An image of Leo's back on a New York Subway train holding his cane

New York City with your Visually Impaired Child

Earlier this year myself, Auntie Penny and Leo spent two wonderful weeks in New York City. Before we went I did loads of research and wrote a list of all the things that sounded like somewhere we needed to visit – more specifically the activities and places that Leo would enjoy considering his visual impairment. These are the places we visited and my thoughts:

1. New York Transit Museum

This was at the very top of the the list as most of you are aware I have a very train-mad little boy who is absolutely obsessed with all things locomotive. The New York Transit Museum didn’t disappoint, with so many hands-on elements and experiences it’s a wonderful day out for both sighted or visually impaired children (and adults!).

The Museum offers customized guided tours for visitors who are blind. Tours must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance. See here for more details on accessibility.

2. Staten Island Ferry

A fun ride on the ferry goes right by the Statue of Liberty and its FREE!

3. Roosevelt Island Tramway

We actually discovered this little gem late on during our stay and had we visited it earlier we would have returned again and again! Included as part of your Metrocard you can travel between the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Roosevelt Island as many times as you like. It’s quiet, gentle and calm – unlike many other aspects of NYC! Leo looks his iPad and filmed the journey so that he could watch it close-up later on.

4. Strawberry Fileds – Central Park

This is a lovely ‘quiet zone’ found in the world famous Central Park.

5. Children’s Library (Queens or New York Public Library)

A great place to take some time out of the mayhem and read a book together.

An image of leo standing outside a gift shop holding up a small statue of liberty model that the shop keeper had given to him

6. Brooklyn Children’s Museum

There is a great sensory room available at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum on Thursday’s 2:45-5pm, Saturdays 2- 4:45pm and Sundays 2-4pm.

7. Sensory Gyms

There are a few of these spread across NYC and offer a chance for you child/ren to burn off some steam in a safe environment. Mommy Poppins offers some great info on here.

8. Dyker Heights

During the holiday season this street is transformed in to a Christmas wonderland with houses being lit up and Christmas music fills the air.

An image of Leo with a large christmas bauble in his hands

9. Grand Central Terminal

It would be a real shame to visit New York and experience the wonder that is Grand Central Terminal Station. Full of smells, sounds and the rumbling of trains beneath you is a treat for train lovers as well as fans of history and architecture. be sure to find the famous Whispering Arch.

When using the Subway in NYC a Reduced Fare Metrocard is available to people with disabilities, click here for more info.

An image of 3 huge windows in Grand Central Terminal

10. American Museum and Natural History

Monthly the museum offers Science Sense Tours for people who are blind or visually impaired  whereby specifically trained tour guides highlight specific themes and exhibits, engaging participants through extensive verbal descriptions and objects which visitors can touch.

For more info and times click here.

an image of new york sky scrapers and a yellow taxi


I hope you found this helpful, i’m sure theres a number of things I missed, please do let me know for our next visit!

For more tips on travelling to the USA with kids you’ll find my tips here.

Happy Travels!

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