dear-evan-hansen

Mother-Daughter activities to do in NYC. A photo of New York City at night.

Not only is New York City a melting pot of different cultures, personalities and activities, but it’s also one of the best places for a mother-daughter weekend getaway. In fact, there are endless mother-daughter activities to enjoy in NYC, so you and the motherly figure in your life will never be bored!

No matter the season, it’s always a great time to plan a trip to NYC with mom! From Broadway shows to high tea, some of my favorite experiences in the Big Apple have been shared with my mother.

Since NYC is one of the best mother-daughter trips in the USA, this blog post will help you discover the most memorable activities to do during a weekend getaway.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Best Mother-Daughter Activities to Do in New York City

Traveling to and Around New York City:

A woman taking the NYC subway on 59th Street.

New York City is one of the most accessible destinations, especially within the USA. There are three major airports in the NYC area: John F. Kennedy International Airport, Laguardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner.

Once you’re in the city, the easiest and most affordable way to get around is by taking the MTA New York City Subway. Other ways to get around NYC’s boroughs are by taxi or rideshare. You could also bring your own vehicle into and around NYC (or rent a car), but please be mindful of heavy traffic and expensive parking and toll fees.

(Click here if you are planning a road trip around the United States and want to rent an RV.)

If you’re traveling locally, it’s easiest to take the train. Those from Westchester, the Hudson Valley and Connecticut can take the Metro-North into Grand Central Terminal. Anyone traveling from New Jersey can take NJ Transit to Penn Station. Long Islanders can take the Long Island Railroad into Penn Station, too.

Anyone traveling into NYC from Jersey City, Hoboken, Newark or Harrison in New Jersey can take the PATH train from Newark-Penn Station, Harrison Station and Hoboken Station as well as Journal Square, Grove Street, Newport and Exchange Place in Jersey City into World Trade Center, Christopher Street, 9th Street, 14th Street, 23rd Street and 33rd Street in Manhattan.

Mothers and Daughters traveling to New York from other cities in the USA can take the Amtrak train into the Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station.

In addition to the train, the bus is another great way to visit NYC. Click here to see the buses that travel into the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 42nd Street.

Even though the ferries that travel from New Jersey to New York City are more expensive, they provide a memorable experience, especially on a nice day when you can sit outside on the upper level. From Weehawken, NJ (Port Imperial), you can sail with the NY Waterway into Midtown/West 39th Street or Downtown/Pier 11 Wall Street.

Along with having a terminal in Weehawken, you can sail the NY Waterway from Edgewater, Hoboken and Jersey City, as well as Battery Park in Downtown Manhattan.

A more affordable ferry you can take between Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx is the NYC Ferry. There is also the Staten Island Ferry, which is free for riders. It runs to and from St. George Terminal on Staten Island and Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan.

Best Mother-Daughter Restaurants and Bars in NYC:

Grand Banks in Tribeca.

Because New York City has some of the best food in the world, making brunch or dinner reservations at the venues below is a must during a mother-daughter girl’s trip to NYC.

Grand Banks: (Tribeca) During a beautiful sunny day in New York City, there is nothing like being outside, especially on the water! Grand Banks is a thriving oyster bar (open seasonally) on a historical Hudson River fishing boat.

At Grand Banks, you and your mom can appreciate fresh seafood, refreshing cocktails, stunning views and great music. It’s also one of the best spots to enjoy a NYC sunset.

Osteria 57: (Greenwich Village) One of my personal favorite Italian restaurants in New York City that I took my mom to for Mother’s Day one year is Osteria 57. It’s a rustic haven that serves delicious pasta, seafood and vegetarian dishes. There are also two bars and a private outdoor area.

SERRA by Birreria: (Flatiron) A fun seasonal rooftop perfect for a mother-daughter weekend trip is SERRA by Birreria at Eataly’s Flatiron location. Depending on when you visit NYC with your mom, this rustic rooftop is decorated for either spring, summer, fall or winter. The menu items reflect the Northern Italian Alps.

Boqueria Restaurant: (Midtown, Upper East Side, Flatiron, SoHo) Another great place for a mother-daughter duo is Boqueria. It’s my personal favorite Spanish restaurant in Manhattan! What’s excellent about Boqueria is that its Midtown location is in the heart of the Theater District, making it the perfect spot to visit before or after a Broadway show.

Beauty and Essex: (Lower East Side) Brunch is always a good idea and a fun place to go with mom in New York City is Beauty and Essex. Owned by Tao Group, Beauty and Essex is similar to a speakeasy, where you’ll first walk through a pawn shop before entering the restaurant.

Beauty and Essex has four dining rooms, two bars, a lounge area and a salon. During your experience, you can enjoy delicious American cuisine.

