Bright lights, a myriad colours and everything super–size and noisy – close your eyes and just think of New York and you get the perfect child-friendly city-break destination. But if you also see flashing dollar signs, take another look – New York offers a great variety of free activities. These are some of our favourites.
Staten Island Ferry
New York’s most iconic free attraction is the perfect way to see Battery Park, New York Harbour and the Statue of Liberty. But bear in mind that this is a commuter ferry used by thousands to get to work on a daily basis so try to avoid peak times.
When you need to escape the bright lights and skyscrapers, head to the 843 acres of open space, pathways, woodland and waterways that make up Central Park. Nothing can take you further from the city, mentally. Have a walk round to get rid of any excess energy then find a football game to join in with or count the squirrels – the park is full of them.
Twenty-six million people every year can’t be wrong. Walk though Times Square by day or night and just soak up the buzz (but hold hands at all times – the crowds here are massive). Crammed with bright lights, yellow taxis and the famous NYPD station, it's home to a giant Toys R Us with its own ferris wheel!
Window Shopping at Macy's
Head to the world's largest department store to ogle its crowd-pulling windows, be it for the Christmas displays, Thanksgiving or the summer flower festivals where we once admired life-size whales made of blooms.
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
You have to book in advance for this one, but the building alone is impressive enough – head in and you could find yourself peering into the gold vault and watching the traders on one of the most important trading desks in the world.
Looking up is a must in New York, but though there are many impressive buildings, this one stands out. You can't go up it, but do pop into the lobby to see the mural on the ceiling.