Visiting New York with a bright 7 year old. What to see that will keep him interested?
June 16, 2004 5:31 AM   Subscribe

Spending a weekend in New York City with a bright 7-year-old. Will be visiting various areas of the city for shopping and eating pursuits, and have identified stuff that will engage the kid in each area, except Chinatown. Any recs? (M.I.)

Some of the places we'll visit in other areas, for comparison: Times Square Kids-R-Us, American Museum of Natural History, Grand Central Station, Staten Island ferry, Dylan's Candy Bar. We have been to Chinatown together before, to eat, but not really to explore.
posted by sacre_bleu to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (15 answers total)
Not in China Town, but the shops along Canal Street can inspire some creativity.

In China Town, certainly a tea house with dim sum is a great way to eat something good. At least used to be affordable, too.

Otherwise, you already got my 2 favorites: Museum of Natural History and the Staten Island Ferry :-)
posted by Goofyy at 5:38 AM on June 16, 2004

Dim sum--there's a place on Mott St. that's good...strolling on Mott is fun too--ducks hanging in the window, little stores with exotic toys, and candy, and pastry, and stuff. And what Goofyy said about Canal st--is Pearl River still there? (great multi-level store)
posted by amberglow at 5:45 AM on June 16, 2004

Pearl River has moved onto Broadway, just a few blocks north. The new store is bigger and nicer, yet retains the hodge-podge kind of charm of the old spot.

Does this kid like video games? A wander through the indoor mall on Elizabeth St (south of Canal, west side of the street) for a look at the imported games and gadgets will blow her/his mind.

There's also a cool little ice cream place where Elizabeth hits Bayard (that's the next block south of Canal) -- they have green tea or red bean ice cream if the kid is feeling adventurous. If not, they have regular western flavors, too. That's a good spot if the weather is right.
posted by bcwinters at 5:58 AM on June 16, 2004

If you can, go see the diorama of NYC at the Queen's Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. It's very cool! The children's science museum is nearby too.
posted by riffola at 6:14 AM on June 16, 2004

Here's the official Queens Museum site featuring the NYC panorama. The NYC Hall of Science is across the highway too, you can cross over using the overpass.
posted by riffola at 6:22 AM on June 16, 2004

You already have a very full plate for a weekend, so maybe a stroll through Chinatown is all that's required. Or you might try the ice cream factory on Bayard. Go down Mott to the intersection of Bayard. Stand with your back to the Haagen Dazs. Look up Bayard to the east. You'll see a big green and yellow flag with a dragon on it. That's the ice cream factory (so-called, but no factory, as far as I know). Lots of great exotic flavors, like vanilla and chocolate, and regular flavors like green tea and lychee. (Their joke, not mine.)
posted by Mo Nickels at 6:27 AM on June 16, 2004

You must must MUST play tic tac toe against the chicken on Mott St. (I think it's the same videogame arcade bcwinters mentioned.) It's horrible from an animal rights standpoint, but you can't pass up getting beat by a chicken at tic tac toe.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:31 AM on June 16, 2004

Yeah, definitely check out the Chinatown Ice Cream place. He(?) might get a kick out of a place like Munchie's Paradise on Mott, which not only has plenty of weird candies, but also a lot of super-weird savory treats, like various dried sea animals. If I were a 7-year-old boy, I'd be in perverse glee.
posted by mkultra at 6:49 AM on June 16, 2004

Response by poster: Cunning: After reading about the tic-tac-toe chicken in Calvin Trillin, I tried to find it on Mott Street last year, without success. When did you last encounter this fabulous fowl?
posted by sacre_bleu at 9:39 AM on June 16, 2004

I hear that Lily the chicken was released to the custody of some animal rights activists in 1998. (But Calvin Trillin rocks.)
posted by Vidiot at 10:13 AM on June 16, 2004

Yes, alas, the chicken is no more.
posted by Mo Nickels at 10:25 AM on June 16, 2004

Many shops in Chinatown offer Bubble Tea (also known as tapioca pearl drinks), which I think would be great fun for a 7-year old.
posted by hsoltz at 1:35 PM on June 16, 2004

Central Park Zoo! My kids particularly love the Polar Bears. If the weather is nice see the zoo and then wander the park near the zoo. There are a couple of great playgrounds nearby. The Bronx Zoo is one of the world's greatest, but the commitment is commensurate.

NYC's greatest attraction has always been the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It excites all ages, and seven is a perfect age. Has your seven year old seen the Sesame Street Tape "Don't Eat the Pictures" where all of the characters are locked in the museum over night? Regardless, (and at seven it is probably too late to get him or her to watch it) this museum carries many great exhibits for kids. In particular, try the armor, the mummies, and the Temple of Dendur, but kids love all the art.

Other great places to see: Sony IMAX theater, the top of the Empire State Building, the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum (air carrier), and Rockefeller Center.
posted by caddis at 8:28 PM on June 16, 2004

One more thought, if you want to expose junior to the arts, you might want to consider a ticket to the NYC Ballet, upper tier (best for the NYC Ballet anyway because the choreography shows so well from there and the price and crowd are child friendly). This depends upon the child, but many kids, boys included, love the ballet at this age. Some never give up that love. Another fun event might be a Broadway show, such as the Lion King.
posted by caddis at 9:02 PM on June 16, 2004

The chicken is gone???? Woe, I say. Woe.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:26 PM on June 16, 2004

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