Travelling with children of any age can be a challenge, especially in such a massive and busy town as New York City. You may have a long list of things you want to do as a parent, but including kid friendly activities and destinations will make it a trip to remember for the whole family. Here are some ideas to make NYC a wonderland for your kids.
- Stay Safe: It is a big place. At every destination have a plan of where to meet, should you accidentally get separated. If they have cell phones, make sure your number is in there on speed dial for them. Make sure they all have some form of ID on them, even if it is just a slip of paper in a little one’s pocket with their name, your name, phone number and where you are staying. Tell the little ones if they are ever separated and scared, just find a policeman. They are friends who are there to help.
- Encourage them to document the trip with photography. Tell them that when they get home, they can make their photos into a book. Online companies such as Shutterfly can help layout and print small books like this for as little as $20. You will be surprised how much more engaged and aware even small children become in activities when they are turned into a photo journalist.
- Go to museums. NY is full of the finest art in the world. No kid should ever miss a chance to see the works of the great masters. But also include some unique offerings, like the Fireman’s museum, children’s museums, or the USS Intrepid floating museum which includes one the US Space Shuttles.
- Get up high. Several of NYC’s skyscrapers have observation levels, to see the city from high above. It will blow any kid’s mind and be an unforgettable memory.
- Let them burn off some energy with exercise. Take them to Central Park to see the beautiful lakes and bridges, but also let them run in open spaces and climb the large granite rock outcroppings. Or even take them to a gym to have a fun exercise class or do wall climbing. Here is a good list of NYC Gyms for your convenience. If it is summer time, you can even go kayaking for free at Manhattan Community Boathouse, in a program that is run by local volunteers. This will help them deal with the stress of over-stimulation in such a large and unfamiliar environment.
- Ride a Ferry. Take a trip out to the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island for history lessons or even just ride the Staten Island Ferry out and back. Getting out in the harbor will give you great views of the skyline and let them see everything from cargo ships, to racing sailboats, to replicas of old pirate ships.
As you will surely see, NYC is much more than just Wall Street, Times Square and a bunch of expensive department stores. There is something there for truly everyone.