New York Is Always A Good Idea (Even With Kids!)
A passion for adventure and travel is something that I aim to pass along to my kiddos. Discovering different places lets you experience different cultures and a different way of life. It’s important to see that there is more than your immediate day to day.
Enzo came home from school one day completely enchanted by a movie he had watched in class, Balto. It is a true story of a heroic half husky, half wolf who helped save sick children in a small Alaskan city during an arctic storm. A statue of Balto was erected in Central Park in honor of his brave actions. Enzo was determined to see that statue.
Nadia chimed in with her own interest in visiting China Town, Time Square and the Japanese Toy Store Pop Up, Rilakkuma. I told the kids I was happy to take them but only if they planned the trip themselves...and they did!
A tip for taking on New York with kids - if you can, get a driver for two reasons:
1. It is COLD in early spring. Your kids will complain about walking.
2. There is a line everywhere and for everything. It’s a huge time saver.
We started our trip by visiting Central Park and honestly, my kids loved it so much we could have spent the entire trip there and they would have been perfectly happy. Before we left the hotel we asked our concierge for a map to the park and Enzo was ecstatic to find Balto.
I wanted to take them to the American Museum of Natural History but the line was crazy long (guess we’ll have to save that for our next trip!). My kids loved running around Central Park and exploring every corner but that of course made them really hungry. Inside the park there is a restaurant on the pond called The Loeb Boathouse at Central Park. It’s very charming but also extremely crowded and honestly a little too hectic for me. We opted for Sarabeth's which is considered a NY landmark and serves American fare. Every kid can find something they like on the menu.
After lunch we headed to Time Square. It is not my favorite part of the city but the kiddos were in awe. Especially Nadia, which surprised me. Her friend told her about the M&M “factory” so that was our next stop. The store is impressive! It has multiple levels and they offer everything from customizable candy to clothes, toys and M&M flavors that you haven’t even heard of before. Be careful there as it can get quite expensive.
Next up was Nadia's Japanese toy stores. On the way we met Captain America and Bumble Bee who Enzo adores. He had to take a photo with them, of course, which cost me a cute $40 for a polaroid.
For dinner we decided to try Black Tap (thank you Ceta for the suggestion!) which is a joint with swag burgers, cool art and fantastic, giant desserts. There was an hour long line and we were pretty frozen by the time we got inside. Another reason to buy less M&M's and invest in hiring a driver.
We started our morning by visiting One World Observatory at One World Trade Center.
This was a very powerful moment for Enzo. He really took the time to think of what happened and how it affected people living in New York and the rest of the World.
The elevator up to the observatory displays the history of New York and how it was built. We were up there by 9 AM and it was not crowded which made the experience relaxing and informative. Get the iPads - they show an interactive map of New York. The kids really enjoyed discovering the buildings on their own with the digital touch.
Right next door is The Oculus which was built by Santiago Calatrava, the same architect who designed the Art Museum in Milwaukee. It's an impressive structure and the kids loved running up and down the stairs. This space is massive. We took a break to get the most delicious and sin worthy bagels in New York at Ess-a-Bagel . If you go, make sure to get them warm - they are to die for!!!!! We each had 3 (oopsie!)
From there we went to Chinatown. It was too cold to walk around and nothing is open before 11:30 AM (kind of a bust.) We adjusted our plan and stopped by St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Even young children will notice and appreciate the majestic presence it has. That part of Manhattan is easy to navigate as the new FAO Schwartz Toy Store and the Rockefeller Skating Rink are right there.
We decided to skip Madame Tussauds Museum and instead went to Ripley’s Believe It or Not which we all loved! From there we went for a bite at the Flour Shop by Amirah Kassem. Nadia had the craziest sprinkle filled cake! The space is heaven for Instagram friendly photos. The kids were very happy there (I was just exhausted hahaha.)
Lastly, both kiddos wanted to go back to Central Park and Enzo's $10 caricature concluded our trip.
Let me know your favorite, kid friendly, parts of New York! Nadia and Enzo are already planning their next trip