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    Flights to New York

    New York is an attractive and surprising city, a cultural melting pot with hundreds of theatres, a large number of diners and Wall Street, the financial centre of the USA.

    The most important sights of New York include the Empire State Building, which is one of many skyscrapers that dominate the city’s skyline. The crown of the Statue of Liberty also affords a magnificent view of the city.

    A trip across Brooklyn Bridge is certainly an attraction. This bridge was the first steel suspension bridge ever to be built. At the time of its opening in 1883, it was also the longest bridge in the world, with a length of 470 metres. You can relax in Central Park, which is the most famous park in New York City and the entire world. It covers an area of 430 hectares in the middle of Manhattan.


    5 days in New York City with your children

    Story and pictures from Ada, a colleague from the web team and a trying-to-do-her-best mum 

    Little Italy New York City

    Finally the day has come and you are making your dream come true: you are going to NYC! You are already packing different outfits, one for a night out in one of the hottest clubs of the city, one for going to a Broadway show, one for dinner in this gorgeous rooftop restaurant, when you feel a little presence behind you and suddenly realize: I have a child and he is coming to New York with me! So what? No clubbing, no concerts, no Broadway shows? Don’t panic: New York is a great venue for families with children. There are so many things to do that you won’t regret (or maybe just a little) having come with your little ones. And don’t forget that New Yorkers have kids as well! So, don’t hesitate to take your children to restaurants, shows and museums!

    Some tips before you get started:

    • Pack comfortable shoes: you are going to be walking and walking, so spend a minute thinking what you and your kids will be wearing all day.
    • Check the weather forecasts for New York during your holiday and pack clothes accordingly. But remember: best time to visit New York is anytime!
    • Think about bringing a travel health kit for your children, but also consider that the city is packed with pharmacies where you will find everything you might need.
    • Don’t underestimate jetlag. Travelling to a different time zone can be challenging for both adults and children and if you are staying in New York for a limited time, you need to enjoy every moment. Here are a couple of tips: 
      • If you take the morning flight, you will have a full day ahead you when you arrive. Try to sleep during the flight to save energy. And try to stay awake until bedtime.
      • As soon as you arrive, put your watch forward, but keep the original time on your phone (or vice versa). This way you can keep track of your child’s regular eating and sleeping patterns.
      • Daylight regulates the body clock. So even if you feel exhausted, take your kids out for a walk or let them play outside in a playground.
      • Make sure your kids eat before going to bed. Often it’s hunger that wakes you up when you change time zone because your body thinks it’s time for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
      • Try to get your kids back to sleep if they wake up too early. If this is not an option, let them play or watch TV and then get up. New York at dawn is awesome and waking up early can have its advantages: no queues at any attraction and no crowd at popular places!
      • Be careful with naps: you just want to lay down a minute and you end up sleeping for hours. This is definitely not helping your biorhythm.
    • Prepare you kids: explain to them that you will be going to a very big city and that they would need to stay close to you all the time. If they are not used to public transport, consider taking local public transport with them once or twice.

    Day 1 - Let your holiday in New York begin

    Even if you can’t wait and want to see everything from the moment you land at New York JFK airport, don’t overdo the first day. You and your kids will be tired from the flight. Take it easy, explore the neighborhood of your hotel or your apartment, maybe find a playground and try out public transport. If you really can’t wait, consider getting on board one of the hop-on hop-off buses (multi-days tickets are available) to get first impressions of the city.

    Staten Island Ferry, New York City, Manhattan view

    Day 2 - Staten Island and the Statue of Liberty

    There are many iconic buildings in New York, but the Statue of the Liberty is undoubtedly one of the most famous. If you don’t feel like visiting the museum, then the Staten Island Ferry is a good option, and furthermore it’s free! During this 20-minutes cruise you will get great views of the Statue, the harbour and lower Manhattan. After that, you’ll feel ready to conquer New York! 

    Since you will be in lower Manhattan, you will be able to walk through the Financial District, Wall Street (yes, many kids will be keeping an eye open for Spider Man) and Trinity Church. If you wish to tell your kids about September 11, then you can head to Ground Zero nearby.

    Afterwards rest in the nice garden around the City Hall. Your kids will probably have their first encounter with the popular New York squirrels! Feeling hungry? Then it’s time to head to neighbouring Little Italy and Chinatown. 

    After some nice spring rolls or a pizza and gelato, you will feel ready for the last sprint of the day: fancy Soho and eclectic Tribeca.

    Day 3 - Manhattan and Central Park

    Today, it’s time to head to the heart of Manhattan and finally see Times Square. Usually very crowded, if jetlag happens to take you there early in the morning, you will discover another face of this iconic place and have the opportunity to take selfies and pictures undisturbed. 

    A visit to New York is not complete without climbing to one of the observation decks on top of famous skyscrapers. You can climb to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building (watch out for King Kong, though!), the 71st floor of the Chrysler Building, the 70th floor of the Rockefeller Center (Top of the Rock) or the 102nd floor of the World Trade Center. They all offer great views over the Manhattan skyline and an unforgettable experience. Whether you want to climb only one or the four of them, we advise you to book your tickets online in advance. Just in front of the Rockefeller Center you will find the famous ice-skating rink (from October to April), surrounded by about 200 flags (revise your geography if you do not want your kids to make a fool of you!). 

