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In the Women’s Web ‘Travel The World With Kids’ series, we talk to mums from all over the globe who are interested in exploring their backyard attractions with their tiny tots! We hope you find them useful, if someday you choose to visit their part of the world. Presented in Q&A format, this one is with Ellen Schmidt from New York City who documents the highs and lows of urban parenting on her blog, Baby Meets City.
When one thinks of the most famous cities of the world, New York City (NYC) would easily make it to the top. A city which buzzes with life and energy at all times of the day, let’s find out what temptations it holds for the kids!
Hi Ellen! Tell us about yourself.
I’ve lived in NYC for the last eleven years. My life has changed quite a bit in that time, from the single gal who first arrived after college to the now married mama of two — but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
What are some of your suggestions for parents visiting with young kids to do in NYC?
This is a great age for children to visit the Big Apple! I love the American Museum of Natural History. Everyone knows about the dinosaur wing, but the African room (filled with animal replicas from the continent) is a delight for kids.
You could spend an entire day in Central Park. My favorite activities there are exploring Belvedere Castle, renting a row boat and taking it for a spin at the Loeb Boathouse or going for a ride on the old-fashioned Carousel.
Despite the long lines and crowds, I still think there’s not much that beats the view from the Empire State Building. It’s truly amazing to see the city from this angle, where taxi cabs look like ants and the skyscrapers in every direction are all the more awe-inspiring.
What have been some of your favourite outings in NYC with your kids?
We used to live in Chelsea, and I loved taking my toddler for a walk on the Highline – the former above ground railroad is now a gorgeous walking path which runs from the Meatpacking District through Chelsea. The path is an architect’s dream and fun for kids too! Grab lunch at Chelsea Market and eat outdoors while taking in views of rooftops on one side and the Hudson River on the other.
For tourists visiting NYC for the first time, do you have any particular tips?
I suggest anyone coming to NYC for the first time to be aware of their surroundings. I have always felt very safe here, but there’s nothing wrong with being alert to everything around you!
While there are plenty of hotels to choose from around Times Square and midtown, I suggest staying elsewhere for a more authentic NYC experience, like the Upper West Side, Chelsea or Tribeca.
Are there any particular restaurants in NYC that you think kids will enjoy?
Wow. There are so many restaurants in NYC, picking just a few can be overwhelming! Once again, we love strolling through Chelsea Market and picking up food from the many options offered there. Other favorites are Bubby’s in Tribeca, Good Enough to Eat on the Upper West Side and the unhealthy but delicious burgers at the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park.
A great resource is Mini Munchers, which lists all restaurants in the city that offer kids’ menus!
Are there any particular shopping areas in NYC that you think kids will enjoy?
Dylan’s Candy Bar in Midtown East is a hit for kids and adults alike. The brightly-colored store is literally filled with every type of candy you could possibly imagine, and I challenge you to come out empty handed!
In addition, don’t miss FAO Schwartz, which is just a few blocks away. The mega toy store is so much fun to explore, and don’t miss the life-sized floor piano that Tom Hanks used in the movie “Big!”
Any kid-friendly day trips out from NYC?
Cold Spring, NY is a beautiful small town less than two hours from New York City. Grab Metro-North from Grand Central Station, which snakes along the Hudson River – a gorgeous ride on its own! The station at Cold Spring is right in town, so a rental car isn’t necessary. Cold Spring is filled with antique stores, fun gift shops and family-friendly restaurants.
Thanks a lot Ellen!
*Photo credit: Ellen Schmidt
Previous Interviews In The ‘Travel With Kids’ Series:
Anusha from Seattle
Neera from Chicago
Jo-Lynne from Philadelphia
Tiffany from Frankfurt
Subha from Zurich
Shalini from Norway
Nora from Morocco
Laylah from Saudi Arabia
Lisa from Dubai
Sarah from New Zealand
Toni from Manila
Maid In Malaysia from Kuala Lumpur
Uma from Chennai
The Mad Momma from Delhi
Lakshmi from Hyderabad
Sunayana from Kolkata
Sunita from Pune
Anuradha from Mumbai
Artnavy from Bengaluru
Leonny from Singapore
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