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If you are taking dc to New York what MUST you do?

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m0therofdragons Sun 31-Jul-16 20:30:41

In April dh and I are taking dd1 9 and dd2&3 aged 5 to the states starting with 6 days in New York.

We want to see a show (probably Aladdin), Central Park including zoo and maybe horse and carriage ride, bit of shopping and staue of liberty but what else should we do?
We are then off to Chicago, Milwaukee then the Wisconsin Dells so any suggestions there also greatly received but assume New York is more likely to give me some answers. Plus dh and I planned to go to ny as a couple so never factored in dc before.
Many thanks in advance.

hollyisalovelyname Sun 31-Jul-16 20:37:18

Ellen's Stardust Diner - singing waiters and waitresses. It's near Radio City Theatre. A real novelty and fun.

TeaBelle Sun 31-Jul-16 20:37:50

Natural history museum is great, would definitely recommend. The t
Huge toys r us in time square has a ferris wheel inside! Central park zoo is awful though - totally depressing./I would avoid that at all costs

starlight36 Sun 31-Jul-16 20:39:11

Assuming they are ok with heights either the Empire State Building or the Rockefeller Centre. I'd probably go for the Rockefeller Centre as it there is more space at the top and your youngest will be able to see better. If you have time the High Line and walking across Brooklyn Bridge as both are free (useful if you are paying for everything else!) but give different views over the southern end of Manhattan.

m0therofdragons Sun 31-Jul-16 20:43:19

Ah thanks tea, maybe Chicago zoo would be better?
Ellen's stardust diner sounds fun - dds love music and food grin
I can't wait but everyone thinks I'm bonkers taking dc (but I take dc to London without much thought at all so in my head it's the same).
I'm guessing there are boat trips re Statue of Liberty?
How walkable is stuff? I'm rubbish at judging scale on maps. Do you have to taxi everywhere?

m0therofdragons Sun 31-Jul-16 20:44:27

Oooh thanks starlight

katiegg Sun 31-Jul-16 20:44:57

Bronx Zoo is much better than Central Park zoo, a little harder to get to but worth the effort. The Rockerfeller Centre for views of the city and walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is fab and free!

If you are thinking of a show, I highly recommend the lion king if you haven't seen it.

The Natural History museum is fantastic and you could easily spend days in there as there is so much to do. I'd recommend looking up what exhibits there are before hand rather than just turning up and wandering around aimlessly for a few hours blush

HermioneWeasley Sun 31-Jul-16 20:45:20

We went with kids and loved it. If you stay midtown you can walk a fair amount and subways will connect you to most places.

The natural history museum is amazing - you need at least a day!

Aladdin is supposed to be brilliant.

PotteringAlong Sun 31-Jul-16 20:46:28

I enjoyed Central Park zoo blush

Giant Ferris wheel in toys r us in time square
Take them to the top of the Empire State / top of the rock
Out to Coney Island? They might enjoy the aquarium?

Noodlebrains Sun 31-Jul-16 20:48:33

Toys R Us in Times Square is closed down.

Central park is great, there are different playgrounds and just space to run. The carousel is fun too. We liked the zoo, it was smaller and easier to navigate than the Bronx zoo.

There's a kind of fish carousel down in Battery Park if you are going to the Statue of Liberty.

The Staten Island ferry is free and you get great views leaving Manhattan and if you sit on the "correct" side of the ferry you get a great view of the statue of liberty (can't remember which side!)

Ellens Stardust diner is fun. Just not worth queueing in the rain!! I speak from experience!

katiegg Sun 31-Jul-16 20:48:56

There are boat trips out to liberty island and Ellis island but check which one you are getting as some stop at both, others at only one and some at none (but are great as a tour - kinda like the Thames boat tours I imagine?)

You'll do a lot of walking, probably too much for 5 year olds but the subway is surprisingly easy to navigate and never far away. I wouldn't take taxis around manhatten to be honest, too slow with the frustrating traffic!

