Timeout New York Kids

Make the most of your city

Kid-friendly walking tour of Washington Heights

Head to Manhattan's highest (and hilliest) nabe for history lessons, great views and local food.

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    181 Cabrini

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Fort Tryon Park

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Fort Tryon Park

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    The Cloisters

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    New Leaf Cafe

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    L'Fonda Family Restaurant

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Fort Washington Bakery

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Fort Washington Park

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Highbridge Park

  • Photograph: Tom Stoelker

    Morris-Jumel Mansion

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

181 Cabrini

Start your day at L'fonda Family Restaurant (2023 Amsterdam Ave between 160th and 161st Sts, 917-521-1631), which dishes out traditional Dominican cuisine for breakfast, including plantains and papaya shakes.

Morris-Jumel Mansion (65 Jumel Terr between 160th and 162nd Sts; 212-923-8008, morrisjumel.org. Wed–Sun 10am–4pm. $5, children under 12 free) served as George Washington's headquarters for a time in 1776. Ask for Eye Spy cards to complement a self-guided tour; cropped photos encourage kids to take a closer look as they explore the home. Special programs throughout the year encourage children to dress in colonial garb and try quill pens.

Enter Highbridge Park at West 174th Street and Amsterdam Avenue and stroll along the ball fields to the 185-foot High Bridge Water Tower. The spot offers unparalleled views of the aqueduct's Roman arches.

Snag an outdoor table at 181 Cabrini (854 W 181st St at Cabrini Blvd; 212 -923-2233, 181cabrini.com). Encourage kids to try local faves like the pulled pork sliders.

Cross over the pedestrian walkway at Riverside Drive just north of West 181st Street. Grab your tykes' hands as you descend to Fort Washington Park (Henry Hudson Pkwy from 155th to 179th St); the path is steep and it's shared with bicyclists. Join the Frisbee throwers and dog walkers in the shadow of Jeffrey's Hook Lighthouse, better known as the Little Red Lighthouse of Hildegarde Swift's cherished 1942 children's book. (The popular Little Red Lighthouse Festival brings food, crafts and music to the park every fall.)

Pick up Mexican conchas (sweet rolls) at Fort Washington Bakery (808 W 181st St between Fort Washington and Pinehurst Aves, 212-795-1891). Enjoy the treats at nearby Bennett Park (W 183rd St at Fort Washington Ave). Snap a picture of the kids on the rocky outcropping—it's Manhattan's highest point.

Continue your high-altitude exploration in Fort Tryon Park (Riverside Dr to Broadway between Dyckman and 192nd Sts), home of steep cliffs, rolling hills and the Cloisters (99 Margaret Corbin Dr; 212-923-3700, metmuseum.org/cloisters. Tue–Sun 9:30am–5:15pm. Suggested donation $25, children under 12 free). After viewing the museum's medieval European art and architecture, families can spend time in the park's Heather Garden.

Cap the day off at New Leaf Café (1 Margaret Corbin Dr; 212-568-5323, newleafrestaurant.com). Little ones will be intrigued by the building's fairy tale look; parents will be happy to find that some of the entres make use of locally grown ingredients.

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