another one rides the bus

November 14th, 2012

Do you ever get a thought stuck in your head about something –  a movie, restaurant, vacation spot – based solely on a random opinion you heard? You know what I mean; I do this all the time. And then Mike will say to me, “want to go to (fill in the blank)?” And I’ll say, “No, I heard it was bad”.

Where? When? Who? No clue. But for whatever reason, it’s enough to make me stay away.

Totally logical, right?

Well that’s how I felt about the New York Transit Museum. This would seem like a no-brainer for a Noah trip – I mean, trains??? But over the years I was fixed on this notion that it was not worth the trip. I had “heard” that it was too hands-off. Not much for kids to do. Hard to park.

And then this summer I took a “nostalgia ride” on a vintage subway, sponsored by – you guessed it – The New York Transit Museum! My dad and I arrived just in time to board the train, so I didn’t get to look around, but the quick glimpse I caught made me think that this just might be a great “Friday with Noah” after all.

And oh, it was.

I cannot speak highly enough about this museum, for kids of any and all ages (including “big kids” who love any and all things vintage, like yours truly).

Can we start with the fact that it’s indoors (you actually enter the museum through a now-defunct subway station)? Great weather is easy – parks and playgrounds are always a hit with my guy. But on a rainy day, and as winter approaches, things get more challenging.

Score.

I also loved that the museum was big enough to keep Noah interested for most of the day, but not so overwhelming that we didn’t get to see it all. We started downstairs, in an actual subway station that is lined on both sides with subway cars dating as far back as the 1930’s. Noah loved running through the cars, climbing the seats and “steering”.

new york transit museum

new york transit museum

new york transit museum

new york transit museum

Score.

I of course loved seeing the trains from different decades – especially how the design and materials changed over the years.

new york transit museum

And the ads. Loved the ads.

new york transit museum

There were TWO real NYC buses to drive.

new york transit museum

new york transit museum

And an official subway cat named Sadie.

new york transit museum

Score.

After lunch* we explored upstairs. There were lots of hands-on activities that genuinely engaged Noah, and we got to see a collection of real turnstiles from the very first to the most recent.

new york transit museum

Noah particularly loved “filling up” at the pretend gas pump.

new york transit museum

And of course, bins. Always with the bins, this one.

new york transit museum

There are several  garages close by, so parking was a breeze. Speaking of, did I ever share with you my very favorite parking link? NYC BestParking shows you – with a few clicks – all of the garages in a given area, as well as those that offer coupons. I have saved a TON of money using this site!

I’m bummed that I waited this long to go – Noah had a blast and we will definitely be back!

Sorry, New York Transit Museum!

*Note: the museum doesn’t serve food, but there is a cafeteria where you can bring in your own, as well as a bunch of eateries in the area.

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