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New York City with kids

(54 Posts)
Bythebeach Tue 11-Apr-17 22:59:57

We're spending 9 days in NYC with 3 kids aged 12, 9 and 4 in May. Please can I beg you for top tips and recommendations for easy/cheap/fun things to do with kids? Also what is worth splashing cash for and what's not of the 'big' attractions. And since we have 9 days, anything else close to NYC worth leaving the city for?

Many thanks.

Bythebeach Wed 12-Apr-17 08:44:49

Bumping for the morning smile

HalfCarrot Wed 12-Apr-17 08:51:12

I only know free stuff really but the high line is nice for walking along, there's a cable car to Roosevelt island that is paid with a metro ticket I think, and the ferry to Staten Island is fun plus you can see the Statue of Liberty. There's one of those historic outdoor museum things on Staten island.
The best part is walking really so id take a scooter for the 4yo.

Bythebeach Wed 12-Apr-17 08:57:03

Oh good call about the scooter HalfCarrot. Thanks. Free stuff is best so thanks for the recommendations. Don't expect we'll be able to go back anytime soon so what to do as much as poss!

Bythebeach Wed 12-Apr-17 08:58:04

Any really good diners for kids? Do they still do those ice cream soda things ?

HalfCarrot Wed 12-Apr-17 09:08:07

Oh the museum of natural history is really good for kids. It's not particularly cheap but good in rain. Next to Central Park which is lovely. And go to the toy shops, I guess fao Schwartz? It's a bit like hamleys. Also near Central Park.
MOMA is good.
Coney Island has a beach, fairground and aquarium.
Sorry I don't know anything about food. I would probably get TripAdvisor app and eat whatever's nearest when you're hungry.

BopToTheTop Wed 12-Apr-17 09:17:56

Ellen's Stardust Diner is worth a visit, entertainment while you eat!

I'm fairly sure that they still have a decent selection of milkshakes and ice cream sodas too

Bythebeach Wed 12-Apr-17 09:23:54

Thank you; jotting tips down!

purpleprincess24 Wed 12-Apr-17 09:57:29

Rose centre for earth and space, very cool kids will love it, although the planets light show might be a bit scary for the little one.

Science museum, lots of interactive stuff

Schwartz toy shop

Intrepid sea & air exhibition, well worth a visit and I'm not even particularly interested in this sort of thing

Central Park

Times Square

Trump building, just to see how very bling it is !

If the weathers nice go down to south street seaport, nice shops, open air restaurants and bars, amazing views over Brooklyn bridge

MrsGosling71 Wed 12-Apr-17 10:05:14

Schwartz toy shop is no more alas! There's a massive Toys R Us in Tines Square with its own Ferris wheel inside. Natural History Museum is good. Coney Island with fairground rides will be open. As op said Ellen's Stardust Diner is fab for food and entertainment. My daughter was 12 when we took her and she loved it. Going back again next month x

Theworldisfullofidiots Wed 12-Apr-17 10:09:04

Is the submarine still there? That was surprisingly good!

budgiegirl Wed 12-Apr-17 10:56:45

For free - Visit the Public Library on 5th Avenue and see the original Winnie the Pooh toys, about who the books were written.

Staten Island Ferry for views of the Statue of Liberty.

Theodore Roosevelt's House - lovely period house, great if your older kids like history

Times Square - lights, Toys R Us, M&M shop, Hersheys shop

Walk (or scooter!) the Brooklyn Bridge - catch the subway to Brooklyn, get pizza at Grimaldris or icecream at Fulton Street then walk back for great city views

The Highline

The Apple Store

Central Park

Federal Reserve - small museum/information centre, then a trip into the vault to view the gold ! It's free, but you need to prebook.

The New York Fire Department Museum wasn't free, but it was quite cheap. They got us all dressed up in a firemans outfit, and we got to hold the hose, and we didn't even have the kids with us ! smile

Window shopping on 5th Avenue.

Trump Tower - although I don't know if you can go in there anymore.

If you are planning on visiting a lot of the major attractions, look at getting a New York Pass or City Pass to save some money and skip queues.

Bythebeach Wed 12-Apr-17 13:02:35

Brilliant! Loads of ideas. Thanks. I'm hoping we'll cover a lot as we're there for 9 days.

Bythebeach Wed 12-Apr-17 18:49:50

Just looked at where we are staying. It's upper east side so any local knowledge for there would be great too!

