Roaming NYC with a toddler?
June 17, 2010 11:55 AM   Subscribe

What are fun things to do with a 2 year-old in NYC? We're in Brooklyn, able to travel on the subway, and bored of the playground. Destinations and events are both welcome.

I'm babysitting my almost 2 year-old niece for some of the summer! I've discovered that she's an excellent subway traveler and enthusiastic for most entertainment and anything involving other kids. We've done the Brooklyn Children's Museum, the Highline, the NYC transit museum, Prospect Park, Pier 6, and walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.

I'm looking for outings that aren't necessarily all-day excursions. The Bronx Zoo, for instance, would be fun if it weren't for the long subway ride up there. I'm considering taking her on a schooner ride because she's obsessed with anything transportation-related, though I'm not sure if it's kid-friendly.

Any other ideas?
posted by Viola to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
What about the Staten Island Ferry? Is 2 too young for the MTA museum?

(My NY geography sucks, so that might be far away. The ferry, that is. I'm pretty sure the MTA museum is in Brooklyn.)
posted by mollymayhem at 12:09 PM on June 17, 2010


Is 2 too young for the MTA museum? I don't think so! Lots to touch and play with.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:11 PM on June 17, 2010


The Museum of Natural History is always a hit with kids (and is pretty neat for the adults too). It's easy to get to on the subway - the C train at 81st has an entrance right into the museum. It is a bit of a hike from Brooklyn, though.
posted by bedhead at 12:12 PM on June 17, 2010


It's not transportation oriented, but there is a big canoe at the downstairs entrance--that would be the Museum of Natural History--and readily accessible by subway from Brooklyn (I know).
posted by emhutchinson at 12:12 PM on June 17, 2010


Coney Island is only about 45 minutes on the F train, that is a lot of fun and they have an aquarium.
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 12:23 PM on June 17, 2010


I don't know NYC, but I remember two year olds well. My two year olds enjoyed:

Riding escalators
Blowing bubbles
Picnics
Rolling down hills or, alternately,
"Sledding" down a hill on a flattened cardboard box
Being pulled on a flattened cardboard box by a rope
Riding daddy like a horsey
Playing in water, especially away from a pool/beach setting.
Digging in dirt, making roads and paths for toy cars, figures, and stuff
We used to do this thing where we'd take food coloring drops and make "clouds" in the water and watch them disperse.
Pooh Sticks.
Find something to climb on top of that is not on a playground
Find something to climb into that is not on a playground (maybe the aforementioned cardboard box)
Find ways to make Really Cool Noises (like hitting a metal stick on a lamppost)
Find buttons to push
Shooting stuff with a slingshot or peashooter
Throwing rocks
Have a shapes/colors scavenger hunt (Maybe bring a toy/old camera and take pictures of shapes in their natural urban habitat.)
Hunt for colorful public art/graffitti
Make paper hats, paper planes

Of course, these all assume mom or dad or awesome adult is around to make sure these advetures are done safely and in a developmentally apropriate manner.
posted by cross_impact at 12:36 PM on June 17, 2010


I don't know if you guys hit this already in your Prospect Park outing, but I think Prospect Park has boat rides and a zoo of it's own. Yup boat rides. There's also some kid specific events there. Would she be into the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens (I think it's free during the day) at all? Just tell her it's a flower zoo.
posted by edbles at 12:38 PM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, and sidewalk chalk graffitti...
posted by cross_impact at 12:38 PM on June 17, 2010


Also Governor's Island needs a ferry ride to get there, and has several kids type events happening on a weekly basis. Your schooner ride's site has a FAQ that indicates they have policies regarding children's tickets and such so they definitely are okay with kids. I don't know specifically if it's fun for kids. You could try calling them? Would the water taxi be fun for her?
posted by edbles at 12:43 PM on June 17, 2010


The best playground in NYC is the Playground for All Children in Queens. Not knowing where you are in Brooklyn I don't know how much of a schlep it is, but it's great. It has stuff to do that you won't find at any other playground, including a cool river, huge swings, musical dealies... really, really cool. I took my two-year-old there several times and he loved it.

But it's been five years since I was there, so you should do some research first to make sure it's still excellent. When it was brand new it had odd hours, and the gate was locked when the playground was closed.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:58 PM on June 17, 2010


My two-year-old loved the Prospect Park zoo and the Aquarium (hated the beach, though). The Brooklyn Botanic Garden has a nice kids' garden. He also loved going to Ozzy's on 5th Ave to see the coffee-roasting machine. And the library (Central and branches). Battery Park City and the Wintergarden are a sight. The Brooklyn Heights Promenade is okay--lots of choices can be combined with a stop at a nearby playground (good for diaper changes). OH oh oh--have they fixed the kinetic sculpture at Port Authority? We would go to watch the pool balls roll a couple of times a month at least. Greenmarkets are great, too. Union Square is big, but there are lots of local ones, too. Construction sites are interesting, or the 9th street drawbridge across the Gowanus canal. Good view of a working scrapyard there, too.
posted by rikschell at 6:28 PM on June 17, 2010


There is a small amusement park for little kids near the 25th Ave stop on the D Train in Brooklyn called Adventurers. For any Brooklyn natives out there it used to be called Nelly Bly.

And if you get bored Coney Island is just a few stops away.
posted by Nyarlathotep at 8:43 PM on June 17, 2010


Once again, I can't do links because I'm on my phone, so here's a bunch of stuff to check out when you get the chance (info for all is online):
- inexpensive classes at the Park Slope Armory
- the new playground in Cobble Hill/Bklyn Bridge Park
- art exploration drop-in session at Children's Museum of the Arts in NoLiTa
- Central Park Zoo and Tisch Children's Zoo (they are next to each other)
- Victorian Gardens children's amusement park in Central Park
- Kids' music live performances in Madison Sq Park on Tuesdays and Thursdays
- Kids' events like yoga and dance parties in Union Sq on Thursdays
- South St Seaport also has live music for kids on certain days, plus tour the ships.
posted by xo at 11:40 AM on June 18, 2010


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