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Honestly - is 3 too young?

Ireland
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Honestly - is 3 too young?

Hi,

Considering a trip to NYC but as the title suggests I'm wonder if in reality it'd be a bit much for a 3 year old.

We've been to NYC a couple of times (& I love it!) and we walked miles on both occassions!!!

Just wondering what people think - should we wait till he's a bit older or should we just go for it & if so what would Must-Do's be with a 3 year old??

Thanks so much

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Queens, NY
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1. Re: Honestly - is 3 too young?

My daughter is now 7 and has traveled all around the world since she was zero, so three is not too young. You just have to be aware of your three year old's needs and organize your trip around them.

* A comfortable folding stroller is a must, for long walks with a child that age. Rides in the stroller also let her relax and get over active times. The absolute ideal situation in NYC is to carry your child in a backpack carrier, but I don't know if you're strong enough for that. I found that a backpack carrier elevated her to a level where she could be interested in what was going on around her, or cuddle up on my back for a nap; the Ergo carrier series was excellent.

* Don't try to do more than one "thing" a day; know that this is going to be a trip mostly about parks, playgrounds, and hanging out seeing how NYC families live their lives. Both Manhattan and Brooklyn have excellent children's museums with indoor play areas. Central Park is studded with top-quality playgrounds; the one at 61st Street and 7th Avenue is huge, and the one at 67th and 5th has an amazingly long stone slide. Major museums like the Met and Natural History are full of toddlers as well.

* Consider getting a one-bedroom suite at an apartment hotel, so your kid can go to bed while the two of you stay up and watch a movie. The Beacon is especially family friendly and in a very family friendly neighborhood.

Traveling with a kid opens up a lot of interesting social opportunities; as she plays with new friends in the sand, you'll talk to the parents and meet some locals!

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Honestly - is 3 too young?

There are 3 yr olds that live here so it's not too young. Only YOU know your child and how well he/she travels and takes to change of surroundings/time. The time of year can make a big difference too. I wouldn't come when it's very hot or very cold. If you can afford a 1 bedroom suite somewhere so you can put the toddler to bed at a reasonable hour and still stay up yourselves, that's best. There are plenty of suite hotels that offer this, but these days, they're not cheap. Have the parents every been to NYC before? Are you willing to be reaasonable about how much you see/do because of the toddler?

mommypoppins.com

gocitykids.com

are websites that will be very helpful with things to see/do.

Ireland
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3. Re: Honestly - is 3 too young?

Thank you both so much for the replies

He's a very sociable child & will talk to anyone so the travelling etc are not really an issue. I suppose as you say it just comes down to being organised & open to the change of plans that will no doubt come with having a 3 year old!!!!

Roswell, Georgia
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4. Re: Honestly - is 3 too young?

I have traveled with both my kids throughout their childhood and if your goal is for your 3 yr old to take in the culture and remember the trip, 3 is likely too young but the memories for you could be priceless. We took our kids to Paris when my youngest was this age and they are so entertained by planes, trains and automobiles (think doubledecker bus) that they usually enjoy the new sights and adventures. You have to be ok with not seeing or doing as much as you might do without your child with you. You also have to make some concessions on dining options although NY will offer more than enough exciting cuisine without having to go top of the line dining scene. Central Park is an excellent suggestion. I would explore the city from a 3 yr olds perspective as you will likely never have the chance to do that one again. I also found that as a ultra planner and stacked agenda person, this forced me to slow down and take in the place at a slower pace. I have great memories of traveling with my kids so in my opinion, you can't go wrong.

Brooklyn, NY
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5. Re: Honestly - is 3 too young?

It's true that your kids won't get the same thing out of a trip at that age that you would, but the same is true of any destination. My parents took me and my siblings to Disneyworld when I was five, and when we came back and my grandmother asked how the trip was, I said "I saw a giant spider web!" I thought my poor mother was going to cry.

That said, urban traveling with children is a skill. I was born and raised here, so I have very happy memories of being an urban kid, and my kid is an urban kid, and it all comes very naturally to me. They get used to walking longer distances at an earlier age than their suburban counterparts do, and you get used to making do with the supplies you can carry easily and an emergency stop at one of the ubiquitous drugstores when you need something you didn't bring. You get the hang of carrying a stroller up and down subway steps. You develop a mental map of the playgrounds and parks so you always know your nearest place to let the kid blow off some steam. Your kid learns to nap in an Ergo or in the stroller. You learn to nurse discreetly on the subway.

Anyway, I'm rambling. The point is, New York is a great place for kids, if you can plan the trip with them in mind and if you recognize that it won't be the same as traveling without them.

Queens, NY
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6. Re: Honestly - is 3 too young?

One thing about the truism that "the kid won't remember" is that if you *keep* traveling with your kid, it changes her whole perspective on the world. My daughter doesn't remember learning to walk in Spain, but she sees the world as wide and accessible and not at all strange; she sees the globe as full of open possibilities rather than scary aliens.

Maybe part of that is also about growing up in Queens, in a school where there are no more than three people of the same ethnicity in each class, but I think a lot of it is being able to take world travel for granted.

Manhattan
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7. Re: Honestly - is 3 too young?

Get your child some kids NY books before you arrive. A good place to start is the Met Museum shop

http://store.metmuseum.org/metkids/kids-books+media/icat/childrensbookskids/

Look at books that are illustrated from the collection. Read them with your child. Go to the Met website and find out where a few of the pictures are displayed. On your visit to the Met, surprise him with a visit to one of the pictures.

thestarryeye.typepad.com/explorenyc

Atlanta, Georgia
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8. Re: Honestly - is 3 too young?

You should come with your 3 year old. There's lots of young children around.

Ireland
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9. Re: Honestly - is 3 too young?

Thank you all so much for the positive advice.

It's a very last minute trip so if we do go we'd be arriving tomorrow week!!!! Doesn't give me much time to think about things. We were looking at hotels with a kitchenette area as I'd prefer that for snacks etc for the little man so we were considering the World Centre Hotel but then I saw the Affinia Shelburne which actually has a separate bedroom & living room for only a couple €100 more so would likely go for that. It's very difficult as it's such short notice so many places are fully booked

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: Honestly - is 3 too young?

The Affinia Shelburne is in a great location , nice clean hotel , a short walk to Grand Central Terminal to make getting around the city easy, larger rooms by New York Strandards , I have been traveling with my kids since they were only months old and have loved every minute , you do get to see the world from a very different angle when you have a toddler as your travel guide. New York is such a mixed city you will find kids everywhere , ( maybe not the uber "posh " restaurants) My 2 key things were a comfortable stroller they could nap in and a snack or 2 , the rest we could get as we needed.

Edited: 18 March 2013, 21:16