USA: Tips to Plan a Trip to NYC with Young Kids

New York City is one of the most amazing travel destinations in the world, whether you have kids or not. If you do have kids, New York is a city that will offer you more entertainment, excitement, dining opportunities and culture that the entire family will enjoy than most other places on the planet. A trip to NYC is high on our to-do list with our children as soon as possible.

At the same time, travelling to a city as big as New York can have challenges. Especially if your kids are on the younger side.

For example, you are probably not going to be driving in New York, so instead of renting a car as you might in other destinations, you’ll have to consider how you’ll get from place-to-place, and what role a car seat might play in that. Do you need to take one? 

That’s just one instance of a logistical consideration that you’ll face as a travelling parent/carer in New York versus other places.

The following is a guide to get you started and help you know what to consider if you are thinking about a family trip to the Big Apple.

Getting Around the City

As was mentioned, one of the biggest challenges of taking kids to New York is getting around, but millions of parents do it every day, so it’s certainly feasible.

There are different travel options when taking a trip to NYC, including the subway. If you take the subway, it’s inexpensive and a great way of getting from A to B. Plus, kids who are under 44 inches ride for free. The downsides of this option include the fact that the subway can be crowded and a bit difficult to navigate.

Other options include taxis and rideshare services. It’s easiest to ride in a cab with your kids. However, it’s not always the safest unless you’re willing to take a car seat with you. Kids aren’t required to ride in car seats in Manhattan if they’re in a taxi. But there are inflatable car seats and other options that work well for travel.

There are also rideshare services that offer car seats that the driver can bring with them and car services that cater specifically to families with young children although these may be the most expensive options.

Deciding Where to Stay

When you take a trip to NYC, deciding where to stay is all about location, location, location in many ways.

If you want to get a feel for the city from a more family-friendly neighbourhood, choose to stay somewhere like the Upper East or Upper West Sides. These areas are quieter and offer parks and other family-friendly amenities, but if you are looking to do most of the touristy things while you’re there, you will need to travel either by subway or car.

While staying in Midtown does put you near tourist attractions, traffic can be difficult and you may find a lot of overpriced and not-so-great restaurants that are also very crowded.

If there aren’t any hotels you’re interested in near the neighbourhood you want to stay, think about renting an apartment where you will have the added benefit of a kitchen.

Give Yourself Time

When you go to New York, with or without kids, it can be overwhelming. There’s a hectic pace, traffic and it can be difficult to get anywhere.

If you have plans, such as a certain dinner reservation or showtime, give yourself a lot of time to get there.  You are very likely to hit some roadblocks along the way, literally and figuratively.

Additionally, try to pick a few of the most important things to do and see rather than trying to do everything. If you try to do everything, you’re all going to be tired and probably frustrated.

Sometimes just walking around the city can in and of itself be exciting, plus it’s free and it can be relaxing, depending on where you’re walking.

Be Street Smart

Of course, there are safety considerations you’ll need to keep in mind when you’re in any big city, including New York. You always want to be holding hands with your little ones and never assume a car sees them or is going to stop.

Always use crosswalks and just because you have a walk signal, it doesn’t mean traffic will stop.

Don’t look down at your phone too much either, because it can be dangerous and it makes you less aware of your surroundings. Map out your route ahead of time so you don’t have to stay glued to your phone. Keep your eyes up and make sure you are vigilant about watching what’s going on around you and your kids.

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