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Your recommendations for things to do with the kids in NY, Boston and Cape Cod?

(12 Posts)
handlemecarefully Tue 05-Aug-08 11:00:27

Dcs are 4 and 6.

I am thinking for NY, ferry to Staten Island, Central Park...what else would be good

Boston - I haven't a clue since I haven't been before

Cape Cod - I suppose we will enjoy the beach but any must sees around there?


newpup Tue 05-Aug-08 11:21:02

We took DDs (9 & 6) to NY in May half term. We had a ball, just wonderful. These are some of the things we did,

Empire State Building
Boat trip around Manhatton
Statue of Liberty
Ellis Island
Natural History Musuem
Rockerfellar Center
Central Park, including ride in Horse and carriage and the famous Carousel.
5th Avenue including FAO Swartz toy store
Grand Central Station
Times Square
Lion King on Broadway

We also ate in some excellent restaurants I can reccommend if you are interested and went to a fab ice cream bar. Also Dylans Candy Store is a must with small children.

There is so much to do and we packed a lot into our 5 days! Take comfy shoes though, lots of walking!!!

handlemecarefully Tue 05-Aug-08 11:21:52

Just a wee bump before we go off to the cinema.....

I know I can just google it - but if anyone has been to any of these locations with children, personal recommendations for things to do are invaluable smile

handlemecarefully Tue 05-Aug-08 11:23:00

OOH x - posts - thanks newpup, lots of ideas there. Yes I am interested in your restaurant recommendations too

newpup Tue 05-Aug-08 11:41:32

We ate at a place called Ruby Tuesdays, a few times, the best salad bar I have ever seen! Also we ate at the restaurant on the ice rink ( no ice rink in the summer ) at Rockerfellar, good but pricey. We went to the Oyster Bar at Grand Central Station, amasing fish restaurant but a little awkward if your dc's do not eat fish. Oh and Del Frescos is expensive but wonderful!! My Dh travels to Ny for work a few times a year so he recommended all the restaurants. Some are quite upmarket and I worried about taking the children in BUT all were most welcoming. Some do not have children's menus but will cook a small portion from the adult menu or will cook mac and cheese or eggs for them. We also took the DDs to Ellens Stardust Diner a really touristy 1950s diner where the waitresses and waiters are out of work actors and sing to you. Cheesey but the DDs loved it woth a visit for them grin We used the local bakeries for breakfast, muffins, bagels, toast etc. We also had to try a hot dog in the park! Will look up some of the others we went to. Also plenty of delis and steakhouses too. You will be spoilt for choice.

FiveGoMadInDorset Tue 05-Aug-08 11:43:14

Cape Cod - great beaches, nice island , go whale watching

Boston - aquarium

Bink Tue 05-Aug-08 11:45:56

Cape Cod, well near - when I was being a grad student in the States (20 years ago shock) - we used to absolutely love Plimoth Plantation, which is a "living museum" of a quality unrivalled in my experience.

It's a reconstruction of the original settlement, staffed by people who "be" the people who were there - none of this dressing-up and translating the experience into 21st century understanding - instead they use fully informed actors/students who take on the characters wholly in context. Eg I had a lovely friend who was doing his dissertation on a particular Puritan divine, and we asked the actors about him and they knew the theology.

Another time I went with my mum, who's from Somerset (where quite a lot of the pilgrims came from) and they were able to talk about specific villages there. It was all completely amazing, and I can't wait to take my two there.

There is a big barn in the middle of the settlement which is off limits to visitors and we were very amused by seeing characters fleeing into the barn, no doubt to warn others - "RED ALERT They're asking about Jonathan Edwards". The other funny thing was that, if a particular character who should've been there wasn't, the stock answer seemed to be "'E be in the beet field."

However ... yours are 4 and 6, so it may not be quite such a thing for them. And of course you may think you'd rather stick pins in your eyes anyway.

Soapbox Tue 05-Aug-08 11:53:01

We were in NYC recently, so a few tips for there!

Make sure you find time for Ellen's stardust diner, on broadway 51st street - the waiters are all aspiring broadway performers and sing while you eat - really good standard of singing too! The children loved it!

Food is typical diner food, but they are happy to serve you just icecreams and coffees while you listen

Other restaurants we did that were good are:

Del Friscos steak house - best in town according to Zagat

Tribeca Grill

Union Park Cafe

Osteria del Doge

All good and fine with children.

