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Family Travel to New York City

Looking up at the Statue of Liberty (Scarborough photo)The Big Apple is one of my very favorite cities, and I’ve had a few good links laying around that I need to get out there for those who may be thinking of a trip to New York.

I’ve visited as a single person, as part of a couple and as a parent, and the place just never disappoints. It is truly an amazing town.

For a good overview of options, see Fodor’s 5 great itineraries for the city. If you just want the down-and-dirty:

** If you have time for one museum, take the kids to the Museum of Natural History (Ben Stiller’s fun new movie “Night at the Museum” is set there.) Want to throw in some art? My children liked the Guggenheim, mostly because of its cirucular ramps and neat architecture. Not sure they even remember the art works within!

Running around on Ellis Island (Scarborough photo)

** The Staten Island ferry gives great harbor views for 25 minutes for an unbeatable price: free.

** I think that for kids, the Statue of Liberty is actually more interesting when viewed from a distance out in the harbor, especially since you can’t climb up to the crown any more for security reasons (plus it can get really crowded.) Ellis Island is a worthwhile visit for older kids; my youngest mostly enjoyed running around on the grounds rather than looking at immigration exhibits.

** See a Broadway play. The spectacle is well worth the cost, especially if you luck into less expensive seats from the TKTS booth in Times Square or the lesser-known booth down at South Street Seaport. Frommer’s online has a comprehensive guide to maximizing the New York theater experience — click here. Try to see bustling, bright Times Square at night to complete your theater event.

Bronze casting of the Statue of Liberty's foot (Scarborough photo)

A new site on educational travel, Gifted Travel, has some unique ideas for avoiding New York tourist traps and finding alternatives to the “usual places.”

From a British perspective, here’s one father’s trip to NYC in the UK’s Times Online.

For some midwinter ideas about seeing the city without spending a fortune, here’s Newsweek’s “New York on the Cheap.”

How about something for kids who are budding foodies? Smarter Travel talks about a number of culinary destinations, but here is their take on New York for chowhounds.

Want to see something besides Manhattan? Cross over the iconic bridge into Brooklyn for all sorts of treats.

And finally, here’s Gotham with an 11-year-old, with all kinds of good ideas for those ‘tweens. Enjoy your visit!

Subway ride with toddler backpack (Scarborough photo)

Update 08 January 2007: Just came across some good hotel deals for families going to New York, courtesy of About.com Guide Teresa Plowright’s always-useful Travel with Kids site.

Update 23 January 2007: If you visit New York over the holidays, I have to absolutely agree with Wendy Perrin’s blog post on the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. My daughter and I loved it a few years back, but my son was too young to go. No problem; Dad gets to take now-old-enough son on our next NYC trip and it’s MY turn to ice skate at the Rockefeller Center rink under the giant tree!

Update 31 March 2007: Take a look at this fun video, 24 Hours in New York, from concierge.com (the umbrella Web site that includes Conde Nast Traveler magazine.)

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