I recently had to interview a bunch of NYC kids for a parenting magazine. I asked them for the #1 thing they love about their neighborhood, and all the Upper East Side kids said the same thing: Sedutto. The tiny ice cream/frozen yogurt shop has tons of flavors and mix-ins. You can even order a cupcake, and they'll replace the inside with your favorite ice cream flavor. A bunch of Manhattan kiddos can't be wrong. It's a sweet pit stop if you're hanging around Museum Mile.
1498 1st Ave # 1, New York, NY, United States
+1 212 879 9557
Google map: bit.ly/XS2PCV
* Amanda is our Been there local for New York. You can check out her page here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/new-york-local-amanda-green.jsp and her own NYC blog here: www.noisiestpassenger.com/. She's also on Twitter: @amandagreen
Central Park in Manhattan and Prospect Park in Brooklyn both have small zoos, but the real NYC zoo in wayyy uptown in the Bronx. (And no, you won't get mugged if you visit.) The Bronx Zoo is the largest urban zoo in the U.S. with some 265 sprawling acres. Go on a sunny day when you can take in all the different indoor and outdoor exhibits. If you're up for it, you can ride a camel. There's also a monorail through the park if you're tired of walking. General admission is normally $16 for adults and $12 for children. But if you go on Wednesday, you can pay what you wish. The Bronx Zoo is open weekdays from 10-5 and until 5:30 on weekends. To get there, take the 2 or 5 trains to East Tremont Ave/West Farms Square. Rowr!
2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY, United States
+1 718 220 5103
Google map: bit.ly/ojJNMD
* Amanda is our Been there local for New York. You can check out her page here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/new-york-local-amanda-green.jsp and her own NYC blog here: www.noisiestpassenger.com/
A few years ago, the last rollerskating rink in NYC closed. It was tragic for me, because I'd just received rollerskates for my birthday. Since then, I've nearly killed myself skating in Central Park and have attended a roller disco at a weird hotel. But now rollerskating's back! This week, the High Line Rink opened below the High Line at West 30th and 10th Avenue. The 8,000 square foot outdoor rink is only open until September 26, so get rolling! Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for children under 13. It's open every day - from 11-10 on weekdays and 11-11 on weekends.
+1 (212) 500-6035
Google map: bit.ly/qw3N8I
Take the (free) Staten Island ferry and go to a baseball game. The Staten Island Yankees ballpark is an easy walk from the ferry terminal. For $16 you get over two hours' sport and fun - we laughed for the whole event (3rd base seating is recommended). The sight of men trying to get into frozen t-shirts between innings will stay with us.
Other top tips for NYC:
Travel from JFK - for parties of three or more take a yellow cab ($55ish to your hotel door).
Breakfast - Grand Central Station
Lunch/Dinner - Whole Foods market, excellent value and choice (avoid busy 6pm - 7pm period) 10 Columbus Circle, basement of Time Warner Center. Very convenient for Central Park.
While Grand Central station is a must see in itself there is quite a quirky feature that people should experience.
The archway outside the Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant creates a neat trick with sound. Simply stand in one corner of arch and whisper something into the wall. A friend who is standing diagonally across from you in the other corner will hear you as if you were standing next to them.
Great pizzeria in the Greenwich Village area of Manhatten. A pizzeria since 1924 but still as popular as ever judging from the queues that can form here. Simple but superb.
Additionally there are some good pubs in this area, such as the Red Lion down the road at 151 Bleeker street.
278 Bleeker Street
(Between 6th & 7th Avenues)
New York, NY 10014
Small family owned sweetshop on Lower East Side packed with every sweet you could imagine - and as the name suggests it's not that expensive.
Sells chocolate, candies, nuts, dried fruits including halvah as well as sugar free candy.
Still there since 1937.
108 Rivington Street (around corner of Ludlow street & Rivington Street)
New York, NY 10002
Lower East Side
Open Sun-Fri 9-6, Sat 10-5
A few minutes around corner from Katz Deli.
This is a gem. My daughter and I have spent many delightful Saturday afternoons in this brilliant little theatre. Originally built by by Oscar Hammerstein it's an enchanting space off of Time Square, on 42nd. The shows are eclectic, funny, informative, and cultural courtesy of traveling companies from all over the world, including the UK. A must see for anyone visiting with children!
The museum's name speaks for itself I think. Basically it's guided small tours around re-created tenement rooms. Really worth a visit. If you've been to the Dennis Severs house in London you'll get the idea.
I booked an apartment through New York Habitat in New York for a week and I recommend their site. It is user-friendly and the booking process was straight forward. Their agent gave me all the info I needed and the apartment was exactly as shown on their website, clean and comfortable, ideally located. Still, the best of all was the owner of the apartment who was really nice and helpful. I really enjoyed my stay there and it was much better than staying at a hotel, and cheaper, too
Everyone must experience Central Park on a Sunday morning, as it's full of eccentrics, runners, cyclists, skaters, over the top performers - this is the best entertainment ever! But to top it off you must sit by the lake and watch all the enthusiasts with their model speed boats - very competitive!
My four-year-old daughter and I found ourselves living it up in New York recently when we joined my husband on a business trip. We had a great time eating out, exploring the city on open-top bus tours, and doing museums and Broadway shows, but some of the best things we did really were free (or at least nearly free). Here are my top ten things to do with kids for next to nothing in NYC…
1. Lay out a blanket in Central Park (picnic optional) and soak up the atmosphere. The huge expanse of grass at the Great Lawn is a favourite spot and great for games too.
2. Visit Belvedere Castle in the middle of Central Park at 79th Street. It is the highest point of the park with great views, a visitor centre, walking tours and free educational programs.
