Monday, January 10, 2011

Travel For Kids- New York City!




New York City is one of the most amazing cities in the world.

It is the ultimate city vacation for children.

Listed below are some fantastic picks in and around NYC for your children.

Depending on your time this may cover about 10 to 12 days. Stamina and loads of patience will be needed. This is a tough list so you can edit it (take out a museum or two especially if you have small children) and still get a great feel for the city.

Start....

 in Lower Manhattan and then head uptown. Try a bike ride,or walk along the Hudson River. Go through Hudson River Park, enjoy the view across the Hudson and think about Sully Sullenburger and his magnificent landing in the Hudson not so long ago. Check out the Museum of Jewish Heritage at Wagner Park.

South Street Seaport
Cobblestone Streets lined with 18th and 19th century buildings. Visit the South Street Seaport Museum. Enjoy some shopping at the mall and eat at one of the restaurants overlooking the river. You can admire the Brooklyn Bridge and watch people go by in their boats. In the summer there is a great concert series every weekend. This is the best place to be  in the summer.

Chinatown- Visit the open air stalls, gaze at the ducks hanging in the windows.  Stop at any of the local bakeries for some of the best deserts and cakes this side of the Hudson. Mott Street is one of my favorites for Dim Sum and pastries. Something for everyone including great scarves for mom.
Canal Street



Children's Museum of the Arts- A great play place for the kids to relax after shopping. Tables are set up for play and creating anything that strikes the imagination. Exercise balls are ready to blow off some steam and there are lots of drums to bang.
182 La Fayette Street

Greenwich Village and Washington Square Park(5th ave/12th st))  - If you are in NY during the summer WSP is a treat, filled with artists, comics as well as two playgrounds for smaller kids. Wander the streets of the village and soak in the local atmosphere and fantastic shopping. Your teenagers will think this area is the coolest place on earth. It is a hotbed for creativity and style.

The Strand Bookstore and Forbidden Planet - One of last greats, Strand is an independent bookstore and still going strong. Children's section is on the second floor. Forbidden Planet specializes in all things science fiction(collectibles),novels,books,movies and toys.
828 and 840 Broadway

Chelsea Market- I heard about Fat Witch first. A dear friend introduced me to the brownies(amazing) and then I went to the market. The Chelsea Market houses the Wholesale Flower market,Amy's Bread among other first rate stores. It has the feel of an old world feel.
9th ave between 15th and 16th street.  

The Intrepid -Retired Aircraft Carrier in the Hudson River.
46th and 12 ave at Pier 86

Empire State Building-One of the most famous building in the world, King Kong was here right? Take a ride up the 86th floor observation deck and you will have the ultimate view of one of the best cities in the world. What a treat for a child.
5th ave and 34th Street( east).

Grand Central Terminal- A landmark building that is a must see from every angle. Visit the transit museum,The Children's General store,The Discovery Channel Store, Li Lac Chocolates.
Plus stand in the main Vanderbilt Hall during rush hour, there is nothing like it in the world, just watching people going by and wondering where they are off to. Great,great experience.
42nd Street Grand Central Station.




Times Square -If the kids can stay up, or I would make an exception, Times Square must be visited at night, to be more precise a summer night. Even at midnight it looks like day due to all of the lights. This is quintessential NY, the lights, people moving everywhere, leaving Broadway shows, going to dinner, having their portraits done, Madame Tussaud's,Toys R Us, MTV for goodness sake, The Hershey Store,ESPN Zone and a Forever 21 that is open 24 hours.What else can I say. Don't miss it, day and night.
42nd and Broadway

Sony Wonder Technology Lab - Interactive playground with hands on exhibits and games. Very cool, make reservations.
E 56th Street.

Lincoln Center- buy tickets for ballet, opera,theater.The great open spaces at LC also inspire children to run and have a great time.
Columbus Ave between 62nd and 65th Streets. Make sure they see the traffic swirl at the circle, just something else that I love about NYC.

Museum of Natural History- Dinosaurs,mammals and everything else. Go for the Dinosaurs, the Hall of African Mammals, Hall of Ocean Life, this museum is one of my favorite places to hang in the world.
Central Park West and 79th street.






Central Park - Wow so much to do and you need a lot of time...
Start at 59th st where the horse carriages are located, find my list below
Wollman Rink(southeastern corner)
Heckscher Playground
Carousel
Central Park Zoo- 65th st and 6th ave
Children's Zoo and check out the Delacorte Musical Clock(animals come to life every half hour)
Boat Pond(72nd st)
Loeb Boathouse( 74th and 75th)
Bethesda Fountain
Belvedere Castle and the Henry Luce Nature Observatory

Whew!

Metropolitan Museum of Art- I spent many days at this museum during my college days, it is a great place to visit for inspiration.
Some of my favorites the Egyptian Wing, European galleries, The Costume Institute. Check out the site online for all of the kids activities at the museum, there offer many great activities every day.
Kidsmet
1000 5th Ave at 82nd Street

Museum of the City Of New York- Learn about the city through photographs,paintings, artifacts and videos.
1220 5th Ave

Bronx Zoo-Bronx - This is a full day, this is one of the largest zoos I have ever visited and it would really require about 2 days. You must plan, plan and plan.
Check out the Children's zoo which has a petting zoo among other features.

 New York Botanical Garden - Bronx- One of the most beautiful places in New York. Head to the Children's Adventure Garden for the best time of their lives!
200 St and Kazimiroff Blvd

Brooklyn Museum of Art
One of the largest collections of Egyptian artifacts anywhere, truly a sight to behold. The Learning Center is a great place for kids with books, computer rooms and art work.
200 Eastern Parkway

Museum of Modern Art - Newly renovated, the museum has great programs for kids, check out the online site for information. A must visit to see Picasso,Warhol,Rauschenberg and Van Gogh. What an experience!
11 West 53rd Street.

Other possible stops , Chelsea Piers(West Side), NYC Fire Museum and The World Financial Center/Ground Zero area.
I know that we omitted many other picks please let us know what else you would like to your children to see in New York.

Happy Travels!

Photos courtesy Istockphotos.

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