New York City is a great place to goof around with kids. Let them choose the pace and you'll all have a ton of fun. There are many kid-friendly attractions in and around Central Park; use this as a home base and you'll always have a bench close by to relax on while kids to burn off excess energy. Just don't forget to pack the snacks!
We feel strongly that family travel should be fun but educational, so we look for one or two aspects of an area to learn about and then choose our itinerary based on that.
Read also the first installment of city guides for kids for overall strategy advice; and please, add to this wiki-map by clicking "Contribute to This Map" below.
The points on this map came personal experience and some discussions at Fodor's Forum about taking kids to NYC. the below info is aditional advice from the Fodorites.
"Here's a long list of Central Park stuff.
After goofing around in Central Park and its adjacent attractions (and a decompression session back at the hotel) plan an early dinner along with an evening boat ride past the Statue of Liberty lit up for the evening. This is a nice way to wind down an event-filled day (also a good photo-op for little photographers). "
"Before you leave check for free kids events:
NY Magazine and gocitykids.com"
"In May & June NYC streets are filled with fairs and festivals. Check to see if the Big Apple Circus is in town, or something else of that nature..."
"Blue Man Group is still a favorite of 5 year olds."
"Kids love just looking around NYC -- allow time for the kids to experience New York - a hot dog or pretzel from a street vendor, lots of subway rides, Times Square, Central Park, the excitement of all the big buildings in the Times Square area and Downtown (Wall Street area)."