Looking for some fun activities to keep the kids amused while visiting New York? The president of the New 42nd Street (www.new42.org) entertainment corporation, Cora Cahan, is a busy New York mom and grandmother. She highly recommends the following:
The Best Show on Broadway for Kids
The New Victory Theater is hands-down the best entertainment for kids (and their parents) in New York. Whether it's a raucous Squirm Burpee Circus act or a sophisticated operatic version of Puss in Boots by the Gotham Chamber Opera, this theater puts on shows that thrill children and delight adults.
The Best Serious Fun
With more than 450 hands-on, interactive exhibits, this museum is the perfect antidote for kids sick of hearing "Don't touch!" Children learn about everything from atoms and molecules to space rockets. It's easier to absorb the laws of physics while on a surfboard in the Sports Challenge exhibit or playing a round at the Rocket Park Mini Golf course ($6 adults; $5 children). In the entry rotunda, be sure to look up and admire Ross Lewis' sculpture, Roto-Spher.
The Best Mini-Adventure
Staten Island Zoo (614 Broadway, Staten Island, NY; tel. 718/442-3100; www.statenislandzoo.org) General admission: $8 adults, $5 children ages 3-14; free on Wednesday afternoons.
Part of the adventure is getting there. Enjoy a free ride on the Staten Island Ferry (www.siferry.com), then board Bus #S-48. This small zoo is great for little kids and for seeing animals up close. Popular attractions include the farmyard, petting zoo, African Savannah, tropical forest, and aquarium. The acclaimed reptile wing houses an impressive collection of species.
The Best New Playground
Designed by famed architect David Rockwell, this playground gives kids a chance to do the building. While traditional playgrounds have fixed equipment such as slides and monkey bars, the Imagination Playground is an interactive space where kids play with loose parts -- giant foam blocks, wagons, fabric, and crates. A Playground Associate is on hand to facilitate. There's a sand "box" at one end and a water pond (during the warmer months) at the other.
The Best Sweet Treat
Carlo's City Hall Bake Shop (95 Washington St., Hoboken, NJ; tel. 201/659-3671; www.carlosbakery.com)
Here since 1910, this bakery became famous on TLC's TV reality series Cake Boss, featuring baker/owner Buddy Valastro. This family business attracts families who come for the colorfully-decorated cakes, baked fresh every morning without artificial flavorings or preservatives. The shop is just a few short blocks from the PATH train stop in Hoboken (15 minutes from Manhattan). In nice weather, take the NY Waterway ferry (www.nywaterway.com). Crowds line up on the weekends, so it's best to head over during the week.
Talk with fellow Frommer's travelers on our New York Forum.