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Itinerary suggestions for first time NYC visitors

Gympie, Queensland...
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Itinerary suggestions for first time NYC visitors

Hi all, we are a family of four, kids boy 7, girl 9 visiting New York from OZ . Arrive late afternoon Sept 5th, depart mid morning Sept 10th (thinking I should've booked a later flight now....)

I'm after some itinerary suggestions that will allow us to visit the worthwhile tourist spots, best kid friendly places to eat, thinking a bit of Little Italy, Chinatown, etc. Thinking Museum of Natural History, SOL, Ellis Island, Empire State Building, Top of Rock (I know all the tourist spots), Moma (not too boring for kids?), Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, a toy shop, Broadway show etc.

My husband & I are into historical buildings, beautiful architecture etc but of course we need to get a happy medium where the kids are having fun too. (skip the ultra modern stuff, not our thing, unless it is cool for the kids)

Any suggestions out there from the locals????

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Itinerary suggestions for first time NYC visitors

The best way to use the forum is by asking very specific questions. Yours are really too broad. Have a read through the top questions on the right column here. At the bottom are trip reports. Read some from families with kids for ideas.

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Itinerary suggestions for first time NYC visitors

I would choose to do one tall building either the Top of the Rock during the day for great views of Central Park or Empire State Building at dusk to watch the city light up

As far as toy shops go Toys R Us is the best with a ferris wheel inside the store or FAO Shwaz for a classic New York City toy store

At the rockerfeller centre there is also the lego store where the kids can fill a bucket with there choice of lego for one set price and just around the corner is Fire Zone where the can meet real FDNY fire personal and climb on a small scale fire truck to here the radio call outs , it has a great patch wall with badges of fire companys from all over the world my kids loved trying to find all the Aussie ones.

http://www.fdnyfirezone.org/

Get a subway card , the most convenient and easy way to get around the city, you can use this not only on the subway , but also the buses and the Roosevelt tramway, an gondela car the goes along side the Queensbourgh bridge ,for a fun and different view of the city

www.rioc.com

As far as eating , you have to try the street carts they are not just hotdogs, if you don't like the choice on one corner just go to the next. Grand central Terminal also has a good food hall and market . My kids also loved Etaly, an Italian style foods hall market.

Edited: 16 April 2012, 07:11
London, United...
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3. Re: Itinerary suggestions for first time NYC visitors

My suggestion for an itnerary for a first time visitor to NYC is something along these lines

Visit the following - Chinatown, Museum of Natural History, SOL, Ellis Island, Empire State Building, Top of Rock, MoMA, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, FAO Schwartz, Broadway Show, Times Square.

If you want someone to plan your itinerary for you, then we don't do that here, mainly because we don't get paid, we are volunteers, and also you've not really asked much.

Plan you own itinerary, post it, and then we disect it, rearrange, and advise on other places to visit. I can already see you're not visiting Greenwich Village, Soho, Tribeca, Wall Street etc etc.

M

Gympie, Queensland...
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4. Re: Itinerary suggestions for first time NYC visitors

I'm not asking for someone to plan my itinerary, just suggestions for the things I should & shouldn't include. Thanks for the input re-NYC.

Melbourne
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5. Re: Itinerary suggestions for first time NYC visitors

Definately take your kids to the big toy stores - FAO Schwarz and Toys R Us. Toys R Us is in Times Square and there's also M&Ms World and The Disney Store there which they might enjoy. FAO Schwarz is next to the 5th Avenue Apple store which is worth checking out, and you can go onto Central Park from there.

I would recommend both ESB (night) and TOTR (day) but if you're short of time, just do TOTR. It has shorter queues too.

Personally I don't think the MOMA (or MET) would be all that interesting for children but I'm sure they'll survive a bit of time there if you and your husband want to see it. The Museum of Natural History will probably be more enjoyable for them.

As for a Broadway show, what about The Lion King? I've seen it when it was here in Melbourne and also in Vegas and it is spectacular. If they're familiar with, and like, the movie they should enjoy the show. Mary Poppins is also supposed to be quite enjoyable for children as well as adults.

You will be able to see a fair bit of amazing architecture just walking around and looking at all the buildings. I'd suggest checking out Grand Central station too, it's magnificent!

melbourne
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6. Re: Itinerary suggestions for first time NYC visitors

For kids I would recommend

FAO Schwarz

Time Square with the M&M store

Central Park and the Central Park Zoo

ESB or Top of the Rock - you don't need to do both.

Natural HIstory Museum

Staten Island Ferry

I think that they are too young for MOMA or the MET,

London, United...
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7. Re: Itinerary suggestions for first time NYC visitors

What shouldn't you include is a tricky one. I personally wouldn't include things that you can get in other cities, which are generic tourist attractions.

With kids, you probably want to visit places like the Zoo, some of the parks (especially when the weather is nice, there are sometimes performances going on), and maybe even Greenwich Village, just to walk around.

I'm a big kid at heart, and absolutely loved going to the transit museum. The museum is in a disused subway station, and there are trains you can go on, and see what they were like. I'd always recommend that, and it's in Brooklyn, so you get to head to another borough too!

M

New York City, New...
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8. Re: Itinerary suggestions for first time NYC visitors

I disagree that kids wouldn't find the Met interesting (or MoMA). I take kids to the Met all the time and they always find something they love: the Egyptian wing and the Temple of Dendur, the room full of suits of armor, the Degas ballet dancers (sculptures and paintings)...there's something for everyone there, even kids, and it's a great way to introduce a love of art (and of art museums).

I was at MoMA twice last year with kids smaller than yours (3-5 years old) and both times the kids enjoyed picking out their favorite painting in each room and telling us why, listing off the colors in the very modern paintings ("this one has red, yellow, and green"), etc. The MoMA sculpture garden is also great for kids.

Brooklyn, NY
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9. Re: Itinerary suggestions for first time NYC visitors

Here are some Kid Friendly Ideas:

Museums:

Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum - on an old aircraft carrier

Museum of Natural History - T rex and friends

Transit Museum [Brooklyn Heights - cool old trains

Tenement Museum - how we used to live.

Food

Chinatown is great for lunch and dinner.

Dylan's Candy Bar or Economy Candy - kids love candy.

Indian Food on East 6th Street and 2nd Ave in the Village.

Food Cart Food - all over.

Peanut Butter and Company in the Village.

Pizza - famous and not - it is usually great here.

Entertainment :

Coney Island [Beach, rides and the Aquarium - hot dogs at Nathans and next door to Brighton Beach for some cool Russian stuff]

The Beast rides the East River on a speedboat.

Yankees or Mets game.

Bronx Zoo

Central or Prospect Park - take a frisbee and a picnic lunch

Movies. - They may be the same, but just think of how much more you are paying here.

Big Apple Greeters - a personalized walk through a neighborhood. Register online. its free.

REMEMBER: Itineraries are made to be broken. Make sure to leave time to relax, walk around and decompress. No kid likes being schlepped from site to site.

10. Re: Itinerary suggestions for first time NYC visitors

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