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Visiting New York City with Kids

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Visiting NYC with Kids


New York and Boston with 3 kids

Sept 2009

We're going to be in New York and Boston for a few days in October with our three kids, ages 3-8. I would love any recommendations of places to go or things to do. Any suggestions on places we can go to see the fall colors? Thanks so much! Heading East


When we're in New York, there are two stops we always make regardless of season: 1. The New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx (http://www.nybg.org/)- one of the few places where you can really let the kids run around in NYC. And it's gorgeous. 2. Mohonk Mountain House (http://www.mohonk.com/). It's really expensive to stay there - but you can go for the day and have lunch there (also pricey - but worth it!). You'll see great fall color and they have tons of places to explore on the grounds. mary
Don't know the ages of your kids, but the Children's museum in Brooklyn in great! Highly recommend it! former new yorker

editor note: reviews were also received for Boston


3 days in NYC with boys 6 & 3

Aug 2008

I'll be in New York for a long weekend in late October, with my 2 boys (6 and 3). They've got the Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Station, the planetarium and the Empire State building on their to-do list, and I'm trying to figure out what neighborhood would be best for my playground-loving, subway-riding family. Suggestions? manhattan bound


If you can afford it, I would say stay near Central Park. It's beautiful, there are tons of playgrounds to choose from, plus the zoo, model boat pond, Met, etc. Not to mention lots of hot dog stands! We stayed with our toddler in a friend's apartment on the Upper East Side, and subway access to the rest of the city was a breeze.
August two years ago we stayed at the Buckingham Hotel on Central Park West and 79th. It's a couple of blocks from Central Park and within a block of a couple subway stops. It was centrally located and the room was a LARGE suite at a ''reasonable'' price for NYC.

Watch out for the Empire State Building; the lines are massive; the observation decks were crowded and the walls were high so that kids had to be lifted to see things. We got around the initial line by going on the Skyride. You get tickets for both and then bypass the elevator line for the observation deck going straight to the ride. After the ride you go up to the top of the building. Price of the ticket was worth not waiting in line; ride was just okay. Personally I'd go to the Natural History Museum before the Empire State Building, but my kids insisted as well. Have fun lindab


We stayed at the Beacon Hotel a few years ago at 75th and Bdwy. It was less $$ then many other places, REALLY NICE and we had a ''suite''...or mini apartment. Plenty of room for a family of 4. The subway is down the street, Central Park a few blocks away, a FABULOUS 24 hour Berkeley Bowl(but better) type market across the street, and a few blocks up is the East(?...got my directions mixed up) River with a big park, dog park, play area. Having grown up in Queens and Lon-Gisland, and going to college in Manhattan, hanging out in the village, etc, I was NEVER a tourist in NYC. We had a BLAST!!! And if your kids are walkers, it's just a fabulous city to walk, walk, walk. Have fun, former NY-er
Try the museum of natural history, the children's museum, and central park. Central park also has a zoo that is great to go to. In addition, central park has the horse and carriage rides which kids would find fun. Times square should also be a good place to visit ...to see all of the lights in the evening (this would be ideal more for the 6 year old more than the 3 year old though). The empire state building is another good place for kids. Galya
Ah, NY is so much fun! I would suggest the Upper West Side. You would be between Central Park and Riverside Park. We used to live at 102nd and West End and spent most of our days in Riverside Park. It is a wonderful park with great playgrounds. The Museum of Natural History is on the Upper West around 79th. Fun place for kids. http://www.amnh.org/ The subway is also great on UWS. Ah, 3 days hardly seems long enough. Have a wonderful time. Nostalgic
I just spent two days in NY with 3 kids. Try a Broadway show. My 3 kids (10, 8, 3) loved Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, a Cirque du Soleil type show. My 3 year old nephew enjoyed Grease. Buy Statue of Liberty tickets well in advance online, especially if you want to go into the pedestal to see the huge bolts holding the thing down and the museum there. Those always sell out well in advance. The line to buy tickets was an hour long and the wait to get on a boat even longer. Battery Park (where the boats leave from) has a great piece of public art--a small unassuming tic tac toe-like square on the ground--a little over a square yard in size--that plays lovely chimes when you jump on the squares. There is also a globe that stood in the courtyard of the World Trade Center, bent and twisted, that I found upsetting, but the kids didn't understand.

It is a few steps from Bowling Green, NY's oldest park and, so it says, a great spot to see peregrine falcons making their comeback in the city. We did not get to see them. My kids were disappointed with the Museum of Natural History. The displays were stunning, as was the collection, but it was curiously non-interactive. I enjoyed the old California Academy of Sciences much more than the Museum of Natural History. But I was very tired and I am sure that colored my opinion. I am not sure if Waterfalls of NY will still be going...but it's worth a look. Kind of an oddball idea to make a bunch of waterfalls on the Hudson. I did not take a stroller and my 3yo spent a lot of time in the Ergo baby. I envied the Manhattan moms their strollers, as my daughter would have been much happier. There was a lot more walking than she was accustomed to. We stayed on the 100 block of 71st street in Manhattan a few steps from Central Park. Central Park was fantastic, but very, very ! crowded. My girls saw a night heron catch a big fish. They liked climbing the rocks, but were unimpressed by sidewalk performances. The Bronx Zoo we missed this time, but the kids' cousins gave rave reviews. Have fun!


Activities in NYC with 11.5 month old

June 2006

We're planning a trip to Manhattan at the end of June with our will-be-11.5 month old. This is a business trip for my husband, but we will have about 3 days as a family, and then 2- 3 days for me and my daughter to hang out while my husband works. I'd like recommendations for places where our baby can stretch out and play, either indoors or outdoors. Places such as: children's museums with designated crawling-cruising areas, cafes and restaurants with play areas, good playgrounds with basket swings and other structures young babies can play on. We've traveled extensively with our daughter througout her life, but as she gets older, new issues come into play. Any tips on traveling at her specific age are much appreciated, as well. Thanks! Traveling Mommy


Visit http://www.gocitykids.com and choose the option for NYC. This is a web site used by locals as well as visitors, so you'll get recommendations for non-touristy and affordable things like library story hours and park workshops, as well as larger attractions. NY is great with kids! Ours, at age one, was pretty happy to take in the sights from his stroller while we walked all over the city. We also did Central Park zoo and stroll, tea at the Plaza, Staten Island Ferry, Empire State Building, Bryant Park, Times Square at night for all the flashing lights (he was awake anyway, due to the time change!), subways, Grand Central...and I think we walked through every revolving door in the city! One more tip -- we stay on the Upper West Side, where there are lots of families -- affordable restaurants, parks and playgrounds to walk to, etc.. Have fun! Valerie
Places in Manahattan and Brooklyn:

Central Park, Bronx, and Prospect Park (Brooklyn-only a subway ride ride away) Zoos. Prospect Park has great playgrounds for little ones, especially on Prospect Park West, and 6th. I am sure Central Park does too, but I am not familiar with them. I AM familiar with other play grounds, though. A great (!) play area on 12th street on the Hudson river (Manhattan). Lots of water attractions for ALL ages. That's the best thing aboout NY parks in the summer! There is also a great playground at Washington Square Park. We've been there when they have art projects going on.

The Brooklyn Children's Museum is a gem (near the Brooklyn Art Museum--very cool), with a space designated for toddlers, indoor play area with plastic food, water play, trucks, dress up stuff, etc.

The library on St Lukes Place/Leroy and Varick/Seventh avenue in the West Village (Manhattan)has an big indoor play space if it gets too hot. Blocks, little kitchens, a few slides, toys. Story time. My in-laws live right across the street, so I'm there frequently, in summer and winter. I am sure other libraries have the same.

There is also a great playground more toward where the World Trade Center was/is ( :( ), right on the river (the west side), that has great play spaces for little ones. Where the ferry docks. It's beautiful down there. Lots of grass to have a nice picnic.

I have never been, but I know there is a Soho Children's Art Museum (hands on stuff, like Mocha-the Museum of Children's Art in Oakland). I would even think little ones would enjoy that. I recommend all these things because when my son was 1 and a few months, we spent 6 weeks in Brooklyn, and I needed to fill lots of time (not an easy job) when my husband worked. Also, like I said, my in-laws live in Manhattan and we visit them every summer!

One last thing, I do know there is a HUGE play building for kids (they offer gymboree classes, music together stuff, but also, I am sure they have a drop in room of some kind) around midtown. I have never been, but have researched it. Unfortunately, I don't know the name off hand (research last summer), but I believe it would be easy enough to find on-line because the place is huge (like 3 floors). Have fun!!!!! New York summer gal


I'm not sure where you will be staying but on the Upper West Side of Manhattan are several places. The Children's Museum on 83rd and Amsterdam Ave is fun with rotating exhibits for all ages, and The Natural History Museum on 77th St and Central Park West. New York has a MILLION playgrounds and lots of them have sprinklers for the hot City kids to cool off in. Right off the bat there is one across the street from the Natural History Museum at 81st right inside Central Park. Another two in that same area are in Riverside Park (by the Hudson River). One at 83rd St right when you walk into the park, and if you walk up the Promenade, headling north, there is a great playground that has a sprinkler with bronze hippos to play on! It's at about 87th st. Have a great time! I miss my daughter being 1! Oh, one more thing, travelling in NYC with a big stroller is a big pain! When you are riding on the subways, you have to schlep it up and down stairs with a million people bumping into you, same with the bus. I recommend either one of those light, folding umbrella strollers or a backpack to put the baby in. You won't regret it! nadja

Things to do near Radio City Music Hall NYC

March 2006

We will be visiting relatives in New Jersey in April. On one afternoon, my sister is taking her two toddlers to a Dora the Explorer show at Radio City Music Hall, and my two boys (ages 4 and 7) and I are riding into Manhattan with her but not attending the show. We're going to have to wander around the area for a few hours while she and her kids are at the show. Any suggestions for interesting things to do within two or three hours in the vicinity of Radio City Music Hall with two young boys? I've been to NYC only once a long time ago so don't know the area very well. NYC rookie


Go on the NBC experience tour. The kids get to see TV sets, pretend to do the weather, etc. It's cute. Sarah
Jump in a cab and visit the Natural History Museum - Uppper West Side. The kids will love it.
Central Park Zoo is not far by bus or cab.br

There are many movie theaters near by -- The Ziegfield- home of the former Ziegfield Follies is one of the biggest theaters I have ever been in.

