Things to do in New York City with a 4yo

Old Mar 28th, 2011, 12:50 PM
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Things to do in New York City with a 4yo

As the topic title says really, we have 2 full days, an afternoon (of the day we arrive) and a morning (of the day we depart for Washington DC) in New York at the end of June. I haven't been in NYC with a small child since my daughter was 6/7 months old (although i've been there alone since) and while last time we spent a great chunk of the time in a playground in Central Park, she prefers a little more variety now. We're staying at the Gershwin on E27th just off 5th in Manhattan, are there any museums that a 4 year old might like, she enjoys museums at home (in the UK) or other playgrounds perhaps

Is a 4 year old too young to pay a visit to the American Girl store?

Thanks in Advance
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Old Mar 28th, 2011, 04:58 PM
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Your first stop should be the Museum of Natural History - a favorite of all little kids in NYC (it's the standard trip for 2nd grade classes). They esp love the dinos but there is also a great whale and a bunch of other things she will love. Central Park has a great caarousel and a small zoo - with a section esp for little kids.

I would also reco:

Top of the rock
Staten Island ferry (great views of SoL without making a 6 hour commitment) and the Manhattan skyline on the way back
Children's Museum

I think american girl is VERY expensive and requires reservations far in advance - or else a long line. Can;t comment on it for a 4 year old.
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Old Mar 28th, 2011, 05:44 PM
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There is an AWESOME park/playground very close to your hotel -- MADISON SQUARE PARK, on Fifth Avenue betwn 23rd and 27th Streets. The northeast corner of the park has a wonderful playground and will be great for running around. Don't forget to head then to the southeast corner of the park for food from Danny Meyer's SHAKESHACK. Yum, yum!

Also:
1. TOYS R US -- times square. Ride the ferris wheel, which you'll get tickets for on the lower level. You daughter will do crazy in that store.
2. FAO SCHWARZ toy store
3. THE HIGHLINE park (neighborhood of Chelsea -- west side)
4. THE DOUBLE DECKER BUS rides -- we ARE ny'ers and our kid LOVES that bus trip
5. Our son loved the parks down in Battery Park. And the views are stupendous as well.
6. There's a good playground at WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK, down at NYU. The arch that ends Fifth Avenue (8th St) in the park is cool too.
7. Central Park Zoo is just wonderful! A "can't miss" for the kids.
8. My favorite playground for kids is in Central Park -- HECKSHER PLAYGROUND. It's located near Central Park South and 7th Ave entrance.
9. The Brooklyn Bridge is cool for kids too.
10. No trip to NYC with kids is complete without stopping at SERENDIPITY 3 for frozen hot chocolate. And perhaps a visit to DYLAN'S CANDY STORE on Third Ave near 60th Street too.
Have Fun!
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Old Mar 28th, 2011, 06:00 PM
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The Museum of Natural History has so much to see. My daughter loved it at age 4 1/2.

Central Park Zoo is great! Just the perfect size for little ones. We usually walk over to the FAO Schwartz afterward.

My daughter also loved the Metropolitan Museum of Art when she was just 5. She was fascinated by the Egyptian mummies and enjoyed the modern art section. She is very creative, however, which I why I took her in the first place.

I have 2 daughters, both have American Girl Dolls and yet I've never been to the store.

Have a wonderful trip!
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Old Mar 28th, 2011, 06:49 PM
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There's also a Tom Otterness playground on 42nd between 11 and 12th - I second the Met - and MOMA has some interesting children's activities and I'd head to the Highline and Chelsea Market and do ride the subway and the Staten Island Ferry.
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Old Mar 29th, 2011, 12:37 PM
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All sounds really good, if anything we could end up seeing too much lol. The Museum of Natural History sounds like a definate place to go, good to know that there are play parks close to where we're staying We may skip the American Girls store then, i loved the books when I was 6 but that was 18 years ago lol. The Stattern Island ferry sounds like another must and i can't imagine why if she loved the carousel at six months why she wouldnt love it now lol. Incidently where in Central Park is the zoo? I tried finding it last summer and failed miserably
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Old Mar 29th, 2011, 01:19 PM
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The Central Park Zoo is on Fifth Ave at 66th St (or is it 65th St?)... whichever, once on Fifth Ave, someone will point you in the right direction.

The Museum of Natural History, is clear over on the opposite side of the park, at Central Park West and 80th Street. The Planetarium is also here.

There is a crosstown bus that will take you from 5th to CPW or you can walk thru the park.

