Wednesday, August 8

Taking on New York City with Kids

Sometimes, I think we just live for a good, crazy idea!  Well, this summer at our house, camps were voted out and replaced by an idea of a family trip to an often-requested destination by our kids - NEW YORK CITY.  It is an understatement to say that our kids were ecstatic about it!  To be honest, my husband and I were pretty excited about the idea too!  Who doesn’t, after all, New York?  It is the city so nice, they named it twice.  But, admittedly, it is a bit daunting to think about navigating such a bustling locale with kids for the first time.  Our approach to keep the kids revved up with that big city energy was to fill each day with the anticipation of doing lots of the fun activities for which NYC is famous - Broadway shows, attractions, shopping, great food, and big-time sports.

At the top of our ‘To Do’ list was checking out the Broadway production of “Spiderman Turn Off the Dark” so we booked that right away.  Then, with lots of great suggestions from our friends, we laid out a 4-day schedule that only the amazing Spiderman himself could possibly manage - but we were up for the challenge.  At the end of our NYC adventure, we were happily exhausted with tired little feet. (Tip: wearing Toms is not a good idea if you plan to attempt a marathon-level pace of sightseeing in NYC - owie!).  But, let me just say, we had a phenomenal time together and were excited about all of the things we were able to see on this trip!  My husband and I agreed that NYC is a fantastic and manageable place to visit with kids.

We got a super-sized taste of the Big Apple and we can’t wait for our next bite!
The photo summary below shares the amazing web of fun that we weaved...

DAY 1 - Broadway and About Town:

InterContinental Times Square
Lucked up on great family rate at the InterContinental
Times Square! Can you tell that our kids love
staying in swanky hotels? :)

NYC Cab ride
Enjoying all the sights, sounds, & smells
via the first NYC Cab ride :)

Times Square
Their first look at Times Square and taking it all in.
Toys 'R Us Ferris Wheel
Couldn't pass by without riding the ferris wheel in
Toys 'R Us. All I can say is thank goodness they got the
Mega Bloks car or I would not have been permitted
to post this picture.

Sony Wonder Technology Lab
A friend told us about Sony Wonder Technology Lab.
(Thx Becky!) Hands-on cool techno activities like having
fun with their own photo to project to a video board
(shown) and making a studio news report.  Best of all,
it's Free! Just make a reservation well in advance.

Spiderman Turn Off the Dark at Foxwoods Theater
My "bootleg" photo while awaiting Spiderman.
(sorry Foxwoods Theater)
Fun family show w/amazing aerials - kids loved it!
Seats on Lower "Flying Circle" Balcony were ideal - 
Spidey lands there a lot!

Ground Zero 9/11 Memorial
Visiting the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero was a solemn
experience even for the kids. It was beautifully designed.
Free but reserve tickets in advance.
Grimaldi's Pizza - Brooklyn Bridge
Ended the first day with friends at Grimaldi's Pizza
under the Brooklyn Bridge. We all agreed it was the
most delicious pizza we have ever tasted! (Thx for
the tip, Smithwicks!) Plan to wait in line for a table.

DAY 2 - Museums, Central Park, and Shopping:

NY Subway experience
By the end of the trip, our kids were pros at
maneuvering the subway - but we did have trouble
convincing our daughter that it wasn't a gymnastics arena.
Visiting the Guggenheim Museum was a perfect way
to experience great works of art with the kids. Not 
only is the architecture stunning, but it is a very  
bright and open setting with no stairs. Check out  
the Alexander Calder mobile hanging - my
daughter had just studied him!

