By Haven Caylor
My husband, Sean, and my children, Carter and Ammon started summer with a one-week vacation the second week of June. Our favorite family vacation spot isn’t an amusement park or a beach it’s New York City. Ammon, Carter, Sean, and I have some special places we return to, and we add new places as Carter and Ammon get older.
Sean and I started going to New York City on a regular basis in 2004. Carter and Ammon started going with us when they were 18 months old. We have been lucky that Sean’s mother, Nana, goes with us to take care of Ammon and Carter if we go to a late-night Broadway show, but as they have gotten older, we choose shows that Carter and Ammon can enjoy as well.
For families, we can recommend the four we saw: Spiderman, Turn off the Dark, Cinderella, Phantom of the Opera, and Pippin. Ammon and Carter are 4 and ½ years old so Pippin (with its adult themes and a few curse words) was a little above their understanding of life, but they both loved the acrobatics and circus theme. Any child who knows fairy tales can identify with Cinderella, and both Carter and Ammon enjoyed it greatly. From its reviews, adults love it as well. Cater has a comforter on his bed with Spiderman as well as action figures. However, Ammon enjoyed it just as much as he did. Neither Ammon nor Carter has ceased to hum the catchy song, “The Phantom of the Opera,” and we have watched it twice on our DVD since we’ve been home.
At the age of 3, Carter and Ammon had never voluntarily gone to a museum. They were strapped in strollers and forced to meander through the Louvre in Paris, the Uffizi and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, but with their excitement and love of the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan in the spring of 2012, I purchased a family membership because they beg to go. We go there at least twice each time we are vacationing in Manhattan. We select several different floors and spend several hours there each time. This time we had our repeat visit to the dinosaur room with the colossal T-Rex and Apatosaurus, we enjoyed the museum’s temporary whale exhibit, and we “discovered” their Discovery Room. All over the museum, there is a plethora of activities to challenge a child’s developing brain.
During our spring trips to New York City, we frequent Central Park. Ammon and Carter are used to wide-open spaces at our house, so Central Park is a welcomed sight to them. Last June, we were no more than 20 feet into the park when Carter said to me, “Let’s run!” It was awesome. As you all know, there are play parks, fountains, and all sorts of things to see and to do that do not cost a penny. However, we have a tradition to ride the Central Park carousel (Like $2 each rider) at least once while we are there. This past trip was no exception.