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Kid-friendly Events in New York City
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By Nicole Frank

There is always something going on in New York City. Theatre, music, clubs. New York is referred to the city that never sleeps for a reason! Yet not all New York City events and entertainment take place at night or indoors. What's more, many of the activities and attractions are appropriate for kids and the entertainment is oftentimes free. But to take advantage of all that New York City has to offer families a bit of thought and advance planning is required.

While there is no right or wrong time of the year to visit New York City with kids, the Christmas holiday season is magical. The window decorations are amazing. Rockefeller Center's huge Christmas tree must be seen to be believed. And there are hundreds of free holiday events and moving religious services that will capture even your youngest child's interest. But it is the peak travel season and the most popular events and attractions, not to mention affordable hotel rooms, are sold-out months in advance.

New York City museums, theaters and concert halls offer unparalleled riches. Most venues offer deep discounts for students and many events are specifically geared for children. The New Victory children's theater is one such example. This genuine Broadway Theater is just for kids. Don't miss the annual Kid's Night on Broadway when children as young as 6 are welcome to attend performances otherwise reserved for adults and with the purchase of an adult ticket, their attendance is free.

Families in search of free events need not look far. The many immigrant groups, which have built the city, offer a fascinating smorgasbord of cultural experiences for tourists of all ages. Each community has an annual parade or festival featuring that culture's traditional dress, dance, music and food. From Little Italy's San Genaro festival to the colorful Caribbean Day parade, there are endless delights for the little ones.

Copyright © Nicole Frank. All rights reserved. Nicole has successfully completed 27 home exchanges. She is the author of Home Exchange Travels an informative blog on home exchange travel and travel with children and seniors.
Getting Started
 
While there are a variety of websites specialized in New York City events they aren't all the same. GOCityKids is the only one-stop resource for everything kid in Manhattan. Urban Baby is the place to head for advice on events from New York City parents. Pick up a copy of Time Out New York or New York magazine, on sale at newsstands throughout Manhattan. Both list hundreds of free events. Time Out also publishes Time Out Kids quarterly. This version of the popular activity guide spotlights fun events for families and kids.
Plotting your Route
 
Online reservations are available for everything from movies to museums. If you can buy tickets to an event beforehand, do it. A nominal fee may be charged for online booking services but it's worth it to beat the crowds and avoid the disappointment of sold-out events. Don't forget to inquire about discounts for students and seniors! Scheduling popular activities for off-peak hours is another way to reduce the hassle. Take the kids to a Broadway musical on Tuesday night rather than the Saturday matinee. If you're already in New York and are looking for discount tickets, half-price same-day tickets to Broadway and off-Broadway shows can be purchased at the TKTS booths. The main booth is located at West 46th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, but smart folks head to the downtown booth situated on the corner of Front and John Street. Independent of the booth you choose, plan to arrive early unless you enjoy standing in a snaking queue. Museums and event passes are another must when visiting Manhattan with kids. Not only do passes offer a financial saving, they enable you to skip the long lines found at top New York City attractions.
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