were 10, 8 and 5 when we took them with us for a weekend in New York City.
We currently live in Louisiana and they had never seen anything like a
"big city" before. It was a weekend filled with planes, trains and
automobiles, and we loved it all.
Traveling with Kids
to New York City
Smith (Road Trip Mom)
Our family's experience
family reunion was the main purpose for our trip to New York last July.
Before the reunion in Yonkers, NY we had a couple of days to explore, so
we headed into Manhattan. The kids and I all wore similar tie-dyed shirts
that we made last summer and everyone knew we belonged together --
a great idea that was admired by many! I didn't care if we were goofy
looking tourists - I just wanted to make it easy to keep up with our three
energetic kids in the big city!
thing we did was take a train into Grand Central Station, then we hiked
over to the Empire State Building. We wanted a view of the entire
city to start their experience. In order to get up, we had to go
down to the basement to buy tickets to the observation deck. The
line to get upstairs was a rather long wait for kids, and it wound around
much like the lines at Disney World. And, like Disney, was the unfortunately
realization that just when you think you are up to the front of the line,
you turn the corner only to discover that there is another long stretch
of line that you couldn't see that is even longer than the line you just
finished. We finally made it to the top and enjoyed our view. The
kids all agreed that it was worth the wait.
Here's a tip I wish I'd had
before we stood in those lines -- Purchase your tickets to the observatory
online at the Empire State
Building's offical website and print them before you get there. We
did eventually figure out this tip before we went to the museums (see below).
that weekend, we took the Circle
Line boat tour (Battery Park Harbor Cruise with our extended family
and got this fantastic view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Naturally I bought some Liberty foam hats for everyone (including our cousins)
just to make sure we pegged the needle on the goofy-tourist meter.
took ourselves on a walking tour around the city and stopped in front of
various famous places to take photos. Here we are in front of Trump Tower
giving the "Your fired!" gesture that The Donald made famous on his tv
show that year (The Apprentice). Other buildings and sites the kids
enjoyed included St.
Patrick's Cathedral, The NY
Public Library building (home of a scene from the movie Ghostbusters,
to which the kids could totally relate), the World
Trade Center site (Ground Zero). My son was especially excited to see
Times Square which he'd read about in his Guiness Book of Records.
Just walking around window
shopping was an adventure in eye candy. The kids were quite amused by some
of the fashion displays in the windows.
The subway its self was also
a source of amusement. The thrill of riding along underground in a subway
car was new and exciting. By the end of the weekend, we were quite skilled
at hopping onto the subway to get anywhere in town.
kids also enjoyed visiting Central Park, walking along some of the trails
and climbing a few big rocks near a pond. It was a beautiful summer day
and there were lots of people out enjoying the park.
our last day, we had a couple of hours to kill before we had to leave for
the airport (see my article on flying
with kids for lots of tips!), so we taxied over to the American
Museum of Natural History. It really wasn't enough time to properly
enjoy the museum, but it was still two hours of fun that we wouldn't have
had otherwise. Most of the museums around town sell tickets online that
you can print from your computer. This saves a lot of time when you get
there, and I highly recommend it.
While no one especially likes
to hear complaining from your kids, the complaint we got most was "Why
can't we stay longer and see more?" This is the exact reason you
will need to come back. While we crammed a lot into a three day weekend,
there is always so much more to see in New York. Traveling with kids is
an opportunity to feel like a child yourself since you get to see it all
through their eyes. Treasure the memories.
~ ..· ´¨¨))
..·´ Road Trip Mom -:¦:-
Smith is a former schoolteacher and mother of three who has logged thousands
of road trip miles both as a kid and a mom. Visit her website for
more than 101 travel games and activities for kids at MomsMinivan.com