When people say New York, they often mean living in Manhattan, completely forgetting that there are four huge areas in this city. Each of them has some of its own unique features. No matter how good Manhattan is, families with children very often prefer to live in other areas. In those areas, the air is cleaner, and you can rent a better apartment. There is, of course, less entertainment, but still quite enough. There are still a lot of great attractions for children in New York.
Our journey beyond Manhattan Island we will start from Brooklyn. If children like long walks, there’s nothing
better than walking on a sunny (but not too hot) day along
the Brooklyn Bridge (but necessarily from Brooklyn to Manhattan, not vice versa) and admire the Manhattan skyscrapers. Well, and Brooklyn itself? There is also something to see there. Besides Manhattan museums to visit with your children, there are also museums in other parts of New York. Brooklyn Museum is famous not only for its excellent collection, but also for programs for children. In various clubs at weekends there you can learn about famous artists and also paint yourself. Each month has its own theme.
Other attractions for children
Be sure to go to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. This is one of the prettiest
attractions for children in New York. It is, of course, best there in the spring when the cherry trees blossom, or in the autumn when the maple leaves blush. But in it’s also nice in winter to just walk around the garden and visit the greenhouse – it’s warm on the coldest day. But in the spring and summer, the botanical staff teach children how to plant plants and how to take care of them.
Everybody knows Central Park, but tourists do not get to Prospect Park in Brooklyn very often. And in vain. This is a huge park, where you can find everything – sports grounds, the lake, dense forests, and a special children’s playground with the zoo built for children. It is home to a red panda and a gray kangaroo, not to mention bright blue venomous frogs.
Near the carousel, which is 100 years old, is one of the oldest houses in New York – the house of the Dutch Lefferts family, built in the XVIII century. This is a museum, and a playground – to play farmers. It is also an excellent (though not cheap) place where you can celebrate your child’s birthday.
Coney Island with a huge Ferris wheel and other attractions is worth a trip, and not only in the summer. Of course, these areas have suffered a lot from Hurricane Sandy, but the amusement park has already opened.
For boys and girls who love cars, there is a Transport Museum in Brooklyn. New York subway – one of the very first in the world, and the museum have an excellent collection of old wagons. And the museum itself is right in the subway station in the Brooklyn Heights.
Among the museum pieces are old tickets, tokens, which were recently used for paying the fare (which once cost only 5 cents), a collection of signposts and posters, and an ancient kind of buses. And the museum has an excellent souvenir shop located in Manhattan on Grand Central, the main city station.
And now it’s time to go to Queens. There is one of the oldest attractions for children in New York. There you can plunge into the ancient (on American scale) history. The Queens Farm Museum is a historic farm that has existed since the 17th century. It belonged to a Dutch family, and now you can look at ancient buildings and pets, greenhouses and an orchard. There you can buy honey and fresh eggs from this very farm.
Not so far from the rural pastorale is the most advanced technological progress. In the NY Hall of Science, children can hear about the mysteries of sound and light and about various scientific achievements, and with the youngest staff members read and play.
Another area of New York, the Bronx, is famous for its botanical garden and zoo. For each of them it takes half a day, if not the whole day. In the huge zoo there is everything – from tigers to butterflies, from crocodiles to African cranes. The gorilla families live in a spacious aviary where visitors can look through windows that are transparent on one side. Through the tiger territory, visitors pass by a special railway. There is also a separate “children’s zoo.” In the nearby Botanical Garden, which is much larger than the botanical garden in Brooklyn, there is a beautiful rose garden and huge greenhouses with exotic plants from around the world.
You can find attractions for children in New York elsewhere also. In the fifth district of New York, we just glimpse, because most important is not the district itself, but the journey back and forth. A free ferry to Staten Island, which departs from Battery Park in Manhattan, cannot be missed. From the ferry opens up the best view of South Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, where is also nice to go with older children.
Skating rinks and cupcakes are the biggest attractions for children in New York
New York is rich in possibilities at any time of the year, but if you come closer to winter, do not forget that in Manhattan they are pouring in ice rinks at the beginning of November. The most cheerful ice rink in Bryan Park is in the heart of Manhattan, on 42nd Street, near the main building of the Public Library. That is one of the most interesting attractions for children in New York.
You do not need to carry your skates, you can rent them. It may be necessary to wait in a long queue, but the pleasure is worth it. And then skate as much as you like. And when you freeze, go to the wonderful children’s room of the Public Library, where behind the glass of showcases are the real Winnie the Pooh, Piglet and the donkey Eeyore. The toys were donated to the library by the son of Alexander Milne, Christopher Robin.
Another, probably the most famous ice rink, is at the Rockefeller Center. One more is in the south-eastern part of the Central Park. A tiny ice rink – only for children – is open next to the southern end of the High Line Park. Next to each rink is a decorated Christmas tree. The most beautiful – for my taste – is in Brian Park. The biggest (they say, the biggest in the world) is in the Rockefeller Center.
Do not miss Christmas fairs – there is always a wonderful selection of Christmas-tree toys and other various gifts.
And then you can wander with your children along Fifth Avenue, look at the shop windows decorated with Christmas decorations with clockwork toys and scenes from life, or just walk around Brooklyn and admire how people decorate their homes.
Besides all of that, there are a lot of places to visit in Manhattan where your children can enjoy. And, of course, do not forget about the New York cupcakes, they can be found in any part of the city.