    And now, you are ready for another iconic landmark: Central Park. Enter from the Children’s Gate and enjoy the famous zoo (don’t miss the famous Madagascar Penguins), ride one of the horses at the ancient carrousel or take a boat ride. Parents could look for Strawberry fields (dedicated to John Lennon) and try to recognize all possible movie locations!

    Central Park New York City

    Day 4 - Things to do with your kids in New York

    Ok kids, let’s do a museum today! Which one? Here comes the difficult part: New York is home to hundreds of museums and most of them have things for kids. Just to mention a few: The American Museum of Natural History (don’t miss the dinosaur gallery), The New Public Library (check out the Winnie-the-Pooh area), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (offering workshops for kids), The Museum of Modern Art - MoMa (offering family day and family activities), The Guggenheim Museum (although children will love this funny circular building, explain to them it’s not a huge slide), The Children’s Museum of Manhattan (with a special “Dora the Explorer” play area), The Brooklyn’s Children Museum (discover world cultures and nature at the world’s first museum for children), The New York Hall of Science (in summer you’ll find an outdoor science playground and a mini-golf), Discover Times Square (exhibition center offering limited-run exhibitions –Star Wars exhibition is over, sorry!), The Museum of the Moving Image (including several playable video games), Madame Tussauds New York (world-famous wax museum). 

    We visited 2 of the above-listed museums, guess which ones?

    Day 5 - Coney Island

    It’s your last day in New York. You are all a little bit tired of so much walking, sightseeing and a lot of dos (stay close, give me your hand, stay seated…) and don’ts (don’t run, don’t climb there, don’t spill your $6 apple juice over this $3000 suit…). Do you want to see the smile back on your children faces? Then bring them to Coney Island and they’ll have the best time of their lives! 

    The amusement park includes more than 50 attractions, among them the Cyclone, a historic roller coaster opened in 1927. If you are on for a walk, you can take the Riegelman wooden walk, the longest in the world, breathing fresh sea air and maybe listening to Lou Reed’s album “Coney Island Baby” or just quickly to Tom Waits’ song with the same title if your children are too demanding. 

    Alternatively, you can visit the famous New York Aquarium and enjoy the sea-lion show and see a lot of sharks. If you are into animals, the Bronx Zoo is also an option: it’s simply the biggest zoo in the world! If only nature works for you, then head either to the New York Botanical Garden or the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

    That’s all folks! It’s time to head to the airport and fly back home. Have a good flight back and start thinking about your next family trip with Brussels Airlines. It was fun, wasn’t it?


    New York Brunch Spots

    New York Brunch Spots

    No city does brunch quite like New York, and there are so many amazing spots all around town for a great Sunday brunch and amazing cheesecakes. Here are five favourites to put on your must do list!




    Our suggestions:

    SLEEP There’s something every tourist wants from New York: Art Deco furnishings, gilded cornering, Mad Men furniture and a sense that the city never really left the glory days of the 1930s. The Archer Hotel New York (45 West 38th Street, archerhotel) is more than willing to accommodate you.
    EAT Peter Luger (178 Broadway, www.peterluger.com) is so good it turned up in The Sopranos. Opened in 1887, it has built a reputation for serving the city’s best steaks – the owner boasting that he gets first pick at New York’s meat markets.
    LATER The Bell House (49 7th Street, www.thebellhouseny.com) has been manufacturing good times for as long as anybody can remember. Formerly a sweater factory, it now plays host to the city’s best bands and puts together brilliant theme nights.
    ACTIVITIES

    • Comic-book nirvana exists and its name is Midtown Comics (200 West 40th Street). We’re talking aisles and aisles of web slinging, hulking smashing, supermanning and avenging.
    • New York is best explored with a local – somebody who knows the streets, the history, and the best place to grab a hotdog at 2am. Bike the Big Apple (www.bikethebigapple.com) does exactly what it says on the tin, offering bicycle tours through the most famous neighbourhoods with an enthusiastic local guide.
    PRACTICAL INFO 
    • Taxis into the city take from 30 to 60 minutes. They cost $45/€40 flat fare to Manhattan, not including bridge tolls and tip, and are cash only. It’s polite to tip at least a dollar per bag if the taxi driver assists you.
    • The NYC Airporter Bus departs roughly every 30 minutes for the Bus Terminal, Grand Central Station and Penn Station.
    • The New York City subways and buses run to and from JFK International Airport.

    ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization)

    If you are a citizen of a country that is part of the Visa Waiver Programme, you are able to travel to the US without a visa provided you hold a valid ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). Check your eligibility and apply for your ESTA here >>

    In addition, you also need a valid e-Passport. You can identify an e-Passport by the 'chip' symbol on its front cover.

    These rules also apply for travellers who are planning to transit in the USA or intend to stopover on the way to their destination.

    Please note that if you transit through or stopover in Canada to travel to the US (or viceversa), you will need both an eTA and an ESTA.