Travel U for Kids

Travel U Library: New York City

Thanks for joining us for our 10 Books in 10 Minutes Facebook Live Event! Sharing stories from around the world is an amazing gift to give any child. That includes these great books about New York City. Putting the world in a young mind’s hands is one of the best ways to create productive, understanding adults. Books like this allow readers to develop life skills like empathy, cultural understanding, and a global sense of self.

NYC at night
Photo by Carlos Oliva on

TGC strives to connect travelers with quality literature and media that allows the curiosity in all of us to thrive. More importantly, the most powerful tool we have to be the best travelers we can be, regardless of our age, is gobal literacy. So, for more great reads and connections to travel and culture, click hereNote that some of the links below are affiliate links. I only recommend products & brands I love and that I think you would love, too!

New York City Trails

Straight from the publishers of some of the best travel guides for children comes New York City Trails. This book, great for your older explorers, has over 15 walking tours themed for every interest a kid could dream up! From the Battery to the Bronx, this book covers NYC covered. The pages are designed to explore all aspects of culture and get your kids excited about visiting the city that never sleeps.

Lost in NYC

Hang on tight! We’re going to get lost to have a great adventure! Lost in NYC is a great graphic short story perfect for the reluctant tween in your travels. Follow the story in real life or on a map!

Gracias, The Thanksgiving Turkey

There’s a little boy who misses his father a lot! But his dad sends him a little reminder that he’s on his way in the form of a real live gobbler! So, what happens when you’ve got a turkey in the big city? This neighborhood sized book will fill you in.

Balloons Over Broadway

Learn the true story of how the country’s most beloved Thanksgiving parade became the amazing Thursday morning spectacular it is! Start way back in the 1920’s to find out how those giant balloons started making their way down Broadway.

Lily and Miss Liberty

When the Statue of Liberty was gifted to the United States, it had one big issue: where to put it?! During the very hard days of the early nineteenth century, many of the city’s young citizens raised money to lift Lady Liberty up on put her on the pedestal that she stands on today. This great chapter book is perfect for grade schoolers

Little Miss Liberty

What’s a green girl to do when she needs to get ready to represent a generation? Check out this charming take on how Lady Liberty grew up to become the shining light she is now. Perfect for the younger set.

At Ellis Island

What was it like to be one of the masses that passed through the most famous immigration station in history? Read this story to find out the hardships and the triumphs and how Ellis Island became the first words in new chapters for so many Americans.

Roller Coaster

What’s it like to whoosh down the clackety wooden rails of a roller coaster? If you plan on stopping at Coney Island, this is a great read for your little dare devils!

Nana In The City

When your Nana is a city girl, what can you do? Find out in this charming read about how Nanas sure do know how to have fun!

Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief

Native New Yorker, Percy, is having a difficult time at every school his mother enrolls him in. Little does he know that forces way beyond his power are at work in this incredible mesh of New York City life and the Greek Gods. Join him on one crazy journey to discover the thief! Percy’s story takes him to a few NYC landmarks that you can visit today.

Travel With Terri: USA 101

New York City 101: My Icons and Hidden Gems

Visiting in New York City and living there have completely different definitions. You could say that they are two sides of a very shiny coin. Living in NYC has a certain energy. The city itself becomes a living, breathing part of how you define yourself. For the tourist, the city can be overwhelming and chaotic. Perhaps it’s because residents see the patterns of the ebb and flow of day to day life and visitors have a harder time sorting it out. Chaos or not, NYC has it’s moments. Some good, some over hyped, some under rated, some over done. So, what’s the balance? That’s the number one question that I am asked. Here’s a look at my New York City: The Icons and Hidden Gems.

The One Line

When New Yorkers talk about the subway system you often hear thoughts like “I’ll take the 1 Line to 42nd Street and then hop on the 7 line to get to Grand Central.” It’s quite the shorthand and can be confusing for a visitor. So, if I were to recommend one train to know, I’d say 1 Line links together more sites than any other. From the Bowery to the Bronx, the 1 Line will get you where you need to go- fast.

the one line
Photo by Life of Wu on

The High Line

New York is in a constant state of renewal. It’s part of the magic that draws so many visitors. One of those renewal projects is the High Line. What used to be an old railway line has been transformed into what may be the narrowest park ever! At just under 1.5 miles, you can hop on and off the High Line to explore 34th Street down to 14th Street. With art, nature and walkable access to plenty along the way, the High Line is a new New York City must.

the high line
Photo by Ioannis Ritos on

St. Patrick’s Churches

Quick note: there are two St. Patrick’s in Manhattan: the big one in midtown and the little one downtown. They are both worth the visit. Let’s start with the one you are most familiar with- the cathedral. Built in 1879, these days the cathedral is bright and shiny after years of restoration that was presided over by the ever congenial Cardinal Dolan. Since it sits opposite Rockefeller Center, it’s an easy stop to make and enjoy. I highly suggest the audio tour to really understand the history of this church in the NYC community.

