Ellen Shapiro is a travel writer who has enjoyed the New York
Life since 1991. She is the author of several books, including
"Relocating to New York City" and her latest guide,
"New York City for Kids." Ellen is the perfect expert
to turn to for tips on exploring the Big Apple with children.
is the best time in history to be a kid in New York City.
Today's New York is a shining, clean, safe metropolis and
one of the most family-friendly cities on the planet.
start with the airport...
the most part, taxis are your best bet, at least upon
arrival, when you'll be laden with bags and tired (and
possibly cranky kids). Taxis and taxi services in NYC
aren't as costly as you might think, and when you're
travelling in a group, sometimes it's actually cheaper
to travel in comfort than on a shuttle or private bus.
JW Editor's note: Tel Aviv Car and Limousine
Service is the New York car service that I use most
of the time. A reader told me about it a few years ago.
I tried it and liked it. Tel: 212.777.7777. Website:
Inn Manhattan (between 5th and 6th)
If tourist sites are a high priority, this location
is hard to beat -- you'll be around the corner from
the Empire State Building, a short walk to Fifth Avenue's
best shopping and close to the subway. You can request
a room with a microwave and/or mini bar (there are 20
such rooms) or book into a king room with double sleeper
sofa (extra) but it's still far cheaper than getting
two rooms. Last but not least, kids are free and Continental
breakfast is complimentary Website: www.comfortinn.com
little bit of China...
If you visit only
one ethnic neighbourhood during your New York vacation,
it should be Chinatown. As you explore the area, here's
a few suggestions your youngsters will enjoy:
Have a peek at the
Chinatown Ice Cream Factory (65 Bayard Street).
Look at the flavors. A little different from the Baskin-Robbins,
isn't it? Lychee, green tea and red bean are a few of
the selections. Those feeling less bold may choose from
some of the classics, too. At the Bowery, check out
the Chinese Pagodalike Macdonald's with Ronald
sitting out front on a bench. This is a good place to
use a bathroom as they are somewhat hard to come by
past The Statue of Liberty...
used to be that the ferry to Staten Island cost
25-cents, but it is now free and it's unequivocally
one of the best - and most enjoyable - deals going.
A daytime cruise affords views of the Statue of Liberty
and at night, millions of stars magically illuminate
the skyline of Manhattan. The ride takes about 30 minutes,
and although you have to disembark at St. George, you
can line up nearby to get right back onto the return
ferry, Website: www.siferry.com
Tickle kids taste buds and more