N.Y.C., What is it about you?

You’re big

You’re loud

You’re tough


I go years without you

Then I can’t get enough (lyrics from the musical Annie)

I recently saw the local children’s theater production of Annie and was reminded of how much I love New York City and how much there is to do with children.  There is never a dull day in the city and with the long weekends, spring breaks and better weather coming you may want to start planning your next excursion to the city.  It can be a logistical challenge to get kids into the city but, once you arrive, there is an endless list of possible activities.  You can go to shows, museums, parks, or famous structures.  The trick is to pace your day with the appropriate number of snack breaks and have fun!

I go to the city every chance that I get.  Above are pictures taken by me or my family of Grand Central Station, Time Square, Broadway and the Empire State Building.

Before you go, be sure to check out the great resources available to you at the library.  Remember that that Mercer County Library System has passes to some NYC museums!  See our website at www.mcl.org and below for more information.  I will see you in the city!

Information Guides

Around New York City with Kids by Fodor’s Travel Publications

Fodor's Around New York City with Kids, 6th Ed. provides both visiting and local parents with 68 fun family activities to do in NYC, from exploring the Metropolitan Museum of Art to watching a Puppetworks show to visiting the Bronx Zoo. Each activity features practical tips and suggestions for nearby places to eat. Plus, there are games for the kids.

The Little Bookroom Guide to New York City With Children: Play, Eat, Shop
New York City With Children by Angela Hederman

The Little Bookroom Guide to New York City with Children focuses on what parents with good taste want to know: how to see New York City in a child-centered way... without passing up any of the city's sophisticated food, sights, or shops just because the kids are along. Organized around EAT, PLAY, SHOP, and STAY, the authors take you to well-known museums and attractions, but also take you out of tourist-thronged Midtown and into corners of the city that New Yorkers themselves love to bring their children. They share strategies for must-sees that can easily overwhelm (the dazzling but daunting Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chinatown, Chelsea Market) and share the offbeat and little known places their own kids love (a matzoh factory, a classic film showing, a chance to dance with ballerinas).

New York City with Kids by Laurie Bain Wilson

This third edition - now in 4-colors - takes families on a whirlwind tour of the world's most amazing city with lively reviews of kid-friendly activities and more than 100 restaurants and hotels, always with a family-focus in mind. The author also offers eclectic finds not featured in other guidebooks, such as the best spot to grab a hot dog at Yankee Stadium, where to find the best macaroni and cheese, or where to stay if your child would like a teddy bear tuck-in! Includes pet-friendly hotels, the best playgrounds, shopping tours, insider tips, lots of travel planning details, plus day trips to Long Island and Jersey beaches, Mystic Seaport, Hudson Valley, and even a long overnight to the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown! Tons of museums are included, from the venerable Museum of Natural History to such little-known but surefire hits as the Fire Department New York Fire Zone, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and the New York Transit Museum. The new edition features new maps (including a new subway map), the best family-friendly restaurants and hotels, more budget tips, and an expanded hard-to-please teen activities and itinerary. QUOTE: "New York City with Kids is a treat from the word go. Wilson has road-tested the Big Apple sites with her son, Alex and offers an encyclopedic--and easy to read--guide to family-friendly hotels … On a budget? Wilson lists museums with a "pay-as-you-wish" policy, so you can enjoy all of the bling without the ka-ching. She recommends the United Nations gift shop for terrific souvenirs and the New York Gotham Baseball Club for re-enactments of games as they were played in 1864. Filled with insider tips, perfect picks for the pint-sized and great ideas galore, New York City with Kids is a home run!" -- Debbi Kickham, Community Newspaper Group (Boston)

Picture Books and Graphic Novels

Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York by Roz Chast

For native Brooklynite Roz Chast, adjusting to life in the suburbs (where people own trees!?) was surreal. But she recognized that for her kids, the reverse was true. On trips into town, they would marvel at the strange world of Manhattan: its gum-wad-dotted sidewalks, honey-combed streets, and "those West Side Story- things" (fire escapes). Their wonder inspired Going into Town, part playful guide, part New York stories, and part love letter to the city, told through Chast's laugh-out-loud, touching, and true cartoons.

