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A Family Guide to New York City

New York City...for babies? Yes, you read that correctly. The big bad city is remarkably kid-friendly, and that includes babies too.
While the city doesn't stop for its smallest residents and visitors, they are welcomed in unexpected places, including upmarket restaurants and galleries, all over the city.

1. Art galleries and museums
Babies are ideal museum companions. They love looking at big bright objects, so it's the perfect chance to see The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art and The American Museum of Natural History while they are a captured, rapt audience.

You can also give baby an early art education with a stroller tour at the Guggenheim museum. The tours enable parents with kids under 24 months to stroll through the iconic building and enjoy a one-hour interactive tour with touchable objects and art making. $25 (includes museum admission)


2. Central Park
There are 3.41 km² of lawns, rocks, statues and playgrounds to explore in New York City's Central Park. Bring a picnic blanket, visit Whole Foods at Columbus Circle and grab a picnic lunch, and stroll away under arches and over bridges.

Babies will enjoy crawling over the Alice in Wonderland Statue, listening to buskers in the Bethesda Terrace or visiting the animals in the Central Park Zoo. The Tisch Children’s Zoo gives little ones the opportunity to pat and feed friendly farm animals.


3. Carousels
The city is filled with them! New York babies grow up on these carousels - the most famous being the stunning Jane’s Carousel on the Brooklyn waterfront (make a day of it and grab pizza from nearby Juliana’s and eat it in the park next to the carousel).

The carousel was built in 1922 and lovingly restored by hand in 2011. In Manhattan, the new Seaglass carousel in Battery Park give the surreal impression of being under the sea.

4. Restaurants
Taste the fantastic food the city has to offer with your young one. While babies are welcome in most restaurants, some are more kid-friendly than others.

Try brunch at Sugar & Plumm, Isabella's, Balthazar and Sarabeth’s. These restaurants all adore children - and are iconic American eateries that you will enjoy, too.

For an on-the-go kind of snack, let older babies try their first New York bagel - it will spoil all other bagels for them for life!


5. Playgrounds
Babies love swings, and New York is full of playgrounds. If you visit New York during summer, take your baby to one of New York’s playgrounds with water features.

The best for littlies include the Imagination Playground down in the South Street Sea Port with its giant foam blocks, mats, wagons and fabric, the Hudson River Park Pier 51 Playground that features a shallow man-made brook running through it, and the East River Park with its cute, bronze harbor seals to climb on, and water shooting up from ground fountains.

Getting around the city:

Take the subway. The NYC subway is fast, reliable and cheap. Try to travel outside of peak hour when it’s less cramped (and less stressful) and find stations with elevator access if you plan to take a stroller.

Navigate your way around the city with Baby in a carrier or lightweight/umbrella stroller. The streets are generally packed with people making larger strollers hard to manoeuvre.

Christine Knight writes about navigating the world and parenthood on her site, . Adventure, Baby! You can find her sampling gelato and cake around the world with her preschooler, or building sandcastles at the beach in her home town of Sydney.

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