I am pulse racing, heart thumping, sweaty palms terrified of heights. Despite this I have found myself in the tallest building in Milwaukee, the original World Trade Center Towers, peering from the crown of the Statue of Liberty and most recently the One World Trade Center.
There is something incredibly empowering about being high up in a skyscraper peering down at the city and teeny people below you.
This is universally true for all ages which is likely why experiences like going up in the Empire State Building or One World Trade Center exist. Even someone terrified by the experience, like me, can appreciate the awesomeness of this.
My kids, as you may know, are fascinated by skyscrapers. We did a whole homeschool preschool skyscraper unit building, reading, and otherwise exploring skyscrapers. When they found out we were moving to New York City this is the thing they were most excited about being near. (Their aunt and uncle were a close second!)
Going up in a skyscraper was high on their must-do list so we made it happen as soon as possible. If you are contemplating heading up in the One World Trade Center will little ones there are some things that are helpful to know.
I'm joking of course, because I doubt they actually enjoy the experience but I am fairly certain that the average New Yorker spend more time waiting than any other US citizen. Lines are everywhere and waiting it just a way of life.
Children on the other hand do not like to wait. If you're a parent, you are well aware of this unfortunate state of events. This is to say expect to wait and have some ideas of how you might pass the time. We have recently fallen in love with this Disney Found It Game to help us pass the time when we have to wait.
Go on the website beforehand and reserve a time. This won't completely eliminate the wait time, but it will be significantly reduced.
The downside is that you are committed to a date and time. If you leave yourself extra time and choose your time/date wisely this is doable.
Your other option to avoid waiting forever is to pay quite heavily for an express pass which will cut you to the front of the line.
This is may be obvious, but going up in a tall building on a gray or foggy day is less fun. Your visibility is substantially less and no one will be impressed by your high up view of gray - least of all your toddler.
Tickets are non-refundable.
At least as of August 2016, children under 5 are free. This was huge for us! It was half the cost to go up in the One World Trade Center as it will be in another year.
This is likely my number #1 tip for all things New York - but insist that your child try to use the bathroom whenever you are near a restroom. There are times this will feel redundant, but just do it.
The number of places in New York City where there are no restrooms significantly outweighs the spots where they do exist.
There are bathrooms once you are past security inside and up in the tower, but during that waiting period outside and before security you are a bit out of luck.
Our twins, at four and a half, loved our trip to the One World Trade Center. They loved searching for different buildings and seeing how small everything and everyone looked below us. One of their favorite parts was the Sky Portal which makes it appear like you are walking on the taxicabs and people below you.
At the end of the day, choose your date and time wisely and plan ahead. Do that and the One World Trade Center is a wonderful experience for all ages.
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