New York City Update

Times Square NYC (courtesy Kaysha at Flickr Creative Commons)I’m sure that a lot of families are planning to travel with the kids to New York City this summer, although you might have a better time in the fall or around Christmas/New Years, when I think the city is at its most lively.

NYC and the boroughs are pretty hot and muggy in summer, and lots of the “natives” take extended vacations or have weekend houses, so you may meet more tourists than New Yorkers during parts of June/July/August.

Still, I have some good links for whenever you go.

My first suggestion is that you see what the locals have to say about things to do with kids, and start with Mommy Poppins. She is full of great suggestions for New York’s most interesting and educational places for families (and you know what a museum geek I am) with an eagle eye kept on the budget as well. How about freebies at the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Or free summer sports; many of her ideas are camps, which are good for locals but maybe not travelers, but there are other single-day ideas listed including a fishing tournament sponsored by Macy’s department store. Who knew?

I rarely find many family-oriented items in the hip urban blog Gridskipper, but they have a great list of free summer festivals in NYC. You may need to stand in line for tickets (tricky with young kids, I know) but if everything goes to bleep in a handbasket and you have to leave early, you’re not out any money.

Checking out Central Park is free, and a nice place to cool off.

Fodor’s Travel Wire found some NYC surprises that even the locals may have missed — I didn’t know that the city has water taxis, for example.

Where to stay is always a quandary; the UK’s Telegraph newspaper has some good (but somewhat pricey) tips for staying right in the heart of the action in Times Square.

I also got to thinking that visitors might be interested in staying across the Hudson River from Manhattan, so that you can park your car and leave it, take the train into downtown, and also have views of the skyline. I haven’t tried this personally, but a quick surf of TripAdvisor gave me this list of Jersey City hotels, and several reviewers mentioned Manhattan skyline views and easy walking distance to public transport.

Anyone tried this on the Brooklyn side? I bet it’s more expensive.

Finally, want to tack on a road trip? I was impressed with the Perrin Post’s detailed itinerary for a New York State Thruway trip north of the city.

Technorati tags: travel, family travel, New York, NYC