One Times Square: A Century of Change at the Crossroads of the World by Joe McKendry

One Times Square explores the story of this fascinating intersection, starting when Broadway was a mere dirt path known as Bloomingdale Road, through the district's decades of postwar decay, to its renewal as a glittering tourist-friendly media mecca. McKendry's meticulous, lush watercolors take readers behind the famous Camel billboard to find out how it blew smoke rings over the square for 25 years, to the top of the Times Tower to see how the New Year's ball has made its descent for over 100 years, and onto construction sites as buildings grow up around One Times Square to dwarf what once ranked among the tallest buildings in the world.

When Jackie Saved Grand Central: The True Story of Jacqueline Kennedy's Fight for an American Icon by Natasha Wing

Before she was iconic First Lady of the United States, Jackie Kennedy was a born-and-raised New Yorker. She loved everything about her city, from the natural beauty of the parks to the architectural history of the buildings. So when the owners of Grand Central wanted to build a skyscraper on top of the famous train station, Jackie knew they had to be stopped. She helped inspire thousands of people to come together and fight to protect the historic landmark. From letter-writing campaigns all the way to the Supreme Court, this little-known story celebrates winning in the face of immeasurable odds and how one person can make a big difference.

Lights on Broadway: A Theatrical Tour from A to Z by Harriet Ziefert

Tony Award winner and Broadway icon Brian Stokes Mitchell brings star power to this Broadway treasury. With entries such as "audition," "box office," "marquee," and "understudy," kids will discover Broadway from A to Z. Elliot Kreloff's energetic and dynamic illustrations come from someone who clearly knows theater from first-hand experiences. With an introduction by Mitchell, quotes from famous Broadway performers, and theater facts and trivia, fans of all ages will delight in this compendium.

An Armadillo in New York by Julie Kraulis

A winsome armadillo from Brazil takes a trip to New York in this delightful new picture book from Julie Kraulis. Arlo is an armadillo who is always up for adventure. His grandfather, Augustin, loved adventure too. When Arlo was born, Augustin wrote travel journals about his favorite places for Arlo to visit when he was old enough to go exploring on his own. When Arlo reads about New York and the mysterious Lady Liberty, he decides it is about time he embarked on his own adventure.

Americanine: A Haute Dog in New York by Yann Kebbi

Here, a French dog, upon his return to Paris, recounts his amazing trip to New York City to his dog pals. Sharing his visit so they can really, truly see it through his eyes, so, too, does the reader, in page after glorious page of free, vibrant, kinetically sketched images! Whether it is the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island, the Guggenheim Museum, Grand Central Station, or a pug looking in a doughnut shop window, Americanine pulsates with charm.

Subway by Christoph Niemann

A father.
Two children.
And more than 840 miles of track.
What does it add up to?
Something thrilling.
Are you ready for Subway?

Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure by Nadja Spiegelman & Sergio Garcia Sanchez

The sights . . . the sounds . . . the SMELLS! New York's crowded subway system is known for many things, but being easy on a lost kid is not one of them. When Pablo gets separated from his new schoolmates during his first field trip in New York City, he doesn't know how he will be able to find them again. Luckily, he has a little knowledge, a new friend, and the surprisingly approachable city itself to guide his way. This story features maps, archival photos, and fascinating facts to help readers explore the subway without ever having to get caught like Pablo in the mob of Times Square. It brings all the bustle and beauty of NYC to young readers around the world.

NY Is For New York by Paul Thurlby

From Times Square to the Statue of Liberty, via Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and more, this
stunning book is bursting with the sights, sounds, and energy of The Big Apple! See familiar landmarks and discover the lesser known charms of the city. New York has never been more spectacular!

New York, New York!: The Big Apple from A to Z by Laura Krauss Melmed

Welcome to the Big Apple! This city has something to offer everyone, from A to Z. Come visit the American Museum of Natural History and see prehistoric animals, get a bird's-eye view of the Brooklyn Bridge, and check out Central Park.

Fascinating details about the many neighborhoods and historic places of New York City accompany Melmed's lively, informative verse, and Lessac's vibrant folk-art paintings capture the essence of this unique and rich place that was once called the melting pot of America.

Hello, I am Lily from New York City by Jaco & Stephane Husar

Eight-year-old Lily, from New York City, takes readers on a tour of her city.

Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers
In this fascinating and fun take on nonfiction, Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris investigate a seemingly small trait of America's most emblematic statue. What they find is about more than history, more than art. What they find in the Statue of Liberty's right foot is the powerful message of acceptance that is essential of an entire country's creation.

Hello America! Ellis Island by R. J. Bailey

In Ellis Island, young readers will explore this American landmark and learn about its historic significance. Vibrant, full-color photos and carefully leveled text will engage emergent readers as they explore this important site. A labeled diagram helps readers understand locations and items associated with Ellis Island, while a picture glossary reinforces new vocabulary. Ellis Island also features reading tips for teachers and parents, a table of contents, and an index.

Hello Kitty, Hello New York! by Jean Hirashima

Join Hello Kitty and her friends as they take a bite out of the Big Apple! Visit the Empire State Building, kayak under the Brooklyn Bridge, feed the pigeons at Central Park, enjoy Grand Central Terminal, ride the subway, and more!

Larry Loves New York City! by John Skewes

Just like visitors and locals, Larry the pup loves New York City. He loves Times Square, Central
Park, the Empire State Building, and all the other sites and sounds that make NYC the city that never sleeps. Fans of Larry Gets Lost in New York City will love this board book introducing young readers to the Big Apple.

Speeding Down the Spiral: An Artful Adventure by Deborah Goodman Davis

This imaginative tale leads readers on a madcap adventure through the Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York. Masterpieces of modern and contemporary art in brilliant reproduction do more than decorate the pages - they inspire the action of the story and encourage an imaginative approach to viewing art. Colorful illustrations by Sophy Naess bring to life Frank Lloyd Wright's famous spiral and create a beautiful backdrop for art historian Deborah Goodman Davis' story.

Bolivar by Sean Rubin

Sybil knows that there is something off about her next door neighbor, but she can't seem to get
anyone to believe her. Everyone is so busy going about their days in the busy streets of New York City that they don't notice Bolivar. They don't notice his odd height, his tiny arms, or his long tail. No one but Sybil sees that Bolivar is a dinosaur.

When an unlikely parking ticket pulls Bolivar into an adventure from City Hall to New York's Natural History Museum, he must finally make a choice: continue to live unnoticed, or let the city see who he really is.

How to Take Your Grandmother To The Museum by Lois Ways and Molly Rose Goldman

Usually it's the grandparent who takes the grandchild out. But here roles are reversed in a heartwarming story about a little girl who takes her grandmother to the museum for her first visit, allowing them to share something very special together.

You Can't Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman

New York City and its famed Metropolitan Museum of Art provide the setting for a crazy collision of art and city life in this inventively illustrated picture book. It all starts with a little girl's trip to view the museum's treasures and the parallel journey of her runaway yellow balloon. Floating down Fifth Avenue, past Central Park, bumping into a very silly tea party at the Plaza Hotel, and even adding to a tumultuous performance at the Metropolitan Opera, the balloon becomes part of a hilarious panorama of scenes that seem to mirror the paintings and sculpture raptly viewed by the wide-eyed little girl.

MCL has passes to the following museums:

Children’s Museum of Manhattan The Tisch Building, 212 West 83rd Street New York, NY 10024 212-721-1223 www.cmom.org Available at Ewing and West Windsor branches Admission: Four people, no more than two adults The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is an exciting destination for play, fun and learning-by-doing through theme based exhibits, hands-on activities, interactive programs and larger than life environments.

New York Historical Society 170 Central Park West (at 77th Street) New York, NY 10024 212-873-3400 www.nyhistory.org Available at the West Windsor branch Admission: Two adults and all children in household up to age 18 The New York Historical Society has served as the collective memory of New York, accumulating vast collections in American painting, sculpture, books, manuscripts, decorative arts, architectural drawings, photographs, prints and ephemera.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th Street) New York, NY 10128-0173 212-423-3618 www.guggenheim.org Available at Ewing and West Windsor branches Admission: Four people ages 12 and over, children under 12 free. The internationally renowned Guggenheim museum was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and is among the 20th century’s most important architectural landmarks. The museum’s great rotunda has been the site of many celebrated special exhibitions, while its smaller galleries are devoted to the museum’s permanent collection.

Strouse, C. and Charnin, M. (1977). N.Y.C. Retrieved from https://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/annie/nyc.htm
- Connie, Hopewell Branch


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