When experiencing the United States with your family, there is no better place to start than New York City! NYC offers quintessential American experience, and it’s packed full of great family-friendly activities. Here’s how to get from Down Under to the Big Apple and have the time of your life.
Before You Leave
In order for Australians to enter the United States, you need a passport and a US entry visa. Your kids who are under 13 years old will not probably not need a visa; however, you should double check this with the embassy since regulations change frequently. You can apply for the visa on the U.S. Department of State website. An alternative to a visa is participation in the visa waiver program. You can apply for this also on the U.S. Department of State website.
Book your flights early. Look for deals on websites such as Google flights. You can get cheaper flights if you opt for longer layovers, but keep in mind how your little ones might deal with the extended journey. Check to make sure that your family has seats together.
The flight to NYC is long, so be sure to pack well for the hours on the plane! Bring enough snacks, books, games, and movies to keep everyone occupied for the trip.
During the Flight
International flights are much more comfortable than most domestic flights, so if you haven’t flown internationally before, you are in for a treat! There are dozens of movies, TV shows, and games to choose from in most flights, so keep an eye on your kids to make sure they make age-appropriate choices.
What to Do in NYC with Kids
There is so much to see and do in New York City, and you might feel a little overwhelmed when planning your itinerary! Here are a few must-dos:
Empire State Building. Since the tragedy at the World Trade Center in 2001, this skyscraper is NYC’s tallest building. It’s a long elevator ride up to the top, and the incredible views of the city are world seeing.
Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty is the United States’ most iconic landmark. Historically, it was the first glimpse of America than immigrants arriving on the East Coast would see. Today, it remains a symbolic beacon of hope for modern immigrants and a symbol of multiculturalism and freedom. You can take the Staten Island Ferry with your family to see the Statue of Liberty as well as get a great view of the city’s skyline.
Central Park. This massive strip of nature within the metropolis is a breath of fresh air away from the fumes of taxis and limousines. The park has many walking trails, as well as grassy areas (perfect for little feet to run on) and numerous playgrounds.
Museum of Natural History. You may have seen this museum in the movie Night in the Museum. While you won’t find living mummies or ant-sized cowboys, you will discover hundreds of wonderful, family-friendly exhibits to wander through.
Hershey’s Store. Chocolate, candy, and in behemoth-sized quantities—what else could a kid ask for? Spend a little time in a magical world of candy and then grab a chocolate bar for the road.
American Girl Place. If you have doll-loving girls, you can’t miss this giant emporium of pint-sized adventures. The American Girls dolls are a popular series of dolls, books, and products that are based on periods of American history. You can walk through each character’s exhibit and learn about what it was like to be an American kid as a pre-settler Native American, in a colonial family, during World War II, and many more.
Toys R Us Flagship Store Times Square. For all the toy lovers out there, Toys R Us Flagship Store is an amazing place to spend an afternoon. Play with hundreds of toys (and hopefully restrain from buying as many) as you experience this gigantic toy store.
Bronx Zoo. Who doesn’t love a zoo? The Bronx Zoo is one of the best in the U.S. There are many activities to do at the zoo. The most fun one is riding real camels!
Chinatown. The most famous of all the cultural districts, Chinatown feels almost totally authentic. Visit for a taste of Chinese cuisine and a look at Chinese wares.
This is just a taste of what you could do on your New York City vacation, but it’s a great start. Make the most of your trip halfway across the world with kids. It will be a family vacation that you’ll never forget!
On any trip to the USA, travel insurance is a must have for you and your family