Posts Tagged: 911memorial

11 Tips for a Family Trip to New York and the 9/11 Museum

With the 9/11 Museum now open at the World Trade Center, many families are thinking about making a visit to the museum the centerpiece of a Labor Day or early fall getaway to New York.

But nobody (okay, no sane body) then wants to slog uptown and brave the crowds and chaos of Times Square in search of family fun.

11 Tips for a Family Trip to NY, from Tom Rogers, author of Eleven

Ed Yourdon – Flickr / Creative Commons

Instead, parents can take advantage of all the family-friendly surprises that Lower Manhattan offers. There’s stuff for every taste, from educational to outdoorsy, all within walking distance, and much of it budget-friendly – even free.

First, check out the latest listings at TimeOut Kids, covering all of New York City, and FiDi Families, which focuses on Lower Manhattan. Then explore these 11 tips for a family trip centered on a visit to the 9/11 Museum:

11 Tips for a Family Trip to NY, from Tom Rogers, author of Eleven

Augie Ray – Flickr / Creative Commons.

1. LEARN ABOUT 9/11. A visit to the 9/11 Museum should be the centerpiece of any trip to the Financial District. Reservations for the outdoor Memorial are no longer necessary, but the Museum requires a timed-entry ticket, so plan ahead. Extended summer hours through September 21; free admission Tuesday evenings.  Before you go, download a copy of the Museum Guide for Families with Children. You may also want to check out my 8 Tips on How to Talk to Your Kids About 9-11.

11 Tips for a Family Trip to NY, from Tom Rogers, author of Eleven

Joe Mabel – Flickr / Creative Commons

2. REACH FOR THE SKY. Budding young architects can admire the soaring lines of the new One World Trade Center Freedom Tower, rising 1,776 feet above the 9/11 Memorial. The nearby Skyscraper Museum celebrates tall buildings and hosts twice-monthly family programs with hands-on activities for kids.

3. GO ON SAFARI…IN NEW YORK CITY?  Head a few blocks north for Sunday morning nature hikes at Hudson River Park WILD. No one expects to find a wildlife habitat in Manhattan. Nature guides will help you spot birds, butterflies, and critters that live in this oasis by the river.

4. GEORGE WASHINGTON SWORE HERE. Little history buffs will love exploring the original New Amsterdam. Prowl the cobbled alleys of the Stone Street Historic District. Stop by Federal Hall, where George Washington took the first oath of office as President. Pause for a breather at St. Paul’s Chapel (George Washington prayed here), the oldest church in Manhattan. Visit the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian (always free). Cap off the day at the Fraunces Tavern and Museum, a hotbed of intrigue during the American Revolution.

11 Tips for a Family Trip to NY, from Tom Rogers, author of Eleven

Alex Taferner – Flickr / Creative Commons

5. GOT ANTS IN THE PANTS? Catch the ferry from Battery Park (just $2, and free on weekend mornings) to Governors Island. There you’ll find mini-golf, bike rentals, climbable sculptures, and just plain room to run. Moms and Dads will appreciate the 50 swinging hammocks in Hammock Grove.

11 Tips for a Family Trip to NY, from Tom Rogers, author of Eleven

Lian Chang – Flickr / Creative Commons

6. HIT THE HIGH SEAS. Cast off from the South Street Seaport and Museum and set sail on the Pioneer, an iron-hulled schooner from 1885. Landlubbers can still get the shipboard experience dockside at the Street of Ships. FiDi Families hosts free, fun activities for kids at the Front/Row Stage through August 28.

7. GET CREATIVE. The New Amsterdam branch of the New York Public Library holds Story Time for kids on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Battery Park City Parks Conservancy hosts outdoor jams, art, storytelling, fishing days, chess for kids, and the popular “Play Outside” program.

11 Tips for a Family Trip to NY, from Tom Rogers, author of Eleven

Barry Solow – Flickr / Creative Commons

8. GO ISLAND HOPPING. Feel the wind in your hair on the Staten Island Ferry and take in amazing views of the Statue of Liberty without the crowds. Once across, a quick bus or cab ride brings you to the charming Staten Island Zoo, with pony rides, a petting zoo, and live animal demonstrations–perfect for families with small kids.

