New York City, New York
New York City attracts millions of tourists every year because it is famous for so many historical events and offers such a wide variety of entertainment. In addition to tourists, New York City attracts millions of businessmen and women since it is a global financial center. Every age child can learn and enjoy New York City as long as you adapt your visit to their age. Great for studying the American Revolution, Immigration, Capitalism, Dinosaurs, Global Politics and the Arts.
Settled by the Dutch as the colony of New Netherland, New Amsterdam was a melting pot of people and cultures. It was surrendered to the British in 1664 and renamed New York. Studying the American Revolution? Head to Faunces Tavern on Pearl Street. Opened in 1762 by Samuel Fraunces, the tavern was a popular local drinking spot, only to be commandeered by George Washington for his headquarters. At the war’s end, it hosted some of the peace negotiations. The British drove Washington out of New York early in the war and the British set up their headquarters for the next 8 years. The British Generals made themselves a little too comfortable taking advantage of everything the city had to offer, which would haunt them at the Battle of Yorktown. Similar to David’s’ seduction of Bathsheba, British General [Howe’s] affair with one of his subordinates wife’s would distract him battling the colonists and cost him the war. Make sure to make time for the Metropolitan Museum of Art at Central Park East and 82nd Street. Here you can see most of the famous paintings of George Washington by Charles Peale, Gilbert Stuart, John Trumbull, and the most famous huge work by Emanuel Leutze of General Washington leading his troops across the Delaware in the dead of winter to attack the Hessian mercenaries in Trenton, resulting in the first win for the colonists. See the beautiful early American furniture on display and discuss how it was made.
Take your sons to the Armor wing and see the body armor and weapons from the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries. While there set the ground work for future trips by walking through the impressionist wing and see works by Pissaro, Manet, Cezanne, Degas, and Monet. There is a lovely painting by Monet of his lily padded garden from his home in Chenervy France between Paris and Normandy, which has been preserved as a museum and wonderful to visit and walk through. Let your child watch the art students at work as they reproduce one of paintings in the museum. Even let your child sit and draw something in the museum. For students studying Egypt the museum has a massive collection of Egyptian artifacts including a small Temple of Dendur commissioned by Emperor Augustus of Rome in 15 BC that was dismantled in Egypt and reassembled here in 1978.
Studying immigration? New York’s Ellis Island was the busiest entry port for immigrants. Beginning in 1892, eight million immigrants would be processed here legally entering the United States. Learn their stories, where did they come from, why did they leave their homes and families and what happened to them when they got here. This is the story of coming and changing America – the Irish, German, Italians, etc… It is estimated that 40% of Americans can trace a relative back to Ellis Island.
Every child should study and understand capitalism. New York City is home to multiple Stock Exchanges where shares and debt of companies are bought and sold every day. Learn how different this is than in times long ago when royalty owned most everything and anything they did not own, some Lord controlled. Even today, markets in Russia and China are significantly controlled or manipulated by their governments. Learn about the global banks, how they operate and how they are different from the Investment house or Business Development Corporations or Private Equity Partnerships with names like KKR, Blackstone and Blackrock.
Everyone should learn about Dinosaurs. They roamed the earth for millions of years only to disappear leaving thousands of skeletons and fossils for us to find, study and conjecture about. The Natural History Museum in NYC at Central Park West and 82nd Street is home to one of the best collections of Dinosaurs. Your child will marvel at the size of these creatures and number of different types. Give your child the opportunity to expand their vocabulary as they learn all the various names, most of which are at least four syllables long. Check out the 85 foot long Barosaururs, a Tyrannosaurus, and a Stegosaurus.
NYC is home to the United Nations. Formed to promote dialogue over war, the United Nations provides a forum for countries to discuss debate and issue consensus views on many of the world’s thorniest issues. Consider its structure and history in determining whether you think it works or not. Most importantly, your child will see that how adults attempt to reconcile differences on a global stage.
Whether it is music, dance, paintings or plays, all can be experienced to excess in NYC. From symphonies at Carnegie Hall, to Ballet at the Lincoln Center, to multiple art museums including the massive Metropolitan Museum of Art and Broadway plays, one can be entertained from sun up to way past sun down. Take in an auction at Sotheby’s or Christies to see where art and business intersect.
The latest museum to open in New York is the 9-11 Memorial Museum dedicated to the over 3,000 people that lost their lives when the two planed crashed into the two World Trade Center buildings causing them to collapse. The museum is a somber reminder of that day and the lives lost. It is eerily quiet, even though thousands are walking through the exhibits.
Any child interested in Architecture, will marvel at the quilt work of buildings. Every type of material has been used, different sizes and shapes, built over the last 200 years but living in harmony. New York is a canyon of very tall buildings creating wind tunnels as you walk the streets and blotting out the sunshine. To get a bird’s eye view and perspective of what is where and how far it is worth taking advantage of one of the many observation decks high up in many of the buildings. Some of the most popular include the tallest – the new One World Trade Center called the Freedom Tower that rises 1,776 feet providing an unobstructed 360 degree view of the entire New York area. The Empire State building offers equally spectacular views. Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center is probably the easiest to take advantage of given its convenient midtown location.
As you take in the sights and sounds of New York, compare the logistics and cost of transportation between the above ground Cab or Uber option with the underground subway. Put your child in charge of getting to and from and see how quickly they can master the layout of the city. Teaching navigation is a necessary life skill.
NYC is overwhelming but it has so much to offer a child’s inquiring mind that is searching for answers.. Take, your child, work with an expert in order to thoroughly explore and experience NYC. Get the most out of your investment of time and money. Your child will think you are pretty cool to have set up all the stuff you will see and do.
New York City is an incredible living classroom you should use to enrich your child’s education.