Double Duty Daddy

New York City With Toddlers

In February, The Flight Deal posted an insane American Airlines airfare deal from Miami to NYC for various spread out dates in 2016. I knew I wanted to take G&O to NYC during the summer so this was the perfect time to book the flights even though I wanted to wait a bit longer to purchase. But at a cost of $81 ROUNDTRIP per person, I had to buy now and plan later. Originally I wanted a Thursday to Sunday trip but to lock down the $81 price per ticket, I needed to be flexible and consider traveling Friday-Monday. With a little flexibility, I was LITERALLY able to save hundreds of dollars.

Passenger Ticket # Fare-USD Taxes and Carrier-
Imposed Fees
Ticket Total
  Juan 0012194820 72.56 9.00 81.56
  Stephanie 0012194820 72.56 9.00 81.56
  Olivia 0012194820 72.56 9.00 81.56
  Gabriela 0012194822 72.56 9.00 81.56
 Exchange

NYC isn’t thought of as the most child-friendly city but au contraire my friend, the city is built for entertaining adults and children alike.

Here are my trips and tricks for traveling to New York City with small children:

Location! Location! Location! We ended up staying on 41st and 5th Avenue, right in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Without kids, I much rather stay in a neighborhood like Upper East Side, West Village or East Village but with kids, Midtown is centrally located to so many attractions that it makes navigating the city a breeze. A 15 minute walk to Central Park, 1 minute walk to Bryant Park, 5 minute walk to Grand Central, 5 minute walk to Times Square and a slew of cabs or Uber/Lyft rides available to get you anywhere in Manhattan in less than 20 minutes.

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Dreamers

Getting Around: Getting around the city can prove being a bit of a challenge with strollers and small children. Because of our central location to attractions, we took Uber and Lyft everywhere. A single ride MetroCard ticket to ride the subway costs $3.00 per person. Even if only 2 adults need to pay to go through the turnstiles, that’s $6 vs our average Uber/Lyft cost of about $10. Not only is the ride sharing strategy MUCH more convenient but it saved us a ton of time by not having to walk to subway stations and wait for trains. No stroller dismantling required or taking subway elevators (which are sometimes hard to find in some subway stations). I would recommend finding a home base (Hotel or Airbnb) close to attractions you intend to visit to ensure smooth commutes with kids in tow.

More reason to skip Times Square with small ones. Weird Spiderman.

Times Square, the tourist trap capital of the world and home of the beer bellied Spiderman.

Must See Attractions:

Central Park – You can’t go wrong visiting Central Park with little ones. I had a friend once tell me when visiting  me in NYC, “Why are you going to take me to a park?” It’s not just a park crazy person! It’s New York City landmark filled with lots of awesome things to do. From a giant carousel to a children’s zoo, people watching to laying a blanket down and having a picnic in Sheep Meadow to watching entertainers sing and dance for you, there truly is no place like it in NYC for families.

Central Park Zoo: It’s the PERFECT size zoo for toddlers. With polar bears, sea lions, penguins and more plan to spend 2-3 hours here and visit the children’s zoo where the little ones can feed the animals. Children 2 and under are free so if your child is about to turn 3 like G&O, they still get in FREE!

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Central Park Zoo

Bryant Park – Right beside the New York City Library, Bryant Park, is a clean and fun little park in the middle of the city to have a break, run around and grab a carousel ride for $2.00. This carousel is smaller than Central Park’s but you’re in the middle of skyscrapers so we all enjoyed it a bit more than Central Park’s carousel.

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Bryant Park Carousel

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Gorgeous day in Bryant Park

Children’s Museum of Manhattan: This was on our agenda if it rained but even if the weather is nice, lots to do here. Visit this five floor museum filled with literature, science, media and art exhibits for children 2 and older. Age-specific exhibits include Playworks for the youngest visitors and Adventures with Dora and Diego for ages 2 to 6. Changing exhibits show how children live in other lands. City Splash water play is popular in warm weather and offers the chance to sail a boat, paint with water, and play with sand.

Brunch: Brunch in NYC is religion. Who says only the little ones get to enjoy the city? Mommies and Daddies should pick a hot brunch spot for Sunday morning, get there before the hipster brunch crowds arrive (before 11:30am) and feel like a local. Call ahead of time if you need high chairs or booster seats.

With a little planning ahead of time, NYC becomes a giant playground for parents with toddlers in tow. You’ll be tired when you return home but you’ll be glad you took a crack at the big apple with them.

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