11 Tips for a Family Trip to NY, from Tom Rogers, author of Eleven

ScubaBear68 – Flickr / Creative Commons

9. THE BUCK STOPS HERE, HERE, AND HERE. Got a tycoon tyke in your brood? Then the Museum of American Finance is a must-see. Or take a guided Wall Street Walk through the greatest financial center in the world. The Downtown Culture Pass offers discounted admission to most of the top attractions in the Financial District.

11 Tips for a Family Trip to NY, from Tom Rogers, author of Eleven

Kim – Flickr / Creative Commons

10. TAKE A TASTE OF THE ‘TOWN. They say an army moves on its stomach. Feed your army with a side trip to Chinatown. Try the soup dumplings at legendary Joe’s Shanghai, slurp down tapioca pearls at Vivi Bubble Tea, and top off the day with a scoop of black sesame or red bean ice cream at The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory (where they also serve “exotic” flavors like vanilla and chocolate chip).

11 Tips for a Family Trip to NY, from Tom Rogers, author of Eleven

Andrew Mace – Flickr / Creative Commons

11. CROSS OVER THE BRIDGE. Stroll across the majestic Brooklyn Bridge on the pedestrian promenade–or take the East River Ferry from Pier 11 (one stop to DUMBO). In Brooklyn Bridge Park, kids will love the Water Lab and Sandbox Village, while parents can enjoy spectacular waterfront views back to Manhattan. When you’ve built up an appetite, head for pizza at Grimaldi’s or splurge on the world famous chocolate at Jacques Torres.

There’s no reason a family trip to New York has to be defined by the Three Cs: chaos, crowds, and crying. A visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum can be the centerpiece of a Lower Manhattan getaway that’s meaningful, tasty, and fun.

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Two Great Reviews of Eleven

Checking in with a short post today to indulge in a little humblebrag.

This week saw an embarrassment of riches in my inbox.  But not so embarrassing that I won’t tell you about them.


Reviews of Eleven by Tom Rogers

First was a glowing review in DOWNTOWN Magazine NYC, a news and culture magazine based in…can you guess?…downtown New York.

“It helps explain the tragedy to young adults in a simple, yet moving manner. Tom Rogers has told the story in a way that most parents and educators have struggled to accomplish. It’s a thoughtful and important book for readers of all ages.”

To be honest, I’ve always been concerned about how the book would be received by those who experienced 9/11 at close range and who continue to live with daily reminders of that time.

Getting a thumbs-up from downtown was a relief and a thrill.

Lazy Hippie Mama

Yeah, you read that right.

The “Lazy Hippie Mama” is Elizabeth Comiskey, a Midwestern mother of four whose charming and witty blog is consistently ranked among the top three “mom blogs” in the nation, in the home schooling category.*

I’m not much of a hippie (my hair is WAY too short), but I can certainly get behind her manifesto:

“One Woman’s Attempt to Save the Earth, Promote World Peace, and Raise Productive Citizens Without Expending Too Much Effort”

Reviews of Eleven, by Tom Rogers

LHM published an enthusiastic review of Eleven this week.

“The author did an extraordinary job of presenting the human side of what happened on that day….I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Eleven to anyone for themselves or their child….I intend to have my 5th grader read it this September.”

Moms tend to be the gatekeepers for what kids read at this age, and I was delighted to get this endorsement from such a committed parent.

“A great platform for a discussion about 9/11″

Both reviews of Eleven emphasized the book’s value to teachers and parents as a way to talk to their kids about a difficult subject like 9/11.

As the new school year begins and we approach the next anniversary of 9/11, I’m already looking forward to working with the many schools that will be teaching Eleven this year.

If you’d like to arrange an author visit at your school, in person or via email, phone or Skype,  just hit me on email ( or Twitter (@tomrogersbook).

Thanks! Eleven book cover - Tom Rogers*rankings from Top Mommy Blogs

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8 Tips on How to Talk to Your Kids about 9-11

“I think 9/11 is when someone dropped a bunch of bombs on New York.”
“I think it’s when we attacked Iran.”
“I think it was…I don’t know.”

