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Manhattan Itinerary for first time family

Hobart, Australia
Level Contributor
13 posts
2 reviews
Manhattan Itinerary for first time family

Hello, I am planning in advance because we will be travelling for a number of weeks before arriving in NYC. We arrive early August for 6 nights, 2 adults and 2 children aged 4.5 and 7 from Australia.

Thanks for any advice you might be able to give on this draft itinerary. Especially given we have no idea about travel times, and while aware our walking will be slow with kids, it's difficult to know how long the walking sections of our trip will take as we may be stopping to sight see along the way.

Anything else we should do? This itinerary should give an idea of our interests.

Thank you!

We have the NY sightseeing pass already paid for (maybe unnecessary, but bought now).

Arrive Sunday 1115am, car service transfer from Newark to hotel (Radio City Apartments, W49th St)

Sunday afternoon - explore midtown on foot, Is it appropriate to think we can walk from hotel via Rockerfellar centre, to grand central station, the NY public library/Bryant park, and Times square?

Dinner maybe around times square ?Juniors.

Monday - Landmarc for breakfast vs wholefoods for picnic supplies before central park day, maybe hire bikes, consider walking from columbus circle across towards zoo, then up to Bethesda fountain, alice in wonderland statue, towards Met, then onto Ramble and great lawn (can revisit the latter later int he week). Should cover conservatory water and Hans Christian anderson statues. Consider visiting central park zoo - does this take long?

Maybe instead spend a good few hours at the Met.

Tuesday - Subway to chelsea market, breakafst at Bubbys, explore the market then walk the Highline to the vicinity of Circle line cruises (options for landmarks cruise are 11am, 1230am or 2pm, takes 90 minutes). Aim for 1230? cruise to return by 2pm. Maybe explore Tom Otterness playground before Intrepid air, sea, space museum for an hour or two (this is included in the Sightseeing pass so no dramas if we don't get the full value of admission).

Wednesday - Natural HIstory Museum, consider Alices Tea Cup upper west side for breakfast first.

After Natural History Museum eat from food carts and explore west side of Central Park, Strawberry fields and more of the ramble/great lawn/Belvedere Castle (even though currently closed).

Thursday - Brooklyn Bridge/Financial district - subway to DUMBO area, maybe check out Brooklyn Heights for views and architecture, then walk across Brooklyn Bridge and on into Wall street, charging bull, 9/11 memorial, oculus, One world tower observation deck.

?Ninja restaurant for dinner.

Friday - Empire State building in the morning, maybe Madison Square Park area, maths museum, before LION KING Matinee at 2pm.

Saturday - no plans yet, maybe I'll have to move things here if some days are too full,

Sunday fly out early.

Concerned my chelsea/highline/circleline cruises/intrepid museum might be too much and similar with brooklyn bridge/wallst/9/11/freedom tower day.

19 replies to this topic
Canada
Level Contributor
5,460 posts
23 reviews
1. Re: Manhattan Itinerary for first time family

Broadway shows are not appropriate for a 4 year old. The recommended minimum age for Lion King is 6.

Florida
Level Contributor
81 posts
2. Re: Manhattan Itinerary for first time family

Not gonna lie, I'm bringing umbrella strollers for both my 3.5 and 5 year old this summer. I like to walk too much and while I think the 5 year old could make most of it, it's not worth the meltdown if he doesn't. We are going 4th of July week so I can let you know how much he needed it after that. ;-)

Something my kids enjoyed last time (2 years ago) was the Transit Museum in Brooklyn. Getting to climb old subway cars was a hit. We also did a lot of playground hopping, we especially liked the Brooklyn Bridge Park for that.

The one thing we are repeating this time in ANMH mainly due to my dinosaur obsessed kids. We also have on our schedule this year is Statue of Liberty (at the 5 years old request), Coney Island and Governors Island as well as an observatory (prob TOTR).

Syracuse, New York
Level Contributor
18,627 posts
28 reviews
3. Re: Manhattan Itinerary for first time family

The lowest minimum age for any Broadway show is 5 & that is for SpongeBob Squarepants.

For children that young, I'd look into the Bazillion Bubble Show or the New Victory Theater.

