Back in April, Anneka made her first visit to New York City. We landed on a Saturday, and went home Thursday. That gave me enough time to collect a few very random thoughts about going to New York City with a toddler. We were on the go non-stop, and even our first 12 hours were jam-packed.
- New York City playgrounds rock pretty hard. They have a pretty wide variety of features for kids of different ages. Honestly, though, Anneka would be perfectly OK with nothing by stairs and slide. The way she climbs up and down any type of staircase, I think her next vacation should be to a place with lots of pyramids.
- New York City restaurants are not very toddler-friendly. Think of any place you’d roll into without even thinking of it as an adult single or couple … and pretty much scratch that off your list. It was next to impossible to wedge Anneka’s IronMan stroller into any of those
places. We wound up at Whole Foods more times than I’d like to count. I also wound up having some of the worst pizza on the planet, and barged our way into the cozy Smorgas Chef (which was worth the effort).
- The American Museum of Natural History is pretty decent. The exhibits are definitely first-class, especially the dinosaur area. But they may not be the most exciting for a toddler too young to connect those elaborate collections of bones to a huge living creature. Not the museum’s fault – just a fact of a toddler’s capacity.
- New York City sidewalks can be a challenge with a stroller. One stretch of sidewalk is fine – the next? Well, it might be under construction, jammed full of smokers, exposed to a
brutal wind … you name it. There are places where they’re wide and perfect, sure. But this is a city that largely predate modern urban planning.
- Oh, and subways with a stroller? Don’t get me started. New York City subways might be even worse than London tube stops for their lack of wheelchair/stroller access.
- New York City parents and their kids are pretty friendly. More than a few struck up conversations with us, and their usually older kids were very kind to Anneka.
- Watch out for April. The weather can go from beautiful to brutal and back and back again – possibly before lunch. The wind can be awful. So be ready – show up with a hat and gloves for you, and some good blankets for that little person.
What this all adds up to: Traveling in New York City with a toddler is a mixed bag. I felt like I had a way easier time in San Diego – with better beer, to boot!