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Review of New York City with Kids

I recently spent some time in the city of New York.  I found it to be a terrific city to visit with the kids.  There is so much to experience that I was sorry that I did not stay longer.

             

This terrific city is located in the Southeastern part of New York State at the mouth of the Hudson River.   It consists of five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. New York City is often referred to as "The City that Never Sleeps", because there is constant activity day and night here.

New York City  is home to top sports teams,  the sympathy orchestra, live theater, celebrated architecture, wonderful restaurants, beautiful parks, luxury shopping, outstanding museums, the statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and Ellis Island.

New York Skyline


Manhattan's skyline is magnificent and it can be taken in and appreciated from many locations surrounding the island.  A number of the tallest skyscrapers  have observation floors from which you take in the panorama view. The three most famous observation decks are located at the top of the Empire State Building, the GE Building, and the Trump Building. 

The GE Building observation deck, located in Midtown and referred to as the "Top of the Rock", was recently renovated. There are three levels that are open to the public.  The first is on the 67th floor and is completely covered, the 69th floor has glass windshields and the 70th floor is open offering a 360 degree view.

The Empire State Building, is a New York City Landmark and a National Historic Landmark. The observation deck, located on the 86th floor,  soars more than a quarter of a mile into the Manhattan sky above bustling 5th avenue.  It offers breathtaking views from within a glass enclosed pavilion and from the surrounding open-air promenade.  Tours are available, day or night, 365 days a year.   On a clear day, visitors enjoy panoramas of the metro area as well the states of Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. 

The Trump Building is located Downtown, so from there you can see the Statue of Liberty and also look across at the buildings of Midtown.

New York City Tours


 

There are many tours designed  to provide you with the best possible views of New York City’s attractions, neighborhoods and places of interest.

 

Big Apple Greeters

This organization offers free personalized walking tours of the neighborhoods in all five boroughs of New York City.  Multilingual volunteers, who are knowledgeable and want to share the city that they love, will guide groups of one to six people on a 2-4 hour tour. You'll also receive a MetroCard good for two rides. Reservations are required. Click here for details:  Big Apple Greeters

Shopping

Luxury shopping is available along Fifth and Madison Avenues.  Fifth Avenue  stretches from 59th to 49th avenue in New York City.  Known as one of the premier shopping streets in the world it is home to many exclusive shops, grand hotels, St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Trump Tower.  All the big names in shopping are present  from Tiffany & Co, Coach Inc., Gucci to Sak's Fifth Avenue, American Girl and FAO Schwartz.

Madison Avenue is identified as "the fashionable road". In this area is where most of the very well known fashion designers and upper class hair salons are located.  Some of the most upscale boutiques are located on Madison Avenue.  You will find Prada, Chanel, Juicy Couture, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, Giorgio Armani and many more.

Enjoy the arts? 

Broadway, New York's theater district, is something to visit.  Although plays change musical features like The Lion King and The Little Mermaid are especially popular with kids.  Be sure to take a look at our live theater tips and plays for kids sections before taking your children to a Broadway show. Off Broadway, look for the Blue Man Group which is three miming performers known for their unique presentations which combine music, comedy and multimedia theatrics.

For discounted Broadway show tickets check out the TKTS Booth,  located on West 46th Street at Broadway, New York.  The TKTS booth sells excess tickets to Broadway shows on the day of the performance. So if you are flexible with what you see and when you go this is a great savings!


Links:

Little Mermaid Tickets -  Family Resources for Broadway
 

Links to many New York museums and sites: Click here

New York Museums

New York with Families

New York City is a fantastic vacation destination for families. There are many attractions, sites and historical landmarks throughout New York City that are great for children.  Some of the more popular ones include the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Times Square, Federal Reserve Bank, Ellis Island and the World Trade Center Memorial.  In addition, animal lovers will enjoy the Bronx Zoo, New York City Aquarium and Central Park Zoo.  Science museums include the Sony Wonder Technology Lab, Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum and American Museum of Natural History which will all provide wonder and amazement for children of all ages.

Some Sites to See:

  • Statue of Liberty which is New York's historic symbol of freedom stands tall in the harbor.  The view is great and it is a wonderful photo opportunity.  The crown observation deck is open once again to the public.  It is important that you realize that there are a lot of steps to climb even to get to just the pedestal area.  Keep the kids busy and have them learn some history at the same time through the Junior Ranger program which is available for kids between 7 - 12 years old.  There are fun activities that they can do while visiting to earn a Junior Ranger Badge.  Note: booklet can be printed in advance of your trip.  Click here for more details: Statue of Liberty for Kids.
     

