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Five New York City Destinations for Young Readers

Updated on March 23, 2019

Five New York City Destinations for Young Readers

New York City is a favorite destination among tourists, reaching a record 65.2 million visitors in 2018. Hosting world-renowned restaurants, art, and entertainment, New York earned the nickname “Center of The Universe.”A bustling nightlife fills the city with vibrant energy. Tourists won’t have far to search for delicious cuisine and outstanding entertainment in the hours spanning past midnight.

The city’s charm inspires a good time for everyone, but what if your bedtime falls before 10 pm? Travelers, twelve years of age and under,would be better suited for daytime excursions. Where can young travelers go within a city as large as New York? Why not use beloved children’s books as a guide?

Here are Five destinations within walking distance of one another. Travelers could visit these sites in a single day.

1 –Visiting Central Park for a Mouse-sized Adventure

Stuart Little by E.B. White - Begin your young traveler’s New York adventure with a mouse’s view of Central Park. The massive urban green space spans 843 acres and contains several notable sites. Visit the places Stuart enjoyed with his adopted family in this classic tale.

  • Conservatory Water – Float radio and wind-powered sailboats like Stuart raced in the book and film
  • Bethesda Terrace (Fountain) – Keep an eye on the skies for Stuart’s toy plane
  • The Mall – Scurry along the bench-lined paths, but don’t forget to watch out for joggers!
  • Alice in Wonderland – Stop by while you’re near mid-park
  • Carousel – Don’t leave Central Park without taking a spin. A carousel has been standing in the park since 1871

2 –Mysteries in the Metropolitan Museum of Art

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg – Claudia has a taste for elegance and a desire to run away from home. She and her brother Jamie head to the Met. Inside its historic walls, they find a mystery. The museum, founded in 1870, boasts an impressive collection of art from around the world. Some pieces are over 5,000 years old.

Keep your young traveler’s curiosity piqued with searches for the mysterious angel statue from the book. Can you spot other items referenced by Claudia, Jamie and Mrs. Frankweiler?

3 – A Jaw Snapping Goodtime at Central Park Zoo

Lyle, Lyle Crocodile by Bernard Waber – Our favorite crocodile isn’t a fan of zoo life. He longs to return to his home on East 88th Street. Your young traveler, however, will find hours of fun visiting their favorite animals or watching staff feed the sea lions and penguins.

Walking around the exhibits can tire your paws. Take a break in the 4D Theatre to watch educational programs. Check zoo schedules for show times during the Winter months.

4 – Eloise at The Plaza

Eloise by Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight – Head south past the Central ParkZoo, you can’t miss your first view of the iconic Plaza Hotel. Its exterior, a favorite of filmmakers, has been immortalized countless times in film, photographs, and books.

It is the hotel’s most famous resident, Eloise, your young traveler will remember during the visit. The Plaza Hotel has embraced the fun with an Eloise shop, themed suites and birthday parties inspired by their favorite resident.

5 –Taking a Spy’s Route Around the Upper East Side

Harriet The Spy by Louise Fitzhugh – End your daytrip in the avenues of the Upper East Side. Take a cue from Harriet. Keep your eyes open for celebrity sightings. Stroll along the charming neighborhoods to get a sense of the fascinating character of the area. Experience fine dining or grab a quick snack at the local sweet shops.


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