NY with 10 and 12 year old.(10 Posts)
I am due to fly to NY in October with my two sons aged 10 and 12. I am a single parent so will be the only adult.
So...what do I do? I've never been before, just the little things like arriving at the airport, do I hail a taxi, will there be loads there? how long does it take to get to Manhattan from JFK?
What MUST we do in the week that we're there and where must we avoid?
DS wants to see the Yankee stadium in the Bronx, is it really as bad as people say around there?
Am very jealous...
When you arrive at the airport there's a queue of taxis - take a token from the guy who's organising them and he'll put you in a cab. It's a standard fare from JFK, can't remember the exact amount, but it's a lot cheaper than London-Heathrow in a taxi! It's about 20 mins, depending on traffic.
Definitely go to the Yankees - it's fine. Don't dress like you're minted and don't wander the streets of the Bronx after dark, but otherwise it's safer than most big cities. Definitely safer than parts of London... And going to the baseball was always one of my favourite things to do when in the States. Great atmosphere, great junk food
I think a trip up the Empire State is always fun, especially on a first time trip - and the ferry around the Statue of Liberty also. I was usually there on business and more than anything I just enjoyed walking around the city, watching all the people and wandering around the shops. Have a wonderful time.
Thank you I'm really looking foward to it. I've had alot of people tell me I'm mad to go alone so its nice to hear someone saying its a good idea.
We're definately doing the ferry, also the museum of natural history for DS2 who is a bit of a dinosaur geek...is it free to get in like the one in London?
We're planning a day in central park of course too, the hotel is two blocks away.
What about eating out on a night? is it best that we don't wander around after dark? will I look daft sitting in a resteraunt with two kids and do partner? I'm thinking a broadway show might sort one night out...
sorry, that should say no partner I'd assume I'd look daft "doing" my partner in a resteraunt
God, yes, of all the places you could go alone NYC is probably the best - you will have no probs at all eating out with your kids, people will make you welcome and there is never an eyebrow raised. TBH you probably wouldn't be stared at in NYC if you wore stilts & a clown costume while taking your kids out. New Yorkers are of the 'seen it all' persuasion!
It's okay out after dark as long as you know exactly where you're going - that's not too difficult thanks to the grid system! But just get it clear in your mind before you leave the hotel after dark so you can 'walk with purpose'! and don't be too obvious about your valuables - just like any big city. Broadway show is great idea. You can buy tickets in advance from the internet, but I always found that my hotel could get me much cheaper deals.
You won't struggle to find things to do, but here's a few ideas. Have breakfast at a diner - there are lots, just wander around in the early morning & try one you like the look of. You won't need to eat again until the evening... Have a picnic in Central Park - buy some stuff at a deli - the Amish Market on Ninth is good. Take your sons to the NBA store where they can practise shooting hoops and stand next to the Shaquille O Neal replica. Also get scared by the lifesize motorized dinosaur at Toys R Us in Time Square. Oh am even more now!! Really, enjoy yourselves!
Don't be afraid to take a chance on a whole in the wall restaurant while eating out. Sometimes the smallest places have the best food.
Madame Tussauds wax museum I hear is fab.
If you want to take a day trip to Philadelphia that could be fun. It's only a 2 hour bus ride Lot's of cool historical stuff like the liberty bell and the Franklin Institue and the kids would love that. It's a very hands on museum.
www.amnh.org is the page for the Museum of Natural History.
Should be plenty of taxis/ground transportation (to give its US term) at JFK - think the standard fare into Manhattan is somewhere in the region of $35.00.
You can only climb to the base of the Statue of Liberty; its no longer permissible to climb in side the statue.
If you google search Yankee Stadium New York I think they do tours of the ground. Regular baseball season I think finishes in September.
If the Beast speedboat is running from South Street Seaport that is worth going on.
Now a word re US Immigration. You will be fingerprinted and photographed at Immigration on arrival; your children won't be. Have a pen to hand as you will be expected to complete a green visa waiver form for yourself and each of your children - you sign the form on their behalf. These along with the white customs forms will be handed to you at check in. So you will receive 3 green forms and one white form. You need to complete these forms well ahead of time. A portion of the green form will be stapled into each passport - this is your departure record. It is IMPERATIVE that this is removed by the check in staff when you leave the US otherwise it will cause problems later on with regards to any future trips. Ensure it is removed on departure.
We are in the middle of relocating to Manhattan for DHs job, although back in the UK this week last week we acquired our new apartment and did the tourist thing with the kids, I'd reccomend:
Top of the rock at the rockerfeller centre is much better than the empire state, instead of having wire mesh as a barrier it has sheets of plastic, meaning you get a much better panoramic view.
The subway is much more confusing than the underground but it is cheap, $25 will get you a 7 day unlimited ride metrocard for you.
I would recommend Dylan's candy bar, a huge sweet shop opposite Bloomingdale's for your boys, it has 12 flavours of gummi bear and an ice cream bar!
The Ellis Island immigration museum is quite interesting and the ground floor has plenty of interactive stuff for kids.
The central park zoo is nice and the kids one is lovely but your boys might be a bit old for it, my oldest is only 7.
Hope you have a great time, the people are, for the most park really friendly!
oh and you have to tip EVERYONE, keep a stash of $5-$20 dollar bills in your pocket to give to the concierge, cabbie, waiter etc
We've just moved to NYC, and it is a pretty easy city if you are used to cities. It is easier to find your way around by foot, but the subway is confusing and signage is awful. You may prefer to take the bus. But people are very happy to be asked directions (on the whole) and they do love the English accent. Bear in mind public transport is full fare for children, and that you really need a Metrocard (you have to pay with coins on the bus otherwise, which as the largest coin in general circulation is the quarter is a lot of change for three of you). Metrocards can be bought from any subway station (They work in the same sort of way as Oysters). You can also use the same fare to transfer from one bus or subway to another, so your $2 can get you quite a long way.
You can get public transport into Manhatten from JFK. Get the airtrain and then transfer (see the mta web site for maps etc). Check out the tourism site too: IloveNY.com
My children are younger (7 and 9) but enjoyed the Bronx Zoo and the Queen's Science Museum. My nephew and niece (a bit older than yours) especially enjoyed the Sony Wonder Technology Lab, and I have the Museum of the Moving Image next on my summer list (good if your kids or you love old arcade games).
I'm sure you will have fun. It is a good city to visit, and October should be a nice time (it's very hot and crowded now).
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