3. Attend Saturday morning story time for children of all ages in Central Park at the Hans Christian Anderson Memorial (mid-park from East 73rd entrance. Check for times at www.centralparknyc.org).
4. Visit one of the spectacular toy shops: Toys-R-Us in Times Square or FAO Schwartz (the corner of Fifth Avenue and Central Park South) which has a giant electronic keyboard built into the floor upstairs that children can play with their feet. You can easily spend an hour or more exploring and trying out the display toys without buying a thing.
5. Take the Staten Island ferry. Day or night this is one of the best free (or paid for) boat rides in the world. It takes about half an hour each way. You can get straight off and back on again or spend time on the dockside at Staten Island looking at the distant Manhattan skyline. The ride gives spectacular views of the downtown skyline and the Statue of Liberty, all lit-up to magical effect at night.
6. If it’s a quiet stroll you’re after and you find yourself in Brooklyn, take a walk along the Brooklyn Seafront for a great view of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. (And if you do want to spend a few dollars there is a great ice-cream parlour there too.)
7. Stand in the middle of Times Square for ten minutes and don’t forget to look up.
8. Stand just about anywhere and play how many yellow cabs can you count in a minute?
And if it’s summer…
9. Summerstage (held at Rumsey Playfield near 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue) and Shakespeare in the Park (at the open-air Delacorte Theater near the W81st Street entrance to the park) are two of the most popular summertime programs and both are free. Top-shelf acts and great performances.
10. Fancy a dip? There are 14 miles of public beaches in four of NY’s boroughs: Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. Contact General Parks and Recreation Department Information at www.nycparks.completeinet.net for more info.
Family restaurant, serving wide range of Italian dishes. Great food, service and atmosphere at reasonable prices. Close to UN building and Grand Central station.
801 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017, Tel 212 -878 - 9600, Fax 212 - 880 -9999
Nearest subway Grand Central Station
Staten Island Yankees are a minor-league baseball affiliate of the New York Yankees.
Admittedly, the standard of baseball is not as high as the NY Yankees or NY Mets, but they have a super ballpark.
Take the free Staten Island ferry from lower Manhattan, giving you a perfect view of the Statue of Liberty. 30 minutes later you arrive at Staten Island, right beside the ballpark. From your seat in the ballpark there are fantastic views to Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.
The most expensive ticket is $13, while a draught beer is $5. A community atmosphere IS New York City.
Richmond County Ballpark, Staten Island. www.siyanks.com
Forget the mega cash cow that is the Yankees (Manyoo of baseball) as a Mets game helps you get under the skin of US culture and out into New York proper where the locals live and play.
Don't expect a footy crowd atmosphere but do soak up the family-orientated game that combines Mexican waves with drinking overpriced Bud and eating as much saturated fat as you can in three hours. Over 50k in Shea Stadium and even then it didn't seem full. What a great experience!
Get your cap and t-shirt, along with your tickets from the club shop on 42nd St near 6th Ave. Paid about 30 quid for two tickets but they start from only $9 (yes, $9!) depending on where you want to sit.
Brand new stadium being built next door opening in the next couple of years so you better be quick to get a sense of the history of Shea.
Take the 7 subway all the way from either Times Sq/42nd or Grand Central. The express misses out some of the local stops. The return is very simple as they run lots of trains so there's not much jostling to get a train.
Interesting alternative would be the ferry from South Street Seaport. Think it's only about $20 return.
Shea Stadium, Queens.
Take the '7' subway line from Manhattan
Totally customized private tour of New York City. Very personal and personable guide. Before you arrive, they work out an itinerary with you by email. Then, their guide takes you all around. It is much cheaper than you might think. Depending on the number of people in your family or group, it may actually be the best tour bargin in New York.
OK, yeah, you go to London and want to catch a football game and choose, hmmm, Leyton Orient? But hey, why not? The Brooklyn Cyclones, a Class A (think, maybe Conference South) baseball team that is part of the New York Mets organisation plays in this great little stadium on the Boardwalk (and Atlantic Ocean beach) at Coney Island.
Cheap and fun and you can eat hot dogs at Nathan's Famous (at Surf and Stillwell) and splash in the sea on the way. Call 718 449 8497, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets - put "tourist tickets" in the email subject line.
1904 Surf Avenue, Coney Island, Brooklyn - D,F,Q to Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue, walk west to the stadium.
These hop-on, hop-off tours are a fantastic way to start your sightseeing. Running out of Times Square, Gray Line do tours of Downtown, Uptown, Brooklyn and a night tour. You can buy tickets from the many sellers in Times Square and your best buy is the All Tour pass, which is valid for two days for all the tours at about $46.
Each bus is open top and comes with a tour guide, who is usually true New Yorker and has plenty of information on the places you pass through, as well as plenty of recommendations for restaurants, shops, cafes etc.
The night tour is not to be missed as you go across to Brooklyn shore and get a beautiful view of Lower Manhattan. Be warned that it gets very chilly sitting up top at night, no matter how hot it has been during the day, so take a sweater.
The buses stop at all the major points of interest and run from 8am until 6pm, with the night tour starting around the same time until about 9pm.
Main point:Times Square or any stop
Lasted three hours, costs about the same as the Statue of Liberty trip. We had the same views of the statue plus toured the rest of Manhattan. No x-ray/search as per Statue of Liberty and Empire State so much more enjoyable and relaxed.
It leaves from pier 83, which is right next to the air and space display and concorde so all in all great value plus you don't get the disappointment of finding out after the security etc to get to the Statue of Liberty that you can now only go up the base not the actual statue.
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