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New York; where to stay, where to go...

(37 Posts)
hawksley Thu 09-Jun-05 10:33:24

We a planning a trip with our 6 and 3 year olds, and are looking for a cool, but child friendly hotel to stay, and interesting places to visit. thanks.

vickiyumyum Thu 09-Jun-05 10:38:08

bump for you.

i've been to New York but not with kids.

Great shopping though, try not to spend all your money on the kids as it is so cheap!

snafu Thu 09-Jun-05 10:51:28

child-friendly hotels

I don't really know where to start for places to visit! Are you going this summer?

Frenchy72 Thu 09-Jun-05 12:09:24

Hi Hawksley - I went to new york with DP and DS (2y) in March and wouldn't recommend it. I decided it was not a place for small children, or any children as it is. definitely a place for grown ups! other than that don't stay at the Crown Plaza Broadway; it's too busy, filthy and the swimming pool is freezing cold - a big disappointment as I thought I would take DS for a swim.

I would recommend to have a look at trip advisor which is a collection of individuals reviews on hotels (not only a booking site) it is really useful and I wish I has used it before going to New york.

link here

I must say also that I found NY terribly unsafe.

be careful

expatinscotland Thu 09-Jun-05 12:12:13

Stayed at Waldorf. BUT, it was an adult-girlie trip. Definitely wouldn't know what to do w/kids as all we did was shop and drink martinis.

snafu Thu 09-Jun-05 12:15:02

Sorry Frenchy, I have to disagree. NYC is no more unsafe than any large city - in fact these days it's probably a lot safer than most, including London.

Lots of walking though - take comfy shoes!

soapbox Thu 09-Jun-05 12:23:08

The alex hotel
is very nice. If you get a one bed suite then you could put the children to bed while you lounge in the living room.

There is also a small but decent sized kitchen area which means that you can have some meals/snacks in doors and have somewhere to chill your wine/champagne!!

I've recomended it on here and in RL before and people have been very happy with it

I wouldn't hesitate to take children to NY, I think they would love it. There is loads to do with them. Empire state building/boat trip round Manhattan/Climbing the Statue of Liberty/Central Park/Cinema/Skating at Rockerfeller Centre and so on...

Have a lovely time!

PS second the use of trip advisor - wouldn't go anywhere without checking there first!

FIMAC1 Thu 09-Jun-05 22:58:27

Whaaaat! Can't believe Frenchy72's comments!

We lived there for 3 years and I would relocate back there like a shot (if we could )

My ds was 4 when we returned and has only in the last year stopped asking when we can go back (my dd has decided she will be living there when she is older!)

I felt extremley safe in the whole time as did the other Brits I met while we were there.

There is a whole host of things to do with kids, the City is very much geared towards families, as most young couples continue living in the City now, once they start a family.

take a lightweight (good quaility) stroller as it will be hard worn with all the drops in the kerb, etc while you are there. The most comfortable walking shoes you can find (we didn't own a car while we lived there and didn't need to)


We used the DK guide to New York alot while we were there and there is a childrens section in the back with lots of good advice on interesting stuff for kids

You'll have a a ball

backafronted Thu 09-Jun-05 23:17:13

I went to NY years ago pre children and would love to take the kids, I will nedd to save up to make it worht it.

Takeing the boat to the statue of liberty dosen't take to long to get there and to view it from underneath is amazing. We didn't bother going uop as it was foggy and I'm not sure if it was busy if it is worth the wait.

There is a boat that goes right round manhatten but would be to long a trip for young kids I think. We splashed out on a helicopeter trip and loved that. Central park has funky roller bladers to watch and a zoo.

As for safety its commen sense, there are some dodgy streets very close to Times sq/ Broadway (sex shows) but if you go astray its very obvious just turn around and head back to broadway.

In the tourist areas try not to look to much like a gormless tourist, your likely to drop your guard when you are looking after 2 kids. Keep purse close to body not in backpack or big bag on buggy. When studying maps be carefull of helpful locals 1 helps, 1 fleeces you.

I loved the atmosphere and felt quite at home once I ventured out without the boyfriend who had his camcorder glued to his eye , not much chance of blending in with him.

Breakfasts in the baker type delis are brilliant and were much better than the dried up rolls we payed $5 for in hotel.

Tabs Thu 09-Jun-05 23:30:57

You MUST go and see 'Wicked' on Broadway. The kids will love it, and you will too! It's the prequel to The Wizard of Oz, and tells the story of the Wicked Witch. DH and I saw it in Feb this year, and thought it was fantastic. There were stacks of kids in the audience, and they all seemed to be having a great time.

Tickets sadly aren't cheap, and sell out very early, but it's worth every penny IMHO!

FIMAC1 Fri 10-Jun-05 06:55:43

c&p from French72

'Crown Plaza Broadway'

actually this is prob why Frenchy wasn't that taken with NY: Avoid Broadway and Union Square which is dirty and tacky: Look for a hotel on the Upper East or West Side (where a majority of the families live) and live like a local rather than a tourist: fab play-parks every few blocks, some with outdoor pools, - some great parks actually on the river.

Also look for a hotel near an express stop on the subway which will get you downtown to all the sights much quicker - the buses also have express routes.

Visit FAO Schwartz - fab toy shop!

This online guide has loads of info:

http://www.gocitykids.com/?area=197

Satine Fri 10-Jun-05 07:04:42

We spent one night in a big 'touristy' hotel that we'd booked via the internet and hated it so the next day we found a little place in Greenwich Village which was lovely and far more friendly. I'd avoid the big hotels unless you can afford to go for a really good one (we found cheap accommodation very hard to find!) Fabulous city, I'm very !

chenin Fri 10-Jun-05 08:04:33

I've been three times and cannot imagine taking children with me! It is a fun, fun, fun place but very tiring. The shops are to die for and you do a heck of a lot of walking trying to get to them all! I have to say I never really saw many children there the times I went - it just seems such an adult place.

If you stay in Midtown or Theatre District (where visitors tend to) you need to pick a good quality hotel. Otherwise you should pick something smaller in somewhere like Greenwich.

To be fair, having not tried NY with children, I can't really comment. I presume it would be a different type of holiday. I just think of NY as shopping, breakfast in local delis, ogling at Trump Towers, a trip to Harlem for soul food, good nighlife, buying a cut price ticket for Broadway from a booth on Times Square and more shopping! Kids didn't really fit into that but I'm sure you could have a fantastic time with them, but just different!!!

snafu Fri 10-Jun-05 08:36:51

Go to Central Park on a weekend and catch a baseball game - sit on the little bleachers and eat hotdogs from the carts and drink lemonade - the kids will love it.

batters Fri 10-Jun-05 09:29:50

We took dd, aged 7, to New York in March. We all loved it. We stayed at the Embassy Hilton which was fab and very child friendly. We had a suite, so dd had her own room with a double bed. There were tea and coffee making facilities in the rooms and a microwave. Breakfast is included, and is fantastic for kids, dd got to eat freshly made pancakes and fruit every morning!

Went to Central Park, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty etc. A lot of queuing though. My dd partiuclarly loved the horse drawn carriage ride round Central Park, and the little zoo. Little things, like eating a pretzel whilst watching the ice skaters in the park, really made her day.

IMO Toys R Us at Times Square is far superior to FAO Scwartz. There is a full sized big wheel that you can go on in Toys R Us, it is fab!

I love NY, and agree that it is just like any other big city, including London. There are horrible parts and fantastic parts. We want to go back so that we can visit some of the musuems. I didn't feel unsafe at any time at all. Mind you we were only there for 3 full days.

And of course the exhange rate is very good at the moment. If I were you I would go! We flew American Airlines as they were the cheapest at the time, about £200 return for an adult.

mogwai Fri 10-Jun-05 10:02:30

Isn't FAO Schwartz closed?

We went last April - the one nextdoor to tiffany's looked defunct to me? Is there another one? Perhaps it was being refurbished.

batters Fri 10-Jun-05 10:51:18

No mogwai, it is still open! I think there was talk of closure last year, but it got a reprieve.

PrincessPeaHead Fri 10-Jun-05 11:19:55

frenchy went to a different new york to the one I go to.
I stayed at the Alex on soapbox's recommendation - fantastic. Good location, huge rooms with kitchens, very cool and nice with wonderful white linens and dark wood and plasma tvs everywhere but not so minimalist to be unfriendly iykwim! Sophable also stayed there and liked it.MASSES to do with children in NY - in fact there is a whole magazine called "Kids New York" or something you can pick up in any barnes and noble, like time out for kids. In fact they also have Time Out there, with a great kids section. Fantastic food, great museums (they'll like the natural history one particularly), central park is fantastic for them, masses of children's theatre and stuff. You'll have a wonderful time!

PrincessPeaHead Fri 10-Jun-05 11:21:02

fao schwartz is closed. toys r us on times square the nearest thing for a mega toystore experience....

batters Fri 10-Jun-05 12:21:31

no pph FAO Schwartz is open! Or it was in April anyhoo. Honest, gov!

mogwai Fri 10-Jun-05 15:09:03

Are we talking about the one next to tiffany's? Perhaps it's moved?

It was definitely closed last April, perhaps that's when it got new premises????

FiveAlive Fri 10-Jun-05 15:36:12

I'm not much of a fan of NYC with young kids. The things that are unique to New York (eg Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, carriage rides in Central Park) are horrifically expensive and involve long queues in the summer. Other things like the Natural History museum are easily found in other cities so not something to go to NY for.

The main attraction of NYC is the shopping the nightlife, and the general hustle and bustle, none of which appeal much to young kids.

The famous beaches around NYC (on Long Island and in New Jersey) have a really cool atmosphere.

batters Fri 10-Jun-05 16:37:18

It is on the edge of Central Park, Mogwai, not sure if it is near Tiffanys, never got a chance to visit that shop !

mogwai Fri 10-Jun-05 16:55:36

yes, the one that was closed was on the edge of Central Park.

Tiffany's was a let down.

The best thing about new york was a comedy club in Greenwich village on our first night (booked it on the internet before we left) and Ellis Island, neither of which are any good with kids.

loobywoof Fri 10-Jun-05 17:14:27

Went to NY pre-kids and was alone. (Was meeting up with a friend the next week to spend a week on the Greyhounds). I didn't feel at all unsafe. I loved going up the Statue of Liberty but definately give it a miss with kids as it took 3 hours to get to the top!!!

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