There’s nothing like New York City. If you like the wiz and whirl of the urban jungle, definitely pick a weekend, pack a bag and do it with your kids. I can’t even explain how much fun is in store for you in this city. Plan ahead, and make a manageable to do list. The opportunities for making memories with your littles here are endless.
We drove up with the kids in the Fall and stayed two nights. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the options, getting around, etc. make it easy by focusing your agenda on one or two neighboring areas. We chose to stay and hang out in Central Park South.
We planned everything to be walking distance to the hotel so we wouldn’t be wasting time in cabs, on the subway, etc. One great thing about NYC is that you can spend a whole weekend in one neighborhood and still have tons of world class restaurants, museums, and things to do with the family.
New York Hilton Midtown: Thank god for these big box chain hotels with a zillion rooms. We initially had pranced in to the Warwick across the street only to discover that the reservation we had made was for the following weekend. And they’re booked solid for the weekend. WHOOPS. I downloaded the Hotels.com app and booked us at the Hilton across the street within a few minutes. Totally felt like super mom.
The Hilton Midtown was pretty standard. Big, clean, accommodating, and really really busy. We learned checking in it is the biggest hotel in NYC plus there conventions in town, dancers practicing for the upcoming Thanksgiving parade, biz travelers, etc. Our room was perfect. They had an easy buffet breakfast (not cheap) that we loved. Sometimes traveling with kids means not trekking blocks out of the way to wait in line for brunch. You’ve got to prioritize or you’ll go nuts. Do what’s easy and figure out what you can’t miss.
Central Park: So. Many. Options. This south end of the park has the Central Park Zoo, a carousel, a nature sanctuary, trails for walking or biking (bike rentals right here too!) and of course carriage rides. Lots of areas to chose from for picnicking, bolders for climbing, and nooks and crannies for exploring. You could easily spend half a day or more here with everything the park has to offer.
Empire State Building: Classic and essential New Yawk. My 3.5 year old and 1 yr old were on the young side for this (the baby was not impressed by the best view of manhattan) but I think they both had fun. It required some chasing, snacks and distraction techniques during the 45 minutes we waited to get in. Still a blast.
Dylan’s Candy Bar: We told our toddler on the ride up that we were going to the biggest candy store in the world. Needless to say; she was on board. Forget trying to sneak vegetables in their diet for a minute and get ready to embrace three floors of candy. Candy cafe, a hot chocolate bar, this place is kid (and anyone who likes sugar really) heaven.
Food Truck: Pick one. They’re everywhere and I can almost guarantee it’ll be delicious. Another classic NYC experience for the kids. Bonus: Bring your meal into the park, sit on a bench/the ground. Enjoy. Your welcome.
Sarabeth’s: A famous NY brunch spot directly on the park. Long wait. Good food. If your kids can wait, or if you can get in early, there’s an omelette here for you. Perfect for a pre exploring meal.
Pazza Notte: A relaxed Midtown Italian place with lots of spaghetti for kids and decent red wine selection for mom. Dinner was quick, tasty, (I got the eggplant parm, yum!) and they were super accommodating with the kids even though they were busy. Note! Not cheap. Spent $100ish for our family of 4.
Other things for your to-do list that are close: