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help - visit w/ Kids

Florida
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help - visit w/ Kids

We are planning to come to NYC the end of July. We have 2 kids (son age 11, daughter age 15) I have read hours of posts and still don't know where to start. Where is the best location for a hotel? Something in the midddle of everything that we can walk to that is safe. We usually stay in 4-5 star hotels but don't like it to be stuffy. The only thing I planned on booking ahead of time was hotel and a show. Do I need to make advanced reservations for dinner, activities, etc. I was hoping we could just play it by ear when we arrive and check out our surroundings. Just to give some backround, our kids are very well travelled but the only other large cities they have been to is Seattle and Las Vegas. We normally travel to Islands or out west. So this will be a different experience for them and one I hope they will enjoy.

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Florida
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1. Re: help - visit w/ Kids

After reading more reviews, it looks like 3-4 star hotels are the equivellant to 4-5 star hotels in other parts of the states.

Queens, New York
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2. Re: help - visit w/ Kids

You'll have a great time!

Some basic suggestions:

- Most Times Square hotels are geared toward families. Nothing stuffy. Midtown hotels like the Sheraton are more set up for conferences and conventions.

- Everywhere is safe. You'll be surrounded by hundreds of thousands of tourists wherever you go. Stop watching Law and Order. (Is CSI Miami an accurate portrayal of life? 'Nuff said.)

- The primary items you need to reserve are:

SOL-Ellis Island tix (and print them out).

Dinner rezzies before a show. Most Theater District restaurants have good prix fixe dinners 5:30 - 8:00 pm and will get you served and out by curtain time.

- Otherwise, it's up to you. you could book the ESB, TOTR and Museum of Natural History, e.g., but not necessary, esp if you go first thing in AM or during "siesta time" (3-5), when everyone is going back to their hotel to change or rest.

- Make a list of what you want to see.

- Print out or buy a tourist map and find the attractions. Group your days by nabe (e.g. UWS, UES, Midtown, Greenwich Village, Financial District, etc.) Makes life a lot easier.

- You'll be walking a lot. Bring or buy your most comfortable pair of shoes. Or two.

- Bring sunscreen and sunglasses. It gets bright and sunny here, esp in mid-afternoon.

- Peruse the FAQ "sticky" at the top of this forum. At the bottom of the FAQ are collections of trip reports by families with teens. Steal an itinerary!

Have fun!

Florida
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3. Re: help - visit w/ Kids

Excellent info. Thanks. We will definately stay in Times Square. Any suggestion on a hotel that has a great location. Willing to spend no more than $500/night including tax. I noticed some of the hotels can get really steep.

new jersey
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4. Re: help - visit w/ Kids

Your kids are the perfect age for New York City! You are sure to have a ball with them. I would recommend staying in the midtown north area. Meaning north of Times Square. I recently stayed at the Hilton New York. The location was ideal although it is huge and felt very much like a business hotel. Le Parker Meridien may work. Make sure you don't book a double room as the beds are not true double beds. You will need a suite. It had a rooftop pool with a view of Central Park. Lovely to see when taking a dip at the end of a busy day. Normas for breakfast and the Burger Joint are excellent family restaurants (Norma's is pricey but so great for breakfast/brunch). The location is ideal for exploring Central Park, 5th Avenue and Times Square. There are many other hotels in the area of Le Parker Meridien that would likely suit your needs. I liked this area when we stayed there and found it extremely convenient. Moms

County Clare...
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5. Re: help - visit w/ Kids

I'd like to row in with QueensB suggestion of Times Sq area. We stayed at the Westin TS last summer, and it worked out very well. Our (standard? - 2 doubles/1 single) room was large, great for the results of our punished credit card.

Ask for a corner room, nice views through large windows and a seperate lounge area.

The Lion King is showing around the corner, and a nice selection of restaurants on the doorstep - I think QB avove had directed us to Virgils BBQ which was great.

Enjoy your visit.

Queens, New York
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6. Re: help - visit w/ Kids

ferdia - thanks for the nod. Glad you enjoyed!

Speaking of Virgil's, that reminds me:

- Dinner rezzies: You need to book if you plan on going to any of the major Times Square or otherwise touristy or themed restaurants, such as Bubba Gump's, Ellen's Satrdust Diner, Virgil's BBQ, Hard Rock Cafe, Jekyll and Hyde's Midtown, ESPN Zone, John's Pizzeria or Junior's.

Florida
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7. Re: help - visit w/ Kids

Glad to know in advance about needing either 2 rooms or a suite. We had this happen in Hawaii and didn't know in advance and had to upgrade to a suite when we got there (ouch on the price) With this new info I should probably raise how much I was willing to spend on a room. Is $600/night including tax enough for a suite? Also, which hotels in Times Square offer suites. We probably will not be eating at the tourists restaurants as these chains are everywhere and we have eaten at several of them before in other parts of the states. I am hoping to experience local NY restaurants. Plus when we eat at local places I feel like I'm putting my money in the community and not some overpriced franchise. We are from Tampa, FL and know how important tourist are to us (we have no state, city or county tax because of tourism)

new jersey
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8. Re: help - visit w/ Kids

If you want to stay in Times Square, as in right smack dab in the middle of Times Square, I highly recommend The Doubletree Suites. It is a wonderful hotel that offers very large suites. It is right on Times Square and kids love it! I actually love it too. For something one notch higher up the "star" chain, I recommend Le Parker Meridien. Moms

new jersey
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9. Re: help - visit w/ Kids

BTW, I second the Westin Times Square recommendation. The bathrooms remind me of a large, space age, airplane bathroom. Clean, a bit stark and ultra modern. I thought it was cool for a couple of nights; my kids would love it for an entire trip!

Oh, yes, and the bathroom at the Doubletree is huge (lots of counter space for a teen girl to put on her makeup!) M.

Queens, New York
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10. Re: help - visit w/ Kids

"We probably will not be eating at the tourists restaurants as these chains are everywhere and we have eaten at several of them before in other parts of the states. I am hoping to experience local NY restaurants."

Hooray!

Here's your first local reco: I often suggest Vynl for pre-show for teens. Fun bathrooms, decent food at decent prices, and good drinks(!) Four locations, go early, no rezzies taken.

www.vynl-nyc.com