As you probably know from my last post “New York through my camera lens”, our family had a great holiday in NYC a couple of weeks ago. New York is overwhelming with so many things to do, so many places to visit and so many stuff to see. From the moment we started to plan this trip, we clearly understood that the places we are looking forward to visiting might not be so exiting for our little ones. Sightseeing with children who are constantly complaining about boredom and questions when we can leave or when we can go back to the hotel is very distracting and not pleasant for any member of the family. Therefore, we handed over the responsibility to choose which places to visit to our kids.
I bought a fantastic travel guide for kids from Lonely Planet “City Trails – New York”. We dedicated one day before the trip to study what was inside the book and my kids made a plan where they would like to go. The book looked very funny as it was full of sticky notes as they wanted to see almost everything offered. Later we decided which places we can leave for some future trips, and which ones kids would like to visit during this trip.
During our stay in Big Apple we did everything exceptionally for kids, except the Metropolitan Museum of Art that was not marked as kids’ favorite place to visit and was our trade-off achieved between childish and adult type of places. They survived it, although they were not excited but rather bored.
After the holiday, on our way back home, I asked my kiddoes what they liked best in New York City. They came up with 5 different things that they loved the most. The web is full with long lists with best family attractions in New York, but if you travel there just for a couple of days and do not know which attractions to choose from the long list that New York City has to offer, take my advice and go for these top 5 attractions selected by my kids. Believe me, kids know better.
Dinosaurs, mummies, butterflies, all sorts of animals, gems and minerals, planetarium and many more. It has the largest collection of dinosaur bones in the world. It is massive, so you will need to decide on the exhibits that match your family interests the best.
Do not forget to check the Discovery room where kids can explore and research. Every field of Museum is represented there. Our kids loved spending time there. Izabele could not stop petting gigantic cockroaches…
and Kristijonas was trying to dig the remains of the dinosaur skeleton.
Tip: never que in front of the main entrance, go around the building to search for the astronomy section entrance. There are no ques there at all, and you just enter the museum from a different place.
Who does not know the movie Madagascar and the animals that escaped the zoo? No? Then what about the song “I like to move it move it”? Everybody knows it. The animals from the movie escaped from the Central Park Zoo. It is a small but very cute zoo located in the Central Park. The zoo was opened in 1860s as the first Zoo of New York. It is a very nice way to spend an hour or two. Animals are very lively and eager to interact with the guests. Kids were impressed by lots of free flying birds, grizzly bear, sea lion making a spontaneous show.
Tip: it is better to come there morning time, as it gets quite crowded during afternoon hours, especially in the tropic zone rain forest.
Intrepid itself It is an enormous historic aircraft carrier, but you can see much more. Jet fighters, spy planes, a missile-carrying submarine and the space shuttle Enterprise.
There is much interactive fun for kids like steering the plane or ship, climbing into helicopter and many more.
The captain of the submarine was so friendly and answered all kids’ questions and even let them sit behind the steering wheel of the submarine that is in the restricted area.
Tip: not the best option for a bad-weather day, because a big part of the exhibition is outdoors.
From all the shows that you can see on Broadway we chose this one and I think it is on my best musicals list together with The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables. We were all amazed by the ingenious and detailed costumes and the body-shivering sound of African songs. Kids watched the show with huge eyes and open mouths.
Tip: Do not buy tickets in the first three rows, as you would not be able to see the legs of the actors.
We promised our kids to go to the biggest toy shop during this trip, but unfortunately, the famous and iconic toy shops of NY F.A.O. Schwarz and Toys ‘R’ Us are closed, they both were closed in 2015. M&M’s World shop worked as a substitute of these iconic toy shops for us. The shop was very busy and packed with people. It is also packed with lots and lots of unnecessary things with M&M’s logos on them. But one thing was amazing there, and that is why this place is in this 5 Best Places to Visit in New York with Kids list. M&M’s World shop has a personalization corner where you can choose your M&M’s candies by colors and personalize them with a special printer right in the store. You can select from the variety of images or create your own messages. Our kids wanted “I love NY” logos and their names to be printed on various colors of candies. That was a blast and much better than any toy.
I hope these recommendations of my kids and me would help you if you have a chance to visit this iconic city – the center of commerce, finance and culture.