Family Special

New York: 24 hours in the Big Apple

The problem is there's almost too much to do. Helen Truszkowski hits the city's far from mean streets

Perched in Norma's in the heart of Midtown, you ask your kids how breakfast is. But they're struck dumb by a caramelised chocolate banana waffle Napoleon.Norma's is a rare find: a spot where the speciality is breakfast, and nothing but. Norma's at Le Parker Meridien, 118 W 57th St and 6th Ave (001 212 708-7460; www.parkermeridien.com).

Going up to touch the sky

The Chrysler Building, Trump Tower, Brooklyn Bridge - New York offers larger-than-life encounters with extraordinary skyscrapers. At the Empire State Building an elevator straight out of a Roald Dahl novel zooms you to the 86th floor, where you can peer at ant-size jaywalkers.

Touchy, feely fun learning

Manhattan's museums are falling over themselves to please youngsters. The American Museum of Natural History, 79th St at Central Park West (001 212 769-5100; www.amnh.org), the Children's Museum of Manhattan, 212 West 83rd St between Broadway and Amsterdam (001 212 721 1234; www.cmom.org), andMoMA, 11 West 53 St

(001 212 708-9400; www.moma.org) all urge you to go ahead and please touch. Had enough culture? See New York's Bravest and climb on a fire truck at the Midtown FDNY Fire Zone, 34 W 51st St (001 212 698-4520; www.fdnyfirezone.com).

Hot dog! Life is really sweet

Wow them with a foot-long hot dog and frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity, 225 East 60th St between 2nd & 3rd Ave, (001 212 838-3531; www.serendipity3.com), and then to Dylan's Candy Bar, 1011 Third Ave (001 646 735 0078; www.dylanscandybar.com).

Whirring bird's eye view

Take to the skies in a helicopter for an aerial view of the Statue of Liberty, Yankee Stadium and sprawling Central Park. Downtown Manhattan Heliport, Pier 6, and the East River VIP Heliport, 12th Ave and West 30th St (0845 130 3876; www.attractionticketsdirect.com). A 10-12 minute trip costs £49. For a free tour, jump on the Staten Island Ferry at the St George Ferry Terminal (www.nyc.gov). The 50-minute round trip takes you past the Statue of Liberty and gives great views of Manhattan.

Do the twist on the piers

Enough with the sightseeing, we want some action. Grab a pretzel from one of the city's ubiquitous stalls, then head to Chelsea Piers, which has been regenerated as a 30-acre sports city where kids can rollerskate, rockclimb, ice-skate, bowl, skateboard and shoot hoops. Chelsea Piers, 59 through to 62, 23rd St and the Hudson River (001 212 336-6666; www.chelsea piers.com).

Make room for kids' heaven

Your hotel for the night, The Four Seasons, 57 East 57th St (001 212 758-5700; www.fourseasons.com) has many child-friendly touches - a toy on the bed, and a glass of warm milk at bedtime. You leave your youngest in the hands of the capable babysitter, who's kitted-out with the in-room dining menu, the hotel's spare goose-down pillows, a cosy mini-bath robe, and a selection of Disney DVDs. Your 16-year-old straggles along with you to the ESPN Zone, 1472 Broadway (001 212 921-3776; www.espnzone.com), a bold family recreation centre that is studded with sports bars, restaurants and sport arcade games. You fill-up on classic American grill. Give up trying to chat - it's loud, really loud - which will probably suit your teenager.

Go back in time - park and ride

Drop your eldest at the hotel and stroll along to the oldest tourist cliché in the (guide) book: a turn round the city's beloved green labyrinth, Central Park, on a horse-drawn carriage. Start from Central Park South, 59th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, at the southern end of Central Park, across from the Plaza Hotel. $34 (£19) for the first 30 minutes.

A nightcap and time to reflect

Back at the hotel you order room service (it runs 24 hours) - champagne, strawberries and chocolate mousse. New York is gritty, it's garish, it's strictly for grown-ups? Truth is the red carpets are rolled out for junior guests as readily as for the beautiful people.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Automotive Service Advisor - Franchised Main Dealer

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful, family owned m...

    Recruitment Genius: Product Advisor - Automotive

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to the consistent growth of...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Automotive

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ex...

    Recruitment Genius: Renewals Sales Executive - Automotive

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ou...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable