How many times have I been asked -- "We will be traveling to New York with our children -- What can we do? Will we have difficulties finding what we need? Better hotels or apartments for families?" and so on ... what to do,what to bring, where to go, what month to choose ... I'll try to answer some of these questions here, but if you have others, just e-mail me!
First off -- New York City is always great for kids
Don't worry, NYC is a must-visit any time of the year! The season that can be more worrying when traveling with children might be winter for the cold weather. In the past, we have had particularly snowy and frosty winters, extraordinary storms cannot always be predicted, but let's say that Winter in New York is generally cold with low temperatures and some snow. So, the activities for this season will be predominantly indoors. The museums suitable for children are many as well as other indoor attractions. And, I can assure you that you will have as much fun as they have while visiting the museums. Plus, let's not forget the magic of the Holidays, in December and for the Christmas Holidays Christmas in New York is PURE MAGIC!
THE MUSEUMS TO VISIT IN NEW YORK WITH CHILDREN
Let's start with one of the most iconic -- the American Museum of Natural History with "Rose Center for Earth and Space." A day is definitely not enough to see it all, so, I always recommend organizing your visit in advance to choose what to see first and aim for that. The Museum together with the Planetarium offers permanent shows and special exhibitions. Who has never seen, at least in photos, the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda (the main entrance) with the famous Dinosaurs?
We continue with the Metropolitan Museum - The Met, certainly a museum that is more suitable for children over the age of 6. Here too, there are many things to see and some sections are more suitable "for kids" than others. I recommend mapping out the museum the night before and planning your visit accordingly. I think the Egyptian Hall with the Temple of Dendur and the sarcophagi is something that might interest the young minds. With the entrance to the MET, you will also have access to the Cloisters, in this case, it would be better if the season was at least Spring/Fall with warmer days. The Cloisters are located in Uptown Manhattan by Fort Tryon and have outdoor sections. With all the medieval arts and outdoor gardens, the Museum might entertain even the younger ones.
HOW TO GET TO THE CLOISTER :
You can easily get on the subway -- the blue line A, get off at 190th Street, there is an elevator to exit the station. You are at the entrance to Fort Tryon Park, surely one of the most beautiful parks in New York donated by D. Rockefeller in 1917 to the city of New York. The Cloisters are located a 5/8-minute walk from the Subway.
Every day, March – October: 10:00 am – 5: 15 pm
Every day, November – February: 10:00 am – 4: 45 pm
Closed January 1st, Thanksgiving, and December 25th.
Another museum I recommend visiting is The New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn. This is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to the history of urban public transportation. The museum also manages a gallery at Grand Central Terminal where contemporary exhibitions are presented. The gallery is located just outside the Main Concourse, during the Christmas Holidays it houses the decorated Christmas Train.
The Intrepid Sea-AirSpace Museum (now included in the New York CityPASS) will fascinate both you and your children. It also houses the Space Shuttle Enterprise and there are so many things to see including a Concord, a Submarine, and several military aircraft.
Last but not least, two museums I particularly love -- the MoMa and the Guggenheim. I firmly believe that art has no age, rather the sooner we bring our children closer to the arts, the better they can start appreciating the different forms of art as well as develop their own and unique artistic side! However, not all children might be "ready" to be inside an environment that is definitely, shall we say, less forgiving if the Child is a bit rowdier. You will know if your kid can enjoy a more mature Museum such as the MoMa and The Guggenheim. If so, I definitely recommend a visit.
TAKE THE FERRY TO THE STATUE OF LIBERTY AND ELLIS ISLAND
For a dip into the past and perhaps to search for ancestors, I recommend, in any season, a visit to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Choose a sunny day, so that you can fully appreciate the boat trip, which will also take you to the Statue of Liberty.
Alternatively, you can take the free ferry to Staten Island which passes in front of Liberty Island, and you will have the opportunity to, at least, see the Statue more closely, photograph it, or film it! In this video, you can get an idea ...
VIDEO - THE BEST PANORAMIC VIEWS
ATTRACTIONS FOR CHILDREN IN NYC - FROM SPRING TO FALL
Well, leaving behind the cold Winter days, you now have the whole city of New York and beyond open to you and your children. If you want to stay in the city, you have the Central Park Zoo which is also ideal for children, do you want to see how it is?
VIDEO - THE CENTRAL PARK ZOO
From the countless city parks which you can easily visit by riding a bike or a tandem, (from Central Park to Riverside Park and The High Line ... New York is full of parks!) to leisure walks through the different neighborhoods of the city, cross the Brooklyn Bridge and take a ride on the beautiful Jane's Carousel in Dumbo, climb to the top of one of the Observatories -- Empire State Building - Top of The Rock - One Observatory - Edge ... All these activities can be exciting for the whole family!
VISIT CONEY ISLAND
Take the subway to arrive at the Coney Island Luna Park, roller coasters, Hot Dogs, cotton candy, and more!!!!! The beach, the games and a lot of fun for everyone!! In this article, you can find all the info to best enjoy the beach -- CONEY ISLAND THE BEST SUMMER EXPERIENCE.
OTHER THINGS I RECOMMEND:
The Hop On Hop Off
Do you want to know why? You can sit back and enjoy a ride in Manhattan or Brooklyn in complete peace. The city will "flow" by you, you will be able to photograph and watch the day-to-day NYC life evolve around you, you can listen to the guide's story in English, or with the audio guide for pre-recorded passages in your language, and then you can always get on and off whenever you want. For the children, it becomes a day to rest and for them to find themselves inside a colorful double-decker looking from above ... it will seem like a gigantic toy!
The Botanical Gardens and the Zoo both in the Bronx, or if you want to stay in Manhattan -- Il Central Park Zoo - Plus, the Botanical Garden in Brooklyn.
A Tour of New York Bay
An absolute Must - take the Ferry to Liberty State Park (from the World Trade Center) and enjoy the ride, the incredible views of Manhattan, and once you reach the Park, you can walk along the bay and admire the Statue of Liberty seen from behind ...
Last tip if you come in the Summer -- be careful of the air conditioning, it is always turned-on to the max, make sure to grab at least a scarf (cotton) to use in the subway and in the restaurants especially for the Children. - Irene T. - NYC Tour Guide
STORES AND FUN FOR CHILDREN IN NEW YORK
I'm listing the largest stores, and usually the most visited ones, but don't miss the smaller independently-owned store that you can find walking especially in the Village or in the Upper East and West Side, and don't forget the shops inside the Museums, they often have a kid department.
American Girl Place -- 75 Rockefeller Plaza FAO Schwarz -- 45 Rockefeller Plz Nintendo World -- easy to find in Rockefeller Plaza and dedicated to all Game lovers! THE LEGO STORE -- Rockefeller Center Plaza M&M World -- Times Square North, 7th Avenue and 49th Street
MEDICINE AND FOOD
In New York, you can find everything, if you have any intolerance or allergy such as gluten or lactose, supermarkets are equipped with lots of options, and for over the counter medicines, you just need to go to one of the many - CSV Pharmacy, Walgreens or Duane Reade - however, I strongly advise you to bring any medication you usually take, in case you cannot find them here or if they are prescription drugs. Also, be careful if these are medicines that you have to take every day, keep them with you while traveling just in case your luggage is lost or delayed.
HOTEL OR APARTMENT? IT'S NOT EASY
In New York, unfortunately, it's not always easy to find decent accommodations for a reasonable price. Whereas around the world, apartments are often a valid and cheaper alternative to Hotels, in NYC they are not necessarily the best bang for your buck. They either are super expensive (especially the modern ones with all the perks) or on the other hand, they might have many "surprises" ... Similarly, Hotels, even the expensive ones, especially if located in central Manhattan, have rooms that are almost always too-small and do not offer breakfast included in the standard nightly rate. A solution could be hotels with a kitchenette, if not a real kitchen, at least it is still something you can use to prep some breakfast and meals to take with you ... These are usually found in ApartHotel o Residence.
Also, remember that the rooms with 2 Queen Beds can accommodate up to 4 people.
ADVICE ON WHERE TO EAT
It would be a little too much to list all the places where you can eat in NYC ... Or if you are looking for the beloved Burger with fries ... but there are some places where you can find some good soups or salads ... I suggest reading the following articles
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