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Top 12 Secrets of NYC for Kids!

One of the best things about having kids (and babysitting!) in NYC is introducing them to all the wonderful, wacky, and weird places that our unique city has to offer. Our babysitters and nannies love to take kids on adventures, whether it’s a cool museum or a hidden playground, and they all have lots of their own ideas up their sleeves. If you’re looking for something a little different this weekend (or planning ahead for the summer!) check out our top 12 best-kept secrets of New York.


The Whispering GalleryGrand Central Terminal, Lower Level


This archway in front of the Oyster Bar in the lower level of Grand Central has a little-known quirk: if you stand in one corner, facing the wall, and have your child stand in the opposite one, you can whisper to one another and hear each other perfectly, despite being ten feet apart!


Hallett Nature Sanctuary in Central Park 6th Ave & W 59th

In the midst of all the other beautiful spaces that Central Park has to offer, this recently restored nature sanctuary is a truly special hidden gem. With hiking trails, a waterfall, and unique wildlife, all ages can enjoy this peaceful oasis in the heart of the park! Find the sanctuary on the east side of the park from 60th – 62nd Streets, just south of the Wollman Rink, and book a guided tour with the Central Park Conservancy.



Brooklyn Robot Foundry – 72 Warren St


This super fun and creative space teaches kids how to bring their imaginary robots to life! They offer classes, summer programs, more, and there’s something for kids of all ages, skill levels, and interests!


Secret Subway Stops


If your kids love New York history, or just cool abandoned relics, keep an eye out for secret subway stops. These vacant platforms can be found all over the city’s tracks – some were previously in use, while others were abandoned mid-construction. Most can be seen from the subway, but you have to plan ahead and pay attention to know where to spot them! Check out this guide to 10 of the best ones.




Tannen’s Magic Store 45 W 34th St


If you have a little magician-in-the-making in your family, you can’t miss the oldest magic shop in NYC. Much more than a joke shop, Tannen’s has been around since 1925, and it’s chock-full of tricks, artifacts, and even Houdini’s original handcuffs! The store is on the sixth floor of a plain office building in Herald Square, so your child will be extra impressed by your inside knowledge. 

MoMath11 E 26th St


Who ever thought math could be so much fun? The Museum of Math, though your kids might be skeptical of the name, is full of interactive exhibits, games, brain-teasers, and play spaces. They also host all kinds of fun events, from kids’ book clubs to author talks, concerts, and more.


The Evolution Store687 Broadway


A small, unassuming door in Noho opens up to this treasure trove of fossils, taxidermy, and plenty of strange little artifacts. You truly have to see it to believe it, so make this your next adventure with the science-loving kids in your family!


New York Hall of Science111th St, Corona, NY

Speaking of science, the New York Hall of Science in Queens is a must for all SmartKids. With three floors of interactive exhibits, brain teasers, and play spaces, it’s a day trip that all ages (adults included!) can enjoy.


The SeaGlass CarouselState St & Water St


This nautical-themed Battery Park carousel is truly one of a kind. The larger-than-life fiberglass fish glide through a simulated underwater world, with lighting and sound effects designed to mimic the bottom of the sea. All ages will love this beautiful immersive ride!



Dinosaur Hill  – 306 E 9th St


This classic East Village toy store has been around since 1938. Its eccentric owner collects rare and antiquated toys from all over the world, making for a fun and nostalgic selection for kids of all ages.


The Chinatown Ice Cream Factory65 Bayard Street


This little shop is tucked away on a side street in Chinatown, and it’s some of the best ice cream in the city! Next time you’re craving something sweet, avoid the crazy lines at your go-to spots and check out this hidden gem.



City IslandFor a fun and little-known daytrip outside the city, take the 6 train all the way up to Pelham Bay Parkway and then hop on the BX29 bus to City Island. This magical island feels like an old-fashioned seaside village, and is full of great nautical-themed activities that kids will love.

Book a SmartSitter to take your kids on their next secret adventure!


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