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New York - Brooklyn Bridge

  Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge – Manhattan is an island, connected by bridges, but the Brooklyn Bridge is in a category by itself. When the bridge opened in 1883, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. It was an heroic engineering effort, and more than any other landmark in New York, the Brooklyn Bridge exudes “all things are possible.”
     

Today there’s a nice wide pedestrian walkway down the center, easy for strollers, and fenced on either side. To get onto the bridge from Manhattan, get off at the City Hall subway stop, and you’ll see the entrance onto the bridge.

     

Once you get to the Brooklyn side, go under the overpass on Prospect, then right on Old Fulton St. to go down to Fulton Landing and Brooklyn Bridge Park. Kids will enjoy a snack from Brooklyn Ice Cream. To return to Manhattan, go back up Old Fulton St., follow it around to the Cadman Plaza Park and you'll see the entrance to the High St. subway (or there's also a taxi stand at Fulton Landing).

     

Tip: With older kids, rent bikes at Bike and Roll at Battery Park, and bike over the bridge and back.

  South Street Seaport – In the 19th century, this historical district was the Port of New York, ships coming and going from all over the world, loading and unloading cargoes in warehouses along the wharf. Today it’s much quieter, but kids can run around creaky old ships and imagine New York in a different era.
      Historic ships (Pier 16)
      - Wavertree – Sailing ship that carried cargo in the late 19th century
      - Peking – Four-masted tall ship that sailed around Cape Horn.
      - Lightship Ambrose – This compact little red ship might not look important, but in the early 20th century, this lightship was a moving lighthouse, guiding ships into New York. (Closed for renovation.)
     

Harbor cruises – Take a boat cruise around New York Harbor. In the hour-long cruise, you’ll see the sights – Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Brooklyn Bridge, and all the boat traffic on the East and Hudson Rivers. Pick up the boats at Pier 16, here's the schedules for NY Water Taxi or Circle Line cruises.

      Tip: Circle Cruises, use your New York CityPass.
      Imagination Playground (Front and John St.) – At Burling Slip, this spiffy playground has water play areas where kids can sandbag and dam up the "creek," assemble large foam building blocks into their own creations, play on rope climbing structures, all inspired by the shipping history of South Street Seaport.
      Pier 17 – Large enclosed mall with shops and restaurants, and outdoor dining. In nice weather, sit out on the deck chairs, watch the boats go by, and admire a really great view of the Brooklyn Bridge.
    New York City Police Museum – This is a great little museum to nip into when the weather isn’t cooperating. Kids can check out cool vehicles driven by the police (Indian and Harley Davidson motorcycles), badges and stars (the first badge in the mid 19th century was a copper star, … “copper,” … “cop”), a real jail cell. There’s also a yearly vintage car show with police cars from all over U.S.
kids books booklyn bridge
     
The Brooklyn Bridge kids books  
The Brooklyn Bridge
Elizabeth Mann, Alan Witschonke

In 1883, when the Brooklyn Bridge was completed, it was called the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Read about how it was designed and constructed (two gigantic stone towers with steel suspension cables), and the Roebling family, the chief engineer and his wife, who made it happen. (Picture book)

 

     

Illustrated history of the Brooklyn Bridge how to make a bridge tall enough for boats to sail under it, John Roebling designed the bridge, but Washington and Emily Roebling completed the difficult project, and when it was built, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. (Chapter book)

 

 
     
Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing - kids books brooklyn bridge new york city  
Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing
April Jones Prince, Francois Roca

The newly opened Brooklyn Bridge was a wonder, but people wondered whether it was safe. In 1884, when the great showman P. T. Barnum marched twenty one circus elephants over the bridge, it was a spectacle to behold. And the bridge still stands today. (Picture book)

 

     
Lightship
Brian Floca

Story of the Lightship Ambrose, the sturdy ship that holds her place, and her captain and crew. The lightship marks the way for other ships to sail safely through the fog and night, past rocks and reefs, to safety in the harbor. (Picture book)

 

 
Lightship
(More children's books on other New York City pages)
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