Looking for ideas of free or cheap things to do with my kids ages 5-15 that were never in Manhattan yet.... We're taking the si ferry across to Manhattan and I'm clueless. What's right near the terminal or not too far that we can walk to... Sightseeing, pizza store and such? Any suggestions I would be really grateful! Thanks in advance!!
Great move. It plops you right at Battery Park. First of all, it's a great park. Nice, some interesting playground things. There's a really cool carousel, whether you consider that cheap probably depends how many kids you have It's a hop away from the World Trade Center. Your younger kids are too little for the 9/11 memorial but if you want to split up then the bigger people should go. There's the Oculus train station by WTC which is a cool piece of architecture with window-shopping. There's kosher pizza somewhere in that downtown region but not sure exactly where. Definitely walkable from Battery Park IIRC.
Check out Bravo Kosher Pizza 17 trinity place. We were definitely not the only kosher-eating tourists there. When we went it was mobbed, but it was tasty and from my research was the only pizza place in that part of the city.
Battery Park is a great area, but everything is EXPENSIVE because it's tourist central. Expect to pay $3 for a small bottle of water, for example. The carousel is beautiful but really adds up when you have a crowd.
The park itself is nice, has a great sprinkler area for kids, and it leads to a nice long walk along the water which lands you at the Brookfield mall and winter garden which is a pleasant indoor air conditioned space.
Probably the cheapest fun thing to do would be to go to Governor's Island. The ferry there is directly next to the staten island ferry. It's cheap and there's lots to do on the Island for free.
There was another thread about Governor's Island recently. Very short ferry ride. Though really you could spend a solid few hours just in lower Manhattan between playground/park, sightseeing, and pizza.