Day Trip to New York City With the Kids

By Tiffany Detweiler - Thursday, July 18, 2013

Although I've been living on the East Coast for a little over 2 years now I still feel like a tourist and everywhere we go I spot something new and interesting! Living in Connecticut has provided us with the ability to easily visit New York City or Boston for day trips and since I love big cities I most certainly visit whenever I can! 

Obviously going into NYC just myself or with James is easiest, but I'm a mother of 2 and fairly new to the area so babysitters don't come easy! I take my kids on most of my Adventures anyway, I personally think it is really great for them and their development! I'm a firm believer that if you want your kids to know how to properly behave in public settings (restaurant's, movies, play's, other events) you need to TAKE them to those things and lead by example! Everything is a learning experience for kids and the only way they will learn is if we as parents give them the opportunity to do so! 

James and I have taken the munchkins into NYC on three separate occasions, the first was for Jack's 5th Birthday. His Birthday is Christmas Day so its tricky to plan things, but for his 5th we took him to see the Giant Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center, the Middle of Times Square with the other throngs of tourists, Macy's for the Entire floor of  Christmas Trees, the Giant Toy's r'Us store and the Disney store! Because we planned the day with him in mind everything was a breeze, except for navigating Rockefeller Center a week before Christmas (but we like to people watch so even that bit was fun)!

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Tip #1 Dress for the season your visiting! Dress in layers! During the winter NYC can get bitterly cold outside but most stores and restaurants crank up the heat so high you start to melt. During the summer it's just the opposite, so layers will keep you comfortable no matter what the outside to inside temperatures are!Jack's Trip to NYC - December 2011-7301.jpg Tip #2 Tourist spots like Rockefeller Center become very busy and its wall to wall people on the weekends during the Christmas season, if you don't like to people watch or large crowds give you anxiety, plan your trip to visit the BIG tree during the week! 

 The Second trip we made was a year later, and this time we took both Jack and Kaylee! The kids really love riding on trains so right off the bat the trip was a hit because we took Metro North to Grand Central Station! We took them to see Yo Gabba Gabba Live at Madison Square Garden! Some parents might find children's live performance shows boring, but Yo Gabba Gabba is Perfect for kids and adults, its a giant dance party/concert (with music mom and dad can appreciate, like Ra Ra Riot)! 053 NYC December 2012
Tip #3 Take the train! This is totally a personal preference and I've met people who prefer driving into NYC but I am not one of them! I would suggest taking the train if your coming from New England. Amtrak or Metro North Railroad are reasonably priced and take the stress out of having to drive into the crowded city and on top of that find parking (which will not be free)!  I try to have as little stress as possible when taking the munchkins on all day adventures! NYC December 2012-069.jpg
Tip #4 My kids love the train and will stare out the window for most of the trip but its smart to have a back up source of entertainment! Take a comfortable back pack filled with some crayons, coloring books (Or depending on the child's age a handheld devise like a Nintendo 3DS!), snacks, water bottles and don't forget those handheld device chargers either, most trains have outlets and you don't want your phones or emergency entertainment backups to die before you even get to the city!NYC December 2012-104.jpg NYC December 2012-109.jpg NYC December 2012-141.jpg
Tip #5 Plan out your day before you go. I'm all for spontaneity but with kids in tow being spontaneous can quickly escalate to chaos and leave you regretting taking your kids anywhere!  Know what events/sights you will be seeing, know where you will be eating and how long it will take you to arrive at each of your destinations! Each time we have taken the kids I've done a quick internet search of the area of NYC we would be visiting to find kid friendly restaurants or restaurants with food I know we all will enjoy! After our Show at Madison Square Garden we ate at Brother Jimmy's BBQ, just down the block from the Garden, they were great with the kids and bonus, kids eat FREE any day any time with the purchase of a full priced meal! NYC December 2012-185.jpg

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And the last time we took the kids to NYC was July 2nd of this year for Kay's 5th Birthday! We took the train to Grand Central, walked up fifth Ave and went to the Central Park Zoo! After we spent a sufficient amount of time at the zoo, we walked over to Alice's Tea Cup on E 64th St. and we finished off the day with hours (literally hours) spent at FAO Schwarz, a.k.a giant toy and candy store!
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Tip #6 Where good walking shoes, I know you might want to look all cute and show off how cute your kids look but in all honesty at the end of the day you will hate your cute shoes and you will have carried your kids to the point of wanting to cry if you put fashion before comfort! But I honestly think most comfortable walking shoes can look really cute and let's not forget, this is a day trip with the family not a night on the town with your honey!July 2013
Tip #7 If your making a trip to the Central Park Zoo buy your tickets online and get the Total Experience tickets (you save 10%)! The 4-D movie theater is really quite entertaining and is a nice shelter if it starts raining or you need to escape the heat! July 2013 July 2013 iPhone 2013 136
 Tip #8 So many delightful things on the Menu at Alice's Tea Cup it can be hard to choose! But if you want a nice sampling of sandwiches and goodies get The Mad Hatter for two, it is MORE then enough food for two people plus it offers just the right amount of food sampling without going over board! Also, the Apricot Cinnamon Gold Tisane Tea is divine! iPhone 2013 132 iPhone 2013 133 July 2013
 Tip #9 FAO Schwarz is a kids store and they cater to kids, so don't freak out when your munchkins want to touch all the toys and hug all the plushies! Check your Grownup attitude at the door and indulge in some good'ol child like wonderment! July 2013 July 2013 July 2013
Tip #10 NYC is a great place to spend the day with kids of all ages, just make sure to plan a day that has got a little of something for everyone but try not to over do it! Don't over plan your day, know your limits and your kids limits! You want to have a fun family outing helping your kids experience the Big City!  July 2013

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