Tips for a Stress Free Trip to the Big Apple

06.05.2010 In: Travel tips

With countless museums, zoos, parks, and toy stores, the Big Apple can be a very rewarding experience for the young and young at heart. Keep these useful tips in mind once you have decided to visit the big city:

* Pack comfortable walking shoes and rain gear
* Prevent tantrums by not overloading each day with too many activities
* Append back up plans to each daily itinerary
* Use the subway system. Initially, it may be overwhelming to the unseasoned city dweller, but expertise happens quickly and relief will also come for weary little feet (and big feet too)
* Look into ordering New York CityPasses. It includes entrance into many popular attractions for a fraction of the cost of buying individual tickets
* Get to attractions early to avoid crowds

Activities Before Traveling to New York City

Preparing your children ahead of time for a trip to New York City will ensure that they will be fully engaged. Have them help search for New York City highlights and pictures online. Watch (or read) Night at the Museum together, and show them the scene from the movie Big in which Tom Hanks dances on the oversized floor piano at FAO Schwarz.

Central Park Highlights For Kids

Central Park is a city unto itself. It is so massive that one could easily spend a whole week here and not see everything. Children will absolutely love the Central Park Zoo, the carousel, and a carriage ride around the park. They will also enjoy climbing the statues of Alice in Wonderland and visiting FAO Schwarz, the classic toy store nearby where they can dance away on the piano just like in the movie.
Youngsters Will Love the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty

No trip to New York City would be complete without visiting the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Eighty-six floors up, the deck offers magnificent panoramic views. Then, stop by the delicious food court at Grand Central Station for a snack.

Another must is to ride the Staten Island ferry (free) by the Statue of Liberty. For a longer water adventure, take a Circle Line sightseeing cruise around the tip of Manhattan. See the spectacular skyline and experience the grandeur of the Statue of Liberty along the way.

A Kid Friendly Times Square Activity

It may just be a toy store, but the Toys “R” Us located in Times Square is very much like a theme park without the entrance fees. With a giant roaring T-rex, models of the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty made entirely out of Lego blocks, and a real operating ferris wheel, a family could easily spend a few hours here.

When hunger strikes, visit Mars 2112 for a lunch that is “out of this world”. For something family friendly with a bit more adult appeal try Carmine’s, a classic Italian eatery for hearty appetites.

Children Have Fun at the American Museum of Natural History

The sheer size of this museum can be overwhelming, so mark out your destinations beforehand. Some sure kid-pleasers are the dinosaur exhibits and the Halls of African Mammals and Ocean Life. If the family starts slowing down, visit the Rose Center for Earth and Space. Here, a spectacular planetarium show Are We Alone is repeated throughout the day. It is a great place to sit back and reenergize while being entertained.

A trip to New York City is a superb way to spend a vacation with the entire family. Plan accordingly, pack well, and the fond memories will last a lifetime.