Fall Sunday: Bring The Kids To NYC
Kids aren’t the first things that come to mind when you think of the Big Apple. The city’s loud and fast, and its best points don’t necessarily align with little children. Upscale dining with a sippy cup anyone?
Yet, on a recent trip to New York for my brother’s wedding with the girls in tow (ages 4 and 7), we were determined to plan a trip that was fun for everyone. Meaning Andy and I would satisfy our obsessive foodie impulses and eat well, and the girls would get to check the big tourist boxes with things like the Statue of Liberty, F.A.O. Swartz, Central Park, the Natural History Museum, and a trip through Chinatown.
Trouble was, we only had 5 days, 4 if you subtracted travel, and we had family on both sides and a close family friend to see, a wedding in Queens, and a tight budget. How could we possibly fit in all that we wanted to do and remain reasonably sane and rested?
We sought help from the experts. Turns out, we weren’t the only ones who thought that a fall weekend could be fun with young children in New York. We found this great article packed with tips for the trip, such as timing visits to MOMA and the Intrepid Air and Space Museum, finding quick eats, and finding a potty in the city where potties are maddeningly absent.
Fodor’s little travel guide, Around New York City With Kids, is a superior resource and not to be missed. Small and light enough to toss in a purse and kid-friendly in its layout, this book had us discovering fun sights like the High Line, an elevated walk in Manhattan, and gave us great suggestions on how to be a traveler, not a tourist, like taking the Staten Island Ferry rather than the Statue of Liberty tour—same view for free!
With these resources and some help from friends and family, we had a near perfect trip to New York. We saw all of our big-ticket items, got a sweet magic set for Siri at F.A.O. Swartz, saw family, and we even went to a few upscale restaurants, my favorite of which was Spice Market.
Ok, we made some mistakes—taking a train from Queens to Newark for our flight out: bad idea. Trying to “walk” with a 4-year old through Central Park: a lesson in shoulder pain management.
Yet, we also made some surprising discoveries. The Hampton Inn in Soho (which were not excited about because we wanted to be closer to Central Park) was a hit with our kids due to its 19th floor rooftop and its rocking breakfast buffet (which being a food snob, I usually avoid but with kids, free breakfasts rule. Load them up before our real breakfast, a train ride and a walk later.)
New York, I’d love to see you sometime with just my sweetheart in hand. But for now, I’ll happily bring my little ones and watch them grow with the city.
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