NYC

The legendary pizza at Lucali is worth waiting for, even with kids in tow. DO what the website suggests to minimise the wait. Show up before 5. Put your name on the list. Go for a walk. They’ll call you when your table is ready. Lucali serves thin-crust pizza to die for and is popular with locals as well as celebs. They are also kid-friendly, which isn’t surprising for a pizza joint. When we visited they gave our miss a piece of pizza dough to make her own “pizza” while we waited for our order to arrive. Kids can also watch their dinner being made. Diners can bring their own wine and beer, and the restaurant is cash only.

Lucali NYC

lucalibrooklyn.com
575 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY

Bareburger

Bareburger, New York

Enjoy healthy burgers and fries at this restaurant chain where the ingredients are organic and free of pesticides and hormones. Bareburger is perfect for picky eaters with their build-your-own-burger option and the Cubby Menu provides healthy options for kids, like the quinoa veggie burger with apple slices. The menu can be coloured in with the crayons provided.

bareburger.com
Various locations

Sarabeth’s Tribeca

Sarabeth's

We love all the Sarabeth’s, but our fave is the Tribeca branch. Sarabeth’s is an elegant restaurant, the kind you would have dined at pre-kids, with the right amount of trendiness and kid-friendly atmosphere to make this a firm family-fave in Manhattan. Adults love their “Extraordinary Eggs And Omelettes” and the kids can’t get enough of the fresh pastries. Sarabeth’s also takes reservations, which makes for a super easy dining experience with no queues in sight. The Tribeca Sarabeth’s is right across the road from the gorgeous Washington Market Playground and close to the Hudson River Greenway pedestrian and bike path.

Read more about Sarabeth’s Tribeca
339 Greenwich St, New York

Read more about Sarabeth’s West
423 Amsterdam Ave, New York

Alice’s Tea Cup

Alice's Tea Cup New York

Kids are welcomed at the door with their own pair of fairy wings to borrow for the occasion and a sprinkling of pixie dust, which sets the scene for the dining experience to follow. Tiny diners will love the $20 Wee Tea at Alice’s Tea Cup which includes a small pot of herbal or fruit tea (or any other beverage), one scone, any item from the Menu for the Small and the White Rabbit dark chocolate mousse. Their scones are an absolute must to try! The Alice-inspired illustrations on the walls  are divine – make sure to visit the bathrooms to see them all. Kids are also given a little item to play with – on our visit it was Wix Stix. So thoughtful!

Alice's Tea Cup New York
alicesteacup.com
102 W 73rd St, New York
156 E 64th St, New York

Dylan’s Candy Bar

Dylan's Candy Bar, New York

The world’s largest confectionary emporium and lifestyle brand, Dylan’s Candy Bar is a real-life candytopia. The original flagship location on New York City’s Upper East Side features three floors of delicious treats, including a cafe on the top floor.  The cafe has candy-inspired decor, including oversized cupcake booths, and well-priced, delicious food, both savoury and sweet. 

Dylan's Candy Bar, New York

Read more about Dylan’s Candy Bar
1011 Third Ave (at 60th St.) New York 

The Plaza Hotel

Eloise Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel, New York

A rawther fancy way to enjoy a day in New York City is with the Eloise afternoon tea at the Plaza Hotel. The Eloise Afternoon Tea is served on exquisite china that has been hand-painted for The Plaza Hotel. It can be purchased from the gift shop downstairs if you want to take home a special souvenir. The afternoon tea includes sandwiches, savouries, scones, pastries and a big ball of pink cotton candy, plus the option to order a pink lemonade.

Eloise Afternoon Tea at the Plaza Hotel, New York

Read more about the Eloise afternoon tea at the Plaza Hotel
The Plaza Hotel, 768 5th Ave, New York

Do you have a fave kid-friendly restaurant in NYC?

More things to do in Manhattan

Find more sweet spots in Manhattan here.

Kid-Friendly Restaurants in NYC That Adults Will Enjoy Too

High Tea Parramatta: Gatehouse Tea Rooms:

Gatehouse Tea Rooms: High Tea Parramatta

Gatehouse Tea Rooms: High Tea Parramatta

Enjoy high tea in the historic Gatehouse, located in beautiful Parramatta Park. Choose from a traditional high tea, savoury high tea or kids high tea. Gluten-free high tea, dairy-free high tea and vegan high tea are available.

Gatehouse Tea Rooms: High Tea Parramatta

Parramatta Park is rich in colonial history. In 2007 the park and Gatehouse building were granted World Heritage Listing by UNESCO.

Built in 1887, the Gatehouse is one of the oldest high tea venues in Australia, and my favourite spot for high tea in Parramatta.

Gatehouse Tea Rooms: High Tea Parramatta

There is indoor and outdoor dining available. The outdoor dining has a lovely view of the park but I imagine could be a bit cold in winter and a bit hot in summer.

Gatehouse Tea Rooms: High Tea Parramatta

There are several high tea options at the Gatehouse.

