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    Big Apple bliss: 15 kid-friendly sights in New York City

    Traveling to New York with kids this summer and looking for some attractions beyond the tourist traps? Check out these hidden gems.

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    So much to do -

    Traveling to New York with kids this summer and looking for some off-the-beaten-path places to visit? Editor Angela Hederman and photographer Michael Berman teamed up to write "The Little Bookroom Guide to New York City with Children," to help parents find some hidden gems.

    Irish Hunger Memorial at Battery Park

    Just west of North End Avenue near Vesey Street, the Irish Hunger Memorial commemorates the devastating famine of 1845-1852, but, surprisingly, it's one of the most kid-friendly features of Battery Park. Parents will be interested in the somber significance of the site (including quotations and a cottage transported from Ireland).
    Michael Berman
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    New York Transit Museum -

    Your child needn’t be a train fanatic to go gaga at the New York Transit Museum, where the sheer number of hands-on displays will interest kids of all ages and bring out the inner child in many grown-ups. Perfectly preserved old subway and elevated train cars, turnstiles, and a great shop that even has some vintage items like old subway tokens and conductor’s badges. It is located at the corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street in Brooklyn Heights.
    Michael Berman
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    The crown of the Statue of Liberty -

    Only 365 people per day are permitted to visit the Statue of Liberty’s crown and you must reserve in advance through the statuecruises.com website. If you can make it happen, you’ll be rewarded with an unforgettably intimate and privileged experience which includes the option to linger as long as you like and ask the park rangers stationed there anything you like about the statue’s 19th century design and construction. You’ll also get a bit of exercise in the doing.
    Michael Berman
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    Glaser’s Bake Shop -

    Glaser’s Bake Shop (1670 First Ave.). Step into just about any bakery (and even many delis) and there’s a good chance you’ll encounter plastic-wrapped “black and white” cookies for sale. If these ubiquitous New York sweets have piqued your curiosity in the past and you want to have them from a real-deal place, head to Glaser’s. Why? It’s been here since 1902 and these cookies are the best in town.
    Michael Berman
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    Bryant Park -

    East of Avenue of the Americas between West 40th and West 42nd streets is Bryant Park. Of course, Bryant Park is likely on the radar of most visitors to New York — it’s smack dab in the middle of Midtown! But did you know that within it parents can find the Bryant Park Reading Room, an outdoor respite for reading time with the kids? Books are provided, and there’s also a carousel, ping pong, pétanque (with kid-sized “boules” and free instruction), board games, and more.
    Michael Berman
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    Pastrami Queen -

    If you've just spent or are about to spend time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (or other Upper East Side destinations) and you're looking for a legit New York deli experience, the Pastrami Queen (1125 Lexington Ave.) is a must-stop.
    Michael Berman
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    Apollo Theater -

    Historic Tour of the Apollo Theater (253 W. 125th St.). Director Billy Mitchell's tour of the Apollo Theatre celebrates the theater, its rich history, Harlem as a neighborhood, American entertainment, and the African-American experience. Guests are invited to perform onstage during a Mock Amateur Night Show. "No boos, please," Mitchell reminds the audience. Tour also includes a visits to backstage areas including the dressing rooms.
    Michael Berman
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    Governors Island -

    Located in the New York Harbor, Governors Island is a former military base that has been opened to the public and offers car-free biking, art exhibits, performances, picnicking, tours and more. Many of the things to do on Governors Island are completely free, including the ferry ride to get there (on weekend mornings) and access to places traditionally off the radar for visitors to New York.
    Michael Berman
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    Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles -

    Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles (1 Doyers St.), is located on one of Chinatown’s most unique streets. It is as no-frills as it gets when it comes to atmosphere but is no lightweight in the food category. The main attraction for kids involves peeking through the open kitchen door to watch the chef as he twists and stretches order after order of homemade noodles, all of which are destined for soup or noodle pan-fries.
    Michael Berman
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    Battery Park -

    A walk through Battery Park, from the southern tip of Manhattan to Tribeca, offers dozens of things for children and adults to do and see — and good places to eat. Those with young children should be sure to stop at Rockefeller Park (enter at Murray Street), where toys and climbing equipment are provided and children — many of them local kids – have a rollicking good time.
    Michael Berman
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    Eisenberg’s -

    You will find Eisenberg's at 174 Fifth Ave. It's easy to miss Eisenberg's because there are plenty of better known attractions nearby, including the iconic Flatiron Building, lovely Madison Square Park (home to Shake Shack’s original location), and Eataly (Mario Batali's homage to Italian food). It's an old-timey luncheonette dating back to 1929 that features a super-friendly staff, great sandwiches, and classic New York deli beverages like egg cream and lime rickey.
    Michael Berman
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    The Brooklyn Waterfront -

    If you haven't been to Brooklyn during the past 15 years or so, you will find that a lot has changed since the days of minimal shoreline access and no amenities. Visitors have long known about the large-scale grandeur afforded by a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, but many head straight back to Manhattan. But the Brooklyn waterfront, from the Manhattan Bridge south all the way to Atlantic Avenue, is comprised of one long continuous park that offers an entire day’s worth of breezy and great view-accented activities. Photo shows Jane’s Carousel, which is located in Brooklyn Bridge Park between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.
    Michael Berman
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    Central Park Chess and Checkers House -

    Chess and Checkers House in Central Park offers boards and playing pieces for loan to anyone wishing to play the most pensive of games around. On certain summer Saturdays, the tables are set up to accommodate people looking to play a grand master instructor. He (or she) moves from player to player, watches each opponent make his/her move, makes a counter move, occasionally offers a comment, and moves on to the next player.
    Michael Berman
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    Streit’s Matzo Factory -

    Streit’s Matzo Factory Tour (148-154 Rivington St.) requires a call to make an appointment for the free tour on the Lower East Side. It's only about 15 minutes long, but during it the rabbi offers an abridged history of Streit's, facts about matzo making, a bit of history about the Lower East Side, and (of course) a taste of some fresh-baked matzo.
    Michael Berman
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    Roosevelt Island Tramway -

    This glass-walled commuter tram that you can find at East 60th Street & Second Avenue, offers breathtaking views of the Midtown Manhattan skyline and the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge as it makes its three-minute crossing from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island. One-way passage costs the same as a subway fare payable via a MTA Metrocard. Passengers must disembark at Roosevelt Island but may re-board upon paying another fare.

    See more here: "The Little Bookroom Guide to New York City with Children,"
    Michael Berman