Last Updated on December 12, 2022
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
By Carla Marie Rupp
Traveling with children is something many people do all the time. In fact, even if our children are grown, many of us who live in tourist destinations take friends and family around and show them the sights.
So when my peppy, eager-to-go, lovely 18-year-old niece Lari-Ann came to visit alone for the first- time recently, she let me know the kid still lives in me (and her, too, for sure!)
Traveling with Children Makes You Feel Younger
I already feel younger traveling with my niece. And I’m glad she was so eager to share a fun, mutual, good time with her auntie…and I could be with my wonderful younger niece. We found a close, magical connection.
It happens to any two generations who welcome flexibility and adaptability and are willing to adjust to each other. You’ll feel your love multiplied, and there will be good feelings galore.
We liked the thrill things, the serendipity, the seize-the-moment nature of it all. In some over-the-top activities, she took the lead, although on several occasions I did ask myself “why am I doing this?” But I went ahead anyway since I wanted to make her trip as exciting as possible, and we wound up having a thrill almost every second. It was a kind of Off-Off-Broadway experience.
Traveling with Children: Welcome to Times Scare
Early in our week while sitting by the fountain at Lincoln Center, she told me about Times Scare, a year-round, haunted house in New York City’s Times Square. I said it would be easy to reach by taking the A train and the two of us set off with me not knowing much about the scary thing. While we toured it Lari-Ann was ecstatic; I was scared half-to-death. We finished our visit, which included a magic show and other entertainment, at the aptly named Crypt Cafe, which advertises “Come for the Food, Stay for the Fright.”
We took photos in the lobby with creepy sights, and bought her a red tee shirt with a picture of a bloody heart where the word “love” goes in “I Love New York.” She talked about pretty outlandish haunted houses in Denver, CO which my brother Larry, her father, took my son Jason and I to some years ago. I thought those days were past, until our Time Scare experience.
Sometimes as a New York host when you’re traveling with children, you go with quintessential things, like Circle Line boats. Years ago when my farmer father Carl visited I wisely chose Circle Line’s slow boat. Now though, we had New York CityPASS coupons for both a slow boat or a fast boat. Lari-Ann chose the Beast.
I had ridden it years ago with my son but this time it felt faster, including the photo-op turns after the Statue of Liberty. It turned out to be great – the host and driver were entertaining, we laughed, we got wet and we loved it.
Traveling with Children to Coney Island
My niece had never been to Coney Island by the seashore in Brooklyn, and I hadn’t been there for a number of years, so we decided to make the trip out there. I remembered enjoying the legendary Cyclone roller coaster with my son Jason when he was younger and I wanted Lari-Ann to love it as much as we did back then.
We got our tickets and when we went to board, sure enough, Lari-Ann chose the very front seat. I hesitated but then thought “what the heck,” and climbed in next to her. The safety bar went down in our coaster car and we slid off in an up-and-down thrill that was exhilarating. As I grabbed the bar tightly, Lari felt right at home throwing her arms up in the air.
We later reveled over Nathan’s hot dogs, and took photos with the huge, famous hot-dog eating sign, eating seemingly a ton of dogs, fries and clams. It was a picture-perfect day and we were soon talking about eating contests and a host of other things in our lives. I realized traveling with children has many benefits.
We also spent some time on the beach where we met Jay, a 75-year-old professional juggler, and his girlfriend, a belly dancer, a year younger. Jay performed for us and we had so much fun joking around with them.
My friend Dubbie had driven out to join us for the latter part of our traveling-with-children Friday at Coney. The so-called ‘freak show,” Sideshow by the Sea at the Coney Island Museum, had been cancelled because of rain earlier, but the three of us were able to get tickets for a quirky burlesque show that was so amazingly original and funny.
In Luna Park where the rides are, Dubbie and I watched in awe as our amazing young visitor rode on the Zenobia, a ride that looked too wild for any of us over 50. But the three of us did ride the iconic Wonder Wheel, agreeing to sit in the swinging car.
Back on the beach after meeting Jay the juggler, I was astounded when Lari-Ann mentioned she enjoys meeting older people. “They’re a lot of fun and I can learn a lot from them,” she told me.
Little did she realize that I can learn a lot from her, as well.
If you go:
NYC & Company
810 Seventh Ave. 3 Floor
New York, NY
669 8th Avenue at 42nd St.
New York, NY
Admission: prices start at $24.95 and vary depending upon the show
Ride The Beast
Pier 83, West 42nd St.
New York, NY 10036
Admission: adults $25
Coney Island USA Events