FAO Shwartz is also not far (15 minute walk). I took my daughter there for her bday and she loved it.

Take the bus/cab up to the Met Museum of art. It is big and good place to tire out the kids. There are also 2 playgrounds right near the met -- one on the north side one on the south.

That is all for now. Have fun. Be safe. simon


Chelsea Piers. Kids love it!
Go to a newstand that sells atypical magazines and see if you can find a copy of NEW YORK MAGAZINE. This is a weekly publication that lists everything from politics, places to go and visit, restaurants, hotels, to classifiesds. Basically, will tell you everything you need to know about New York City. Check out this link: http://nymag.com/news/ former new yorker
Take them to the Central Park Zoo! Absolutely the perfect place to spend time in central NY. Almost walkable from Radio City or at least a short cab ride away. A nice small zoo - with good exhibits indoors and out. NYC lover
We were just in NY. Rockefeller Center has a tour called ''Top of the Rock'' which your kids would enjoy. YOu learn about how the building was built then go to a rooftop observatory. Not as tall as Empire State, but still fun and close to Radio City. The Toys R Us in Times Square is massive and has a ferris wheel inside. anon
The museum of natural history is about 15-20 blocks away from the music hall. A bit of a hike, but a short cab ride. It's an amazing place for people of all ages -- dinosaurs, cultural history (remember, margaret mead was a fixture there!!). It's a great place for kids, and you could EASILY spend many hours wandering around, but two or three hours would be fine if you target what you want to see there, rather than wandering around aimlessly (which is fun, too, by the way). That's really the only thing within a reasonable distance that will keep the kids truly entertained. In addition to the ancient, but interesting, stuffed animals (think 1930's), there are amazing permanent exhibits of all kinds, as well as temporary exhibits. Go to http://www.amnh.org for information. Have Fun! Heather

Finding a babysitter in NYC

Nov 2005

We are attending a wedding in Manhattan the weekend after Thanksgiving and have not had much luck finding a babysitter through our friends and family there. Has anyone used a babysitter or a nanny service there that they would recommend? I am very hesitant to leave my kids with someone I don't know, but it doesn't seem feasible to bring them with us. any suggestions appreciated!


My Alma Mater, Barnard College, has a babysitting service which is a highly regarded resource for babysitters for many New Yorkers. Give them a call, although on Thanksgiving weekends in past years, I did not have success in finding anyone through this service. Good Luck! Daphne

Visiting NYC with a 5 year old

June 2005

We are planning on tkaing our 5 year old daughter to NYC and are trying to figure out how people get around with kids in the city. I saw the post on babies but I don't think anyone has addressed how they get around with kids this age. Taxis? Subway? What are the laws & what do most people do? We have a long list of things to do but need to figure out transportation. I'm hoping not to have to lug a car seat everywhere. Thanks. Sarah


A few years ago when we took our daughters to NYC (then 6 and 4) we bought 7-day Metro Cards to use on the bus and subway system. (We took a taxi in from the airport and did not bring our car seats.) We got around the city primarily on foot, bus and subway. Having the Metro Cards meant that the instant someone got tired of walking, we got on a bus (or subway, but usually a bus) and we didn't have to worry about getting change for the fare. Children under 44 inches tall ride free with a paying adult. Buses are frequent, routes are easy to figure out, and the subway is also clean, convenient and safe. Cabs are expensive and never around when you need them. Alice
Most people who have kids in New York get around as follows:

1. Walk. You MUST have a stroller. Preferably a good one, and one that is light in weight. Those $14.00 umbrella strollers just do not have the maneuverability that you need for crowded sidewalks and curbs, etc.

2. Cabs. No, I have never seen anyone strap a car seat into a taxi cab. Children are allowed in without one. But after a few harrowing rides it will sure seems like a good idea!

3. Subway - But this is why you need the light stroller, because you have never LIVED until you have carried your stroller, your kid and all your stuff up and down those stairs in rush hour.

