Planning a trip
A game plan for parents bringing children to New York: A little planning keeps both children and adults from being overwhelmed by the big city.
Where to set up base: Midtown is close to everything but is crowded and expensive. The West Village is picturesque and more manageable. The Upper West Side is a kiddie haven. Union Square has its Greenmarket and subways to points in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
How to feed picky eaters: Delis and diners are two key operative terms. Delis will make everything from an egg-and-cheese sandwich to tuna melts, and many offer huge hot-plate selections. Diners have immense menus that include pasta and sandwich basics. And there’s always the New York pizzeria, where a typical $2.50 slice is enough to fill a 5-year-old.
Where to go for a pit stop: The New York Public Library (Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street) is a welcome refuge, with exhibits centered on children’s literature and illustration, and a large children’s library with reading room.
Where to find a potty: The city’s dirty secret is that beyond the parks, there are few public bathrooms. Try Starbucks or dash into a restaurant looking sheepish; having a desperate child on hand usually expedites matters. A few chain stores have bathrooms, as do nail salons and public libraries.
Which must-sees to miss: Dylan’s Candy Bar, which draws hordes of sugar-mad tweens, can be skipped. So can the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, which is small compared to similar museums elsewhere. And sadly the glorious Neue Galerie does not admit children under 12.
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