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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dh and I used to live in NJ (Bloomfield) and work in the city so we know how to get around and all .... but we moved from there to Ohio four years ago and don't know nuthin about being in the big town with little ones.

Our boys are age 4.5 and 13 months and I know the big one will LOVE seeing the big buildings, riding the subway, etc.

We are going to be visiting NJ for a few days and wanted to take them into the city one day for just a few hours -- maybe visit my old work place and then get on the subway to go ... where? Isn't there a Children's Museum they might enjoy? What would you do or recommend? Many thanks!

PS What do you do about cabs with little guys like ours? Just avoid them totally?
 

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After the children's museum, you can go eat lunch with the kids at Artie's Delicatessen on Broadway and 83rd street. Or EJ's Luncheonette on Amsterdam between 82 & 83rd.

Both are very friendly to children and accommodating to their needs, and have yummy food for grownups and children...
 

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oooh, or the American Museaum of Natural History. They have reeeeeally cool dinosaurs all put together. I used to LOVE it as a kid.
 

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I would spend the day in Central Park.

There are two museums, the carousel, the Dairy, the zoos, the summer amusement park, the boathouse cafe and rowboats, the model boat pond.... the conservatory garden....

I also like downtown - the South Street Seaport, Battery Park, Chinatown...

It's fun to go to Washington Square Park on weekends and people watch.

Tompkins Square Park, too.

Union Square Park, too.
 

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These suggestions are all really good, and I don't think you could go wrong with any of them. (For what it's worth, I think your older child is probably the perfect age for the natural history museum and would probably love it. But any of these suggestions are good.)

If you end up downtown, there's also the Children's Museum of the Arts on Lafayette (http://www.cmany.org/). If you have only one day, though, I'd probably suggest the options closer to Central Park -- natural history museum, Children's Museum of Manhattan, etc.

Cabs: depending on where in the city you go and how much you're able to plan things out in advance, you might be able to avoid cabs entirely and take the bus or walk. If you do take a cab, I'm not sure of the best solution for your older child, but for your 13 month old, you might want to buy or borrow one of those Sit n Stroll carseats (the carseat that has wheels built into the base, which pop out when you want to use it as a stroller). It's not the best carseat or stroller, but it's good for short trips, and it fits into a cab. Make sure you leave the cab door open while you're belting it in so the driver can't take off before your child is buckled in safely. (In the interest of full disclosure, I'm expecting my first child and haven't actually tested this advice out -- but it's what several friends with kids have suggested to me.)

For your older child -- I know some people use those Cosco Tote n Go travel vests, but I haven't heard great things about them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks all for the great ideas -- we are leaning towards the Natural History Museum for our outing that day.

Now, can anyone recommend a family-friendly restaurant in that area? Ds is allergic to wheat and dairy, so preferably not a pasta place. Many thanks!
 

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I live in this neighborhood and The MNH is overwhelmingly crowded in the summer keep this in mind for your own sanity, I recommend you go to the specific exhibit that interests your kids and leave. That can take you almost two hours to do!

Bring your own food to eat in central park if your kids have special diets. The Diana Ross playground is across the street on (81 street and central park west) this is a good place to go after the museum to decompress from the museum visit and eat your own food.

The Museum of Natural History is a couple of blocks from the Children's Museum so the same recommendations for restaurants are where local moms go.
Arties the old-fashioned style delicatessen on Broadway has plenty of protein for your son with a dairy wheat allergy. On the other hand, I really like to eat in the museum cafeteria in the basement when it's not tourist season.

If you enjoy expensive fine dining with your kids , go to Isabella's on Columbus at 77th street.

Have fun!
 

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Manhattan parents take cabs all the time with kids and we don't use car seats (unless they are newborns). We never even think about it!
You can take a bus or subway. The B and C train has a MNH stop.
All buses lead to the upper west side.
 

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Most of my Manhattan friends with babies or small kids won't take cabs here without car seats. Enough people I know have been in car accidents (or near misses) in cabs over the years that they're pretty paranoid about this. I don't know if my friends and I are just exceptionally unlucky, but in the past 20 years three people close to me have been in fairly serious accidents in cabs (2 in Manhattan, one in Brooklyn). In that same period I've been rear-ended at least a few times in a cab -- once hard enough that I smacked into the divider, sustaining a concussion and biting through my bottom lip. So I'm kind of paranoid too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the heads up on the museum -- tempting to skip that, too, maybe, and just enjoy the city stuff -- Central Park, the subway, the bus, etc.

I think I'll just avoid the cabs -- those dividers freak me out when I sit back there, and I wouldn't want to take any chances with the little guys.

Does anyone know if La Caridad is still around? It's at 79th and Broadway, or thereabouts. An old favorite,and we can certainly do rice and beans
 

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Melissa,

Yes La Caridad is still around and they renovated and expended in recent years
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About cabs, most parents agree it's terribly unsafe, but that's urban living and not as paranoid as the above poster claims; families take cabs when we need to.
I live near three private schools on the upper west side and every morning there is a grand exodus of little kids getting out of cabs with their parents.

Do what makes you feel comfortable and have fun !
 

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MONH: if you go there, and it is a hot day, there is a great outdoor fountain play area adjacent to the Rose Planetarium. Bring bathingsuits.

Cabs: if you have a child on your lap, DO NOT BELT THEM IN WITH YOU. Put the belt on yourself and hold the child tight in your lap with your arms, or a sling. If you put the belt over both of you and the cab is in an accident, your child could be crushed by your body and the belt.
 
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