Family Night Activities in New York

By Amy Sutton
Simply taking a tour of the city at night can be exciting for kids.
Simply taking a tour of the city at night can be exciting for kids.

New York City is a magical city that is even more breathtaking after dark, with all of the lights and the spectacular skyline. If your family is planning to visit the Big Apple, you'll find a broad range of activities to enjoy together, including a number of exciting night time activities.


Hop on the Staten Island Ferry with your family and enjoy the majestic view of the city, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor at night. Approximately 60,000 passengers board the ferry each day to make their way between St. George on Staten Island and Manhattan, according to the Staten Island Ferry website. This free ferry service runs 24 hour per day, making it convenient to go for a ride when you want. You could also reserve a tour with one of the tour services, such as Circle-Line Sightseeing. Choose from an assortment of cruises, including a Liberty Cruise to see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty and the Harbor Lights Cruise, where you'll get views of the Statue of Liberty, midtown and downtown Manhattan.

Museum Visits

Visit one of the city's museums with your children. Some museums offer evening hours on certain days of the week. At the Brooklyn Museum, your family can visit as late as 11 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month, except September. This museum is one of the largest art museums in the country and offers special events and classes for families and children. At the Museum of Modern Art, your family can participate in family events and enjoy a free audio program for kids. You can visit as late as 8 p.m. on Fridays. Alternatively, at the Guggenheim, you can drop by until 7:45 p.m. on Saturdays to check out all of the exhibits and enjoy family programs and activities, such as the Family Activity Packs, complete with touch objects, sketch pads, question cards and games.

Tourist Attractions

You could do the tourist thing in NYC and make your way to some of the well-known tourist spots, such as the Empire State Building. You can ride the elevator to the very top, 1,250 feet above the city, until 2 a.m. to enjoy an audio tour of the observation deck and take in the spectacular views of the city. Or, you could take your family to Times Square in the evening to enjoy activities like a walking tour or a visit to the Times Square Museum and Visitor Center. You can also step inside M&M's World to buy some sweet treats or Toys "R" Us to ride the gigantic Ferris wheel and see the huge dinosaur.


A trip to New York isn't complete without attending a show. You'll find a wide variety of shows on and off Broadway and can find out which currently running shows are family friendly by visiting The New York Times website. For example, you could go to one of the open run shows, such as The Lion King, based on Disney's animated movie, or The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Other rotating shows might include the Children's Musical Theater Festival at New York Live Arts and Peter Pan at the New 42nd Street Theater.