Things to do in New York in February as a family

View of downtown New York in February

There are lots of things to do in New York in February and if you are thinking of visiting it’s a great time to go.  Rooms are often cheaper than at other times of the year and queues are usually shorter.  

This means you can save yourself a lot of time and money.  What’s not to like? 

New York is a great city.  There are no two ways about it.  It’s packed with everything you’d expect from a major city.  Shops, restaurants, parks, hotels and museums.  Many of the world’s most famous brands have their flagship store here.  We certainly found lots of things to do in New York in February.  Here are some suggestions.

Take in the views from the Empire State Building

Arriving in New York at lunch time we checked into our hotel and got ourselves straight over to the Empire State Building where we were delighted to find no queue!  It took us less than 15 minutes from the sidewalk, through security and admission gate, to reach the top in the elevator.  It’s a great time to go to get the views in day light, at sunset and at night.  We can highly recommend this.

Admission to the Empire State Building was $37 for adults and $31 for children.  You can also take in the sights of New York from the Rockefeller Centre and the One World Observatory.

Take a trip to lower Manhattan

We took the Big Bus from Fifth Avenue down through Greenwich Village and Soho.  You can also get the subway, a cab or walk to here.  We then walked through Little Italy and stopped for coffee.  

It’s definitely worth a stroll through Chinatown and down through City Hall Park.  The Civic Centre of Manhattan, it’s home to some interesting buildings such as New York City Hall and the Courthouses. 

Walk across Brooklyn Bridge

You can also walk over Brooklyn Bridge.  It’s over a mile across to Brooklyn so we only walked halfway and back.  We really enjoyed this and you get treated to some great views.

Visit the Statue of Liberty

It doesn’t get much more iconic than this.  

We managed to book tickets for the Statue of Liberty which gave us access to the crown.  Visitor numbers are limited so if you are planning on doing this book as soon as possible.

Our tickets included the ferry from Battery Park to Liberty Island and entry to the Crown.  Adult tickets were $21.40 and Children $12.00.  When booking it was necessary to choose a time slot and prior to boarding the ferry there are security checks.  All Adults also needed to present Passports for entry.  Liberty Island is well maintained (although when we visited there was building work being carried out) and has a café, gift and book store.  We weren’t allowed to take any bags in to the Statue but there were lockers available for a fee.  Access to the crown is strenuous and children cannot be carried.  Inside the statue is a one way metal circular staircase which is quite claustrophobic.

But the memory of standing in Liberty’s crown looking across the Hudson to Manhattan is never forgotten.  It’s an amazing experience and another we highly recommend.

On the way back to Manhattan, the ferry takes you to Ellis Island where you can get off and visit the Museum, if you wish, or continue back to Battery Park. 

An added bonus of a visit to Liberty Island is that you get great views on the ferry.

Ground Zero & 9/11 Memorial

Ground Zero is a quiet, peaceful and poignant place.  The memorial is open 24/7 and free to visit but there is an entry charge for the museum.  Amongst the things to see here are St. Paul’s Chapel, a memorial to the survivors, the Sphere sculpture that survived 9/11 and One World Observatory. 

Shop on Fifth Avenue

Even if you don’t like shopping, Fifth Avenue is still very interesting.  Most of the world’s biggest brands have their flagship store here.  We spent several hours in the Microsoft Store alone!  There are plenty of interactive experiences here such as treasure hunts and learning opportunities. 

Nintendo New York, in Rockefeller Plaza just off Fifth Avenue, was, at the time we visited, the only Nintendo store on the planet.  It sells video games and merchandise including clothing exclusive to the store.  You also have the opportunity of playing games on massive screens and there’s a display of Nintendo game systems from the past.  We spent a lot of time here too! 

Fifth is home to the original Tiffany’s store which is worth a look around, even if just for the history.  There’s an Apple Store at the junction of Fifth Avenue and Central Park opposite the Plaza Hotel.  

Trump Towers, with it’s Ice Cream Parlour, coffee shop and Grill restaurant, is also on Fifth Avenue and Central Park, the Plaza Hotel and the Rockefeller Centre are all within a stone’s throw from here.

Explore Central Park

At over 840 acres Central Park is huge and it’s open every day between 6 a.m. and 1 a.m.

We only managed to cover a third of it!  There’s the Ice Skating Rink, the Chess and Checkers House and the Alice in Wonderland statue to name just a few of the things you can see or do here.  There is so much in Central Park that you really are spoilt for choice and you’d need a lot of time to see it all.

American Museum of Natural History

Opposite Central Park on Central Park West between 77th and 81st streets is The American Museum of Natural History.  The museum is the star of Night at the Museum and the largest natural history museum in the world.  You can easily spend a full day here.  And if you choose to there are plenty of places inside to eat and drink.  The museum is made up of permanent and temporary exhibitions dedicated to Earth and Space, Fossils, Animals, Environment, Humans amongst other things. 

We’d read that during the late afternoon there does appear to be a more relaxed approach to admission charging.  It was around 4.30 in the afternoon when we visited and we got in for free.

Bryant Park

Bryant Park in New York in February

Bryant Park is a small green space near the foot of the Empire State Building just off Fifth Avenue.  You can skate, sit or play table tennis here.  There’s also a great cafe where you can get a hot drink.

Times Square

Times square in New York in February

Probably no visit to New York in February is complete without a visit to Times Square.  It’s usually busy but wasn’t too bad early in the morning.  We didn’t spend much time here but passed through on a number of occasions.  You will find the TKTS Ticket Booths which sell theatre tickets at discounted prices here.  Good Morning America is filmed here and you can see it live through the studio window.  If you’re early enough and lucky enough you may get asked if you want in to the studio!  

Times Square is worth a visit just to see the big screens and to experience the hustle and bustle.

There are loads more things to do in New York in February but we just couldn’t get around them all! There are things we’ve done before which are not mentioned here.  Such as taking in a show on Broadway, a helicopter ride over the Hudson, shopping at Macy’s and Bloomingdales, and riding the Staten Island ferry.  There are still lots of things we want to do in New York such as the Highline.  But that’ll have to wait until next time!

Planning your trip to New York in February

Check Skyscanner for the best up to date prices on flights to New York and for places to stay.

We got our dollars for the Post Office and this guide really helped us

For more information such as how to get there and how to get around visit our New York page. 

Check out our other city posts below

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4 thoughts on “Things to do in New York in February as a family”

    1. Thanks Rachel. We’re big fans of America and there are loads places we want to see there but NYC is somewhere we’d go again and again!

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