A Green Family Guide to Exploring New York City

The Big Apple

– written by Travel with the Greens

There are the cliché must do tourists’ checklist items such as Empire State Building, Times Square and watching a Broadway show.  While completing all those MUSTs we also tried to add a few other highlights to our NYC list.

1. Statue of Liberty for free

Our time frame was tight so we didn’t want to lose valuable time going over to Liberty Island instead we caught the FREE boat over to Staten Island.  The view from the back of the boat over to Statue of Liberty is amazing.  We timed our boat ride with the sun setting over NYC.  It was breathtaking.  Once on Staten Island we then reboarded the boat and returned to the City.

beautiful sunset over the city


2. Brooklyn Bridge

Using the Subway we headed to the closest station to the Brooklyn Bridge (there are a few options depending on which line you are on).  Such an authentic NYC experience and on the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge is Jane’s Carousel which was built in the 1920’s and has been restored.

brooklyn bridge

3. Central Park Playground

Family travel always means gravitating towards playgrounds they are like magnets to our kids.  How cool to say you have pushed your kids on the swings in Central Park New York City.

swings in central park

4. Natural History Museum

Before our holidays we always try to watch movies that are related to where we are headed.  The movie ‘Night at the Museum’ quickly became a favourite with the kids.  This made one of our must do’s The American Natural History Museum.  There is a brochure you can pick up in the foyer that lists the displays to head to to experience the movie.  HINT: this is an expensive museum but the price is only a suggestion.  It is very legit to tell the cashier how much you wish to pay.  I donated $2 for each ticket, so $10 covered our family.  We spent 2 hours in this museum then headed on elsewhere.  NB. Shake Shack is nearby, this is a foodie must.

american natural history museum

5. The Highline

Built on an old train track is this new green space in NYC.  The kids had a ball being able to walk freely without traffic and to explore the space.  Lots of viewing platforms and exits along the way.


New York City is super expensive and hotel rooms were not going to be an option for us and I much prefer private apartments for their space, vibe and kitchen.  You can get a real feel for a city if you are living like a local.  For NEW YORK CITY my list of requirements were: a bed for everyone (not on a pull out sofa), kitchen, not too many flights of stairs, quiet area (not above a pub/bar) and within 5min walk of a subway station.  Well, it took a while but I found this place.  New York City has changed the laws on renting places for a short stay (less than 30days) this hasn’t seemed to stop all the VRBO or Airbnb places operating.  We paid a very small deposit and the rest in cash on arrival which may be the way the landlords are getting around the situation, no paper trail.  The apartment was absolutely perfect and I would stay there again in a flash.


The Subway system is amazing, safe and so convenient.  We did a lot of walking and loved seeing the city that way but the trains were efficient and we used them many times to get from one side of the city to the other.  We had a metro card that we added money to and then swiped this each trip.

Travel with the Greens is an Aussie family with a passion for the United States.  They have travelled extensively through many parts of the USA and tried to squeeze in as many experiences as possible.  Follow their adventures and hopefully, you will catch the American travel bug and enjoy it as much as they do.  Follow them on Instagram and Facebook for our travel tips, tricks and tales.

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virginie - Travel with my kids - July 8, 2016

What a great city to explore with kids and teens! We loved the high-line 🙂

Jessica {The Bohemian Diaries} - July 8, 2016

There is so much for kids to do in NY, I bet they were in awe of the Big City!

Lara Dunning - July 9, 2016

See the Statute of Liberty at sunset! Priceless!

Kirstie - July 9, 2016

I’ve been to New York a few times but actually haven’t done any of these! I’ll likely be spending some time there later in the year, so I’ll keep these tips in mind. Thanks!

Tom - July 9, 2016

These are all great things to do! I need to get to New York at some point!

Vyjay - July 10, 2016

New York is so wonderful, and you have packed in some important information. For me The Statue of liberty and Central park would be on top of my agenda.

mark wyld - July 10, 2016

Sounds like the big apple is full of many things to see and do for families, couples and singles. There is so many attractions that whole world knows about. No huge wanting from us to travel the USA maybe one day

Marianne - July 11, 2016

What a great city! I can’t wait to take the kids!

Teodora - July 11, 2016

Great tips! I loved New York when I was there, too bad I didn’t catch the sunset while on the ferry. But I had only 2 days there therefore couldn’t plan everything perfectly.

Colby - July 12, 2016

I’ve only been to NY once and it was for work so no real play :(. I definitely plan on returning and checking out some of these. Thanks for the tips!

Christine Maguire (@thetraveloguer) - July 12, 2016

Sounds like you had a great time in New York. I’ve never gotten the Staten Island ferry, it’s great that its free though. Good idea renting an apartment instead of a hotel, it sounds like it was a good one.

Claire - July 14, 2016

Great list. I’ve been to New York twice now and still haven’t been to the Brooklyn Bridge. Really need to do it next time i’m there!

Hannah @GettingStamped - August 26, 2016

NYC is our favorite city in the USA, we could easily spend months exploring the city. We too do a lot of walking in NYC but it’s a great way to find hidden gems in the city.

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