Family Travel Question:

Q | Can you suggest some attractions and a nice but reasonably priced hotel in New York City?

I'd like to take my three kids and myself to New York City on Memorial Day weekend. Can you suggest some attractions and a nice but reasonably priced hotel? -Amy, MA

A | There are lots of options for family fun in New York City

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Making friends at FAO SchwarzAmy, you don’t say how old your kids are, but I have some fun recommendations that will work for a variety of ages. On a holiday weekend, the city is sure to be crowded with tourists, although we visited once over Labor Day weekend and were able to do everything we wanted. The key is to have a plan and when possible to arrive at attractions when they open. You might also purchase tickets in advance to save yourself waiting in line. Smart Destinations offers flexible passes that will get you into a variety of attractions at a discount.

A great place to start your time in New York with kids is in Central Park. We loved the Central Park Zoo and the carousel and the kids also had a great time getting their wiggles out at the Hecksher Playground (which has a water play area, so come prepared). From there it was an easy walk over to F.A.O.Schwarz and Dylan’s Candy Bar, toy and candy heaven respectively (my youngest especially enjoyed dancing on the “Big” piano).

To get a good view of the Statue of Liberty, check out the fun (and free) Staten Island Ferry. We also loved going up in the Empire State Building – I was amazed at how much the kids enjoyed the view. And no family traveling to New York should miss the American Museum of Natural History.

As for as where to say, Carol Cain, resident New York City expert recommends Affinia hotels, especially the Affinia Shelburne (which is near the Empire State Building) or the Affinia Gardens (on the upper East Side). Perks include big rooms with kitchenettes and grocery service.

Be sure to check out Carol’s tips on where to eat out with kids in New York City and also her blog NYCityMama.

Photo courtesy of Mara Gorman

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