Best Hotel for a Mother-Daughter Trip to NYC:

After a day of enjoying the best mother-daughter activities in NYC, there’s nothing like checking into a nice hotel. Below are the best hotels to stay at based on budget:

Luxury Accommodation: 1 Hotel Central Park (Midtown)

Boutique Accommodation: Library Hotel by Library Hotel Collection (Murray Hill)

Mid-Budget Accommodation: Walker Hotel (Tribeca)

Budget Accommodation: YOTEL New York Times Square (Times Square)

In addition to hotels, New York City has many rental properties from which you can choose.

Mother-Daughter Activities in NYC for a Day Trip or Long Weekend:

One of the best mother-daughter activities in NYC is enjoying all the festive decorations.

One of the main reasons I always suggest New York City as the perfect mother-daughter destination is because there’s something to do for all ages, seasons, weather-type and interests.

Even if you’re a mother of a little girl, there are great activities in NYC, from visiting the American Girl store to enjoying afternoon tea at The Plaza and getting frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3. Since this article is catered to adults, the recommendations I provide below are perfect for mother-daughter duos who are 21 and older.

Things to do with Mom in NYC during a Weekend Trip:

See a Broadway Show No Matter the Time of Year:

Seeing Mean Girls on Broadway during a mother-daughter trip to NYC  - one of the best activities.

Undoubtedly, New York is best known for its Broadway scene. It’s one of the top things my mom and I love doing together in NYC and makes for one of the ultimate mother-daughter activities. I’ve gotten my mom Broadway tickets for Mother’s Day, her birthday and Christmas.

Featuring the best actors, actresses, singers, dancers and musicians worldwide, you will be amazed after seeing a Broadway show with the motherly figure in your life. The top shows on Broadway to see with mom are Merrily We Roll Along (starring Daniel Radcliffe from Harry Potter), Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Wicked and Hamilton.

Tour a NYC Museum on a Rainy Day:

A woman at the Madame Tussauds museum in New York City.

Metropolitan Museum of Art: (Upper East Side) Also known as “The Met,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the most extensive art museum in North America and the fourth-largest on the planet. It features a variety of exhibits, from The Cloisters to Medieval Art, that will amaze you and your mom.

American Museum of Natural History: (Upper West Side) This educational museum allows you and your mom to explore the natural world and known universe. You must walk through and see the Tyrannosaurus rex, Blue Whale Model and the World Beyond Earth Show at the American Museum of Natural History.

9/11 Memorial and Museum: (Financial District) One of the most surreal experiences in New York City is walking through the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. This interactive museum in the World Trade Center honors the innocent lives that were taken or affected in the 2001 and 1993 attacks through media, narratives and artifacts.

Madame Tussauds: (Times Square) A fun way to enjoy a rainy day in NYC is by visiting The World’s Greatest Wax Museum. Madame Tussauds features incredible wax figures of celebrities, world leaders, cartoon characters and more. Some of the best wax figures to see are the Kardashians, POTUS, Jimmy Fallon and Spiderman.

SPYSCAPE: (Midtown) Another one of the most fun activities in NYC for a mother-daughter trip is to visit SPYSCAPE. It’s an interactive spy museum and experience developed by CIA experts. You can do fun challenges, learn about your personal spy role and read about notorious spies like Edward Snowden.

Go Shopping on 5th Avenue:

A trip to NYC during a mother-daughter getaway is incomplete without some retail therapy. From Bergdorf Goodman to Saks Fifth Avenue and everything in between, there are many top-of-the-line stores to treat yourself to.

During a shopping experience along 5th Avenue in NYC, fun activities to do on a mother-daughter escape are lunch at the Blue Box Café at Tiffany’s, see the St. Patrick’s Cathedral, have fun on the giant piano in FAO Schwartz and grab a delicious treat at Magnolia Bakery.

Enjoy Ice Skating in the Winter:

Ice skating at Brookfield Place - one of the best activities during a mother-daughter winter weekend trip to NYC.

During wintertime in NYC, one of my favorite activities to enjoy with my mother is ice skating at one of the many rinks around Manhattan.

There’s nothing like ice skating on a crisp winter day, followed by a good brunch or drink afterward. Below are the best rinks for mother-daughter ice skaters in Manhattan.

Rink at Rockefeller Center: (Midtown) It’s no secret that the most iconic ice skating rink in New York City is the Rink at Rockefeller Center. During the holiday season, you can skate under the giant Christmas tree and the breathtaking gold angels surrounding the rink.

Ice skating at Rockefeller Center at Christmas is one of my most cherished memories with my mom! During NYC’s winter, you and your mother can enjoy the Rink from the end of October through early April. (You’ll have to book tickets to ice skate at Rockefeller Center.)