4. Bus is also an option. Can be turtle slow, but only a few stairs. Leslie


You don't need a car seat in NY, even in Taxis. Weird, but true. I'm sure some people use them, but I've never seen it in many visits there, except perhaps for infants in carry seats. I just took my 5-year-old to NY last month, and the transportation was all very easy. The trouble for me is that NYC is all about walking, and that's harder to do in big chunks with a 5-year-old. There are kids this age in strollers in the City - so if that's something you'd consider, you wouldn't be seen as a freak. The stroller makes carrying things easier, but makes transitions (into restaurants, buses, subway, etc.) harder, so it's a trade-off. Enjoy! NY lover
Since my mom lives in Brooklyn, I have traveled to New York with my son two or three times a year since he was born. When we are traveling without my mom, we go many, many places by subway - the subway system is extensive. Another great way to get places in New York is by ''car service'', which is basically taxi service in which the price for the trip is predetermined. You can look up car services in the yellow pages when you get to New York. For short distances in main parts of Manhattan, taxis are a good choice. I do still take my car seat though, although I think this summer might be the last time I do so. NC
In Manhattan we used subways and the bus -- the bus for short distances and sightseeing, the subways for speed. For a lot of trips in Manhattan there's also walking. I haven't been to Queens or Staten Island post child. We also used subways for the Bronx and Brooklyn. We've usually only used taxis for going from place to place with luggage.(The public transit is so crowded that it is hard to fit a suitcase, though I've done it when I was in college.) In New York City we haven't used the carseat, but we do use it on trips when we rent a car (for New Jersey). Taxis are nerve-racking, and often it's less stressful to take other transportation, as well as more interesting. Carol
New Law in New York State (as of March 2005) requires safety seats for kids up to age 7 (unless they are over 4 feet nine inches tall). Taxis are exempt, though they may have them. According to USA Today: ''In 2000, the most recent year for which data are available, 2,600 children were injured in 17,000 taxi-related accidents in New York City'' (see http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/money/20050408/boosterseats08.art.htm). If you plan to rent a car, you'll need to bring or rent a booster seat. Subways should be fine, too. One more thing if you take taxis - be sure everyone buckles up (even though taxis are exempt), with your child in the middle of the back seat - NEVER on your lap. R.K.

New York City with 7 yr-old

May 2004

I'm going to New York City with my 7 yr-old daughter and mother, for a week. I'm looking for recommendations of things to do that would be fun for all three generations.


I go to NYC about twice a year with my daughters, ages 8 and 10. We have developed a routine and tend to do the same things all the time, mostly around Central Park. The main thing they like to do is take a horse-drawn carriage through Central Park. This costs $40 and is a bit of a rip-off, but also a nice way to see the park at a slower pace. Lines can be long in high tourist season, so go early or late in the day. The Central Park Zoo is also an easy trip, and there is an area where you can feed the farm animals. The carousel in the park is also fun, and we usually always do that. My kids also enjoy the playgrounds in Central Park, esp. up near the Metropolitan Museum of Art, hanging out there also gives you a chance to see NY families in action, or usually during the week, NY nannies and their charges in action. My daughters also like to go see the statue of Balto in the park. Non-park places: My daughters have always been scared by the Museum of Natural History so we have only gone there once - it is dark and geared more towards older kids. The Children's Museum, conversely, is geared more towards very young kids. They do sometimes have interesting tie-ins with artists that are worthwhile, even for grade-school aged kids - check out what their program is in advance. Other options: Empire State Building, although lines can be long on clear days; Intrepid Museum, if you like planes and air/space themes. There are a couple of good guidebooks for NY with kids - it may be worth buying one, at least so you also have an idea of where to eat. In general though, I don't try and overschedule - kids often just enjoy looking at all the people, and running around in the park. SM
We were just there in November. Here's what my ten-year-old son recommends:

1) Go to the Empire State Building and look at the view. (We liked it so much we went back at night time.)

2) Take a walk around and in Central Park.

3) Have tea at Tea & Sympathy (on 13th Street near Greenwich)

4) Walk around the neighborhood around Tea & Sympathy

5) MARS! (A restaurant that looks like Mars -- you get in a spaceship and when the door opens you're underground with steaming lava and nice Martians in costumes.) Note from mom: it's burgers & pizza type food, not great food but fun place

6) Grand Central Station

7) The river walk and dog park at Carl Schurz Park (upper East Side river walk, 89th & East Side Drive) Danny (and Ann)


If your daughter is an Eloise fan, you could have tea at the Plaza! A full-sized portrait of Eloise is also hanging on the wall, which my daughter thinks is really exciting. Other great places include the American Museum of Natural History, the Central Park Zoo (small, wonderful, and often overlooked), and the Children's Museum of Manhattan. For a low-key day, try renting a boat in Central Park (or even taking a ride on a horse-drawn carriage), taking a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, or strolling through some of the neighborhoods you've heard about, just to see what's there. This list barely scratches the surface, but anything on it would be great for all three generations. Lauren
The Museum of Natural History is great for all ages. And the STatue of Liberty. The Empire STate building is fun if you all like the idea of going very high up and seeing the view.

I haven't tried it with my kids yet, but I think the Metropolitan Museum of Art could be fun. There's the knight's armour and Egyptian tomb artifacts. If your daughter knows about George Washington there's a bunch of American paintings she might appreciate. If she's read Linnea, she might like the impressionist paintings. Another museum I haven't even ever been to, but my husband is dying to show the kids, and I can't think of the name, something like the museum of Television and Broadcast.

Zoos -- The Bronx Zoo is really nice, but a schlep if you're not in the Bronx already. The Central Park Zoo is not as big, but still quite nice (it was modernized not long ago) adn it's more centrally located in Manhattan.

