As one new guy to another (with seven kids of my own), I'm learning a few things about this hobby.
Is this something just for your 4 year old, or do you some serious interest as well? That might determine the direction you want to go. If it is just that your kid wants to have a scope, then you could probably get a cheap 'cool looking' scope on craiglist for under $50 to keep in his room or to look at the moon with. Then you can get hooked up with a local astronomy club to look through the big observatory scopes (with people who will know how to set everything up so your kid can see stuff).
I joined a local club and took my eight year for a couple outings. He loves the stuff. But we learned that he is afraid of the dark. So that changed things a bit. : )
You could consider starting out with a planisphere ($10) or print off some star maps online. You can then use a GREEN laser pointer to point out constellations, stars, and planets to the kid...along with an optional pair of binoculars. Get him acquainted with the night sky. (Being in NY, you may have some issues with green laser pointers and airplanes? Check for legal and safety issues beforehand.) Kids also love the phone apps like Sky Safari (FREE). Load that app on your phone and take it outside. It's like an 'augmented reality' thing which will show him stuff in a cool way. Also consider something like the PC software called Stellarium (it's great, and it's FREE).
After doing that, along with a cheap scope to keep in his room, that might make him happy until he wants to do something else...or go bigger. If he gets bored, at least you saved a bunch of money. If he (or you) stick with it, you can then get some better equipment than you originally intended.
I'm also 'chomping at the bit' to buy some equipment, but I'm holding off and doing a lot of research. There is just so much to learn (and so much to spend). I originally thought that I could spend a couple hundred dollars and get some good stuff. Instead of making a lot of costly mistakes, I'm now learning how to buy the right equipment that will actually be enjoyable and that will serve me for a long time.
Hope something here helps. Take care, Mike
Edited by michaelwriting, 19 November 2018 - 02:11 PM.