When looking for fun things to do with a 7 year-old, I find it's
helpful to see what a 7 year-old thinks is cool. As luck would have
it, I have one of those running around the place, so I dragged him
away from his game for a few minutes and asked him what he would like
to see and do if he had the chance to go to New York for a weekend.
Now, Ernie's not a seasoned traveller just yet, but he knows what he
likes, and he had a list.
"The place with the dinosaurs! And...and...that zoo in Parasite Eve!
And the Statue of Liberty. What was the name of that island in X-Men?
That place, too! And the art museum! Where are they going to eat?"
OK, so Ernie likes the basics, and it all ultimately comes down to
where to find the food. But it's a good starting point.
Are there any 7 year-olds on the planet who don't like dinosaurs? If
yours still has a first name relationship with our very old friends,
he'll enjoy the American Museum of Natural History, which plays host
to, among other things, more than ONE MILLION vertebrate fossils,
including an apatasaurus and a triceratops. Currently, there is also
a special exhibition about chocolate, which runs through September
(I caught the Chocolate exhibition last summer at Chicago's Field
Museum, and it was outstanding.)
The American Museum of Natural History
Next on Ernie's list is "that zoo in Parasite Eve" - The Central Park
Zoo. Opened in August of 1988, the Central Park Zoo has earned rave
reviews from its nearly one million yearly visitors. Carefully
planned to lead visitors through various habitats to visit with more
than 1400 animals, the Central Park Zoo also helps in conservation
efforts for red pandas and the rare and endangered tamarin monkey.
If your little guy likes to pet the animals too, the Tisch Children's
Zoo is right there to satisfy the craving for warm fuzziness.
The Central Park Zoo
You can't go to New York City without paying a visit to Lady Liberty.
"Liberty Enlightening the World" has graced New York Harbor since
1886, and has become one of the most recognizable symbols for our
When I visited her in 1987, I was astounded by the view from the
observation deck in the Crown. Alas, since the devastation of
September, 2001, the statue itself is no longer open to visitors, but
the grounds still are, and provide an interesting view of the statue
as well as of New York City. Ellis Island National Monument is
included as part of the Liberty Island park (thus handling both the
Statue of Liberty and X-Men requirements nicely), and houses an
incredibly informative museum :
Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty Facts
Ernie loves art museums, but he's not accustomed to having more than
one at a time - we have only one in Toledo! - so he didn't have any
idea where he'd want to start.
Personally, I'd choose the Brooklyn Museum of Art for its outstanding
Egyptian collection. The collection is organized along a timeline
beginning in 1350 BC (Nefertiti's era), and extends through the reign
of Cleopatra VII (yes, *that* Cleopatra). My own 7 year-old is a
great fan of mummies and sarcophogi; if yours shares the fascination,
he'll be enchanted here:
The Brooklyn Museum of Art
Thus concludes the resident 7 year-old's NYC wish list. But! I have
more to add for you:
For pure fun and a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth, try the
10,000 square foot candy oasis, Dylan's Candy Bar. Dylan's is home to
thousands of candies from all over the world, and also boasts one of
the largest collections of vintage Pez dispensers!
Dylan's Candy Bar
In Central Park, Belvedere Castle beckons with spectacular views of
the park, a nature observatory...and it's a *castle*! How cool is
Tour the Big Apple like a real bigshot - in a helicopter! Why not?
Catch one of six different helicopter tours, from Liberty Helicopter
Tours. Reservations for parties of five or less are not required, but
they are recommended if you're on a schedule:
Liberty Helicopter Tours
For a different look, a Hudson River cruise may be just the thing.
Spirit Cruises offers several different cruises to choose from, all
with a gorgeous view of New York's skyline:
For a screming good time, hop on Coney Island's world famous Cyclone
in Brooklyn. Coney Island is the first and longest running urban
amusement park, with a history stretching back to the 1880's, and is
home to rides for both kids and adults, a circus sideshow, and the
famous Coney Island Boardwalk:
Broadway, anybody? At seven, your son is at the perfect age to be
introduced to the theater! Appealing to just about everyone is
Disney's Lion King, with Beauty and the Beast following close behind:
The Lion King
Beauty and the Beast
If Disney isn't his thing, why not start him off with a classic? My
own children were introduced to Broadway theater this past January,
with The Phantom of the Opera, and they loved it. Our resident 7
year-old was a little nervous at first, but quickly became engrossed
in the story and now pulls the cast recording out at every
The Phantom of the Opera
Oh wait...we forgot the food, didn't we? Highly recommended,
particularly for a signature specialty called Frrrozen Hot Chocolate,
is Serendipity 3. Serendipity 3 offers an extensive menu, the
occasional star sighting, and a chocolate themed gift shop just for
For more information and ideas, why not give these New York tourism
guides a look:
I Love New York - New York City Weekends
Great places to take children in New York City
NickJr. New York City Insider
I hope you've found this information helpful! If you need further
assistance, please just ask and I'll be glad to help you.
Search terms: [ "New York" with kids ] and the names of the museums