What are the best ways to negotiate America’s biggest city with little (and even not-so-little) children?
We asked you to share your advice and experiences in advance of a new series that begins today: Taking the Kids.
Below are some highlights. If you’d like to add to the conversation with your own tips, please leave a comment.
Restaurants on the Upper West Side and in Park Slope in Brooklyn are a good bet for being child friendly since so many families live there. And both are adjacent to big parks in case you want to picnic. – Bulmal, New York
Enjoy Central Park. Play on the rocks, stroll around, take a horse-and-buggy tour. – Boston Transplant, Boston
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
Spend half a day at the Museum of Natural History, especially if the weather isn’t good. I have yet to meet a child that has not found something to love there. – Evangelina Cifliganec, New York
On a recent trip I planned the morning at the Met to show the kids art from some of the cultures they’d studied in school. I expected we’d be in the museum for an hour or so and then decompress in the park. To my surprise, we ended up spending four hours there because the boys were enjoying the audio guide so much. – Jess, Washington, D.C.
We let my son stay up as late as he wanted since he was in the city that never sleeps. He loved telling everyone when he got home. – EH, Pennsylvania
Bathrooms, bathrooms, bathrooms. Know where the cleanest and most accessible are at all times. – MMom, New York
Find a balance between what the child wants to see and do and what you think s/he should see and do. I’m a quilter and my granddaughter’s a budding fashionista. Visiting Mood Fabrics and the City Quilter were pre-planned destinations. – Bobbie, Berkeley, Calif.
Robert Stolarik for The New York Times
Tackling New York City with children I think depends more on a playful attitude than any logistics. My favorite way to tackle the city is by selecting a neighborhood to get lost in for the day, and allowing the strange people or interesting architecture to inspire you and the children. Setting creative games like, “Who can see the most red things?” is free and more interesting to children than standing with other tourists at a historical landmark. For example: the East Village is great for sidewalk art, Central Park is exciting for foliage, SoHo is fantastic for looking at people. – missfitness, New York
I trained my grandsons to look up when we are on the streets (and stop walking when looking up) to notice the interesting architectural designs. The area around Grand Central is a good example. When you are short, you see only the boring parts of buildings. – GM, New York
Don’t forget that sometimes for kids the journey can be part of the fun. My boys love riding the buses because they can watch the business of the city. – Sam Raider, Scarsdale, N.Y.
When we go, we strategically schedule long train rides for midday naps. (The kids LOVE the subway so this is not seen by them as a chore at all.) Also, for all activities that require very good behavior, we follow up with going to a big park where they can just run and play without worry. – aml, Baltimore
I highly recommend a subway ride out to Coney Island. The aquarium is wonderful. – Please, Brooklyn
We took a ride to Queens on the 7 train and introduced the kids to authentic Chinese food in Flushing. The kids were amazed by the ride on the subway, the sights and sounds and the interesting foods they tasted. – Kara, Washington, D.C.
Go across some of our more thrilling bridges, like the Verrazano and the Brooklyn. It’s breathtaking. And if the kids are not too young, do it at night. – SRF, East
Visit the Bronx Zoo in the colder months. Many of the attractions are indoors, anyway. – Anna, Georgia
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