New York City with Kids

I'm sorry to be so lame by posting second hand info lately, but hey, it's the holidays and I'm busy making a closet into a bathroom.

This one is from Fodor's Travel Wire, also see Our Kid-Friendly Guide to New York City

New York City with Kids

Even though much of New York is focused on the adult pursuits of making money and then spending it, kids can run riot in this city, too. Below are our Top 10 kids' favorite attractions.

American Museum of Natural History. This museum contains more than 30 million specimens and cultural artifacts. Exhibits range from dinosaurs to gems and minerals, from life in the sea to cultures from around the world to the ends of the cosmos.

The Bronx Zoo. The Bronx Zoo is the country's largest metropolitan wildlife park, home to more than 4,500 animals, including endangered and threatened species. Kids can peek at a subterranean naked mole rat colony or watch big and beautiful endangered cats through the glass at Tiger Mountain, a not-to-be-missed exhibit.

Central Park. Central Park is to New York as the sun is to the solar system. Need to let the kids burn off some steam? Head to 67th Street and 5th Avenue for the tree house playground. A playground at 99th Street (east side) accommodates children with disabilities. Other playgrounds are on the east side at 71st, 77th, 85th, 95th, 108th, and 110th streets and on the west side at 68th, 81st, 85th, 89th, 91st, 93rd, 96th, 100th, and 110th streets.

Central Park Zoo. A perfect destination for little ones, the zoo is walkable and stroller-friendly, and even the youngest tot can see the animals from low-lying or low-sitting carriages. Three climatic regions -- the Rain Forest, Temperate Territory, and Polar Circle -- form the focal points.

Children's Museum of Manhattan. Exhibits in the five floors of exhibition space change frequently. You can follow the dream-adventure of Alice in Wonderland or bring literacy to life with Clifford the Big Red Dog and his friend Emily Elizabeth. The fun continues with a special Dr. Seuss celebration, where your child's imagination can run wild.

Museum of Modern Art. Nicknamed MoMA, this museum maintains the world's foremost collection of 20th-century art: more than 135,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and drawings, and design objects.

New York Aquarium. Alongside the cotton candy and amusements of Coney Island, this aquarium is home to more than 10,000 species of marine life, including beluga whales, giant sea turtles, sand-tiger sharks, and sea otters.

New York Botanical Garden. Nearly 50 gardens and plant collections make up this landmark. Its hands-on activities, imaginative exhibits, and fanciful gardens are exciting and inviting.

Sony Wonder Technology Lab. You're not just going to just see technology here; you will become part of it during an adventure through four floors of hands-on educational fun. Don't despair if you and your kids are not techno-whizzes; helpful guides throughout the lab will answer your questions and offer assistance.

South Street Seaport Museum. Whether it's a concert, a show by street performers, guided tours, or family programs, there's always something happening at the museum. Family Gallery Guides direct you around the world's largest collection of items related to New York's port.

Traveling with Tots: A Survival Guide

Another article that backs up what we've said for a long time now: skip the dvd player, remain flexible, and lower your expectations. For more tips, read out 10 Tips for Road Tripping with Kids

This one is from Kiplinger's :

Traveling With Tots: A Survival Guide
Whether flying or driving with a young one, a little preparation can go a long way toward saving you money -- and keeping your cool.

About 300 miles into an 800-mile road trip to Florida this summer, I decided to tell my 3-year-old daughter -- in a daze from watching hours of Dora the Explorer -- it was time to turn off the DVD and try to sleep. That's when the meltdown began.

It was 11 p.m., we'd been in the car seven hours (thanks to unexpected traffic jams and numerous pit stops) and we still had about 100 miles to go to the town where we had reserved a hotel room.

But the 3-year-old's crying woke up the 1-year-old, and there was no choice but to stop. We drove from hotel to hotel until we finally found one with a vacant room -- a honeymoon suite with a king-size bed. On the bright side, the in-room hot tub and glow-in-the-dark planets on the ceiling were a big hit with my toddler.

Maybe you've been there, too -- not the cheesy hotel, but in a car or plane with small children, clinging to the last threads of your sanity. And you shudder at the thought of going through it again this holiday travel season. Or maybe you're planning to travel with baby for the first time this year and you're lying awake at night in terror at the thought.


Vermont Ski Getaway: Okemo Mt

If you want great skiing, good food, shopping opportunities and general friendly fun, don't bother with the Killington crowds, head to Ludlow instead.

We go to Ludlow each year for early Christmas with one chunk of our rather extended family. Most of the time we spend a day skiing. There are lots of great things about Ludlow, Okemo, and Vermont in general, but it's hard to not start with the skiing.

What a great mountain! You can ski trails that are as challenging or gentle as you like and the crowds are non existent. Pretty much. Many of the runs on the upper part of the mountain we had to ourselves. I literally skied a few runs without seeing anyone else. Tom went to ski school for the second time (probably the last time he'll need it) and then skied with Tinsley and me after school. Tinsley took advantage of an Okemo extra: 'never-evers' ski free. If you've never ever skied before, the lesson, rentals, and lift ticket are free for the day. She was thrilled with the experience.

Avoid the Pot Belly pub unless you just want to watch the game from the bar. The food is mediocre and the wait is looong.

Sam's Steakhouse has great fine dining in a casual atmosphere. Reasonably kid-friendly, and not overpriced.

The Hatchery is where we always end up eating breakfast. It seems to me that we've gone to Trapper's as well, but we keep going back to the Hatchery.

Other fun stuff:
We were there a few years ago in September, around Tom's birthday, and we went for a side trip to Chester to ride the Green Mountain Flyer. What a wonderful train ride and what fun for a four year old!

We're One!!

John Prine says he writes songs to get them out of his head. "If I didn't write them down, they'd keep clanging around inside my head drivin' me crazy."

A year ago, we started getting our roadtrip tips, techniques, and tactical advice out of our heads so that we could get on with the important stuff. Like making shadow puppets. The initial post was Three Tips for Road Tripping with Kids, number one being, 'Start 'em young: travel early and often'. The topics grew into Photo tips (How to Take Lousy Photos of Kids Every Time), City Guides with Wiki-maps, a geographical scavenger hunt (Find this Place!), and Tips for Traveling With Dogs. We've had over 5,000 page visits and were recently featured in the Portland (Maine) Press Herald).

Unfortunately, in the year since we started the blog, our dog, Wookie, has departed for The Rainbow Bridge, so we're flying solo right now.

We've been able to keep up a moderate pace of a little more than a topic per week, blogging while making breakfast for the kids Saturday or Sunday morning seems to be the sweet spot. Tommy even has a backseat blog that he'll be updating more often this year.

We're looking forward to many more road trips this coming year, and expect to keep the content coming. Among our upcoming articles are Backseat Science Experiments, Backroads of Montana, and Backseat shadow puppet theater.

What topics would you like to see this year?