Noodlebrains Sun 31-Jul-16 20:51:59

The subway is great. Very safe and easy to navigate. Was worried DD would be freaked by the noise but she loved it (she was 26 months). It made her day to get a seat all by herself rather than to sit on our lap.

m0therofdragons Sun 31-Jul-16 20:57:14

Wow thank you everyone! Will look into the aquarium. Natural history museum is definitely a must - is that where night at the museum is based?
I loved lion king when I saw it with dh but dd2 gets very upset in the film so I thought Aladdin might be safer. We really wanted to see Matilda (dh and I saw it in Stratford before it went to London) but that's stopping in January in Broadway sad
I need to make a full itinerary!

elastamum Sun 31-Jul-16 21:03:20

I would do the open top tour bus south Manhattan as it lets you see everything and you can jump on and off as you want. The natural history museum is great and the MOMA is good and the UN tour is also really interesting, but your DC may be a bit young for that.

Pier 27? down towards wall street is quite a good spot for lunch - you can get a helicopter trip from there but it is really $$. We did a speedboat ride around the statue of liberty which was great - but it might be a bit cold for that in April. There is an aircraft carrier on the Hudson at 42nd which is an aircraft museum, which my DC loved.

There is also a new observatory at the top of the new WT centre building. You might need to book this in advance of you going though - you can book on line.

m0therofdragons Sun 31-Jul-16 21:03:41

We're staying on Lexington Avenue a few blocks from grand central station.
Getting from the airport- any idea re best way to do this?
Sorry but you're all being so amazing I might as well ask grin

celtiethree Sun 31-Jul-16 21:08:04

We also did this it's great :
[http://www.intrepidmuseum.org]

Also for Central Park go to the Heckscher Playground esp. if it is warm/hot.

ShelaghTurner Sun 31-Jul-16 21:13:41

Bus tour! Best way to see the sights and great for hopping on and off.

AnneElliott Sun 31-Jul-16 21:16:08

I second the aircraft carrier. DS was 7 when we went and he loved it.

I think with Statue of Liberty tours you have to book if you want to go up it? We didn't know that so could only go past on the ferry.

Rockafella centre also good. And natural history museum was fab. I think you can also go and see the ghostbusters fire station which I think is in the meat packing district.

UnikittyInHerBusinessSuit Sun 31-Jul-16 21:18:46

Depends on your DC to some extent. My DC would have been devastated not to go to USS Intrepid and Dylan's Candy Store respectively but yours may be all about the carriage rides in Central Park. I'd definitely do at least one boat trip round the harbour - it will give your feet a rest if nothing else.

katiegg Sun 31-Jul-16 21:19:47

what airport are you flying in/out of? taxis are probably your best option with luggage etc and from/to Newark would probably be around $100. JFK would likely be a bit cheaper. They should agree the price before you leave the airport and it won't include a tip. Buses and trains go to and from Newark and after a few days of navigating transport you might feel more confident using hem on the way back?

EnidButton Sun 31-Jul-16 21:20:20

We hated the bus tour! Total rip off and learnt nothing.

For the ferry going out I think it's the right side you want to stand at.

m0therofdragons Sun 31-Jul-16 21:22:10

intrepid looks fab. Definitely will do a boat trip. We'll book as much as possible in advance but hard to judge how tired dc will get. They can always have a big sleep while I swan off shopping!

m0therofdragons Sun 31-Jul-16 21:22:57

Flying in and out of jfk

elastamum Sun 31-Jul-16 21:23:33

I would pre book a pick up so you are met at the airport. Much better than a random taxi

CiaoVerona Sun 31-Jul-16 21:24:24

Don't do the horse and carriage you're enabling the continued abuse of animals in NY. The Mayor promised he'd ban them hopefully it'll happen soon. Sorry to derail you did mention it:/

Dragons Its probably best to catch a cab traveling over the Tri-Borough bridge, there is a train, you have to change in Queens to catch the subway or the Railroad, with all the faffing about a cab is worth while.

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