Planning A Family Trip To NYC Part 1

Planning A Family Trip To NYC: Call me odd, which of course is true, but as my family was planning our first trip to New York City, I was actually not really looking forward to it. I was dreading the huge crowds, the summer heat, blah, blah, blah.  But wow was I wrong. The place was clean, easy to get around, vibrant, and filled with all kinds of excitement and life. Now I can actually see myself going back again and again and again. My purpose in this article is to help you see how easy it is to get around in New York City and how much you will love your trip. Hopefully, I’ll give you some tips on how to travel easily, affordably, and effectively.
So without further ado, let’s get going.

Day 1 Family Trip to NYC

LaGuardia Airport

We decided to fly into LaGuardia Airport because frankly, it was closer to the city, and transportation there was affordable and convenient to get into the city. The wonderful bonus is that you get to see the Statue of Liberty out in the river as you’re flying into LaGuardi, what a great way to be welcomed into the city.

Planning A Family Trip To NYC

Planning A Family Trip To NYC ~ View of The Statue of Liberty While Flying into Laguardia, Airport

Be careful not to use just any transportation service at the airport. There’ll be lots of individuals trying to sell you a private taxi service, and they’re not a valid taxi,  Keep your head up and eyes open so you understand what’s going on before they grab your stuff.

We flew in on a Saturday and took a taxi from LaGuardia to our hotel which was right by the United Nations Headquarters at the intersection of 1st Avenue and East 49th Street. We checked into our hotel quickly and started our adventure.

Walking Across Manhattan

At this point, we were not familiar with the trains and the buses or any other forms of transportation in the city,  so we actually headed out on foot to walk completely across the city.

Planning A Family Trip To NYC

Planning A Family Trip To NYC ~ Fountain in Bryant Park NYC

Yep, you heard it here first, we walked across Manhattan from the east side to the west side basically on 42nd Street. We walked through Bryant Park and took a little rest by one of the fountains.

Then we proceeded into Times Square to experience the first exhilaration of all the dynamic energy of the city.

Planning A Family Trip To NYC

Family in TimesSquare NYC

We finally made our way over to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum on the Hudson River.

Planning A Family Trip To NYC

Planning A Family Trip To NYC ~ Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum NYC

Wow, it was a wild first day of travel and everyone was pretty exhausted by the end of the day. So it was time to find some food and then go back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep so we could have lots of energy for the next day of excursions.

Day 2 Family Trip to NYC

They say New York is the city that never sleeps but that’s not quite true. If you get up early on a Sunday morning and head out for your excursions, this city is quite still and relatively peaceful. We knew it was time for us to start using the Subway to make our transportation around the city less time consuming and exhausting. I highly recommend you get the all-you-can-ride pass from the MTA, so for one fixed cost, you can ride all the trains and buses for the time that you’re there. It worked perfectly for us.

Planning A Family Trip To NYC

Planning A Family Trip To NYC ~ Empty Grand Central Station NYC on a Sunday Morning

Grand Central Station

So we headed to Grand Central Station. Early on Sunday morning, Grand Central Station is basically empty. When I originally showed some of my friend’s pictures of Grand Central Station empty they couldn’t believe it because they had never seen it that empty. Grand Central Station alone is a piece of history and a sight to behold.

The Statue of Liberty National Monument

Our purpose with getting to the subway was to actually make it down to Battery Park, which is the port on the southern tip of Manhattan where are you can take the boat cruise over to the Statue of Liberty.

Planning A Family Trip To NYC

Planning A Family Trip To NYC ~ Battery Park Statue of Liberty Boat Cruise Location

Our goal was to get going early to see the statue in its splendor without being molested by huge throngs of people. Mission accomplished.

Planning A Family Trip To NYC

Planning A Family Trip To NYC ~ Modern sculptures Statue of Liberty National Monument Park

We got there early to take the first boat of the day out to the Statue of Liberty. It felt almost like we were out in a Wilderness National Park because it was so quiet and beautiful, almost sacred.

Planning A Family Trip To NYC

Planning A Family Trip To NYC ~ Statue of Liberty National Monument

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

A poem by Emma Lazarus is graven on a tablet
within the pedestal on which the statue stands.


Whatever you do, don’t miss this treasure.

Brooklyn Bridge NYC

As we were around the southern tip of Manhattan, we got our first view of the Brooklyn Bridge. It is an amazing architectural wonder a work of beauty and, in my opinion, a piece of Fine Art. It is situated perfectly in the city to give you a stunning backdrop of the city skyline when you are on the appropriate side of the bridge. We haven’t gotten that to you yet, but it is a preview of things to come.

Planning A Family Trip To NYC

Planning A Family Trip To NYC ~ The Iconic Brooklyn Bridge NYC

The rest of the day, we were basically going to spend our time making it back towards the hotel but moving slowly and ducking into interesting places that caught our attention, discovering new sights and sounds along the way.

Street Vendors

Of course, you always have vendors along the street selling their wares.

Planning A Family Trip To NYC

Planning A Family Trip To NYC ~ Always Easy to find Steet Venders in NYC

NYC Architecture

There is interesting and beautiful architecture all over the city that, of course, draws my attention.

Planning A Family Trip To NYC

Planning A Family Trip To NYC ~ Example of Wonderfully Rich Architecture on NYC


911 Firefighters Museum

Then we ran into the fireman’s Memorial. It was the memorial to all the firemen lost during 911 in their heroic efforts to save others. That is a very powerful exhibition and worth your time.

Planning A Family Trip To NYC

Planning A Family Trip To NYC ~ NYC 911 Fireman’s 911 Memorial

New York City View at Night

Alas, it was time to head back towards our hotel and find some food for the evening. We decided to wait until it was a little later when the sun set, so we could see the city skyline from a high perspective.

Planning A Family Trip To NYC

Planning A Family Trip To NYC ~NYC City View From on High

As you can see the view from high in the sky, many places in the city are truly stunning. If at all possibly, plan your days so you can get this high perspective to get this kind of stunning view.

That’s all for now. We will continue this discussion of the next few days of the trip in my next blog post. I hope you’re learning a little bit as you read about our experiences and think about preparing to plan your trip. Feel free to drop me a line to ask questions as you plan your trip. Certainly, ask all your photography questions on how to capture the trip appropriately.

Check out Planning A Family Trip to New York City Part 2

And until next time get out and capture the adventure!

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Planning A Family Trip To NYC

Written by Wayne Moran - Visit Website