The East Village is a community on the eastern side of Manhattan in New York City, New York. The village has three sections including the Bowery, Little Ukraine, and Alphabet City that combine to make a diverse and unique cultural area where you and the kids can enjoy all sorts of fun things.
Right in the middle of it all is Tompkins Square Park, which is the perfect center point for your adventures. From the Empire State Building to the north and the Statue of Liberty to the south, there are a variety of great attractions. First, find the nearest luggage storage site in the East Village to leave your bags.
The Statue of Liberty
Everyone has heard of and maybe even seen the Statue of Liberty but to really get to know her you have to get up close and personal. The 151-foot-tall copper statue was a gift from France dedicated in 1886. It is located on Liberty Island in Upper New York Bay between New York and New Jersey.
Although you have to take a ferry to get there, the trip is worth it just to see the museum and visit the crown for a view of the area like no other. If you don’t want to go that high up or did not reserve a ticket in time, you can still get a fabulous view from the observation deck about 150 feet up on the pedestal.
Empire State Building
Another famous tall icon in New York is the Empire State Building, which is the most photographed building in the world. The building itself is 1,250 feet tall but you and the family can get a stunning view from one of the observatories on the 80th, 86th, or 102nd floor. But there is more to do than view the city.
The building has been featured in many different television shows, films, and books, and even some video games. The second floor is a big hit with the kids where they can see King Kong reaching into the building and get pics standing in his giant paw. Be sure to stop and get souvenirs from the gift shop.
The infamous Times Square is featured every year for the famous New Year’s Eve ball drop but is also known for other attractions. For example, it is the home of ABC’s Good Morning America, MTV, and several theaters. About 300,000 people visit Times Square every day and many of them are tourists.
The kids will enjoy bowling at Bowlmor Lanes, Ripley’s Believe it or not, and PlayStation Theater and you can all enjoy getting some fantastic food at Planet Hollywood or one of the other eateries in the square. But don’t miss Madame Tussauds where you can get selfies with dozens of celebrities and other famous people.
Modern Pinball NYC Arcade
Whether you and the kids are game lovers or just want to learn more about pinball machines, Modern Pinball NYC Arcade is a great place to spend a few hours. With their fun approach to understanding science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), the kids will not even know they are learning things.
Besides learning about how pinball machines are made and their history, you and the kids can also play some of them. They range from the retro 1960s Beatles game to the more modern Deadpool, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Game of Thrones. You can even kill some zombies on the Walking Dead pinball machine.
One of the largest and most well-known parks in the world is the 843-acre Central Park. It draws 42 million visitors a year and is the most filmed spot in the world. But it is not a typical park. This one has a zoo, a few museums, dozens of monuments, fountains, and statues, the Hallett Nature Sanctuary, and even a mall.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the most popular places in the park, but the Central Park Zoo is the favorite for kids of all ages. Opened in 1864, the zoo is one of the oldest in the world and was the first in New York. What started with a bear cub in 1859 is now a variety of about 1,500 animals.
The Brooklyn Bridge
The huge Brooklyn Bridge made in 1883 connects Manhattan to Brooklyn for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicular traffic. It was the first bridge to be made from steel wire, which they spun on the site as they built it. And it was the longest bridge until 1903 at just over one mile long.
Take the kids on a walk across the bridge to see some of the most amazing views of New York and to reach Brooklyn Bridge Park. The 85-acre park has a variety of attractions including several playgrounds, walking and biking trails, bouldering, ping pong, and you can even rent kayaks and go out on the water.
Tompkins Square Park
It may not be as large as Central Park, but Tompkins Square Park is special for other reasons. It was first opened in 1834 in the Alphabet City area and was named after Vice President Daniel Tompkins who served with President James Monroe from 1817 to 1825. Today it is 10.5 acres of green spaces and activities.
Some of the main features include basketball and handball courts, fitness equipment, and some fantastic playgrounds. You can also find ping pong tables and permanent built-in chess tables. It has also been the site of many skateboard training exercises since the 1980s and hosts many festivals every year.
Take the kids to Markburger for some excellent sliders, fries, and shakes, or go to Katz’s Deli where they are famous for their pastrami on rye as well as being seen in When Harry Met Sally. If you all like macaroni and cheese, you cannot miss S’mac. They have the largest variety of mac & cheese combos in the world.