We are coming with my 6 and 3 year old in October and just wonder what you guys would recommend for kids to keep them occupied. We will take them to Central Park, to the zoo, etc also will go on the tour bus and out to Ellis Island but wondered if there are any child specific things we can be doing???
Does anyone know how much it is to do the horse & carriage ride round central park? Been told its round $200 but dont think it was anywhere near that the last time we were there.
Also is the skating in Central Park open at the start of October?
Hi - the skating rinks don't open until late October. The information for the carriage rides can be found here - centralpark.com/guide/tours.... - looks to be $165 for 45 minutes.
Some things I'd recommend:
The children's museum is excellent - http://www.cmom.org/. You can spend hours and hours there!
The fire museum is a lot of fun - http://www.nycfiremuseum.org/.
The New Victory Theater has wonderful shows for children the ages of yours - http://www.newvictory.org/.
While you're down in Central Park, pop into FAO Schwarz for some fun.
Bicycle riding in Central Park.
Bronx Zoo is much, much better than Central Park Zoo.
Aquarium at Coney Island is fun.
Burn off some energy by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. Once on the other side get some ice cream at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, ride on Jane's Carousel, and play in the park.
Take the tram to Roosevelt Island.
Most important is to take time for them to rest and recharge and just have some fun! Plenty of parks around. Do some research closer to the fall to see what festivals are on as well as kid-friendly shows (puppet shows, plays, etc.).
Have a great time!
A visit to the intrepid is also a lot of fun for kids - http://www.intrepidmuseum.org/.
Of course, you might also want to take them to F.A.O Schwarz, the famous toy store..
My experience with the carriage drivers is that most of them just want to do the standard 20 minute, $50 ride, which is enough to see a little of the park and say you've done it. They will be glad to take a couple of pictures of the group when the ride ends as well.
Even if your kids are not into math, a visit to the Museum of Mathematics (MoMath, momath.org/) is fun. With its interactive, hi-tech exhibits and engaging graphics all aspects of the museum are engaging and it never feels as if a math lesson is being taught.
I'm not a fan of the carriage horses, I don't think the animals are treated well. And while bike riding is great exercise, the best way to actually explore Central Park is by walking. The bikes are not allowed on paths, you're limited to riding a big loop on the roadway. You will also be approached (constantly!) by pedi-cab drivers. If you do take a ride, be absolutely sure to determine the price ahead of time. I keep hearing stories of people being charged outrageous amounts because they didn't ask ahead of time. And, again, they are limited to the roadways, so if you really want to see Central Park, do it on foot.
There is so much to see and do in the park, and most of it is free.
Here's a link to Central Park's list of playgrounds.
Depending on when in October you're coming, the Conservatory Water (model boat pond) should still be open. The kids can rent model boats:
Nearby the Conservatory Water are two of the best climbing statues -- Alice in Wonderland, and Hans Christian Andersen (where they also do free story-telling).
In addition to the Zoo, there's a separate Children's Zoo, a small petting zoo that's nice.
Also, browse through the park's web site. There are lots of activities, mostly on weekends. Everything from kite flying to mask-making, story-telling, etc. Everyone loves the rowboats too.
And of course see if there's a show on at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater. It's also free:
There are also free tours of the park, there's more info on their web site.
If you're into sports, you might like a visit to Chelsea Piers, an enormous sports facility. Just browse their web site to see what they offer:
There's also free kayaking on the Hudson River through mid-October:
Sign up for the free goldstar.com listings. They offer discounts on everything from baseball to river cruises.
Don't know if Ellis Island would be able to hold the attention of a 6 y.o., and certainly not a 3 y.o. If it didn't eat up so much of the day, waiting in line and going out on the boat, it might be worth it, but otherwise, I'd save it till they are older. I'm taking my 3 1/2 y.o. grandson again in June and I'm planning on a ride on a speedboat to the Statue of Liberty, but that would be too cold for Oct (and doesn't run at that time). He loves the subways and all the good food. I second all the stuff at Central Park, so much to do there. Wednesday is Pay What You Want Day at the Bronx Zoo, which makes it a little more affordable. Don't forget the beach and Coney Island.
Thanks folks lots to look into.
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