#911 Memorial #eleventhebook #honor911 #teach911Those are real quotes from a sixth-grade class where I taught Eleven this year.

Their confusion is understandable, because many parents and teachers aren’t sure how to even start a conversation on such an emotional subject.

This morning, my publicist sent out my first press release: 8 Tips on How to Talk to Your Kids about 9-11. Here it is, in its entirety.

I’d love to hear how you learned (or talked to your kids) about 9/11! Email me at or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

(A press kit and this release are available on the Eleven Press page.)

And as always, if you like this post, please repost/retweet/share! Thanks! 

Media Contact:
Eric Mosher
Sommerfield Communications


Take Your Time, Listen, and Remember that Today’s Kids Didn’t Experience 9/11 the Same Way You Did – So They Might Not React the Same Way Either

New York (July 30, 2014) – It’s hard to imagine, but some kids in middle school today aren’t even sure what really happened on 9/11. Kids as old as thirteen weren’t even born yet, so their confusion is understandable.

As the next anniversary of the September 11 attacks approaches – the first one since the opening of the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum, which is garnering visitors from around the world – how should adults talk to children about what happened on that day? The first and most important tip on how to talk to kids about 9/11 is simple – just start talking.

Tom Rogers, author of young adult novel Eleven, which tells the story of a boy who turns eleven on 9/11, has assembled a list of guidelines for adults struggling to explain the events of 9/11 to the kids in their lives.

He advises adults to…

  1. Just start talking. Is it a tough subject? Sure. But if you don’t teach them, they’ll hear about it from someone else, and there are a lot of strange theories and misinformed individuals out there. “Children should learn about that difficult time in a place where they feel safe – with you,” he says.
  1. Take your time. Stop frequently to let the children respond, and be attuned to their cues. “When they’ve heard enough, don’t push; when they’re ready to learn more, they’ll let you know,” Rogers advises.
  1. Keep it simple. “You don’t have to cover all 567 pages of the 9/11 Commission Report in one sitting,” says Rogers. Keep it brief at first, just touching on the main events in broad strokes. Be patient and go slowly.
  1. Remember the day’s heroes. “The horrors of that day speak for themselves. You can give voice to the hope that rose from the ashes. Talk about how the worst of times brought out the best in so many of us.”
  1. Use resources. There are a number of trustworthy places that specifically exist to introduce 9/11 to kids. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum has an excellent Teach+Learn section. Adults and children might also want to watch the 22-minute Nick News special, “What Happened? The Story of September 11, 2001.”
  1. Don’t let crackpot theories go unchallenged. He recommends visiting Popular Mechanics’ fact-checked, detailed online page devoted to debunking 9/11 myths, and advises adults to acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers about what happened and why.
  1. Be aware of your own emotions. It is a difficult subject, and talking about it can suddenly bring up long-buried feelings. Practice once or twice, so you’re not caught off-guard by your own reaction. “There’s no need to be cold or unemotional; if you well up, let your kids know why: that you’re just sad, and that’s okay,” Rogers says.
  1. Don’t be surprised by children’s reactions. Did you cry when you first heard about Pearl Harbor? Probably not. It wasn’t a personal memory; it was history. The attacks of 9/11 were something adults lived, but it’s only history to a kid. Children may be upset when they learn more about 9/11, or they may just shrug it off. Both responses are valid. The important thing is that they begin the journey toward knowledge and understanding.

“As another anniversary approaches, and your children continue to hear about it from their peers and on TV, they may come to you with questions, unsure about what really happened,” added Rogers. “This is your chance to help them understand.”

For more information about Eleven, please visit the website here. To schedule a conversation with Tom Rogers, please contact Eric Mosher of Sommerfield Communications at (212) 255-8386 or

About Tom Rogers

Tom Rogers is a novelist and the screenwriter of numerous animated films, including The Lion King 1½Kronk’s New GrooveLEGO: The Adventures of Clutch Powers, and Disney’s Secret of the Wings. Eleven, the journey of a boy who turns eleven on September 11th, 2001, is his first novel for young adults.

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