Get Away With Fran

July 10, 2009

Introducing kids to the Big Apple – New York City with Kids

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:53 pm

My kids are now grown, but I well remember the days when I would take them into New York City. We’d drive or take the train from Boston, and there would be much excitement and a plan with a gazillion things to do and see. And we’d get to about one-tenth of them, if that.

New York is a wonderful place for kids. But it can be overwhelming. Fortunately, a pal of mine, Meryl Pearlstein, has written a very useful throw-in-your-pocketbook guidebook aimed at helping parents navigate the city, with a focus on keeping the kids entertained.

“New York City with Kids,” published by Fodor’s Family (Random House), is itself easy to navigate, with lists of top attractions right up front (the Empire State Building et al; above photo of Herald Square by Jeff Greenberg), and an unusual section titled “If Your Kid Likes,” which lists attractions based on kids’ interested. Categories include: dinosaurs, techno gadgets, princesses, weird and kooky and so forth. Another section focuses on what’s free.

There’s of course the standard hotel listings, restaurants, shopping and so forth – but the focus is clearly with kids in mind (including a lot of pizzerias and bakeries and other casual eateries). And every hotel review has a Family Matters description of special features for kids/families, with reasonably priced choices as well as fancy ones.

The guide takes you to Queens and the Bronx and Brooklyn in addition to Manhattan, and Meryl’s sense of humor shines through (as does her expertise as mother of two Manhattan-bred teenage boys).

For instance, among the Central Park attractions she highlights is Balto, a bronze statue commemorating a real-life sled dog who led a team of huskies carrying medicine to Nome, Alaska. Meryl describes the statue as “shiny in places from constant touching,” and suggests, “Have your kids do what thousands of kids before have done: rub the dog’s nose and paws.”

Find the book ($10.95) at bookstores both on land and online.

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