I have fond memories of visiting the Empire State Building as a kid, so on our recent trip to NYC, I knew I had to take my kids. We went early, midweek, and while it was still crowded, we were able to have a great time and see some beautiful views. If you go with your family, you’ll definitely want to have a plan. Here are my top tips for visiting the Empire State Building with kids.
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Visiting the Empire State Building With Kids
Check the Website
The Empire State Building website has lots of great information, including a calculator that shows how long you can expect to wait until you get to the top. You can also see a lighting calendar that shows what color the building will be lit each night. During our visit, it was red and blue for the Presidential Primary.
Buy Tickets Online
Tickets for the Empire State Building can be purchased in person, online, and through passes such as CityPASS. Before buying them, make sure that you understand the pricing. We saw a few people that waited in line and then left once they discovered how much it will cost. Buying online will likely save you time. There are two ticket options available – for the 86th floor and the 102nd floor. We chose the 86th floor and still had a great experience. If you change your mind, you can pay the extra fee once you are up there. CityPASS holders can also get a bonus second visit on the same day so they can see the views both in the daytime and at night.
The Empire State Building opens at 8am, and it’s best to visit early before it gets crowded.
Bring Your Patience
Regardless of when you go, you are still likely to face lines. Be sure to prepare your kids and make sure they aren’t hungry or thirsty before getting started. Use the restrooms when you can.
Don’t Wear Green
If you want to buy the picture, don’t wear green. The photo is taken in front of a green screen, and the photo will be messed up if anyone wears green.
Know What You Can Bring
Strollers are permitted, but they need to be folded on the decks. Tripods are also not allowed.
Have you been to the Empire State Building? Do you have any other Empire State Building tips? See more things to do in NYC with kids here.