If you have family who immigrated from Europe, or your daughter is for whatever reason interested in immigration, Ellis Island is a possibility. But I think making sure she's interested before you go would be advisable.

Yankee stadium? Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge?

IF you want to see a Broadway show and can get tickets see the Lion King. IT's great and worth the cost, albeit expensive. Other Broadway shows will not be worth the cost for a 7-year old, or if for kids, probably not worth the cost for anyone. former New Yorker


I saw the post recommending a musical...great idea. This is what truly sets NYC apart from other big cities. Tip: Broadway tickets are sold at half-price the day of the show thru TKTS. Once you get there, look it up in the phone book and try to find out what time they start selling. They used to have two locations. One near Wall Street and one onBroadway, of course (around 42nd street), which I'd recommend. Also, pick up a copy of New York Magazine. It lists all the things to do, places to go for the week...

Another place to go...South Street Seaport. It's near downtown and gorgoeous on sunny days...great view of the East River and the Brooklyn Bridge....lots of shops and eateries... have fun! former new yorker


Need Cheap airfare to NYC

June 2004

I'm traveling to NY from Oakland for a weekend wedding mid-July leaving my son and partner behind (sigh). I've been in denial about going since I don't want to leave them, but now I must book a ticket and prices are higher than I would like to pay. I've searched all the cheap travel sites (hotwire, travelocity, cheaptickets, expedia) and Jet Blue - but prices are still too much for my budget. Is there any other way to get cheap tickets? What about buying someone's mileage points? If I did that, how would I find them (and is it legal to do so) and how do I negoitate prices? Does anyone else know of any super secret tricks to getting low cost airfares? Thanks! ''Waited Too Long''


try jetblue, they had a 99 each way from oakland to jfk via longbeach earlier this year. no food served, but leather seats and direct tv. i'm sure you can get a flight for around 300 if the special is over linee !
I never want to encourage anyone to fly an airline other than JetBlue (how can you bypass their famous customer service, those fabulous leather seats, great snacks, television, baby changing tables in EVERY restroom, not to mention the only direct flight out of Oakland to New York) but if you find the $300 price tag a bit daunting, then you may want to check orbitz.com or hotwire.com. Sometimes you can find a random fare (just plugged in the 17th and 19th July dates and came up with $194 on United via Chicago) that is significantly lower than the others. Also, check the southwest web-site as they don't list their fares on orbitz. True Blue
Might be too late but I just got a flight for august from oak to NYC for 156 through united. I usually start with www.sidestep.com. See what they have and then go to the airlines that come up directly as sometimes they have fares that don't show up unless you are on their site. Juliette
I always use Jet Blue when I fly to New York. Booking via the website is cheap and quick and you can book up to the last minute. You'd be looking at paying between $250 and $350 round-trip. Tia

NYC good/baby-friendly restaurants

May 2004

We're traveling back to NYC with our 5 1/2 month old and we're looking for some good, baby-friendly restaurants (no touristy places please). Both of us lived there awhile ago but it has been some time and are now returning with an infant, which will be a totally different experience. She is really easy to take anywhere (we go out a lot here) and will be staying midtown. Thanks


On the advice of a friend who lives in the city, we went to Bubby's in Tribeca and loved it. She was right: the food was very good, the waitstaff unflappable, the place entirely kid- friendly, even kid-centric, with a wall rack of kids' books among other diversions. She said JFK Jr was a regular there, so it's not your typical Chuck E Cheese kind of kid place. We felt very in-the-know there and would take the kids back in an instant. Even if the kids weren't with us, my husband would go back for the sour cherry pie alone.

Also, check out www.gocitykids.com for lots of restaurant reviews from a parent's perspective. DL


There are many. I was just in NYC for three weeks, and we often saw other kids- usually early- at various restaurants. I would guess that there are books specifically for families in NYC but the Eyewitness Guides (www.dk.com) (for one) guidebook on NYC notes whether the restaurants it recommends are family friendly.
Just saw this in the NY Times this am (6/2), about restaurants that have started an in-restaurant supervised play area while you eat. Sounds great! http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/02/dining/02PLAY.html?8hpib

New York City with 7 yr-old

April 2004

I'm going to New York City with my 7 yr-old daughter and mother, for a week. I'm looking for recommendations of things to do that would be fun for all three generations. Margery


I go to NYC about twice a year with my daughters, ages 8 and 10. We have developed a routine and tend to do the same things all the time, mostly around Central Park. The main thing they like to do is take a horse-drawn carriage through Central Park. This costs $40 and is a bit of a rip-off, but also a nice way to see the park at a slower pace. Lines can be long in high tourist season, so go early or late in the day. The Central Park Zoo is also an easy trip, and there is an area where you can feed the farm animals. The carousel in the park is also fun, and we usually always do that. My kids also enjoy the playgrounds in Central Park, esp. up near the Metropolitan Museum of Art, hanging out there also gives you a chance to see NY families in action, or usually during the week, NY nannies and their charges in action. My daughters also like to go see the statue of Balto in the park. Non-park places: My daughters have always been scared by the Museum of Natural History so we have only gone there once - it is dark and geared more towards older kids. The Children's Museum, conversely, is geared more towards very young kids. They do sometimes have interesting tie-ins with artists that are worthwhile, even for grade-school aged kids - check out what their program is in advance. Other options: Empire State Building, although lines can be long on clear days; Intrepid Museum, if you like planes and air/space themes. There are a couple of good guidebooks for NY with kids - it may be worth buying one, at least so you also have an idea of where to eat. In general though, I don't try and overschedule - kids often just enjoy looking at all the people, and running around in the park. SM
We were just there in November. Here's what my ten-year-old son recommends:

1) Go to the Empire State Building and look at the view. (We liked it so much we went back at night time.)