As to your daughter "loving" the carousel at 6/mo... did she really know what she was enjoying, other than the fact that her parents were making funny faces at her? And, believe me she doesn't remember anything that happened when she was 6/mos old. By 4/yrs she should should better appreciate it.
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Old Mar 29th, 2011, 01:39 PM
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The Children's Museum is right near the Mus. of Nat. History and good for a 4 yr old. http://www.cmom.org/

You might also check mommypoppins.com and gocitykids.com for date specific stuff.
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Old Mar 29th, 2011, 04:50 PM
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If you go to the web site of the Central Park Conservancy you can download a ton of info about sights, activities and an excellent map of the rather complicated pedestrian paths. The zoo is at the south end of the park on the east side.
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Old Mar 29th, 2011, 04:52 PM
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If you go to the web site of the Central Park Conservancy you can download a ton of info about sights, activities and an excellent map of the rather complicated pedestrian paths. The zoo is at the south end of the park on the east side.
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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 01:21 AM
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Thanks for all the directions, will check out the map i've never failed to get lost in central park yet lol

On the carousel, she may not remember the actual trip but she's seen the photos and i've got a video of her on it, plus she loves carousels at the fair and so on
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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 04:48 AM
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Its easy to get lost in the Park but thats part of why its great...Just amazing to have that big of a park in the heart of a city. I'll never forget leaving Belvedere's Castle and listened to a friend of mine that we were heading south when we ran into the Reservoir in the North end of the park...

Definitely go to the Zoo. Agree with the Natural History Museum.
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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 07:01 AM
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Is it necessary to arrange the schedule around the interests of a 4 year old child? Do what you want to do and the child's entertainment will come from spending time with the parent(s). Take a walk, read a book, the simple things are quite sufficient and plenty of stimulation for a child of that age.
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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 07:28 AM
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Well if i do things that she'd like doing, then i spend less time shopping! Some of the things suggested like taking the Statern Island Ferry and going to the Top of the Rock i'd probably have done anyway. Its nice to know about other places that she and i could enjoy together
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Old May 25th, 2011, 04:05 PM
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Is it possible to visit the docks? as a major titanic fan it'd be pretty cool to see where she was supposed to arrive!
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Old May 25th, 2011, 04:30 PM
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Well the shoreline is quite accessible these days and you'll see the Cunard pier sign from the High Line.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 04:47 PM
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American Girl..it's a store so you can just walk in. Meals need to be reserved in advance but she might like seeing it. We've taken all our granddaughters to either the NY or Chicago stores to eat as a holiday treat.
Central Park Zoo..and the merry-go-round.
If you go to the Highline Park,west side,Chelsea, there is a very nice merry-go-round in the riverfront park just north of Chelsea Piers,around 21st street, all the creatures are North American animals and fish.
Dyaln's Candy Bar on 59th and 3rd.. the ultimate candy fantasy(Ralph Lauren's daughter owns it.)
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Old May 25th, 2011, 06:56 PM
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I'm not sure what, about the Highline, other than the carousel, would interest a 4 year old. Chelsea Market is not exactly a kid magnet either.

The Museum of Natural History is great for kids. The Staten Island Ferry is wonderful, it's a free ride, and my kids always took naps on the way back to Manhattan. (you have to disembark on Staten Island and then embark the ferry again to return to the city; you can't stay on and make a 'u-turn'!)

There's a pretty good dog run in Madison Square Park (I think that's where I saw the little dog bullying the dappled Great Dane) that might interest her.

My little guys love the Leggo store at Rockefeller Plaza and they've played there for hours as long as there isn't a birthday party going on.

You could take her to Alice's Teacup for a bit of a fun, child's cream tea.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 04:29 AM
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The lego store sounds great, she went to a party last weekend and spent the entire time playing with the lego provided

Where can i find Alice's Tea Cup?

Seeing the Pier would be enough The carousel sounds good!
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Old May 26th, 2011, 06:46 AM
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There are several Alice's Tea Cup - one on the Upper West side, and two on the Upper East side. My preference is the two on the UES. If you go to 1 of them, make sure to have advance reservations - the wait can be very long, as all locations are very tiny. A cute place to go, but I would try to go at an "off hour".

Central Park Zoo, as people have suggested, is a wonderful place for children. Another place I love is the model sail boating in Central Park at the Conservatory Water -- where you can rent a little motorized sailboat -- children seem to love it. I think it's between 72nd and 75th Streets on east side.

Have a wonderful trip!
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