Also located near Rockefeller Center is the Russian Tea Room, which offers an incredible fine dining experience. At this iconic Midtown restaurant, you and your mom can savor authentic Eastern European dishes, taste the best Russian vodka and enjoy afternoon tea.

Bryant Park Winter Village: (Midtown) Bryant Park Winter Village is another one of my favorite places to ice skate with my mom. We both love that it has a bigger ice rink!

If you have your own ice skates, there’s no cost to visiting Bryant Park. However, you and your mom must make a reservation to skate from the end of October through early March.

Not only does Bryant Park have a fantastic holiday market during Christmas in NYC, but you both can enjoy the rinkside open-air, après-skate venue called The Lodge Bar + Food Hall all winter long. Book a cozy igloo surrounded by the ice rink and experience the Curling Café & Bar, which includes a dedicated curling lane and heated dome with a reservation.

Bryant Park Grill is a great restaurant that overlooks the park and is right behind the New York Public Library. It’s an upscale restaurant that offers delicious American cuisine.

Wollman Rink: (Upper East Side) Located in Central Park, Wollman Rink is another iconic NYC skating rink to visit on a mother-daughter weekend trip. It’s also a larger rink that can be enjoyed at the end of October through mid-March.

What’s nice about skating at Wollman Rink compared to others in Manhattan is that you’re surrounded by nature, transporting you somewhere outside the concrete jungle.

If you go ice skating on a Sunday morning, you and your mom must visit Sarabeth’s for a delicious brunch afterward.

The Rink at Brookfield Place: (Financial District) If you and your mom are wandering through Lower Manhattan during a winter’s day, you must visit The Rink at Brookfield Place. It overlooks the Hudson River!

Brookfield Place has many great restaurants and bars to enjoy after skating. A French food hall called Le District offers incredible restaurants, markets and stations—similar to Eataly!

Sip Tea Around Town with Mom:

A woman enjoying Tea Around Town in Midtown NYC.

One of the most memorable mother-daughter experience gifts is booking a Tea Around Town through Top View Sightseeing.

Overall, Tea Around Town is a pretty pink double-decker bus that is also beautifully decorated on the inside. This experience includes numerous photo opportunities, unlimited tea, a complimentary glass of Champagne, three tiers of scones, finger sandwiches and decadent desserts.

During your 90-minute Tea Around Town tour, a vocalist serenades you. A narration also explains the history of all the iconic landmarks you pass during your journey in Midtown.

You must make a reservation to enjoy Tea Around Town in New York City. Use code TAYLORDEER5 for 5% off this fun activity.

Walk through Central Park during Cherry Blossom Season:

Seeing the cherry blossoms in Central Park - one of the best activities in NYC during a mother-daughter spring trip.

Walking through Central Park is one of the most special activities during a mother-daughter spring trip to NYC. Depending on the year and weather, the peak bloom for the Yoshino cherry trees in Central Park is usually early April. (They typically start to blossom at the end of March.)

Other cherry blossoms in Central Park are Kwanzan, Okame and Higan. The best places to see them in the park are Cherry Hill, Pilgrim Hill, Cedar Hill, The Reservoir and the Great Lawn, to name a few.

If you and your mom want to capture photos with the cherry blossoms in bloom, it’s best to get to the park early in the morning. I personally believe Central Park during peak cherry blossom season is the most picturesque compared to other times of the year.

In addition to admiring the cherry blossoms, other fun things to do in Central Park with the motherly figure in your life are to take a horse and carriage tour, visit the Central Park Zoo, see Belvedere Castle, watch a “Shakespeare in the Park” at the Delacorte Theater and catch a pop-up concert.

Discover the best Instagram spots in Central Park!

Tavern on the Green is one of the most famous restaurants for a mother-daughter meal. It’s an elegant restaurant that has been around since 1934 and has hosted U.S. presidents, royalty, Hollywood celebrities, and renowned artists worldwide.

Sail to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island:

A woman exploring the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Liberty State Park.

In addition to all the museums mentioned above, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are other educational places to visit on a mother-daughter trip to New York City. You can get from Manhattan to the Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration via the Statue City Cruises. The ferry departs from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan.

Both historic sites are part of the National Park Service and are essential to American history. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to celebrate America as a champion of liberty. While at this beautiful NYC landmark, which has been around since 1885, you and your mom can enjoy different photo opportunities, walk through the museum and enjoy breathtaking skyline views.

Visiting Ellis Island will take you through the journey of American immigration from the 1500s through today. You can view artifacts from over 12 million immigrants, learn about the trials and triumphs of those who traveled overseas to New York City, as well as visit The Family History Center to learn more about your own ancestors and where they came from.

