It’s one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and the second largest city in North America, so it seems a bit odd to classify New York City as a “City Less Traveled” for Hipmunk. But I’ll bet New York is probably not the first place that comes to mind when planning a family vacation. One of Have Baby Will Travel‘s very first articles was submitted by a colleague who traveled to Manhattan with her toddler and had a fabulous time, so it’s always been top of mind to bring my kids there. I like to think of my previous visits to the city that never sleeps, the ones where I actually didn’t sleep by choice, as research for our upcoming visit to Manhattan.
We’re all very excited!
Where to Stay in New York City with Kids…
New York City hotel rooms are notoriously small, but there are lots and lots of amazing and affordable cheap hotels and other accommodation options that are totally suitable for families. We’ll be staying at two places, the Best Western Hospitality House, and The Westin Hotel Grand Central Station. These are two very different properties that are similarly priced and fairly near to each other — and all the action! By visiting New York City in late fall we’re hoping to take advantage of still-tolerable weather and the kick-off of the holiday season.
What to Do in New York City with Kids…
We don’t have a limitless budget, but there are lots of fun and free (or cheap) things to do in New York City with kids. We’ve all chosen one “must-do” and we’ll build our itinerary from there. In spite of not being able to count the number of times we’ve visited, my husband and I have never seen the Statue of Liberty, so that’s on the list. I’m excited to skate in Rockefeller Plaza — envisioning myself twirling around in a jaunty scarf and chic hat, of course. My daughter wants to visit American Girl (natch), and my son wants to hit the crazy toy stores he’s heard so much about. As a family, we’re all looking forward to visiting the Empire State building that we’ve seen in Elf, and just hanging out and playing in Central Park.
Of course we’ll try to sneak in a teensy bit of culture. Right now we can’t decide between the Museum of Natural History and The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. It’s a pretty tight race, which means we may need to find a way to squeeze in a visit to both.
Getting to New York City…
And for something new this time, we’re driving to New York from Toronto. Although there are lots of cheap flights to New York from Toronto, when there’s four of you flying it can quickly add up. The cost can seem quite prohibitive for just an extended long weekend. By driving there (we’re looking at around a 9 hour trip) and parking our car in a garage for the duration of our stay, we’re looking at about one quarter of the cost of our airfares. I’m hoping to use that money we’re saving for yet another trip.
**many thanks to Hipmunk for supporting this post**