Empire state building queues can be fearsome so plan to go very early morning or later in the evening.

The shark harbour cruise is great fun, but take spare t-shirts - we got soaked.

Dylan's candy store (owned by Ralph Lauren's daughter) on 3rd avenue/61st street is fabulous - nice cafe on top floor too.

Natural History Museum was amazing - try and do the planatarium show (cosmic collisions) if you can, it is really good.

Mary Poppins and The Little Mermaid are both on at the moment if you don't fancy The Lion King.

There are several good playgrounds in Central Park.

haggisaggis Tue 05-Aug-08 12:02:04

You're going to have so much fun! I love Boston and Cape Cod -we have holidayed the past 4 years in Cape Cod - and last year had a week in Boston before our 2 weeks on the Cape so I can recommend:

Boston -
Boston Common has a great kid's playpark and paddling pool (free!)
Boston Aquarium good - and we think the whale watch from there was better than any we have done on the Cape
The Children's Museum - your kids are just teh right ages to appreciate this
Boston SCience Centre - our dd (then nearly 5) absolutely loved this and wanted to go back - that's after we had been there 6 hours! (we enjoyed it too - as did ds)
They will also enjoy hanging out at Quincy's Market enjoying teh street theatre.
You can also take atrolley bus tour or a Duck tour - I think the Duck tour may be better (we didn't do it but lots of people said it was really good - it's one of these tours by amphibious vehicle which ends up in the river)

The subway system is Boston is really easy to navigate. Plenty of places for food.

Cape Cod - where on teh Cape are you staying? We stay in Falmouth which is Upper Cape - we usually:
Hire bikes and cycle on any of teh bike paths (there are a few on the Cape so you should be close to one)
Rent a canoe at Swan River(Cape Cod Waterway Boat Rentals at Dennisport - you can rent a Canoe that will hold 4, or kayaks and paddle boats)
If you're staying Upper Cape then take the passenger ferry from Falmouth to Martha's Vineyard - then take the bus ($2 for over 5's) to Edgartown - it's really pretty.
Whale Watching - Upper - mid Cape - there is a boat from Barnstable harbour - lower Cape is Provincetown.
THere are loads and loads of good beaches - but watch out for parking fees. Also many town beaches need beach stickers that you can only get if you actually live there.

If you need any more info about Cape Cod (Upper Cape particularly) let me know!! I am so jealous - we came back from holiday mid July and haven't stopped thinking about it yet!

handlemecarefully Tue 05-Aug-08 15:46:47

There are some brilliant suggestions on here! I knew you would come up trumps grin. I am addinging them merrily to my itinerary. Thanks very muchly

Haggis we are staying at Wequassett Inn on Club Drive, Cape Cod if that means anything to you?

haggisaggis Tue 05-Aug-08 16:13:16

handle - that seems to be mid cape so not so familiar to me!
Anyway - looks lovely so have a great time.

handlemecarefully Tue 26-Aug-08 00:19:08

Just got back and had a lovely time. We had 3 days in Boston and managed to shoe horn in the Aquarium, Children's Museum, Quincy's market, a paddle in the 'Pond' on Boston Common and also a boat trip around the harbour - so thanks very much for those recommendations. As suggested we used the subway to get around and it was indeed very straightforward!

We had 5 full days (6 nights) on the Cape Near Chatham. Sadly we were out of action with gastroenteritis for 2 days so only had 3 days to cram stuff in. We managed a boat trip to see some seals out at sea, visited a couple of lovely unspoilt beaches (couldn't get over how you could drive to the car park of a beach at 3pm on a very hot day and find that the car park and beach would only be one third full!), ate at some fab ice cream parlours grin, and did manage to get to Plimoth plantation (bit whistle stop - only had 2 hours to look around). T'was fascinating - even the children thought so!
We also got in a round of mini adventure golf at 'Skull Island'blush. We will need a return visit to the Cape to explore more of what it has to offer.

NYC was 3 nights (2.5 days) - Loved Ellens Stardust diner (ate there twice), did a helicopter ride over the city which was fab, had a tuc tuc ride around Central Park (and resolved to loose weight, feeling mightily guilty as the cyclist struggled to tow us up hill), and covered Dylans Candy Store (just how did we spend 80 dollars there), Swartz toy store, the M&M store blush, Time Square, and Statue of a saunter through China Town and Little Italy.

Now completely knackered.

Thanks all for the pointers and suggestions - as you can see I used most of 'em!

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