2) Take a walk around and in Central Park.

3) Have tea at Tea & Sympathy (on 13th Street near Greenwich)

4) Walk around the neighborhood around Tea & Sympathy

5) MARS! (A restaurant that looks like Mars -- you get in a spaceship and when the door opens you're underground with steaming lava and nice Martians in costumes.) Note from mom: it's burgers & pizza type food, not great food but fun place

6) Grand Central Station

7) The river walk and dog park at Carl Schurz Park (upper East Side river walk, 89th & East Side Drive)

Danny (and Ann)


If your daughter is an Eloise fan, you could have tea at the Plaza! A full-sized portrait of Eloise is also hanging on the wall, which my daughter thinks is really exciting. Other great places include the American Museum of Natural History, the Central Park Zoo (small, wonderful, and often overlooked), and the Children's Museum of Manhattan. For a low-key day, try renting a boat in Central Park (or even taking a ride on a horse-drawn carriage), taking a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, or strolling through some of the neighborhoods you've heard about, just to see what's there. This list barely scratches the surface, but anything on it would be great for all three generations. Lauren
The Museum of Natural History is great for all ages. And the STatue of Liberty. The Empire STate building is fun if you all like the idea of going very high up and seeing the view.

I haven't tried it with my kids yet, but I think the Metropolitan Museum of Art could be fun. There's the knight's armour and Egyptian tomb artifacts. If your daughter knows about George Washington there's a bunch of American paintings she might appreciate. If she's read Linnea, she might like the impressionist paintings. Another museum I haven't even ever been to, but my husband is dying to show the kids, and I can't think of the name, something like the museum of Television and Broadcast.

Zoos -- The Bronx Zoo is really nice, but a schlep if you're not in the Bronx already. The Central Park Zoo is not as big, but still quite nice (it was modernized not long ago) adn it's more centrally located in Manhattan.

If you have family who immigrated from Europe, or your daughter is for whatever reason interested in immigration, Ellis Island is a possibility. But I think making sure she's interested before you go would be advisable.

Yankee stadium? Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge?

IF you want to see a Broadway show and can get tickets see the Lion King. IT's great and worth the cost, albeit expensive. Other Broadway shows will not be worth the cost for a 7-year old, or if for kids, probably not worth the cost for anyone. former New Yorker


I saw the post recommending a musical...great idea. This is what truly sets NYC apart from other big cities. Tip: Broadway tickets are sold at half-price the day of the show thru TKTS. Once you get there, look it up in the phone book and try to find out what time they start selling. They used to have two locations. One near Wall Street and one onBroadway, of course (around 42nd street), which I'd recommend. Also, pick up a copy of New York Magazine. It lists all the things to do, places to go for the week... Another place to go...South Street Seaport. It's near downtown and gorgoeous on sunny days...great view of the East River and the Brooklyn Bridge....lots of shops and eateries... have fun! former new yorker

Taking an infant to NYC

Nov 1999

Several months ago, I read info. regarding how to travel with your infant (8 months old) in NYCity. I have gone to the home page and do not find much there, so sorry to be redundant, but now I need to know for Thanksgiving. I know they should travel in car seats, is it the law in NY for a taxi? We will be taking the bus from Newark to the City - what do we do? I do remember trains are the best method but that will not always be an option. Is the only answer the travel car seat?


I am the mom who initially asked about travelling in NYCity with an 8 month old a couple months ago, and have since made my trip. I bought my son his own seat for the airplane (1/2 price) and used a car seat. When we arrived at JFK we easily got a cab. It was one of those official city ones (with the rules clearly displayed). The seat belts were readily accessible and the cab was clean... no problem there. Carseats are required for infants nationwide. I don't think it matters if the car is a taxi or not. We had intended to take the cab from JFK to the train, but found out that the train only checked in luggage on certain runs. (One too early for us to get to, and one at the end of the day that we didn't want to wait around for.) Since I couldnt' manage my baby, the carseat, the stroller and the suitcase, even with my mom to help (she had her own suitcase to haul around), we just gave up on the train. Instead we went to Enterprise and rented a car. Since we were driving to smalltown upstate NY that was a good option. I am sure it isn't a good one for getting around the metroploitan area though.

I can't answer your question about what to do on buses since I didn't use any. I see many moms around here use and umbrella (or other easily colapsable) stroller on the streets and then fold it up and keep their baby on their laps while sitting on a bus/BART, or keep the child in the stroller if they have to stand. I am sure that would be the same on the buses and subways in NYC.

