When you arrive in the Big Apple with your family, you don’t have to stick around the airport while waiting for your next plan. Instead, take advantage of your New York layover with some family-friendly activities. With a six to eight-hour layover, you can find lots of things to do in New York.
Start by checking out options for luggage storage in NYC, so that you don’t have to carry your bags with you. Then, consider these options for your family layover in New York.
Serenity at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Located just 15 minutes from Queens’ LaGuardia Airport, you can find the borough’s largest park. Enjoy some fresh air as you take in this massive green space. On-site, you will also find the Queens Botanical Garden, which occasionally hosts entertainment and helps you find a break from the stuffiness of the airport.
Learn at New York Hall of Science
You can learn some new facts during your family layover in New York. Exhibits change often, but you can always find the female robots and the android display. At Wild Minds, it’s possible to learn some animal psychology. There is also a park that features a mini-golf course and playground, perfect for letting the kids blow off some steam.
Explore Rockaway Beach
Forty minutes from John F. Kennedy Airport, you will find the newly restored Rockaway Beach. It’s an oasis that transports you away from the city and you don’t have to spend a dime to visit. Sit back under the shade or partake in some sports. There is also a two-mile-long boardwalk that is filled with exciting businesses. If you need to take home some souvenirs, this is a stop you can’t miss.
While you are at the beach, listen to your stomach calling. There are lots of exceptional food-service locations to enjoy. Instead of eating airplane cuisine, treat your palate to a waterfront buffet.
Do Some Manhattan Shopping
During your New York layover, you can’t miss the sights and excitement of Manhattan. You can start by doing some shopping for designer wares. Consider stopping in SoHo to get the best selection of clothing. You can also find every beauty product you could imagine in Chinatown, or search for vintage goods in the East Village.
When your feet can’t take anymore, visit a local dining establishment for a high-quality meal. Stop at the iconic Katz’s Delicatessen or feed your Italian craving at Eataly.
Bird-Watch at Jamaica Bay
At the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, you can find more than 18,000-acres of remote terrain. You might even forget that you are near the airport. You won’t be able to get a train or bus to this location, so consider an Uber or short cab ride instead.
While visiting, you have the chance to see over three hundred bird species. You might even catch a glimpse of one of the resident bald eagles. If you enough time, add a guided hike, horseback excursion or explore the area with a bike rental.
Watch the Fish
The New York Aquarium isn’t far from Coney Island, and only about 15 minutes from JFK airport. Not only will you see countless fish, but you can also feed the penguins at select times. Of course, no trip to the aquarium is complete without some time admiring the sea otters.
If you are hungry, a stop at the original Nathan’s hot dog stand is required. Just head toward the Coney Island boardwalk. It is open year-round.
Marvel at Times Square
Of all the things to do in New York, you can’t miss out on Times Square. Even if you have been there a million times, it deserves another look. You will find it in downtown Manhattan, not far from the Madison Square Garden, Grand Central Terminal and Fifth Avenue.
At first, it might be overwhelming, but let all of the bright colors and lights sink in. Soon, you will realize that there is nothing quite like this sight anywhere else in the world.
Sing-Along on Broadway
What is one thing that New York is known for? It’s the world-class musicals on Broadway, and you don’t want to miss out. There’s bound to be a show playing during your layover in New York. With more than forty theaters, you shouldn’t have trouble finding one that suits your family’s interests.
Families can’t get enough of The Lion King, Aladdin, Harry Potter, Frozen and Hamilton. Before you pick up your cargo at LuggageHero, make sure you enjoy some of the fine-dining options in the area. If you are hungry for sushi, it makes sense to stop at Natsumi. If you prefer something quick, without sacrificing quality, the family will rave about Los Tacos No. 1. Don’t forget to top the trip off with some dessert from the Shake Shack. Your kids will wish the layover was a little longer.