Essential Reading for Living in NYC with Kids

8/22/07 - By Anna Fader
New York can be an overwhelming place. Once you have kids the overwhelmingness multiplies exponentially. This site aims to make NYC with kids more manageable, interesting and fun, but there are loads of other resources out there too. We've dug up some of the best books for living in NYC with kids, covering schools, activities, apartment living, neighborhoods and more.


If you are just getting started on your NYC family, the book to start with is City Baby. It has everything you need to know to begin the adventure of raising a family in NYC. I especially found the section on finding childcare helpful. The Parents League of New York is a tremendous resource for NYC parents. Perhaps best known for helping parents with the private school process, they also offer help in almost any issue that touches NYC parents. Even if you don't care to join, all parents should consider picking up some of their publications. They publish some of the most comprehensive books on NYC parenting. Titles include Summer in New York, listing over 400 activities for toddlers through teens; The Toddler Book, 300 programs for toddlers; The Parents League Guide to New York, updated yearly with resources for families; and The New York Independent Schools Directory. It seems like school anxiety starts earlier and earlier for parents so a couple of books you can buy to pack in your hospital bag are The Manhattan Directory of Private Nursery Schools (which covers daycares as well) and New York City's Best Public Elementary Schools: A Parent's Guide. Both books are the definitive place to start when thinking about the question of NYC schools. Right after, or possibly before, schools comes the apartment. How do you raise a family happily in a shoebox? That's where Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan steps in. Author of the NYC design site, Apartment Therapy, Max's book, Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure, will help you make your shoebox feel like a castle. (Also check out their new site AT:Nursery for ideas on kids' rooms.) Once you've covered the bases of schools and real estate, there's nothing left to do but go out and have some fun. The Cool Parent's Guide to All of New York is a great book that will get you out there exploring with adventures that aren't your run of the mill NYC outings. I always believe that the first step to having a great outing with kids in New York is to head to another neighborhood to eat and explore. A great guide for food-centered outings is New York Neighborhoods: A Food Lover's Walking, Eating, and Shopping Guide to Ethnic Enclaves throughout New York City. When you've had enough city, head out of town with Frommer's Great Escapes From NYC Without Wheels, a book filled with wonderful ideas for getting out of the city that don't require a car. There's a section dedicated to kid-friendly weekends. After all that, the only thing that could make your NYC existence better would be if it wasn't so exorbitantly expensive. Living $mart - New York City should help you find ways to have all the fun without all the cash. Speaking of green: the Insiders' Guide The Big Green Apple gives you tips and ideas on how you can make less of an impact on the planet while living in NYC. Stay tuned for the essential children's books for NYC kids.