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Posts Tagged ‘weekend getaways’

Times Square

Today I was in NYC and had the same energized feeling that I had eighteen years ago when I moved to the “Big Apple”.  My son shares the same love of the city.  I thought it would be great to pass along some easy tips to navigate the city for other families.

Some of my favorite resources are the apps that I have on my phone, NYC Way and HopStopNYC.    I love NYC Way!  It has over 30 icons ranging from things to do, street fairs, places to eat and ATM locator.  I used it today to find a place to have lunch close to Sony Wonder Technology Lab.  I also use HopStop when I am not sure which subway to take or which direction to walk once I have come out of  the subway.  This app is great!

Sony Wonder Technology Lab

I am a planner, so I  check things out online since I am always looking for inexpensive fun things to do.  Three resources that I use often are Time Out NY Kids , Central Park and TheatreMania .  I have found really cool things to do on Time Out NY Kids like having tea with Eloise at the Plaza for girls or outdoor movies on the Intrepid (the coolest place ever to watch Top Gun!)for boys. Time Out NY Kids is also great to find out what is going on at the museums.  Sony Wonder Technology Lab is free and has several workshops for $10.  My son never gets tired of The Museum of Natural History and he use to love the NY Children’s museum when he was younger.

Central Park

The official website of Central Park is fabulous!  There is so much to do in the park from Victoria Gardens Amusement Park in the summer and Trump’s Wollman’s Skating Rink in the winter to the Zoo and Carousel. One of my favorite things to do with my son is rent model boats to sail at Conservatory Water and have lunch at the Boathouse Cafe.  Check out their list of 176 things to do in Central Park on the Things to See page of their website.

Make sure you check out sites like Living Social Family Edition New York Kids Deals and Coupons  and Groupon.  These sights are a great way to save regardless of where you live, so subscribe and you will get notified of great deals by email.  Just last week Living Social had a deal to get two tickets to Victoria Gardens Amusement Park for $21 instead of $43.

Theatre Mania is a great place to get discounted broadway tickets.  Mary Poppins is great and there is usually discounted tickets, but there are a lot of other off-broadway shows for kids too like Freckleface Strawbery, The Bernestain Bears & Pinkalicious.  You can also find discounted tickets on this site to other things like exhibits at Discovery Times Square or Top of the Rock.

Freckleface Strawberry

NYCWay & Time Out NY Kids are also an excellent resource to find great places to eat.  One of my favorite places is Ellen’s Stardust Diner where you feel like you are in the 1950’s with the singing wait staff.  My son loved Mars 2112, so I have brought him there many times when he was younger despite the fact that it is overpriced food that is fair.  There is no where else that you can ride a space ship to your table and meet aliens.

I could go on and on about NYC and things to do with kids.  I hope the resources I shared will help families visiting NYC or those who live in the surrounding areas just heading in for the day.   NYC can be a great place to take kids.  There are many affordable things to do and it really is easy to get around.  Please comment should you have questions. I would love to help make your trip to my favorite place on earth the best place you will ever take your kids!

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An hour north of NYC you can spend the day as if you were living in the 16th Century at the New York Renaissance Faire.  My son and I had a great time a couple of years ago in the woodlands of Sterling Forest in Tuxedo Park, New York.  We spent a full day enjoying the medieval village and really felt like we were in Elizabethan England!

We played countless century games and my son was amused on the rides like the Dragon Swing.  What was great is that all the games and rides were included in the admission ($22 for adults and $11 for kids), so you could play and ride as much as you wanted!

Entertainment was endless!  We enjoyed seeing the actors and visitors in costumes and it really was “people-watching” at it’s best!  If you want to have the full experience, you can always rent a costume in the shop called The Bellrose, that is if you don’t have one of your own.  It is conveniently located by the information booth when you go through the admission gates.

We also saw several shows which were also included in the admission!  The Faire has 125 shows that range from comedy, adventure and for children.  Our favorite was the joust!  Where else can you see knights on horseback swinging swords!  Another favorite was the Living Chess Match.  It was really neat to check out the feud on the massive chessboard.

I am sure you are thinking, “Wow, what a full day!”, but believe it or not there is plenty of other things to do and see.  No place would be complete without shopping and dining!  The kids can try Renaissance food by chomping on a roasted turkey leg.  If they are not that adventurous, no worries because there is plenty of traditional kid food like pizza and french fries.  Parents also have the opportunity to try a true-brewed mead!

If you want to do a little shopping, there are over a hundred artisans who sell their handcrafted items.  Just a few things you will find in the Artisan Crafts Marketplace are jewelry, clothing, blown glass and exotic leathers.  There is also face painting and hair braiding in the market place too!

     Events like these are fabulous to teach your kids about a time in history.  Let’s face it, reading about 16th century history makes me want to snooze, so I can only imagine what a kid would think.  Being a spectator at an armoured joust tournament in a period costume followed by a renaissance meal really brings medieval times alive!

Writing this entry has brought back so many fun memories that I think I want head back to the faire again!  The Faire is only open August 6th through Sept 25th.  I am thinking about heading back with my sister and her four kids the weekend of August 20th for the Pirate Weekend!

I am sure if you check out the video below that was on You Tube, you will be planning a day trip to the medieval forest soon too!

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