Wednesday, February 11, 2009
The Grown-Up's Guide to Visiting New York City with Kids
"If we had millions, we'd use it to travel the world, educating our kids as we actually experience the places we are talking about..."
Do you and your husband daydream like this, too?
Well, realistically, I doubt we will never have our millions, but we do live here in Connecticut, close enough to travel (somewhat inexpensively) to a place where the whole world comes together, a place where modern society and history mix by the second: New York City.
Though life in NYC is usually unapologetic for it's fast pace and varied flavors, if you look closer, you can see that so much of what is going on there is linked to the past. Each neighborhood has a story and character that was shaped by events that we will cover in our studies. Harlem, for example, was brought to life with African American's from the south who were seeking a place to enjoy freedom. Chinese immigrants filled what is now called Chinatown after the transcontinental railroad was complete, in the wake of intense discrimination. The city is full of unique, rich, educational activities and sites that bring the whole world, quite literally, right out onto the streets of NYC.
And, it looks like more and more NYC locals are taking advantage of these resources and using what the city offers to home school their children. You can read an interesting article about the growth of homeschooling among the city's residents. One homeschooling resident said, simply, "“This is New York...There is so much to do.”
I think this is one of my new favorite books. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to visit NYC, useful for those who will or will not have children in tow. Honestly, it is one of the most interesting things I'm reading right now, even though it's actually a travel guide.
The book gives a short profile of each area in NYC, right down to Soho, making it possible for even the biggest bumpkin to feel less intimidated by the size, sites and action he will encounter during his visit. And, the book lists hundreds of places, events and stores that only locals may ever find out about, also equipping the reader with plenty of practical information that will get her where she wants to go and even allow her to bring her kids along, too.
So, I think this book has become my unofficial guide for future field trips. With it, the internet and my telephone, I'll be unstoppable!