We’ll take Manhattan

If you’ve always thought NYC was too grown up a place to bring the kids, think again.

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Published in Parents Canada in July 2016

As a young girl growing up in small town Ontario in the 1970s, I dreamed of moving to New York City, becoming a writer and immersing myself in all the culture the city had to offer - great works of theatre on Broadway, great works of art at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and great works of literature at the New York Central Library.

I pictured myself gliding past Patience and Fortitude, the famous pair of regal marble lions outside the Fifth Avenue library, and finding a cosy nook where I would spend hours curled up with my nose in a book.

I figured it would only be a matter of time before I got a job as a copywriter at Seventeen magazine and thus begin my ascent up the ranks of the Hearst Publishing Corporation.

Alas, I didn’t make it there until I was 23 and I was on my honeymoon. I can still remember every detail of the best meal of our newly married lives - the beef that cut like butter, the garlicky Caesar, the bow-tied waiters and the impressive view of the Manhattan skyline - at Windows on the World, the restaurant on the 106th floor of the World Trade Center.

In the 30 years since, our family has travelled to NYC half a dozen times. We took our two girls, Ruby and Lucy, on a weeklong trip as soon as we figured they were old enough (8 and 11) to really appreciate the city’s urban delights.

If you’ve always thought NYC was too grown up a place to bring the kids, think again. Families represent about a third of the 60 million tourists who visit NYC every year.

In fact, with the recent launch of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as the city’s official family ambassadors - part of a yearlong campaign promoting NYC as a family-friendly destination - it’s expected to attract even more kids and parents.

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