The part that is tricky is when you are combining modes of trasportation and will only need the carseat part of the time. In anticipation of that problem, we used an infant carseat for travelling. Since it had a handle I though it would be easy to carry around. But at 10months, I could not carry my son in the carseat very well, he was just TOO heavy! Fortunately the car seat fit into the seat of my stroller (full sized, not umbrella style) so I didn't have to juggle everything. But I dont' think that would have worked very well getting on and off a bus. Good Luck on your trip.


I just returned from NYC with my 12 week old baby and was also concerned about taxis as I could not imagine any NY cab driver waiting while I strapped in the car seat (much less stopping inthe first place). According to several friends who are NYC moms they travel with their infants in front packs in cabs and make sure to buckle up but not to have the seat belt around the baby, just them. I did this for a number of cab rides and it worked fine and it is what I observed other Moms doing as well. I would use the car seat on the bus into town and on the airplane as well if you can.
We lived in NY until our first son was 4 years and 2nd son 10months. The inexpensive unbrella strollers are the best for running around the city. They fold easily, quickly and are light. On the subways i never folded the stroller, it fit through the turnstile with the baby in and i just scooped it up and carried it up and down the stairs. occasionally someone would offer help! The buses i just folded it up with babe in arms and took the nearest seat. We took taxis but not very often. They were slow, especially if you are going from one end of town to the other which we did alot. Yes, I know it's safer to carry baby in a safety seat but alot of the time it just isn't practical in New York riding in a taxi, unless you are going from one friends house to another. Some of the taxi's seat-belts don't work as it is. Would be great if they carried seats in the trunk. You might want to call a car-service and ask if they have seats. their rates are comparable to taxi's. You may want to consider a lightweight back pack for baby to run around the city in also but really the subway is the way to go and just as safe as a taxi only quicker!! good luck.

Taking a 16-month-old to New York

1998

I am going to be travelling to New York City (my hometown) with my 16 month old son in two weeks. Even though I am from the city, I was childless and mostly single when I lived there, so I am finding it challenging to think of things to do that my son will appreciate and/or be able to handle. Has anyone travelled to NYC with a child this age who could pass on any helpful hints? I am also a bit worried about the city overwhelming him, as he tends to become frightened with a lot of new stimulation. Of course, a lot of our time will be spent with family at home, and going to the beach and such, but I would like to expose him to the best of the city. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks! Diana


I definitely suggest the Central Park Zoo -- it's small, so you can see the whole thing in an hour or so, and of course you can buy food there. Wendy
We go there with kids (ages 1 and 3) all the time - every month or two. Here are some places that we like to go with them:

1. Some great new playgrounds in the park - one on 86th, the other on 90th, both on the west side. Let me know if you want more specifics on how to find them. Deborah

2. The Children's Museum - approximately 83rd and Amsterdam

3. The Museum of Natural History - also on the upper west side

The playgrounds have separate areas for little kids and are very nice. The museums are great for rainy days. Have a good time. -Deborah


I've taken my daughter to New York City twice so far, at age 10 months and age 21 months. Highly recommend the Central Park Zoo, at the SE corner of the park. If you haven't lived in New York in a while, you may not have visited the zoo since it was renovated (8 or 10 years ago?). It is now small and select, and, for a zoo, clean, peaceful, and very manageable. A particular highlight is the Polar Bear tank, which you can view from different levels. At ground level, you're looking directly through the glass into the tank, underwater. One of the bears is a show-off and seems to love to swim laps. You see his enormous head coming at you and then his giant feet as he pushes himself off the wall of the tank. Other animals include penguins, monkeys, red pandas, tropical birds, and (I think) seals. There's a snack bar on the premises. Elisa

Visiting NYC without Kids


Things to do in NYC WITHOUT kids!

June 2004

My husband and I will be going to New York City at the end of July for about 4 days. We will be going without the kids! He will be attending a training 9-5pm for his work, and I'm tagging along (love those frequent flyer miles). I will have all day to do some sightseeing, check out some shows, etc. before he gets out of his training at the end of the day. Our hotel is somewhere near La Guardia but I don't mind travelling. I feel like this is a great opportunity to have a lot of fun. What should we do together in the evenings? What should I do by myself? What should I avoid? How hot will it be? How should I dress? Thanks for any tips! Laurel


Wow -- what I wouldn't give for four days to kill in NYC. If you are a museum fan, you could easily spend one entire day on Fifth Avenue's museum mile. The Metropolitan Museum has a wonderful collection, and the Costume Institute usually has a show on during the summer. (It will also be a nice cool place because yes, it will probably be pretty hot there!) The Guggenheim is worth visiting just for the building itself but the art is also great. The Museum of Modern Art I think is still in Queens while the Manhattan building is being renovated, but is also a must see.

Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, a Circle Line cruise around Manhattan, the Empire State, walks through Soho, Greenwich Village, the East Village, Upper West Side -- all worth doing. I think there are some great walking tours you can take in lower Manhattan, and probably some great architectural walking tours too.