Stroll the High Line on a Beautiful Day:

Strolling the High Line - one of the best activities in NYC during a mother-daughter trip.

Walking the High Line during the warmer months is one of the best free activities to enjoy in NYC during a mother-daughter escape. It’s 1.45 miles long and runs from the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street.

The High Line was built on a former 1934 elevated freight railroad that ran along the West Side. There’s no better activity to enjoy on a lovely spring, summer or fall day than strolling along the High Line! You can admire different plant types, take in all the stunning city views, grab a snack or ice cream from one of the food stands and admire different street art.

Treat Yourselves to a Spa Day:

A woman having a relaxing evening at QC Spa on Governors Island.

Another great mother-daughter experience in New York City is to enjoy an afternoon at QC Spa on Governors Island. This relaxing oasis resembles a spa you’d experience in Northern Italy.

QC Spa offers locals and visitors the best wellness experience with top-notch views of Lower Manhattan. It has heated outdoor pools, various saunas, numerous relaxation rooms, steam baths, Vichy showers, foot baths and much more. You can also enjoy private massage services.

What’s also nice about visiting QC Spa with your mom is that you can also have an aperitivo, delicious healthy meals from Flora Café, flavored teas and fresh juices.

To get to Governors Island, which is also part of the National Park Service, you must take the Governors Island Ferry from the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan. The ferry costs $4 USD each way, but children 12 and under and seniors over 65 can ride it for free.

The best time to visit QC Spa is on a chillier day when you and your mom can enjoy the warm pools.

Wander through Little Italy during the Feast of San Gennaro:

Walking through the Feast of San Gennaro - one of the best activities during a mother-daughter trip to NYC.

During your mother-daughter getaway to NYC, the Feast of San Gennaro is a fun night to experience in the middle of September. It’s located in Little Italy on the iconic Mulberry Street in Manhattan.

The Feast of San Gennaro commemorates the life of San Gennaro of Naples, the Bishop of Benevento. He was martyred in 305 AD. This festival also celebrates Italian American culture, ancestors and traditions.

During this festival, you can watch the annual parade that celebrates San Gennaro, enjoy Italian American street food stands, have fun on rides, listen to local bands, watch talented performances and visit the different restaurants and bakeries along Mulberry Street. You are sure to have a great time!

If you and your mom want to savor great Italian food in Manhattan’s Little Italy, I recommend Rubirosa, Umberto’s Clam House, Lombardi’s and Ferrara Bakery & Café.

If you and your mom love Manhattan’s Little Italy, you’ll enjoy Arthur Avenue in The Bronx. It’s NYC’s more authentic version of Little Italy with incredible Italian American restaurants, marketplaces, delicatessens, pastry shops and bakeries. Enzo’s and Pugsley’s are two excellent restaurants you can’t miss out on visiting in this area.

Visit Top of the Rock for the Best NYC Views:

A woman enjoying the views at Top of the Rock in NYC.

Another one of the leading mother-daughter activities in NYC is enjoying all the best views at Top of the Rock in Midtown. Located at the top of “30 Rock” (the main building in Rockefeller Center), you and your mom can take in some of Manhattan’s most incredible panoramic views. You can see the Empire State Building, Central Park, the Chrysler Building, One World Trade Center and more.

In addition to taking in all the incredible views from 70 floors high, you can also experience The Beam. There’s an iconic picture from 1932 that shows ironworkers having lunch on a steel beam during the development of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Nowadays, visitors can experience the same thing by sitting on the same beam and ascending above the deck.

Other great things to do at Top of the Rock include a tour and a delicious mezze lunch with pastries at The Weather Room.

Overall, the entire experience at Top of the Rock is one of the best 101 things to do in NYC!


Three women seeing Pretty Women on Broadway.

Here are other great articles for the New York City area:

Activities for Singles in NYC That Aren’t Speed Dating

Short Stay Hotels in New Jersey for Your Bucket List

10 Fun Things to Do in Hoboken and Jersey City, NJ

I hope you all enjoyed discovering the top activities to do during a mother-daughter trip to NYC. If you have any questions, please email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.

Basic Facts of the United States:

Currency: United States Dollar, Capital: Washington D.C., NY State Capital: Albany, Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Shop my NYC Look:

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2 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on March 10, 2024 at 10:42 pm

    Love this blog ~ brings back so many awesome memories that were made during these fabulous trips to NYC ~ can’t wait to share more fun times • love you, mom ❤️xoxo

    • Taylor Deer on March 16, 2024 at 10:49 pm

      Thank you mom! So many great memories!

