Five for budget family travel to New York City:
1. Here is a great website set up primarily for Dads with lists of inexpensive or free things to do in NYC. (www.nyc.gov/html/hra/nycdads/html/things/borough_manhattan.shtml)
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2. Something we like to take advantage of as well is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Central Park. Children under 12 are free. We found that the museum does not charge for adult admission if you arrive an hour before closing. When kids are little an hour may be all you can handle. So we picked out specific things we wanted to see ahead of time and just made a beeline to those exhibits.
3. Another favorite budget activity is shopping in Bergdorf’s! Check out all the beautiful window displays then head up to the candy shop on the seventh floor. There you can buy a lovely souvenir at little expense, for example, individually wrapped chocolate covered stir sticks, very colorful (they even provide free gift wrap), just $15.00.
4. A shopping experience my teenager girls loved, and even my son and husband joined in, was at Sabon, at their flagship store located in the SOHO shopping district. Here you are invited in for an immediate salt-scrub hand wash; excellent timing if you are are planning on eating soon. The store is charming and the staff are always super-friendly. Lots of testers and small expense items for a souvenir if you are interested. My girls love the face polisher–made in Israel.
5. The new elevated sidewalk park (free) in the meatpacking district, has become a favorite. The kids were really intrigued by it and the photo opportunities are particularly great. See nyc.com for a description, photos, and a map layout.