Weekend Getaway With a Toddler: New York City

Now that the bitter cold of winter has ended and the beauty of spring has everything blooming, it’s time to start thinking of some great weekend trip ideas. This time of year is the perfect opportunity to take your toddler somewhere amazing. If you’re looking for a place where culture, food and excitement abound, you should consider New York City. Your weekend getaway to New York City with your toddler can be a smashing success if you plan ahead and carefully design your itinerary. This way, you and your toddler will have a great time enjoying all of New York City’s greatest offerings and avoid embarrassing meltdowns. Here is a comprehensive guide to a weekend trip to New York City with a toddler.

new york city skyline cityscape with statue of liberty over hudson river.

new york city skyline cityscape with statue of liberty over hudson river.

New York City’s Top Spots for Toddlers

Before you arrive at this popular destination, it’s important to make a list of the top sites you want to conquer with your little one. There are some awesome places that may be too challenging with a small child in tow. There are plenty of great spots that both you and your toddler will enjoy. Here are some of New York’s top picks to visit with toddlers:

  • Natural History Museum – If your little one loves dinosaurs, you’re in luck. The world-famous Natural History Museum is a must-see for anyone with children. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the collection of creatures, gemstones, dioramas and more in this iconic spot of the city.
  • Bronx Zoo – When the weather’s nice, consider taking a trip outside of Manhattan on the subway to spend some time at the Bronx Zoo. In addition to seeing thousands of animal species in the zoo’s diverse exhibits, you and your toddler can be there for the zoo’s daily lion and penguin feeding times. There’s even a special small petting zoo inside of the main campus designed for little ones to get upfront and close to the animals.
  • Central Park – No visit to New York City is complete without a stop by Central Park. There’s a small zoo inside your kids can explore, and you can take your toddler to one of the playgrounds to run around and play. In the summer, there are storytelling sessions for little ones and miles of paths to wander and run around on.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art – Even the youngest of children can appreciate the incredible appeal of this mammoth collection of the world’s finest art. The museum publishes family guides for children to help learn about the different characteristics of art over time. Your toddler will love seeing the ancient Egyptian tombs section of the museum and learning about mummies.
Aerial view of Manhattan New York looking north up Central Park

Aerial view of Manhattan New York looking north up Central Park

Capture Memories at These Popular Photo Spots

Visiting this incredible city means you’ll be making lots of memories. After the trip, to help your child remember the weekend long after you’ve gone, make a fun scrapbook of photo memories. Plan out your photo story by snapping some memorable shots at the following iconic spots of New York City:

  • The Brooklyn Bridge – Getting to the Brooklyn Bridge is an easy trek through the south side of Manhattan and near the East River. You can snap some cool action shots of you and your toddler crossing the span of this bridge while you walk through the pedestrian section of the structure.
  • The Statue of Liberty – You’ll need a little more time to get over to Ellis Island where the Statue of Liberty stands. Take plenty of shots as you sail across the river on the ferry and capture the wonder in your toddler’s eyes as she first sees this historic statue.
  • The Empire State Building – The best way to get a picture of this stylish skyscraper is to go straight to the top. You and your toddler can go up to the observation deck and spend some time looking down at the famous New York City skyline while taking some pictures.
  • Times Square – The nonstop action of Times Square offers toddlers plenty of sites and sounds to take in and experience. Plan a few shots of you and your toddler standing in this incredible place to complete your book of memories.
Brooklyn Bridge in New York City at dawn.

Brooklyn Bridge in New York City at dawn.

Good Eats for You and Your Toddler

Finding a great restaurant in the bustling center of New York City can be a challenge because there are so many choices. Here are a few recommended spots that both you and your toddler will love:

  • Pizza – The modern American style of pizza was born in New York City. There are plenty of tasty spots for a pie all throughout the city, but Paulie Gee’s in Brooklyn is one of the best.
  • Doll Heaven – If you have a toddler obsessed with baby dolls, try Manhattan’s American Girl Cafe. You can shop for dolls and accessories and enjoy a kid-friendly lunch along with your toddler’s baby dolls in this eatery.
  • Midtown Fun – For a song with your meal, stop by Ellen’s Stardust Diner. This offering in Times Square has crowd-pleasing food favorites for all ages and singing waiters and waitresses.
American Girl Cafe. Photo: galleriadallas.com

American Girl Cafe. Photo: galleriadallas.com

Avoid These Pitfalls in the Big Apple

After you’ve carefully planned out your daily activities of entertainment and eating spots, there are a few other things to keep in mind. No matter how prepared you are, watch out for these pitfalls:

  • Car Seats – Navigating a big city without your own car can be a challenge with a toddler because of the lack of a car seat. In most cases, you can avoid car rides by taking the subway or opting for a train.
  • Steps and Strollers – New York City’s massive area means little feet can get tired fast. You may need to bring a stroller or a backpack carrier if you want to avoid getting caught in tight spaces or spots with steps.
  • Pickpockets – Moms and dads who are preoccupied with their children can sometimes be a target for pickpockets. Be aware of your surroundings and wear a money belt with your valuables kept safely inside.

A trip to New York City can be an exciting introduction to travel for a toddler. Your adventure can be a wonderful memory for your family for all time. For more tips and other travel stories with a toddler follow KAMO on Twitter at @kamo_family, on Facebook or log into Instagram and search for the term kamofamily.

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