Gatehouse Tea Rooms: High Tea Parramatta

Traditional High Tea
Finger sandwiches* 
Tiny pastries (bacon is the standard quiche served. I received cheese instead).
Scones with jam and cream
Homemade petit fours and sweet bites
Tea or coffee
($44 pp or $49 weekends. Add $5 for sparkling)

*Cucumber and cream cheese, chicken are the standard options. I received mixed vegetables as my vegetarian alternative.

Royal High Tea
The Traditional High Tea served with a piccolo of Moet & Chandon champagne
($74 pp or $79 on weekends)

Gatehouse Tea Rooms: High Tea Parramatta

Savoury High Tea
Freshly prepared finger sandwiches
Pumpkin, carrot and zucchini muffins with cucumber yoghurt
Savoury pastries (included goats cheese, mushroom and one meat-filled pastry)
Coffee or tea
($44 pp or $49 weekends)

Gatehouse Tea Rooms: High Tea Parramatta

We requested as well as the muffins.

Gatehouse Tea Rooms: High Tea Parramatta

High Tea for Tin Lids
(3-12 years)
Mini sandwiches (cheese)
Fairy bread triangles
Mini cupcake and assorted sweet bites
Juice or soft drink
($24pp or $29 on weekends)

Add $5 for gluten-free or dairy-free and $10 for vegan

Gatehouse Tea Rooms: High Tea Parramatta

The Traditional High tea was an absolute delight. Warm scones, plenty of jam and cream. fresh sandwiches and delicious sweet treats. They included a red velvet cupcake, fruit tart, caramel slice, dark chocolate tart and passionfruit cookie.

Gatehouse Tea Rooms: High Tea Parramatta

The addition of the Savoury High Tea to the menu is extremely welcome as several members of our family prefer savoury to sweet. We all tried a bit of the muffin and it was delicious. You can ask for the muffins to be swapped with scones if you prefer that.

The Kids’ High Tea is an excellent option and it was completely devoured. Lovely to have the mini muffins and cupcake as the “sweets” (plus a marshmallow that is hidden). It was the perfect size for our almost 8 year old. They even served her orange juice in a teapot.

Gatehouse Tea Rooms: High Tea Parramatta

The service at the Gatehouse is top notch. I appreciated that the staff came to check on us and brought us extra boiling water to refresh our tea.

Gatehouse Tea Rooms: High Tea Parramatta

Parking is next to the Gatehouse. It is $3 per hour, $14 all day or free after 12pm Saturday and all day Sunday.

There is lots to explore in Parramatta Park so set aside the whole day. Near to the Gatehouse is the Pavilion Flat Playground which has been newly renovated and is about to reopen.

About a 20 minute walk away is the excellent Domain Creek Playground. You can read more about the Domain Creek Playground here.

Read more about things to do in Western Sydney and Parramatta with kids here.

We absolutely loved this tea and highly recommend the Gatehouse for high tea Parramatta.

Gatehouse High Tea Rooms
Macquarie St Gatehouse,
Parramatta Park,
Parramatta
Tue-Sun 8am-4pm
(02) 9635 1515
gatehousetearooms.com.au

More things to do in Sydney

Find a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids here.

Find things to do in Sydney for free here.

Get a list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.

Find the best animal experiences in Sydney here.

Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney here.

Find the best high teas in Sydney here.

Head to one of the best museums in Sydney here.

Check out things to do in Sydney on a rainy day here.

Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney here.

First time visiting Sydney? Get tips for first time visitors to Sydney here.

Cool down at one of these free water parks in Sydney.

Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney here.

Pie Time in the Southern Highlands NSW

Pie Time in the Southern Highlands

Pie time in the Southern Highlands is the most delicious time of year. Located only an hour and a half southwest of Sydney, the Southern Highlands make for an easy day trip. Throughout the month of June the region is host to a plethora of delicious pie experiences.

Pie Time in the Southern Highlands, NSW

Pie Time

The Big Pie and Visitors Centre, Mittagong

The Southern Highlands is the home of Australia’s newest Big Thing – the Big Pie! Located at the Southern Highlands Welcome Centre in Mittagong, the Big Pie has been erected in recognition of pie month in the Southern ‘Pie-lands’ during June. The Big Pie sits at over 2 metres wide by 1.5 high. Following Pie Time ‘The Big Pie’ will be positioned in the forecourt of the Southern Highlands Welcome Centre to promote the year-round Southern Highlands Pie Trail.

Visitors Centre

Drop into the Southern Highlands Welcome Centre while you’re there to read up about the history of pies and try their award-winning toilets.