StealingYourWiFi Wed 12-Apr-17 18:55:49

Toys R Us also shut down! The boat tours are fab, so are the hop on hop off buses. You can usually get a deal with the boat thrown in.

newpup Wed 12-Apr-17 19:54:19

Another vote for Ellen's Stardust here. Also the Carousel in Central Park and Dylan's Candy Store is fantastic.
We took our teenage girls when they were 9 & 6 they loved the Museum of Natural History just like Night in the Museum! They loved the 'Big' piano in FAO Scwartz but sadly now closed. Also loved The Empire State Building.
How about a show on Broadway I think we saw The Lion King.
We took the DDs back this Xmas, Whole different type of trip with teenagers! Lots of shopping! grin. Have a great time!

Bythebeach Wed 12-Apr-17 20:58:31

Getting really excited!!! Thanks Stealing & New!

bojorojo Wed 12-Apr-17 21:46:19

Just to add a couple of ideas: Top of the Rock, the Alice in Wonderland sculpture in Central Park, and Radio City Music Hall tour. Take taxis for less hassle. Streets are very, very busy so be careful about the scooter idea. The High Line is wonderful. The Tenement Museum shows what life used to be like in Manhattan.

Nothing is cheap in NY, except walking! The exchange rate and tipping put paid to that! I would have a look at the Lonely Planet Guide for out of town ideas. The Hudson River comes to mind.

Susiesue61 Thu 13-Apr-17 23:11:35

We've just returned from 6 days in NY with ours who are 17, 15 and 11! We all did the bus tour, getting off at Brooklyn bridge and walking over, then we walked to the 9/11 memorial and then round to battery park along the water front.
We stayed in Time Square.
We went to Central Park. The boys went to a basketball game at Madison square gardens which was apparently amazing! They also walked the high line and went up the top of the Rock.
DD and I went to Chicago on Broadway which was fab smile and we shopped on Fifth avenue!
We got the subway to Queens and went to a baseball match which was a great experience but freezing and very long!!
On our last day, we went to Hoboken to see Carlo's bakery which was lovely, then we got the Staten Island ferry and finished up in Ellen's diner.

I think we fitted quite a lot in and it was a fabulous holiday smile
Bear in mind for 5 though food and drink cost a fortune

Bythebeach Fri 14-Apr-17 17:31:34

Thanks Susie! Nice to have such up to the minute info!
Can I ask if you used a metro pass thing?
Think we'll have missed the basketball season to my eldest's chagrin!
Mine are a bit younger than yours - was there anything you 11 year old particularly liked or didn't like?

RMC123 Fri 14-Apr-17 18:37:43

We went last May and back this may. We have a 15y, 13y, 11y and 9y. We did Staten Island Ferry, Statue of Liberty. There is a ranger there who will give you a walking tour of the Island for free. Ellis Island was good. We did the Freedom tower/ World Trade Centre fountains. Natural History Museum and Central Park went down very well. Boys went to the baseball, daughter had no interest last year but we are going to try this year. American Girl doll shop is amazing!! Time Square is worth seeing but the Toys R Us is just big, nothing particularly impressive. My daughter and I took a horse and cart ride around Central Park, guide showed us Film locations . Interesting but expensive. I loved John Lennons Peace Garden. Also did the Central Park Zoo. Daughter enjoyed it, I didn't think it was particularly amazing.

bojorojo Fri 14-Apr-17 20:14:06

When in NY, or anywhere else for thst matter, we prefer to do things that are relevant to that city that cannot be done anywhere else. Therefore zoos, toy shops, shows that are available and cheaper in London, and similar are not on the list. Iconic buildings, experiences that are unique to that city or area, and museums and art are on the list. We have been to NY with the children several times and they liked everything we did, including the Guggenheim and MoMa! We walked around interesting parts of Central Park. There is no need to hire a horse and carriage.

The only time we all struggled was when friends took us to a baseball game. Four hours plus with little action and it is difficult to follow. The crowd eats, drinks and talks - very little notice is taken of the game! It is pretty boring! You can find better things to do.

Missanneshirley Fri 14-Apr-17 20:22:05

If you can be bothered take a look at taking a train out of the city up the coast one day - some amazing seaside resorts within very easy reach!
My kids loved the natural history museum, the park, Dylan's candy bar, going on the subway. Oh and we missed the big intrepid museum as it was closed for works but it's meant to be great.

Susiesue61 Fri 14-Apr-17 22:23:05

We just paid for the metro as we needed, the kids didn't really like it as it was so busy so we walked if we could! Ds2's favourites were the top of the Rock and the basketball but he is a big NBA fan! He was also fascinated by the Empire State because we could see it for our hotel smile
We actually found Chicago a really good experi nice and different to going to London! Each to their own, mine aren't mad on museums and they are mad on sport, and it was their holiday too!!

Donthate Fri 14-Apr-17 22:27:19

If your DC like museums go to Washington for a couple of days. We loved it.

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