Downtown is the other St. Pat’s. Officially called the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, this lesser known church is over 200 years old and holds a big NYC secret. Each day, the church offers candle light tours of the catacombs under the sanctuary. Learn about the history of the church and the who’s who of the catacomb world.

st. pats
Photo by Pixabay on

Central Park Equals City Smart!

It’s an urban park like no other and is full of history from the healing power of John Lennon’s Imagine Circle to the literary greats that line the main promenade. For a seriously fun take on this amazing slice of nature in a skyscraper jungle, check out the walking tour offered by On Location Tours. Their great guides, who are often actively auditioning stars in the making, will take through not only some of the historical points but also the lights, camera, and action moments that so many tv and film makers have used. So much fun!!!

Radio City Music Hall

Step back to the roaring ’20’s with a tour through the Great Radio City Music Hall. A living breathing example of theater from days past, the hall has daily tours that dig deep into this temple of art deco. With super guides who know their RMH trivia, explore all seven floors including the front and back of the house. Learn about the secret code in the carpets and how the hydraulic stage influenced the military. I can’t think of an icon that shows off more of New York than this one.

the lobby

Irish Hunger Memorial

Understanding the great immigration that builds the foundation of New York City is paramount to fully getting the point of it all. This creation of neighborhood after neighborhood filled with hopes and dreams is the truest essence of why New York City is like no other place in the world. One way to start understanding is at the Irish Hunger Memorial. I mean, take in the very name of it! These people came to our shores in boats called coffin ships. Imagine how they felt to be here away from the persecution and famine and meet new harsh realities like signs that said “Irish need not apply”.

Built in 2001-2002, the memorial is a great way to understand why people flocked to America the way they did.

the hunger memorial

Staten Island Ferry

I can’t think of anything that is more New York than The Ferry. This staple of commuting shuffles more than 60,000 people each day from the most residential area of New York City, Staten Island to the Bowery. It may seem hum drum but I beg to differ. Each day, these 60,000 people pass some of our most important history. They glide past the Verrazano Narrows Bridge where ships enter New York Harbor. And many of them made their way to Ellis Island to process in to early 20th Century life. Of course, they pass New York’s grande dame, Lady Liberty. She is breathtaking and you can just imagine what it must have been like to sail in under the bridge and see her for the very first time. She was and still is a true beacon of hope.

staten island ferry

Arthur Avenue

It always eludes me as to why visitors to NYC never venture out past Manhattan. There is SO much to see and do away from Times Square! I think a really good place to start is a great neighborhood at the end of the 2 line. Your stop is Pellham Parkway where you find yourself 5 minutes away from some of the best Italian American experiences out there. Historic Arthur Avenue is filled with shops and restaurants with some of the best Italian-American cuisine this side of Sicily. This slice of NYC will make you wonder why so many others don’t know about this gem.

arthur avenue
Photo by Engin Akyurt on

Bronx Zoo

At that same 2 line stop is the World Famous Bronx Zoo. Full of a menagerie of animals the amazing staff works diligently to fuse the old world traditions with modern zoo keeping. in other words, they take care of the unbelievable buildings with unique stone carvings while ensuring that the animals housed here are not just for entertainment. Learning this conservation story is totally worth the visit.

bronx zoo new york city

Bonus List: What’s worth skipping?

Here is a list of what I would totally skip if I were in the city:

  • Times Square, instead go up to the Bronx and enjoy the calming Cloisters.

~ Central Park horse carriage rides, instead go up to the boat house and rent a model to set sail.

– Rockafeller Center, instead enjoy the cool vibe down by the World Trade Center and grab a meal at Eataly.

~ The Empire State Building, instead catch the next cool thing happening at the NYC Public Library or in its backyard, Bryant Park.

~-The Plaza, instead go enjoy Coney Island sans the fancy clothes. Eat a hot dog, ride the roller coaster.

There’s More!

TGC loves to share books that inspire travelers both young and…. experienced!! Click here to see an unbelievable list of books to inspire your next adventure in the Big Apple!