Looking for things to do on the Upper West Side with kids? Chances are, you’re looking for activities that are both fun and educational. Savvy Upper West Side parents are looking for places to take their tots that will keep them stimulated and inspired. Here are a few things to do on the Upper West Side with kids!
Children’s Museum of Manhattan
A visit to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan is a must for anyone with kids! This UWS museum is an exciting, interactive experience with cool exhibits and learning programs. Admission is $11 for children and adults, $7 for seniors, and free for children under 12 months. And here’s a little insider tip: on the first Friday of every month admission is free from 5 – 8pm!
There are numerous workshops and activities that are included with your admission. There are also classes, group tours, and performances. In addition, it is a great place for birthday parties, private functions, and playgroups. The summer is a perfect time to visit with their air-conditioned exhibition space and the City Splash outdoor water-play area!
The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is located at 212 West 83rd Street. Learn more about CMOM here.
New York Kids Club
Another popular spot for children’s classes and activities is the New York Kids Club. They are known for their day camps, birthday parties, ongoing classes, and other enriching activities for kids from two months to twelve years old.
With both educational and recreational programs, NY Kids Club has been around for eleven years, offering a wide range of classes, including theatre, dance, fitness, art, music, and cooking. They prioritize keeping parents informed of their child’s progress and encouraging feedback and suggestions. NY Kids Club also has an open “Play Space”, which offers supervised, unstructured playtime in their facility.
The New York Kids Club has three Upper West Side locations: 168 Amsterdam, 601 Amsterdam, and 644 Amsterdam. Learn more about the New York Kids Club here.
Discovery Room at the American Museum of National History
Going to the AMNH is one of my favorite things to do on the Upper West Side. And the Discovery Room is an exploration zone where kids can learn about science and the wonders of the past while having a great time. In this one-of-a-kind room, kids will get to recreate a life-size version of the 14-foot skeleton of a Prestosuchus, handle real minerals, play with an interactive tree house, and develop their memory with a bunch of fun games.
Each session at the Discovery Room lasts for about 40 minutes and due to it’s immense popularity early registration is a must. The museum also offers sleepovers on selected dates that have the kids going on a fossil finding expedition (with the help of flashlights) and staying the night at the museum for the magical experience of a lifetime.
Learn more about the Discovery Room here.
Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre in Central Park
The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre transforms the traditional marionette show into an innovative production ready to delight the audience’s imagination. Each production is based on a classic children’s fairytale. The beautiful Swedish Cottage was first imported to the US in 1876 as Sweden’s first exhibit for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. The idea was then brought to Central Park due to its intricate and charming design. Catch the marionette show at 1pm on Saturdays and Sundays, and at 12pm Tuesday through Friday.
Definitely put this on your list of things to do on the Upper West Side!
The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre can be accessed through the 79th Street entrance. Learn more here.
In the heart of the Upper West Side, there’s an innovative fun space for children where they get to learn how to build and program robots. The award-winning RoboFun workshops teach them to design video games, make stop-motion animations, coding, and engineering all while using the latest technologies.
By taking your kid to RoboFun, you’re letting them become a designer for the day while also letting their creativity run free. No workshop here is successful if the child does not feel a sense of accomplishment from what they’ve been able to create. The enthusiastic instructors are there to help the child along the way if they run into any serious challenges. Robot-building is a fun activity that boosts a kid’s problem solving skills and self-esteem.
Robofun is located at 2672 Broadway. Learn more on their website here.
Little Shop of Crafts
Little Shop of Crafts welcomes kids and adults to paint and embrace their inner Picasso in a relaxed environment. The staff here is attentive and lets you work at your own pace so that you can complete your masterpiece in time. The materials are supplemented by the shop and there are many items to choose from to decorate.
This is the ideal venue for a children’s birthday party as the kids will be entertained painting on a blank canvas while eating some delicious snacks. Birthday events at the Little Shop of Crafts also include face painting, karaoke, and dancing. However, this quaint neighborhood spot is fun for the whole family. Don’t forget to bring your creativity with you!
Little Shop of Crafts is located at 711 Amsterdam Ave. Learn more on their website here.
Where to Eat With Your Kids On The Upper West Side
While you’re out and about, having fun with your kiddies, you may need to stop for a bite. Some restaurants are more accommodating than others when you’re bringing along strollers or squirmy little guys. Here are a few we recommend. And if you have more time, check out our full guide to kids menus on the Upper West Side!
Good Enough To Eat
The comfort foods at Good Enough To Eat will satisfy both kids and parents. The kids menu includes chicken fingers, mac and cheese, burger bites and a few other items all for under $9.
The restaurant also offers outdoor seating, high chairs, and amazing breads and strawberry butter served with brunch!
Good Enough To Eat is located at 520 Columbus Ave. Check out all their menus here.
Everything about Big Daddy’s is colorful and fun. The retro decor is perfect for parents who miss all the old diners of NYC, and fun for the kids because it’s simply awesome. The restaurant plays fun 70s and 80s rock music, and is known for their fun creations like their grilled mac and cheese sandwich and all sorts of crazy pancakes.
Big Daddy’s is located at 2454 Broadway. Check them out here.
Alice’s Tea Cup
Have a tea party at the adorable and whimsical Alice’s Tea Cup. In addition to the magical atmosphere they offer for kids, they also serve delicious scones, sandwiches and a wide selection of teas from around the world.
Alice’s Tea Cup is located at 102 West 73rd Street. Learn more about them here.
Remember, your kids are only going to be kids for so long. So enjoy them, entertain them, educate them, and explore the many delights of the Upper West Side together!
Check out our full list of things to do on the Upper West Side (for adults too!)