new york city
New York City
Around Empire State Building
New York Public Library - The New York Public Library is a impressive, from the majestic stone lions out front (the lions are called Patience and Fortitude), white marble halls and staircases inside, to the Main Reading Room, which is two blocks long and has over 2 million books. In the Reading Room, kids will need to be quiet, but be sure to look up at the gorgeous black-and-gold ceiling, ornamented with paintings of fluffy pink clouds drifting in a blue sky.
Tip: You won't find a children's reading room in the main building, but go across Fifth Ave. to the branch library, which does have children's books.
Library Walk - Stand out front of the library, cross Fifth Ave. and go east on E. 41st St. On the sidewalk, look down and every few feet, kids will see sculpted bronze plaques with quotations from famous writers. "The universe is made of stories, not of atoms." Find your favorite quotations, the plaques go for two blocks, on both sides of the street.
Bryant Park - Bryant Park (when it's not Fashion Week) is a quiet, shady park, with a huge big lawn, tables and chairs in the summer, bring your picnic lunch and dine outdoors. Little kids will have fun riding on the small-but-sweet carousel (Le Carrousel). In winter, enjoy the ice skating rink.
Grand Central Terminal - Head to Grand Central Terminal for a bite to eat. On the way to the Dining Concourse on the lower level, be sure to stop off in the Main Concourse. When Grand Central Terminal was built in 1913, it was the gateway to New York, with trains arriving from all directions (you can still take trains from Grand Central today). Beautifully restored, the majestic Main Concourse has a four-sided clock in the center, two grand staircases, and on the high vaulted ceiling, a golden Zodiac mural depicts the night sky.
Dining Concourse -
Oyster Bar & Restaurant - In operation since 1913, this restaurant is a tradition, serving fish and seafood on red-and-white-checked tablecloths underneath the hustle and bustle of Grand Central. Oysters are a specialty, but there's lots of fun food for kids - fish and chips, clam chowder, tuna sandwiches, and lots of different fish, for lunch and dinner. Call for reservations 212. 490.6650.
Casual dining - Also in the Dining Concourse is a large food court, featuring different New York specialties - Junior's (cheesecake), Two Boots Pizza, Chirping Chicken, Mendy's Kosher Delicatessen, New York Pretzel and more. Everyone in the family can pick something different to eat.
Empire State Building - When the Empire State Building was completed in 1931, it was the tallest building in the world, now it's the tallest building in Manhattan, 1,450 ft. high, 60,000 tons of steel, and 6,500 windows (which have to be washed). Ride the elevator to the 86th floor observation deck with both glassed-in and outdoor viewing areas (no worry about the weather). Don't forget to look down at all the shorter skyscrapers, reaching up at you. From the top, my kids said, " The cars and buildings looked like toys." Go early in the day, as the lines can get long. Toddlers 5 or younger are free.
NY Skyride - On the second floor is a multi-media movie theater with splashy introduction to New York - fly over Statue of Liberty, Yankee Stadium, the Brooklyn Bridge, with aerial views of Central Park, and come eye-to-eye with the Statue of Liberty.
Madison Square Park (Broadway and E. 23rd St.) - This is a lovely park, grass to grub around on and benches for picnicking, and a large, very nice playground with swings and climbing structures for toddlers, and in summer a whirling water fountain and blocks that spray water (a great way to cool off on a hot day in summer).

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