NYC Kids Tours

NYC Kids Tours
New York City is Your Classroom

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Project City Kids - FREE Big Toot Boat Rides

Project City Kids, Inc. is a non-profit organization registered as a 501(c)(3) with the Internal Revenue Service.  Donations to Project City Kids are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Project City Kids provides educational and recreational opportunities to kids who live in New York City.  The focus of these opportunities is to give kids an opportunity to experience New York Harbor.  Seeing the skyline from this new perspective personalizes the city and inspires kids.

PCK was founded in 1987 and has provided sailing and other harbor-related activities to thousands of kids.

Big Toot is a former US Navy launch.  Now she is owned and operated by Project City Kids.  Big Toot is based from North Cove Marina in Battery Park City, Lower Manhattan.  Every weekend from May through October, she goes out on short (50 minute) trips in the harbor.  Kids from all over New York City are invited down and can ride for free (adults pay $10).  This is your chance to see up close the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and all the great harbor activity!

Schedule: Big Toot operates on Saturdays and Sundays.  Big Toot departs from North Cove at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.  There is no departure at 12 noon because the Big Toot captain & mate get lunch from 12 noon to 1 p.m.

Length of Each Trip: The length of each ride is approximately 50 minutes.

Capacity: Each ride can hold a total of 34 passengers (kids and adults together)

Where to meet the boat: Big Toot departs from Dock F at North Cove.  For directions on how to get to North Cove, please visit

Costs:  All kids ride for free!  Tickets for adults are $10 each.  Fees from adults help pay for the free rides for kids.  Kids under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.  Each adult may bring up to 6 kids.

Trip Route: Each trip begins at North Cove.  The you head out into New York Harbor and pass the "Honorable William Wall," Manhattan Sailing Club's floating clubhouse in the harbor.  Then you skirt along the eastern side of Ellis Island and pass the front of the Statue of Liberty.  Big Toot will pause at the Statue so everyone can get a good look and take their picture with the Statue in the background.  From here, Big Toot will continue along south side of Liberty State Park.  At the back of the channel there is a large turning basin which is also where the Operation Optimist kids sailing program takes place.  Then Big Toot will head back to North Cove.

NYC Kids Learning and Fun Tour for the Whole Family!

Our last NYC Kids Learning and Fun Tour was for an entire family from Missouri.  They were such a pleasant group of people and their girls (5-and-a-half, 3 and 1) were super sweet and adorable!  Although the girls were a little young for the tour, they stayed very engaged and involved throughout the tour and asked a lot of questions. 

They were very interested in learning about the carousel in Bryant Park and took lots of pictures.  They were also very happy to know that Bryant Park was named after a poet (one of the little girls even enjoys writing songs. 

In Times Square, they were pretty mesmerized by the crystal ball that drops on TV in front of billions of people every New Years.  They also couldn't believe all of the advertisements on One Times Square today as opposed to how the building looked over a hundred years ago. 

One of their favorite stops was Central Park, where they took part in their scavenger hunt and had a great time doing it.  We climbed up the Overlook Rock with dad and waved to mom, grandma and grandpa from above.  The girls wrote their names on the rocks with our sidewalk chalk and enjoyed taking a picture of their accomplishment.  They also LOVED watching the ducks in Central Park and didn't understand why people were feeding them bread when we learned that the conservancy does not allow feeding of the wildlife.

Dylan's Candy Bar was a success, as usual.  We had an amazing time playing the OLOGY game while mom, grandma and grandpa took a break in the upstairs cafe with the one-year-old, who didn't take part much in the tour, except she did love throwing the penny into the wishing well at Bryant Park!

Our last stop was Balto and the 5-and-a-half-year-old told me about the movie, Balto, that she had seen.  The girls were both very excited to see the statue of him and take pictures of him. 

At this point, the tour was coming to an end.  We dropped the family off at the Gazillion Bubbles Show, where their dad told me they had an excellent time as well!  Here's what the dad had to say about the tour:

"Once again thank you for your tour. The girls really enjoyed it.  (My daughter) was wanting to go on the tour again and was asking when she could do that and (my other daughter) wanted to know where "Miss Tasha" was. They both have talked about the tour a lot. They also had a blast at the Gazillion Bubbles show too."

If you and your family would like to take a tour with us, visit for more information.  We look forward to touring with you!

Sony Wonder Technology Lab

If you're traveling to NYC with kids and you want to experience something very unique and loads of FUN, visit the Sony Wonder Technology Lab.  It's the perfect ending to our NYC Kids Learning and Fun Tour and just a few blocks away from FAO Schwarz.  This attraction will keep you and your kids entertained for hours.  (I know I enjoyed it!) 

When you first enter, you create a virtual profile that you can use throughout your visit.  As you approach different activity stations, you blink your card and your profile picture comes up.  There are quite a few options to choose from on the four different floors of the lab.  Some include programming your own robot, learning about nanotechnology, performing virtual surgery, use of an HDTV studio and creating characters in an animation studio. 

In addition to these activities, the lab also showcases some fun, animated short films and gives a GREAT deal of knowledge about how technology has evolved over the years.  One of my favorite things was seeing one of the camcorders we had in the 1980s along with the word processor I know my mom had in the 1970s.  Those things sure look big and bulky compared to what we have available to us today.  The crazy thing is that in 10 to 20 more years, what we use now will be obsolete. 

At any rate, the Sony Wonder Technology Lab will get you and your children thinking on your feet.  It will keep you active, engaged and excited about learning. 

To experience an amazing day in NYC with your kids take a tour with us!  Visit for more information.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

NYC Fun Fact of the Day: From 1892 to 1924, 12 million immigrants entered the United States through Ellis Island.