Best Area To Stay In New York For Families

New York City offers endless entertainment and sights to see for families. With so many diverse neighborhoods across the five boroughs, choosing where to stay can feel overwhelming. If you’re short on time, the best areas for families are the Upper West Side, Park Slope in Brooklyn, and Midtown East in Manhattan.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide everything you need to consider when deciding where to base your New York City family vacation. We cover the top family-friendly neighborhoods across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens with details on attractions, accommodations, dining, transportation, and more.

Upper West Side

The Upper West Side is one of the best areas to stay in New York City for families. Located between Central Park and the Hudson River, this vibrant neighborhood offers a mix of cultural attractions, green spaces, and family-friendly amenities.

Overview and Highlights

The Upper West Side is known for its beautiful brownstone buildings, tree-lined streets, and a relaxed atmosphere. It is home to many prestigious schools, making it a popular choice for families with children.

The neighborhood has a strong community feel, and you’ll find families enjoying picnics in Central Park or strolling along Riverside Park.

Top Attractions and Activities

One of the highlights of the Upper West Side is its proximity to Central Park. Families can spend hours exploring the park’s playgrounds, ponds, and meadows. Another must-visit attraction is the American Museum of Natural History, which is perfect for kids of all ages.

The museum offers interactive exhibits and the famous dinosaur fossils.

The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is also located in the Upper West Side and offers a variety of family-friendly shows and performances. Families can catch a Broadway show, a ballet performance, or a concert at one of the Lincoln Center’s iconic venues.


The Upper West Side has a range of accommodations to suit every family’s needs. From luxury hotels to charming bed and breakfasts, there are plenty of options to choose from. Some popular family-friendly hotels in the area include The Lucerne Hotel, The Excelsior Hotel, and The Beacon Hotel.

Restaurants and Dining

The Upper West Side is known for its diverse culinary scene, offering a wide variety of cuisines to cater to every palate. Families can enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many family-friendly restaurants in the area. Some popular options include Jacob’s Pickles, Shake Shack, and Big Daddy’s.

Getting Around

Getting around the Upper West Side is easy, thanks to its well-connected public transportation system. The neighborhood is served by several subway lines, including the 1, 2, 3, B, and C trains. Families can also take advantage of the numerous bus routes that run through the area.

Park Slope, Brooklyn

Park Slope, located in Brooklyn, is widely regarded as one of the best areas to stay in New York for families. This charming neighborhood offers a combination of family-friendly amenities, beautiful parks, and a vibrant community atmosphere.

Overview and Highlights

Park Slope is known for its tree-lined streets, historic brownstones, and welcoming atmosphere. It is home to several top-rated schools, making it a popular choice for families with children. The neighborhood also boasts a low crime rate, providing a safe environment for residents and visitors alike.

One of the highlights of Park Slope is Prospect Park, a sprawling green space that offers a wide range of recreational activities for families. From picnicking on the grassy lawns to exploring the playgrounds and hiking trails, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

The park also hosts various events and concerts throughout the year, adding to the vibrant community spirit of the neighborhood.

Top Attractions and Activities

In addition to Prospect Park, Park Slope offers a plethora of attractions and activities for families. The Brooklyn Children’s Museum, located nearby, is a great place for kids to learn and play. It features interactive exhibits, workshops, and educational programs that cater to children of all ages.

For those who enjoy the arts, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is a cultural hub that showcases a diverse range of performances, including theater, dance, and music. Families can catch a family-friendly show or participate in one of the many workshops and activities offered.

Park Slope is also known for its lively dining scene, with a wide variety of restaurants and cafes catering to different tastes. From pizza joints to farm-to-table eateries, there is something to satisfy every palate.


When it comes to accommodations, Park Slope offers a range of options to suit different budgets and preferences. There are several boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals available in the area.

Families can choose from spacious apartments or cozy guesthouses, depending on their needs.

Restaurants and Dining

Park Slope is a food lover’s paradise, with a plethora of dining options to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for a slice of New York-style pizza, a hearty brunch, or international cuisine, you’ll find it all in this neighborhood.

Some popular dining spots include al di la Trattoria, Talde, and Fonda.

Moreover, Park Slope is home to several farmers markets, where families can stock up on fresh produce and artisanal products. These markets offer a great opportunity to support local businesses and enjoy the vibrant food culture of the neighborhood.

Getting Around

Getting around Park Slope is convenient, thanks to its well-connected public transportation system. The neighborhood is served by several subway lines and bus routes, making it easy to explore other parts of the city.

Additionally, Park Slope is a walkable neighborhood, with many amenities and attractions located within a short distance.

Midtown East, Manhattan

Midtown East, located in the heart of Manhattan, is an excellent area for families to stay when visiting New York City. With its central location and proximity to many popular attractions, this neighborhood offers convenience and accessibility for families of all ages.

Overview and Highlights

Midtown East is known for its iconic landmarks, including the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, and Times Square. Families can enjoy breathtaking views of the city from the observation decks of these famous skyscrapers or take a stroll through the bustling streets to experience the vibrant energy of New York City.

Top Attractions and Activities

There is no shortage of things to do in Midtown East. Families can explore the world-renowned Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), which features an impressive collection of contemporary art. Central Park, located just a short walk away, offers a peaceful retreat from the city with its beautiful landscapes, playgrounds, and even a zoo.

For those interested in history, a visit to the United Nations Headquarters is a must. This international landmark offers guided tours that provide insight into the organization’s work and global impact.


Midtown East offers a wide range of accommodations suitable for families. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly options, there is something for every preference and budget. Many hotels in the area offer family-friendly amenities such as spacious rooms, complimentary breakfast, and convenient access to nearby attractions.

Restaurants and Dining

When it comes to dining, Midtown East has an array of options to satisfy every palate. From upscale restaurants to casual eateries, families can find a variety of cuisines to suit their preferences. Popular dining spots include the legendary Katz’s Delicatessen, known for its mouthwatering pastrami sandwiches, and Serendipity 3, famous for its indulgent desserts.

Getting Around

Midtown East is well-connected to the rest of the city, making it easy for families to navigate and explore. The area is served by multiple subway lines, allowing for convenient access to other neighborhoods and attractions.

Families can also take advantage of the city’s iconic yellow taxis or utilize rideshare services for added convenience.


With endless sights, entertainment, dining, and more, New York City offers something for every family. We recommend the Upper West Side, Park Slope, or Midtown East as the best homebases that provide easy access to top attractions while also offering a comfortable and convenient place to recharge.

Use this guide to help decide which New York neighborhood fits your family’s travel style and interests. Wherever you choose, get ready for a one-of-a-kind family vacation you’ll never forget!

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