Leave a Comment





dear-evan-hansen

Mother-Daughter activities to do in NYC. A photo of New York City at night.

Not only is New York City a melting pot of different cultures, personalities and activities, but it’s also one of the best places for a mother-daughter weekend getaway. In fact, there are endless mother-daughter activities to enjoy in NYC, so you and the motherly figure in your life will never be bored!

No matter the season, it’s always a great time to plan a trip to NYC with mom! From Broadway shows to high tea, some of my favorite experiences in the Big Apple have been shared with my mother.

Since NYC is one of the best mother-daughter trips in the USA, this blog post will help you discover the most memorable activities to do during a weekend getaway.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Best Mother-Daughter Activities to Do in New York City

Traveling to and Around New York City:

A woman taking the NYC subway on 59th Street.

New York City is one of the most accessible destinations, especially within the USA. There are three major airports in the NYC area: John F. Kennedy International Airport, Laguardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner.

Once you’re in the city, the easiest and most affordable way to get around is by taking the MTA New York City Subway. Other ways to get around NYC’s boroughs are by taxi or rideshare. You could also bring your own vehicle into and around NYC (or rent a car), but please be mindful of heavy traffic and expensive parking and toll fees.

(Click here if you are planning a road trip around the United States and want to rent an RV.)

If you’re traveling locally, it’s easiest to take the train. Those from Westchester, the Hudson Valley and Connecticut can take the Metro-North into Grand Central Terminal. Anyone traveling from New Jersey can take NJ Transit to Penn Station. Long Islanders can take the Long Island Railroad into Penn Station, too.

Anyone traveling into NYC from Jersey City, Hoboken, Newark or Harrison in New Jersey can take the PATH train from Newark-Penn Station, Harrison Station and Hoboken Station as well as Journal Square, Grove Street, Newport and Exchange Place in Jersey City into World Trade Center, Christopher Street, 9th Street, 14th Street, 23rd Street and 33rd Street in Manhattan.

Mothers and Daughters traveling to New York from other cities in the USA can take the Amtrak train into the Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station.

In addition to the train, the bus is another great way to visit NYC. Click here to see the buses that travel into the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 42nd Street.

Even though the ferries that travel from New Jersey to New York City are more expensive, they provide a memorable experience, especially on a nice day when you can sit outside on the upper level. From Weehawken, NJ (Port Imperial), you can sail with the NY Waterway into Midtown/West 39th Street or Downtown/Pier 11 Wall Street.

Along with having a terminal in Weehawken, you can sail the NY Waterway from Edgewater, Hoboken and Jersey City, as well as Battery Park in Downtown Manhattan.

A more affordable ferry you can take between Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx is the NYC Ferry. There is also the Staten Island Ferry, which is free for riders. It runs to and from St. George Terminal on Staten Island and Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan.

Best Mother-Daughter Restaurants and Bars in NYC:

Grand Banks in Tribeca.

Because New York City has some of the best food in the world, making brunch or dinner reservations at the venues below is a must during a mother-daughter girl’s trip to NYC.

Grand Banks: (Tribeca) During a beautiful sunny day in New York City, there is nothing like being outside, especially on the water! Grand Banks is a thriving oyster bar (open seasonally) on a historical Hudson River fishing boat.

At Grand Banks, you and your mom can appreciate fresh seafood, refreshing cocktails, stunning views and great music. It’s also one of the best spots to enjoy a NYC sunset.

Osteria 57: (Greenwich Village) One of my personal favorite Italian restaurants in New York City that I took my mom to for Mother’s Day one year is Osteria 57. It’s a rustic haven that serves delicious pasta, seafood and vegetarian dishes. There are also two bars and a private outdoor area.

SERRA by Birreria: (Flatiron) A fun seasonal rooftop perfect for a mother-daughter weekend trip is SERRA by Birreria at Eataly’s Flatiron location. Depending on when you visit NYC with your mom, this rustic rooftop is decorated for either spring, summer, fall or winter. The menu items reflect the Northern Italian Alps.

Boqueria Restaurant: (Midtown, Upper East Side, Flatiron, SoHo) Another great place for a mother-daughter duo is Boqueria. It’s my personal favorite Spanish restaurant in Manhattan! What’s excellent about Boqueria is that its Midtown location is in the heart of the Theater District, making it the perfect spot to visit before or after a Broadway show.

Beauty and Essex: (Lower East Side) Brunch is always a good idea and a fun place to go with mom in New York City is Beauty and Essex. Owned by Tao Group, Beauty and Essex is similar to a speakeasy, where you’ll first walk through a pawn shop before entering the restaurant.

Beauty and Essex has four dining rooms, two bars, a lounge area and a salon. During your experience, you can enjoy delicious American cuisine.