Stones Patisserie, Bowral

Stones Bakery

This beautiful bakery is lovingly run by owner Mark Stone, turning out award-winning pies and delicious dishes daily. After winning the Best Pie and Best Artisan Pie 2018 for NSW/ACT with Stone’s ‘head to tail’ pie, this bakery is a must to try their hero pie created for pie month, the Superman pie (a beef bourguignon with peas, bacon, mushroom and a veal jus). There are also vegetarian options to be found at the patisserie, and I particularly enjoyed their apple crumble pie. 

stonespatisserie.com

Heatherbrae’s Pies, Sutton Forest

Heatherbraes Pies

The iconic roadstop pie shop serves up small batches of handmade pies, baked under the watchful eye of owner and pie man Russell Cox. Each filling is cooked to a specific recipe rather than a generic base being made with flavours added to it. The result is the most delicious pies that keep people coming back time after time. As well as a large range of savoury pies and sausage rolls, Heatherbrae’s has a fantastic range of retro sweet pastries.

Heatherbraes Pies

While the Jillaroo (beef, bacon, cheese and onion) is a popular savoury pie, I highly enjoyed the vegan Red Lentil Curry pie and will be going back for more. Cox commented that the vegan pie is the fasted growing pie on the menu in terms of popularity.

heatherbraespies.com.au

Cuttaway Hill Wines, Exeter

Cuttaway Hill

Cuttaway Hill is the place to stop to try the Pie Time Festival’s Pies and Pinot. Enjoy a Cuttaway Hill Pinot Noir or Pinot Gris with a specially made Heatherbrae venison pie. Vegetarians can enjoy the Sweetie Pie and Bubbles for Pie Time, where you can enjoy their traditionally-made sparkling with a sweet Heatherbrae pie. 

Cuttaway Hill

Families are welcome at Cuttaway Hill and are catered for during Pie Time. The Pie in the Sky event looks particularly fun, where you can enjoy a glass of wine, a Heatherbrae’s pie and peering at the stars through telescopes from the vineyard.

cuttawayhill.com.au

Southern Highlands Winery, Sutton Forest

Southern Highlands Winery

Drop by for the Pie and Pinot and stay for the spectacular views from the cellar door restaurant at the Southern Highlands Winery. 

Southern Highlands Winery

Head chef Marco Salvestrin has crafted a rabbit and Pinot Noir pie for this special time of year, for a bargain $22. There are vegetarian options on the menu. I enjoyed the eggplant parmigiana and spinach. Kids also are catered for on the menu.

southernhighlandswinery.com.au/

Centennial Vineyards, Bowral

Centennial Vineyard

Choose between the Pie and Pinot with a braised beef brisket and tunnel mushroom pie or Sweetie Pie and Bubbles with a apple, ricotta and mulberry pie and glass of the vineyard’s Brut Rosé for only $15 during pie time. 

Centennial Vineyard

centennial.net.au

Military Vehicle Tours and Centennial Vineyards

Military Tour

Take a vineyard tour with a difference at Centennial Vineyards with restoration expert and owner of Military Vehicle Tours Vinh Tran. During Pie Time he is offering visitors a 15-minute drive around the vines in a refurbished personnel carrier or jeep. All money raised from the tours goes directly to Vietnamese orphans and people affected by the Vietnam War. Tours go every 30 minutes during Pie Time.

Military Tour

Book your tour here

Fairground Follies, Bowral

Fairground Follies

This warehouse of wonders is usually closed to the public. Fairground Follies is a collection of antique musical machines from the 1800s onwards, and is open this Pie Time on June 1 and 15 with a 1.5 hour tour by curator and owner Craig Robson with an apple or fruit pie and a hot drink. With proceeds going to Meals on Wheels, this is an incredible opportunity as well as a good cause.

Fairground Follies

Highlights from the collection include the original steam-powered carousel from Luna Park, pre-clockwork gravity-driven musical machines, a 1950s Decap Robot Orchestra and the grand Taj Mahal. 

fairgroundfollies.com

Glass Café, Mittagong

Glass Cafe

Housed inside a 1890 heritage building, the Glass Café is hosting a special Paint Pinot event for Pie Time, with alpaca pie and Pinot Noir from award-winning winery Artemis. Paint your own alpaca using pie condiments such as ketchup, brown and yellow mustard.

Glass Cafe

glasscafe.com.au

Cycle Tours NSW

Bike Tour

Burn off the pies on an e-bike with Cycle Tours NSW. Kick off and let the battery kick in, giving you power-assisted peddling. The tours take visitors through the regions breweries, wineries and restaurants and commence at the Mittagong Visitors Centre.

cycletoursnsw.com

Gumnut Patisserie, Berrima, Bowral and Mittagong

Gumnut Patisserie Bowral Berrima

This famous patisserie attracts day trippers like us from Sydney and a line out the door is not an uncommon sight. Gumnut Patisserie are famous for their savoury pies and exquisite pastries. Their individually-made single-serve cakes and tarts are masterpieces, but we also loved the nostalgic, old school pastries like their vanilla and caramel slices.

gumnutpatisserie.com.au

More things to do in the Southern Highlands

Find plenty more things do to in the Southern Highlands here.

Find things do to in Bowral here.

Find things to do in Robertson here.

Find things to do in Berrima here.

Pie Time runs from 1st – 30th June. Get the full run down of Pie Time events here

I experienced these Pie Time activities as a guest of Southern Highlands Tourism.