Start your day at the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side, whose dinosaur exhibits are sure to enthrall both kids and adults. One recent addition is a cast of the 122-foot long Titanosaur – the biggest dinosaur ever found – who is so enormous, its head pokes out one end of the main gallery. Next door, catch a Space Show at the Hayden Planetarium and let yourself be immersed in an astronomical adventure. (You can also book Night at the Museum sleepovers in advance.)
Spend the afternoon in Central Park. Aside from its many playgrounds, the Central Park Zoo is one of the most popular family attractions in the park, and set within its grounds is the Tisch Children’s Zoo, where little ones can enjoy petting goats and other furries. From late autumn to early spring, the Wollman Rink is one of the most magical destinations in the city, with skating classes available for those who lack confidence. During the rest of the year the ice rink is replaced with the Victorian Gardens, complete with activities, rides and entertainment for kids aged 2–12.
Opposite the south east corner of Central Park is the 24-hour, glass-cubed Apple Store on Fifth Avenue – a magnet for tech-loving teens. See out the day from up high with a visit to the Top of the Rock observatory, a 10-minute walk south, for the most dramatic views in the city.