Start getting the Friday or Sunday New York Times, or pick up a New Yorker and read the listings for shows, festivals, concerts. A lot of Broadway shows have half-price Tickets at the TKTS booth in Times Square (and some off-Broadway shows which are often better!) But spend a couple evenings with your husband having a cozy romantic dinner in the Village, and then wander around there, get some ice cream, etc. There is so much to see, that just walking around can be interesting! Have a great time! Missing New York


hi. my favorite things to do in nyc besides just wandering around different neighborhoods (soho is my favorite) is dance class at broadway dance center and seeing shows. Last time I was there I saw "de la guardia" definately an experience and I heard "Avenue Q" was really good. Pick up a copy of the New Yorker and it will tell you everything going on. Have fun! juli
Oh you are so lucky! If I had a day to myself while my husband was doing business, I would spend the whole day walking in Central Park and visiting the museums. I'd eat a hot dog, and watch the kids sailing boats, and hit at least 3 of the museums. Actually I would spend all day at the Met if I could! Then I would probably spend the second day walking around the Village and/or Soho. I would go to the theater every night. In fact, by now I would have already spent the grocery money ordering tickets online.

Be sure and do the things that you like that are unpleasant to do with little kids - walking a lot, going to museums, going shopping, going out to dinner and to a show. Maybe you'll visit again with your kids and that is when you can go to the zoo or the Statue of Liberty of whatever. Take advantage of your child-free-ness! A Very Jealous Mom


There's so much to do in NYC. Some suggestions: The Metropolitan Museum, Central Park, MoMA (temporarily in Queens), dessert at a sidewalk cafe in Little Italy, Soho or Village, afternoon tea at The Plaza Hotel or The Pennisula Hotel, ride the Staten Island ferry RT for $1, Ellis Island, Broadway, off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway shows (you can get half-priced tickets at TKTS in Times Square). It's also fun to just walk around and poke into all the stores.

NYC is typically very hot and humid in July, but you can alternate between indoor and outdoor activities to keep the weather bearable. Loose cotton sleeveless shirts and short skirts/skorts/shorts or loose-ish cotton dresses all work well. Bring a light sweater for times when the a/c gets to be too much. Wear comfortable shoes, because NYC is really a ''walking'' city.

Have a great time! Cindy


I recommend taking a look at any of the of New York themed periodicals available in the Bay Area. The New Yorker and the Times are great sources of information in regards to current exhibits and local happenings in Manhattan and the buroughs. I travel to New York often so feel free to email me with questions. Tia
Oh you are so lucky! We just came back from Manhattan and went to several different plays. It was such a memorable experience! We loved Avenue Q, Rent, Hairspray, the Producers, and The Assassins (a little dark), but there are so many to chose from. The Boy from Oz with Hugh Jackman, A Raisin in the Sun with Sean Combs and Phylicia Rashad, Wicked, or I Am My own Wife. Go to nytheatre.com for a list of all your choices. Not cheap, but a real ''When in Rome'' experience. Buy tickets ahead of time if you can. Most of these are sold out well in advance of the show. Regarding clothes, people dress in all sorts of ways to plays, from casual to nice. Black is the predominant color. Our weather was shirtsleeve comfortable, even at night, but you should expect hot and muggy.

We didn't sightsee this trip but did make an effort to go to Ground Zero which is still a remarkable sight, and damage to adjoining buildings is still evident. From years past I felt the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island were wonderful to ferry by/to, though crowded.

If this is your first trip, I have to recommend Tavern on the Green in Central Park for dinner, though others may disagree because it's a real tourist restaurant. But with its twinkly lights and easy access to a horse and buggy ride through Central Park, who can resist? If that doesn't clinch it, its the location of the Ghost Busters scene when Rick Moranis is chased through Central Park by a supernatural creature. Have a wonderful time! Jeanne


How lucky to be able to spend time in NYC without kids!! I grew up in NJ near NY and it has been a couple of years since I have been back. A lot of people have already suggested the museums: if you go to Central Park, you will find all the big ones there, the Met the Museum of Natural History, the Guggenhiem (an amazing building). It is also a lot of fun just to walk around the different nieghborhoods. If you like jazz, you may want to consider going to a show at the Blue Note. My husband and I did this on our honeymoon and it was a lot of fun. I like walking around the Village, little Itlay, there are acutally a few good Irish pubs near South Street Seaport as well. This is really touristy, but fun, the Circle line that does the water tour of the city. I remember doing this with my parents and we had a blast! Also if you like Indian food the place to go is 6th St. in the Village. There is one Indian resturant after another there, and you can eat cheap!! It is a lot of fun and in most places if you say it's your Birthday they will fliker the lights (most of the resturants have Christmas lights up) and sing happy birthday and bring out a dessert. It's silly, but fun. Also one place I remember going to a couple times with a friend of mine is the Blue Nile (near Central Park). It is an Ethiopian resturant and it a lot of fun as well. Also getting food at one of the street vendors is always a hit. Knishes were my favorite! Don't forget you will get the best pizza and bagels in the world! (okay, I might be a little biased on that one). Hope you have a lot of fun!! Lisa
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