Things to do in New York City for a 10-Year-Old Boy

By Amy Sutton
A young boy sits on a bench overlooking a bridge in New York City.

Whether you live in or are visiting the Big Apple, the number of things to do there is extensive. Exploring New York City with a 10-year-old boy can turn into a time both of you will never forget if you choose the right activities, whether it's museums, zoos or some of the city's big tourist attractions.

Zoo Visits

The sea lion show at the New York Aquarium.

New York City is home to some several zoos, including the New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Bronx Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and the Queens Zoo. At the Central Park Zoo, attractions include the Central Garden and Sea Lion Pool, Tisch Children's Zoo and the Polar Circle, which features puffins and penguins. The Prospect Park Zoo features the Barn and Garden, with goats, alpacas and sheep. It also offers Sea Lion Court and Discovery Trail that has pandas, prairie dogs and kangaroos. At the New York Aquarium, a 10-year-old boy can watch a sea lion show and feed the penguins, learn about the animals through keeper talks and see how sea otters, harbor seals and walruses live.

Children's Museums

Children visit a museum.

You'll find several children's museums in New York City. At the Children's Museum of Manhattan, a 10-year-old boy can explore exhibits such as EatSleepPlay, where kids play games that teach about making healthier choices, and why sleep is important. He also can crawl through a gigantic digestive system to see how it works. While there, he can participate in programs such as the Family Chef Series, which teaches kids simple, creative ways to help cook meals. The Dimenna Children's History Museum features rotating exhibits that teach kids about the history of New York City. Children can also participate in programs and activities including scavenger hunts, story times and camps. At the Children's Museum of the Arts, kids can view art exhibits and create their own works of art through daily workshops, summer programs and after-school classes.

Iconic Tourist Attractions

The Statue of Liberty.

New York City is known for attractions such as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Make reservations to visit the Liberty Island museum and take your 10-year-old boy up to the statue's crown or pedestal. Choose from self-guided audio or park ranger-guided tours. Another place to visit is the Empire State Building. Go all the way up to the top deck for views of New York City. Times Square is a popular destination where a 10-year-old boy can enjoy activities such as a visit to Toys R Us Times Square, which covers 110,000 square feet and features a 20-foot animated T-Rex, a 60-foot Ferris wheel and a life-sized Barbie house. Other Times Square activities include the exhibits at Ripley's Believe It or Not!, Broadway shows and bowling.

Free NYC Activities

Close-up of a butterfly

There are also several free activities for a 10-year-old boy to enjoy in New York City. As of 2014, a visit to the New York Hall of Science is free on Fridays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., September to June. Exhibits include the Design Lab, Sports Challenge, Rocket Park Mini Golf and the Science Playground. At Sony Wonder Technology Lab, a boy can explore entertaining and interactive exhibits and activities including a High Definition theater, Robot Zone, Dance Motion Capture and Moviemaker. Theatreworks USA is a theater company that works to bring professional theater to disadvantaged youth and children in under-served communities. It features a free summer theater program each year with live productions. Additionally, as of 2014, the Queens Botanical Garden offers free admission Tuesday through Sunday, from November through the end of March. Visit the Butterfly Garden, the Ornamental Grass Garden and the Children's Garden, which features hands-on activities that teach about nature, plants and gardening.