  • FAO Schwarz, is the ultimate toy store for toy lovers from all over the world.
     
  • American Girl Place located on Fifth Avenue is a dream for all little girls who collect American Girl Dolls.  A visit to the American Girl Place will be a very special experience. This store offers shopping for the dolls of course, a cafe where children can have lunch with their dolls, a hair salon, and a theatre with a live musical.
     
  • American Museum of Natural History is one of the largest and most innovative natural history museums. Includes famous dinosaur halls, Akeley Hall of African Mammals, Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth, and the Rose Center featuring a wonderful Space Show.
     
  • Bronx Zoo is a great place for children of all ages with over 4,000 animals to visit.  You can enjoy seeing Siberian tigers, gorillas, baboons, lemurs and assorted reptiles. The two daily Sea Lion feeding and training demonstrations are one of the most popular attractions. The bug carousel, children's zoo and camel rides are sure to be a hit with your children as well.
     
  • Children’s Museum of Manhattan is filled with interactive, intellectually stimulating exhibits, workshops, and activities designed to encourage children to learn.  During the summer the "City Splash" exhibit offers an outdoor water-play area for your enjoyment.
     
  • Central Park is located north of 59th Street, south of 110th Street, east of 5th Avenue and west of 8th Avenue is one of the major attractions of New York City.  It is comprised of 850 acres with 36 bridges and is home to many attractions. Favorites for kids include Central Park Zoo, the Woods and Water Exhibit at Belvedere Castle, boat rides from Loeb Boathouse, and the Central Park Carousel.


 

  • Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum showcases the World War II aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, the submarine USS Growler, and a Lockheed A-12 supersonic reconnaissance plane.

Great Sites For tweens and teens....

  • Ground Zero Museum Workshop Tour is an educational experience for older teens and tweens, where they can learn through exhibits about heroic eyewitness stories and personal accounts of people who participated in the Recovery..
     
  • On Location Tours allows you to take a tour past the doorsteps of your favorite television shows, film settings, movie characters and celebrities.   Several tour choices are available including the following: Manhattan TV and Movie Tour that has locations for Friends, Seinfeld, Spiderman; Tour Sex and the City hotspots; Tour Sopranos sites;  Tour Central Park movie sites.
     
  • Ellis Island Immigration Museum  is a self-guided audio tour.  It has more than 40,000 square feet of exhibit space, restored areas, and educational facilities as well as a Theater that features a documentary film entitled, ”Taking a Chance on America: Bela Lugosi’s Ellis Island Story.”   Exhibits include artifacts, photos, prints, and interactive displays.

 

  • The American Immigrant Wall of Honor, located on Ellis Island, displays the names of countless individuals, honored by their family, who risked everything to come to America to help build this country.  If you take a piece of paper and place it on the name of your family and then rub it with a pencil you will be able to take home a copy from the wall. It is the longest wall of names in the world.
     
  • Ellis Island Living Theater - Professional actors bring experiences of the immigrants to life today through 30 minute plays.
     
  • Rockefeller Center is a 12 acre complex in Midtown Manhattan. It is home to NBC studios, Radio City Music Hall, the Ice Skating Rink at Rockefeller Center and the holiday highlight the famous Tree at Rockefeller Center. The Concourse at Rockefeller Center is a whole destination unto itself. This vast network of underground pedestrian passageways connects every building in the Center, including an incredible number of stores, and  restaurants. 
     
  • Radio City Music Hall, located in Rockefeller Center, is the largest indoor theater in the world. Most famous for the Radio City Rockettes show, featuring the Rockettes signature eye high kicks, precision choreography and exciting show stopping numbers that will delight the whole family. Radio City Music Hall has also hosted performers, stage shows, movies, concerts and special events. Guided tours of this wonderful theater are available. 
     
  • NBC studios Tour, located in the Rockefeller Center, can be fascinating. You'll learn about NBC's early days in radio as well as its recent history.  In addition, you'll have the opportunity to enter and visit a few of the networks working studios, including The Today Show, Dateline, and Saturday Night Live
     
  • The NY Skyride, located in the Empire State Building, is a thrill for the kids as it gives a virtual tour of New York City in 3D.