Best Hotel for a Mother-Daughter Trip to NYC:

After a day of enjoying the best mother-daughter activities in NYC, there’s nothing like checking into a nice hotel. Below are the best hotels to stay at based on budget:

Luxury Accommodation: 1 Hotel Central Park (Midtown)

Boutique Accommodation: Library Hotel by Library Hotel Collection (Murray Hill)

Mid-Budget Accommodation: Walker Hotel (Tribeca)

Budget Accommodation: YOTEL New York Times Square (Times Square)

In addition to hotels, New York City has many rental properties from which you can choose.

Mother-Daughter Activities in NYC for a Day Trip or Long Weekend:

One of the best mother-daughter activities in NYC is enjoying all the festive decorations.

One of the main reasons I always suggest New York City as the perfect mother-daughter destination is because there’s something to do for all ages, seasons, weather-type and interests.

Even if you’re a mother of a little girl, there are great activities in NYC, from visiting the American Girl store to enjoying afternoon tea at The Plaza and getting frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3. Since this article is catered to adults, the recommendations I provide below are perfect for mother-daughter duos who are 21 and older.

Things to do with Mom in NYC during a Weekend Trip:

See a Broadway Show No Matter the Time of Year:

Seeing Mean Girls on Broadway during a mother-daughter trip to NYC  - one of the best activities.

Undoubtedly, New York is best known for its Broadway scene. It’s one of the top things my mom and I love doing together in NYC and makes for one of the ultimate mother-daughter activities. I’ve gotten my mom Broadway tickets for Mother’s Day, her birthday and Christmas.

Featuring the best actors, actresses, singers, dancers and musicians worldwide, you will be amazed after seeing a Broadway show with the motherly figure in your life. The top shows on Broadway to see with mom are Merrily We Roll Along (starring Daniel Radcliffe from Harry Potter), Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Wicked and Hamilton.

Tour a NYC Museum on a Rainy Day:

A woman at the Madame Tussauds museum in New York City.

Metropolitan Museum of Art: (Upper East Side) Also known as “The Met,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the most extensive art museum in North America and the fourth-largest on the planet. It features a variety of exhibits, from The Cloisters to Medieval Art, that will amaze you and your mom.

American Museum of Natural History: (Upper West Side) This educational museum allows you and your mom to explore the natural world and known universe. You must walk through and see the Tyrannosaurus rex, Blue Whale Model and the World Beyond Earth Show at the American Museum of Natural History.

9/11 Memorial and Museum: (Financial District) One of the most surreal experiences in New York City is walking through the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. This interactive museum in the World Trade Center honors the innocent lives that were taken or affected in the 2001 and 1993 attacks through media, narratives and artifacts.

Madame Tussauds: (Times Square) A fun way to enjoy a rainy day in NYC is by visiting The World’s Greatest Wax Museum. Madame Tussauds features incredible wax figures of celebrities, world leaders, cartoon characters and more. Some of the best wax figures to see are the Kardashians, POTUS, Jimmy Fallon and Spiderman.

SPYSCAPE: (Midtown) Another one of the most fun activities in NYC for a mother-daughter trip is to visit SPYSCAPE. It’s an interactive spy museum and experience developed by CIA experts. You can do fun challenges, learn about your personal spy role and read about notorious spies like Edward Snowden.

Go Shopping on 5th Avenue:

A trip to NYC during a mother-daughter getaway is incomplete without some retail therapy. From Bergdorf Goodman to Saks Fifth Avenue and everything in between, there are many top-of-the-line stores to treat yourself to.

During a shopping experience along 5th Avenue in NYC, fun activities to do on a mother-daughter escape are lunch at the Blue Box Café at Tiffany’s, see the St. Patrick’s Cathedral, have fun on the giant piano in FAO Schwartz and grab a delicious treat at Magnolia Bakery.

Enjoy Ice Skating in the Winter:

Ice skating at Brookfield Place - one of the best activities during a mother-daughter winter weekend trip to NYC.

During wintertime in NYC, one of my favorite activities to enjoy with my mother is ice skating at one of the many rinks around Manhattan.

There’s nothing like ice skating on a crisp winter day, followed by a good brunch or drink afterward. Below are the best rinks for mother-daughter ice skaters in Manhattan.

Rink at Rockefeller Center: (Midtown) It’s no secret that the most iconic ice skating rink in New York City is the Rink at Rockefeller Center. During the holiday season, you can skate under the giant Christmas tree and the breathtaking gold angels surrounding the rink.

Ice skating at Rockefeller Center at Christmas is one of my most cherished memories with my mom! During NYC’s winter, you and your mother can enjoy the Rink from the end of October through early April. (You’ll have to book tickets to ice skate at Rockefeller Center.)