Central Park family
The weather was gorgeous so we grabbed sandwiches 
for a lunch in Central Park. OK, we got popsicles too ;)
American Museum of Natural History
We only made it through about 1/12 of the Natural 
History Museum but what we saw was really cool! The 
kids were hoping the creatures would come to life like
in the movie.
American Girl Place 5th Ave
Our little girl's dream-come-true shopping trip
on 5th Ave at NYC's American Girl Place.
M&M Store Times Square
My husband couldn't resist a stop in the unbelievable
3-story M&M World store!  He was just sad that I voted
down his idea of installing ceiling high dispensers like
these in our house :)

DAY 3 - Sightseeing and Sporting Events:

Empire State Building
View from the top of the Empire State Building is
breathtaking. A friend told us to visit here early in the
AM in order to avoid really long lines - it worked. (Thx
Anna!) My husband thought the upgrade for the audio 
tour was well worth it.
Peanut Butter & Co
If you like Peanut Butter & Co flavors (Cinnamon Raisin
Swirl is our favorite), then it's worth the trip to the
Lower East Side for some yummy sandwiches at their
restaurant. I had the "Jerry Seinfeld" - bagel topped
w/PB, honey, and cinnamon.

Enterprise shuttle at Intrepid
The Enterprise Space Shuttle had just 'landed' for
exhibition at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum.
Always humbling to be this close to a shuttle.

Yankees Stadium
We were excited to go to a baseball game in
the new Yankees Stadium.  It was super easy to
get there on the subway!
Yankees game family
Amazing stadium, exciting game, and awesome fans!
Great family outing!  Go Yankees!!

DAY 4 - Our NYC Finale:

Statue of Liberty
Lady Liberty is awe-inspiring up close.
She is currently being restored so we weren't
able to tour inside, but there was plenty to
experience walking around the base of the statue.
Statue of Liberty audio
While at the Statue of Liberty, we picked up the 
free audio tour at the entrance. Even our 
youngest found it informative.

Wall Street Bull
Our son is very intrigued by Wall Street so
it was fun to make a stop by the Wall Street Bull
(along with a huge crowd of other tourists).
Ellis Island
The Ellis Island museum brought history to life
for our kids as their school studies have included
a detailed Immigration simulation. Also, they were
curious to try find information on their great-grandfather
who came to America through Ellis Island.

Doughnut Plant
A final bite at Doughnut Plant in the Lower East
Side left us with a sweet taste of the Big Apple!
Gourmet flavors galore such as Creme Brulee.
(Thx for recommending, Mary!)

Hailing a taxi
Getting our final ride to the airport.
The kids could hail a cab with the best of 'em
by the end of the trip.


The unanimous decision from our family... We ♥ New York!!


  1. One more travel tip... Because we knew exactly what attractions we were going to see, we purchased a New York Explorer Pass where we pre-paid for the sites that we had chosen to visit. It saved 20% off the list price and saved some time standing in ticket lines. The risk was that we wouldn't make it to an attraction but we felt like it was worth it.

  2. I am impressed!! You guys looked like you planned well and had a great time. I'm so glad the Empire State Building wasn't crowded! You just made me want to go back and visit again!

    1. You are going to love it all again when you get to share it with your new addition ;). We had SO much fun! Our oldest has decided he wants to move there and has been researching NY real estate - shocker!!

  3. I feel that I had a vicarious tour of NYC with my coffee this morning! What a great trip! It's amazing that you were able to do so much in just a few days. Coincidentally, I had just read this week about Jerry Seinfeld's favorite was to eat peanut butter--on a bagel with honey and cinnamon! It's always good when you can include some education in a vacation. I love the postcard from the kids; listed every single thing that they had done! That's proof that they had a good time.

    Melanie, you did a really good job of telling the story of the visit. I'm still enjoying the pictures.

    1. I've made the 'Jerry Seinfeld' bagel a couple of times since we've been back. Quite yummy - you should try it!

  4. Wow, you guys really packed in a lot! What an awesome trip (and great pictures)! Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. What a great trip! I am floored by everything you were able to pack into four days! Your kids are troopers and I'm glad you all had a great experience. Though I must say I'm surprised you made it back as a family unit...I would have figured your son would be negotiating some deals on the stock exchange floor by now! ;)

  6. Wow! surely looks like you guys had a great time! i don't think i've done that much and i live in new york! That makes me think, i need to start doing more with my kids! Thank you so much for sharing. we already made our plans for the weekend after me and my husband read this together. we're taking them to I think the little ones will enjoy ;)

    1. NY is such a great city and I'm sure it must be such an interesting place to live. There just seems to be endless options! Great reason to keep returning for a visit :).

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