Edited: 11:05 am, June 13, 2018
Pennsylvania
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1,100 posts
4. Re: Manhattan Itinerary for first time family

And I don't believe you'll find matinees on Friday at 2:00.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
15,010 posts
115 reviews
5. Re: Manhattan Itinerary for first time family

"Is it appropriate to think we can walk from hotel via Rockerfellar centre, to grand central station, the NY public library/Bryant park, and Times square?"

Yes, but I would bring a stroller for the 4.5 year old. P.S. It's Rockefeller Center.

Monday - "Does this take long?" Yes. You can spend literally days in Central Park. I would plan at least 1.5 to 2 hours just for the Zoo (the kids will like it a lot, I think). One of the best parts for my niece is feeing the goats and sheep. Bring quarters (each handful of feed = 50 cents) and a little bag to put the feed into. You might want to take out a row boat at the Loeb Boathouse. The cost is nominal -- I think $15 per hour. The kids might like that too. They provide life jackets for those that need them.

If the weather isn't cooperating, the Met would be a good choice. You should look at the website, though, and plan your visit because it's vast, more like 10 museums in one. With kids I would consider the Egyptian wing, Greek & Roman Sculpture, the Costume Institute (Fashion) if the kids might like that; Arms & Armor, European Sculpture, Tiffany glass window, and perhaps the Roof (depending upon weather and exhibit). American paintings might be fun.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
15,010 posts
115 reviews
6. Re: Manhattan Itinerary for first time family

Thursday - I think this is entirely too much for adults, let alone kids. "[M]aybe check out Brooklyn Heights for views and architecture, then walk across Brooklyn Bridge and on into Wall street, charging bull, 9/11 memorial, oculus, One world tower observation deck." If you look at a good tourist's map, you'll see that all of those things are not so close together. There would be a lot of walking in between.

mustseenewyork.com/maps/lower-manhattan-nyc-…

(Click this map to enlarge it:) https:/…

Hobart, Australia
Level Contributor
13 posts
2 reviews
7. Re: Manhattan Itinerary for first time family

Thanks for your replies. Really appreciate the thoughts about the zoo and the walking around lower manhattan, I'll rejig that day. We have been "reading" the book 'You can't take a balloon into the Metropolitan Museum' so the kids have some ideas of the things we'll look at in the Met when we get there.

Thanks BANT17 for your tips on what your family enjoyed, it's great to hear from someone who has braved such a big city with smaller kids, it's a bit intimidating but we're looking forward to it!

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
20,004 posts
8. Re: Manhattan Itinerary for first time family

Check out the Mus Natural History web site - they have special interactive programs for little ones but you definitely need to sign up in advance. And definitely do first thing in the am - head straight up to the dino fossils so you can see them before they are mobbed with tons of other little kids.

I may have missed it but I don;t see any boat rides. If you want to see the SoL that will give a couple of brief ferry rides but you would need to buy tickets (ONY from statuecruises.com) right now since they sell out far in advance. If you don;t do that definitely do a RT on the free Staten Island ferry across the harbor.

And frankly kids younger than 7 or 8 are really not prepared to sit still and quiet long enough for a broadway show (some not even then - only you know your kids but many seem to thin it's a movie and they just want to chatter away and play with the seats). You should check mommypoppins.com to see what shows - perhaps puppets or similar - there are appropriate for little ones.

Astoria, New York
Level Contributor
21,425 posts
9. Re: Manhattan Itinerary for first time family

I'm not sure about finding suitable bike rentals with the kids.

Also be aware anyone under 14 is required to wear a bike helmet https:/…faq

You might want to see what is on at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater in Central Park while you're here: https:/…

Edited: 8:35 pm, June 13, 2018
Hobart, Australia
Level Contributor
13 posts
2 reviews
10. Re: Manhattan Itinerary for first time family

I'm thinking I might make Thursday a Brooklyn day with the NY transit museum, Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO and Brooklyn Bridge Park, then walk across the Bridge.

The Thursday do the Financial District. That'll give my husband time to look through the 9/11 museum while I otherwise entertain the kids, and then we can do the Freedom tower and 9/11 memorial all together with more time.

Does that make more sense?

I'm not sure about bike riding central park either. We get free bike rental in the Sightseeing Pass, but I understand the bike riding in the park is limited to only the bike paths, and I think we'll like to get off the main track. Thanks, we might just walk. The Marionette theatre sounds fun!

Will investigate other shows.

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