New York City can seem like a bit of a bear; an imposing place that seems inhospitable to vacation travel. However there are many fine, family friendly places where you can take your kids this summer on your family vacation. Here are 5 of my favorite off the cuff spots in New York City that you can take your family on your next urban vacation!
Wall Street: For such a tiny street (just over half a mile) this place sure does get a lot of credit and blame for our nation’s success and woes. Bring your family down to Wall Street and the Financial District more broadly to see for yourself. You can come and navigate the narrow, cobblestone alleyways, pose for a photo with The Charging Bull, and catch a glimpse of many bedraggled, high-strung traders who work countless hours to keep the whole thing running.
Stone Street: While you are down in the Financial District it couldn’t hurt to check out what is going on over at Stone Street. While again Stone Street is quite small the possible experiences here are many. Most of the street is littered with throwback residences that could make you think you’d wandered from modern finance to the 1600’s. Stone Street has got many great pubs, restaurants, bakeries, and other spots where you can grab a bit to eat and enjoy the neighborhood.
National Jazz Museum (104 E 126th St): If you have a young musician on your hands it might behoove you to come up and check out what’s going on at the National Jazz Museum. Even if you just like the music or the history, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem is a great spot to come for your family vacation this summer. Open weekdays from 10am-4pm the National Jazz Museum is a great day trip around which you can bookend morning and evening activities. The Museum has got a CD and DVD archive, rich collection of exhibits and other artifacts in their library. Maybe most valuable of all are the docents who can help you get the most from your visit!
Cloisters (99 Margaret Corbin Drive): Another great spot which is way uptown to come check out when you’re visiting New York City with your family this summer is the Cloisters and Fort Tryon Park in Northern Manhattan. The Cloisters are a museum and garden but maybe the best thing about this space is the space itself. The buildings built up here are 75 years old and draw heavily on the art and architecture of medieval Europe. That’s what this whole museum features; items from the twelfth to fifteenth centuries.
George Washington Bridge: A final spot for you and your family to come discover on your summer vacation to New York City is the George Washington Bridge. But not in any kind of a driving way; you can literally walk off the island of Manhattan and into the state of New Jersey! Open to pedestrians from 6am until midnight seven days a week the south end of the bridge is a great place to come and see a total other side of New York City (and New Jersey!). There is no toll to walk across to Fort Lee or to come back to NYC on foot. But you should be prepared to walk at least a couple of miles. Take the A train up to 175th Street and then walk the short distance to this amazing landmark bridge!
Of course there are tons of other great things to see and do in New York City and you can pick and choose whatever works best for you! Have a good time, be safe, and remember to drink plenty of water when you’re out and about this summer in the City That Never Sleeps!