There are few better ways to introduce kids to New York City than by water. A cruise with Circle Line will take you within 100 feet of the Statue of Liberty, under some of the major bridges, and past some of NYC’s best attractions and famous landmarks. Several types of tours are available. The three most common: the 2.5-hour Best of NYC Cruise, which takes you past all five boroughs, all the major bridges, the Yankee Stadium, etc.; the 1.5-hour Landmark Cruise, which hits all the “bucket list” attractions; and the 2-hour Landmark + More: Hello Brooklyn, which takes the standard Landmark Cruise and adds Brooklyn into the mix.
Whichever cruise you settle on, your family will learn plenty of history and contemporary information, while enjoying food from the onboard cafe/local companies and snapping photos of the panoramic views. Children of all ages are welcome; those under the age of three cruise for free and ages 3-12 are eligible for child tickets.
The tour cruises move at a fairly sedate pace, but if you want more of a thrill, consider booking the BEAST Speedboat Ride instead: you’ll zoom toward the Statue of Liberty at up to 45 mph, with an energetic soundtrack, a fun crew, and plenty of bumpy, splashy action. Hold on to your hats and cameras! Children must be 40 inches tall to enjoy this one.
Other cruise options from Circle Line include the short one-hour Liberty Cruise, the Harbor Light sunset cruise, and special cruises throughout the year like the July 4 Fireworks Cruise, autumn-only Bear Mountain Cruise, or party-style New Year’s Eve Cruise.