Also located near Rockefeller Center is the Russian Tea Room, which offers an incredible fine dining experience. At this iconic Midtown restaurant, you and your mom can savor authentic Eastern European dishes, taste the best Russian vodka and enjoy afternoon tea.

Bryant Park Winter Village: (Midtown) Bryant Park Winter Village is another one of my favorite places to ice skate with my mom. We both love that it has a bigger ice rink!

If you have your own ice skates, there’s no cost to visiting Bryant Park. However, you and your mom must make a reservation to skate from the end of October through early March.

Not only does Bryant Park have a fantastic holiday market during Christmas in NYC, but you both can enjoy the rinkside open-air, après-skate venue called The Lodge Bar + Food Hall all winter long. Book a cozy igloo surrounded by the ice rink and experience the Curling Café & Bar, which includes a dedicated curling lane and heated dome with a reservation.

Bryant Park Grill is a great restaurant that overlooks the park and is right behind the New York Public Library. It’s an upscale restaurant that offers delicious American cuisine.

Wollman Rink: (Upper East Side) Located in Central Park, Wollman Rink is another iconic NYC skating rink to visit on a mother-daughter weekend trip. It’s also a larger rink that can be enjoyed at the end of October through mid-March.

What’s nice about skating at Wollman Rink compared to others in Manhattan is that you’re surrounded by nature, transporting you somewhere outside the concrete jungle.

If you go ice skating on a Sunday morning, you and your mom must visit Sarabeth’s for a delicious brunch afterward.

The Rink at Brookfield Place: (Financial District) If you and your mom are wandering through Lower Manhattan during a winter’s day, you must visit The Rink at Brookfield Place. It overlooks the Hudson River!

Brookfield Place has many great restaurants and bars to enjoy after skating. A French food hall called Le District offers incredible restaurants, markets and stations—similar to Eataly!

Sip Tea Around Town with Mom:

A woman enjoying Tea Around Town in Midtown NYC.

One of the most memorable mother-daughter experience gifts is booking a Tea Around Town through Top View Sightseeing.

Overall, Tea Around Town is a pretty pink double-decker bus that is also beautifully decorated on the inside. This experience includes numerous photo opportunities, unlimited tea, a complimentary glass of Champagne, three tiers of scones, finger sandwiches and decadent desserts.

During your 90-minute Tea Around Town tour, a vocalist serenades you. A narration also explains the history of all the iconic landmarks you pass during your journey in Midtown.

You must make a reservation to enjoy Tea Around Town in New York City. Use code TAYLORDEER5 for 5% off this fun activity.

Walk through Central Park during Cherry Blossom Season:

Seeing the cherry blossoms in Central Park - one of the best activities in NYC during a mother-daughter spring trip.

Walking through Central Park is one of the most special activities during a mother-daughter spring trip to NYC. Depending on the year and weather, the peak bloom for the Yoshino cherry trees in Central Park is usually early April. (They typically start to blossom at the end of March.)

Other cherry blossoms in Central Park are Kwanzan, Okame and Higan. The best places to see them in the park are Cherry Hill, Pilgrim Hill, Cedar Hill, The Reservoir and the Great Lawn, to name a few.

If you and your mom want to capture photos with the cherry blossoms in bloom, it’s best to get to the park early in the morning. I personally believe Central Park during peak cherry blossom season is the most picturesque compared to other times of the year.

In addition to admiring the cherry blossoms, other fun things to do in Central Park with the motherly figure in your life are to take a horse and carriage tour, visit the Central Park Zoo, see Belvedere Castle, watch a “Shakespeare in the Park” at the Delacorte Theater and catch a pop-up concert.

Discover the best Instagram spots in Central Park!

Tavern on the Green is one of the most famous restaurants for a mother-daughter meal. It’s an elegant restaurant that has been around since 1934 and has hosted U.S. presidents, royalty, Hollywood celebrities, and renowned artists worldwide.

Sail to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island:

A woman exploring the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Liberty State Park.

In addition to all the museums mentioned above, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are other educational places to visit on a mother-daughter trip to New York City. You can get from Manhattan to the Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration via the Statue City Cruises. The ferry departs from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan.

Both historic sites are part of the National Park Service and are essential to American history. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to celebrate America as a champion of liberty. While at this beautiful NYC landmark, which has been around since 1885, you and your mom can enjoy different photo opportunities, walk through the museum and enjoy breathtaking skyline views.

Visiting Ellis Island will take you through the journey of American immigration from the 1500s through today. You can view artifacts from over 12 million immigrants, learn about the trials and triumphs of those who traveled overseas to New York City, as well as visit The Family History Center to learn more about your own ancestors and where they came from.

