Since you’re so great at planning days out in NYC, what do you recommend for a day out in NYC with a 4 year old?
Puppies ARE cuter than any baby in the world.
Face it, all babies look the same. They come in a few colors, range modestly in size, and the only clear distinction is how their handlers dress them. Now that that’s settled, it should be obvious: kids are like dogs.
You bring pups to a dog run to socialize, sure, but mostly you just want to wear them down. So, to answer your question: what do I recommend for a day out in NYC with a four-year-old? I recommend wearing them down, not you. Or at the very least for you to have some fun, too.
Now then, does this four year old have a V or a P? Because if I go on and on about high tea at The Plaza and an afternoon spent at American Girl getting manicures that’ll kinda make me the prick. Being the mama to one of each, I opt for more universal fun. I’ll start with the cliche setup: Broadway matinee, carriage ride through Central Park, romping through FAO Schwartz, Serendipity III for Frozen Hot Chocolate. It might be cliche, but it’s memorable… though perhaps not for a four-year-old.
Instead, you might try the New York Hall of Science. I used to go here a lot growing up. Yes, it’s in Queens, but it’s awesome. I remember it being designed for all different ages. Pendulums, huge bubble makers, water play, and once when I was there they were dissecting a cow eyeball. Taking them to that will make you the coolest person ever.
It depends what day of the week, but Alice’s Tea Cup (and Chapter II) is always fun because there is a "wee tea" or a "small tea" where kids get a scone with raspberry jam and lemon clotted cream, a sandwich of their choice… yes, even grilled cheese if need be, a small pot of tea (which they can even do iced), and a small chocolate mousse with whipped cream and sprinkles. Plus fairy wings at the door, etc. Or there’s an afternoon tea at The Plaza, on Sundays I believe (I think it’s $35, but I could be wrong, and I believe it might be closed right now, so call before you go). The fun of Serendipity III is another option.
There’s the Central Park Zoo, in particular the sea lion feedings (check zoo schedule for times). It’s a real zoo with penguins, polar bears, etc., not just a petting zoo. You can shell out the bucks for a carriage ride through Central Park, or do a matinee musical. But that depends on the attention span of the child.
If it’s summer, here’s another suggestion: head all the way down to the Brooklyn Bridge exit on the subway, in Tribeca. There is a terrific outdoor playground with water features, sandboxes, and even a water slide that looks like a tobogganing shoot… look up Teardrop Park.
"The park is overseen by the Battery City Parks Conservancy, and it features prominent rock outcroppings, a magnificent bluestone "ice wall," a great slide, sandboxes, waterplay, a reading area with rock seats, and places to rock hop. Best of all, it’s not easy to find, so it’s a real "insiders" secret." — Go City Kids
Alternatively, take their favorite New York movie or book and create your own tour.