Five Great Places to Take Your Kids While in New York City

by on November 7th, 2010
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New York City is a kid-friendly place any time of the year. There are plenty of places to see within a short walking distance of each other or a quick ride in a taxi. In the last three years I have taken my children to New York City over six times. Although we have gone to the city at all times of the year, my favorite time is actually the winter months. You will find yourself walking faster to keep warm and everything is less crowded. I prefer the Manhattan area when going to New York with my kids so here are the top five places you should consider visiting if you will be in the big apple for a day. It would be difficult to do all of this in one day so it is best to pick maybe three. Make sure you consider the age of your children, how much walking they can do, and their interests when deciding on where you will stop.

Central Park
Anytime of the year this place is great for kids of all ages. We went to the zoo in January and the animals were so active and my children were so engaged they forgot how cold it was. In the spring and summer we loved playing on the numerous playgrounds spread throughout the park. We also enjoyed all the live performers.

Ellen’s Stardust Diner
Walking around the streets of New York will certainly create an appetite. Make sure you stop by Ellen’s for a bite to eat. You will be entertained by aspiring Broadway singers as they take your order, sit and sing at your booth, or strut their stuff on the upper floor. I have eaten breakfast, lunch and desserts at Ellen’s and the food was well worth the price. (They do have a kid’s menu). Your toes will still be tapping when you leave this unique diner!

Toys R Us in Times Square
If you are looking for a great place to shop with your kids make sure to visit Times Square. The Toys R Us there has a Ferris wheel INSIDE the store and their electronics section is enormous. Little girls will love the ability to walk inside a giant Barbie house and boys will love the huge Lego sculptures on display. You can even get your picture taken with Geoffrey the Giraffe. Make sure you set a spending limit before you enter the store to make the experience better.

American Girl Store
If you have any Dads or boys coming along on your trip, this maybe isn’t the stop for you. However, if you have a daughter, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to eat lunch at this one of a kind store. Reservations are definitely needed months in advance. So, even if you don’t get to eat there, be sure to visit and shop. My daughter liked the make your own t-shirt area and the doll hair salon. Be prepared to spend more than an hour (and more than $100) at this stop.

30 Rockfeller Plaza
Skip the Empire State Building. If you want a bird’s eye view of New York, 30 Rock is the place to be. Buy your tickets online and schedule when you plan to go to the Top of the Rock. When we visited, we had no wait time and it was during Thanksgiving break when the city is fairly busy. Once you get to the Top of the Rock, have your camera ready and jackets zipped. It is cool and windy since it is completely outside. We went in the morning when the sun was beautiful over the city and we could see the Statue of Liberty and Times Square. I imagine sunset would be an awesome time to be on the Rock.

One last thing to keep in mind is parking and packages. Be sure to plan ahead and park in a garage that will be convenient for how you need to leave the city. Also, keep in mind that most garages will not let you back into your vehicle to put bags inside. I encourage you to take a backpack and put purchases in there. For girls carrying an American Girl Doll, be sure to have it in a secure carrier. They sell some nice ones at the store and they do make a world of difference when having your doll explore the city with you. Finally, wear comfortable clothes and shoes!

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