In today's world, most of us find ourselves working all the time. Cell phones or tablets in hand it is really hard to shut off. I am thankful for Shabbat every week, but I still feel that I don't give quite enough of my time and attention to my kids. During the school year, everyone is running around, Sundays get filled up with extra curricular activities and my husband and I fight over time to work rather than time to take the kids out and have some fun. Last Summer we decided we would devote our Sundays to our family. We planned an outing each week where we all could be together, let go of our work and our digital devices explore our city and be together. We called it Super Summer Sundays.
Whether you decide to follow in our stead or just want some ideas for those living or visiting NY, I thought I would share a few of our favorite things to do in NY with a family.
1. Queens Science Center - Did you know that you can get free admission to this museum on Sundays before 11:00am? It does not apply in July and August, so luckily we got it in the last week of June. The museum was incredibly kid friendly even for the much younger set, it was very hands on and interactive. Nearby, they also have a huge playground and carousel and mini golf and tons of kosher restaurants, this is a must visit.
2. Prospect Park Zoo - I live in the Bronx and we do love the Bronx Zoo, but it is really big and sometimes it is more manageable to go to a smaller zoo. I had to be in Brooklyn for work anyways that day, but we didn't want to miss a Sunday, so it was a good excuse and a great 2 hours.
3. Caramoor - Gorgeous setting for a picnic and music outing, get the kids interested in classical music in a child friendly way. At Caramoor in Westchester, about 1 hour from the city they offer music concerts that you can listen to from the picnic grounds. During the show we were even able to wander closer to see the stage for the few minutes of attention span my kids had.
4. New York Historical Society - this recently renovated museum has an unbelievable children's floor, great for all ages, seriously I learned a lot too. And if you have a Bank of America card they participate in free first Sundays, I highly recommend checking this place out, perfect for a hot or rainy day when you want air conditioning and make sure to check their schedule they sometimes have kids movies showing.
5. Tour of the Lower East Side and the Tenement Museum - it had been years since I had been down the LES and the whole neighborhood has completely changed. Luckily they still have some of the old kosher stand bys, Kossars Bialy and The Pickle Guys, so we got to take home lots of treats. But more importantly they still have the Tenement museum and a few gorgeous old synagogues. At the tenement museum we went on a Meet the Resident tour that was geared for children and while I found it a bit pricey for a one hour tour, I really did enjoy it and so did the kids. Then we were able to visit a few of the synagogues including The Eldridge Street Synagogue - with one of the most gorgeous stain glass work I have seen in this city.
There are so many more amazing sites in this city, we also did Liberty Island (thus the main image) and the Cloisters which were also fantastic and both had kid friendly Audio Guides for kids 5 and up it is really worth it. I love that every week we create new memories with each other and I hope that I have inspired you to do the same. What are your favorite sites and activities to do as a family?