Stroll the High Line on a Beautiful Day:

Strolling the High Line - one of the best activities in NYC during a mother-daughter trip.

Walking the High Line during the warmer months is one of the best free activities to enjoy in NYC during a mother-daughter escape. It’s 1.45 miles long and runs from the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street.

The High Line was built on a former 1934 elevated freight railroad that ran along the West Side. There’s no better activity to enjoy on a lovely spring, summer or fall day than strolling along the High Line! You can admire different plant types, take in all the stunning city views, grab a snack or ice cream from one of the food stands and admire different street art.

Treat Yourselves to a Spa Day:

A woman having a relaxing evening at QC Spa on Governors Island.

Another great mother-daughter experience in New York City is to enjoy an afternoon at QC Spa on Governors Island. This relaxing oasis resembles a spa you’d experience in Northern Italy.

QC Spa offers locals and visitors the best wellness experience with top-notch views of Lower Manhattan. It has heated outdoor pools, various saunas, numerous relaxation rooms, steam baths, Vichy showers, foot baths and much more. You can also enjoy private massage services.

What’s also nice about visiting QC Spa with your mom is that you can also have an aperitivo, delicious healthy meals from Flora Café, flavored teas and fresh juices.

To get to Governors Island, which is also part of the National Park Service, you must take the Governors Island Ferry from the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan. The ferry costs $4 USD each way, but children 12 and under and seniors over 65 can ride it for free.

The best time to visit QC Spa is on a chillier day when you and your mom can enjoy the warm pools.

Wander through Little Italy during the Feast of San Gennaro:

Walking through the Feast of San Gennaro - one of the best activities during a mother-daughter trip to NYC.

During your mother-daughter getaway to NYC, the Feast of San Gennaro is a fun night to experience in the middle of September. It’s located in Little Italy on the iconic Mulberry Street in Manhattan.

The Feast of San Gennaro commemorates the life of San Gennaro of Naples, the Bishop of Benevento. He was martyred in 305 AD. This festival also celebrates Italian American culture, ancestors and traditions.

During this festival, you can watch the annual parade that celebrates San Gennaro, enjoy Italian American street food stands, have fun on rides, listen to local bands, watch talented performances and visit the different restaurants and bakeries along Mulberry Street. You are sure to have a great time!

If you and your mom want to savor great Italian food in Manhattan’s Little Italy, I recommend Rubirosa, Umberto’s Clam House, Lombardi’s and Ferrara Bakery & Café.

If you and your mom love Manhattan’s Little Italy, you’ll enjoy Arthur Avenue in The Bronx. It’s NYC’s more authentic version of Little Italy with incredible Italian American restaurants, marketplaces, delicatessens, pastry shops and bakeries. Enzo’s and Pugsley’s are two excellent restaurants you can’t miss out on visiting in this area.

Visit Top of the Rock for the Best NYC Views:

A woman enjoying the views at Top of the Rock in NYC.

Another one of the leading mother-daughter activities in NYC is enjoying all the best views at Top of the Rock in Midtown. Located at the top of “30 Rock” (the main building in Rockefeller Center), you and your mom can take in some of Manhattan’s most incredible panoramic views. You can see the Empire State Building, Central Park, the Chrysler Building, One World Trade Center and more.

In addition to taking in all the incredible views from 70 floors high, you can also experience The Beam. There’s an iconic picture from 1932 that shows ironworkers having lunch on a steel beam during the development of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Nowadays, visitors can experience the same thing by sitting on the same beam and ascending above the deck.

Other great things to do at Top of the Rock include a tour and a delicious mezze lunch with pastries at The Weather Room.

Overall, the entire experience at Top of the Rock is one of the best 101 things to do in NYC!


Three women seeing Pretty Women on Broadway.

Here are other great articles for the New York City area:

Activities for Singles in NYC That Aren’t Speed Dating

Short Stay Hotels in New Jersey for Your Bucket List

10 Fun Things to Do in Hoboken and Jersey City, NJ

I hope you all enjoyed discovering the top activities to do during a mother-daughter trip to NYC. If you have any questions, please email me at info@browneyedflowerchild.com.

Basic Facts of the United States:

Currency: United States Dollar, Capital: Washington D.C., NY State Capital: Albany, Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

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2 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on March 10, 2024 at 10:42 pm

    Love this blog ~ brings back so many awesome memories that were made during these fabulous trips to NYC ~ can’t wait to share more fun times • love you, mom ❤️xoxo

    • Taylor Deer on March 16, 2024 at 10:49 pm

      Thank you mom! So many great memories!

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