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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford attends Blade Runner at Target Presents AFI's Night at the Movies at ArcLight Cinemas on 24 April, 2013 in Hollywood, California
film... but Ridley Scott won't direct
Sport
Hughes is hit by a bouncer from Sean Abbott
cricketStephen Brenkley on batsman's tragic flaw that led to critical injury
Sport
Dejected England players applaud the fans following their team's 3-0 defeat
football

News
people

Actress isn't a fan of Ed Miliband

Life and Style
Stefan Gates with some mince flies
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rooney Mara plays a white Tiger Lily in forthcoming film Pan
filmFirst look at Rooney Mara in Pan
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

    Investigo: Finance Manager - Global Leisure Business

    £55000 - £65000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in their fiel...

    Investigo: Senior Finance Analyst - Global Leisure Business

    £45000 - £52000 per annum + bonus+bens : Investigo: My client, a global leader...

    Investigo: Financial reporting Accountant

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: One of the fastest growing g...

    Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luton – £25k

    25,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luto...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
    Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

    24-Hour party person

    Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
    Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

    A taste for rebellion

    US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
    Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

    Colouring books for adults

    How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
    Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
    Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

    Call me Ed Mozart

    Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
    10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
    Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
    'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

    'I am a paedophile'

    Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
    Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

    From a lost deposit to victory

    Green Party on the march in Bristol
    Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

    Winter blunderlands

    Putting the grot into grotto
    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

    London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital