What: NYC with Kids
Where: Manhattan, NY
Photos: For additional photos, visit Field Trips with Sue on Facebook - New York City with Kids
This past Thanksgiving, I took my kids to New York City for the first time. After a shaky beginning, they loved it and can’t wait to go back. Here are some ideas for visiting New York City with Kids. Let me know what places you love to visit in New York City with Kids.
Where to Stay In New York City with Kids: Hampton Inn, Times Square South. We got a great deal through Hotels.com on a room here. The hotel is centrally located near Times Square and easily accessible to iconic shopping, Central Park and museums. The reviews of the hotel were quite accurate. Staff was exceptionally nice, saving us five fresh baked Otis Spunkmeyer cookies until we returned from dinner later that night, helping to find a great pizza place for dinner and even offering to hold our luggage.
Where to Eat in New York City with Kids: Pizza is a NYC specialty and we set out on a quest to find a great pie. Only of few blocks from our hotel we found it at John’s Pizza. Located in an old church, John’s serves thin crust brick oven pizza. I’m not sure what they do to the cheese pizza, but it was amazing.
Don’t miss out on the street vendors. A visit to NYC wouldn’t be complete without a hot dog or hot pretzel from a street vendor.
We also happened upon a few excellent dessert choices. Levain’s Bakery is located on the Upper West Side in a small unassuming basement store. Don’t let the storefront fool you, Levian’s bakes the most delicious cookies. Perhaps it’s the size, 6 oz. per cookie, I mean a lot of cookie is better than a little any day. On our visit, the counter person apologized because the cookies were still hot and a bit gooey. As we enjoyed our decidant treats, I pursed the walls covered with articles from just about every major food publication praising Levians and noticed that the owners Pam Weekes and Connie McDonald had won several food challenges, including beating Bobby Flay in a cookie smackdown. My only complaint about the place is they didn’t serve the ice cold milk I needed to wash down the cookies.
Another great dessert place was Magnolia’s Bakery, where we sampled some amazing cupcakes with ample sugar icing. We’re still trying to figure out how they get the slight crunch on the top of the cake that melds so nicely with the soft sugary icing.
What to Do in New York City with Kids: Since this was my children’s first visit to NYC, we opted to just meander around the city a bit, taking in the street-side sights and visiting a few of the well known landmarks. Our first stop was Times Square where my children stated it reminded them of Hong Kong -although none of them have ever been to Hong Kong – it just looked like they imagined it would be – perhaps it was all the lights, flashing billboards and busy streets. We stopped in several stores – ToysRUs, LEGO, and their favorite FAO Schwartz. I’m not sure what makes FAO Schwartz so different, perhaps the unique inventory, or maybe because it’s the only place in the world where you can create your own Muppet puppet or maybe it’s the staff playing with all the toys and encouraging the kids to try the toys out. Maybe it was the over-the-top merchandise like the $24,999 Barbie foozball table. Whatever it was, this was a favorite stop for my kids (and the adults too!)
We spent one afternoon visiting Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. We’re history buffs and really enjoyed learning about American immigration and imaging what our ancestors went through when they came to this country. I was quite impressed with the architecture and detail, it’s a shame they don’t make beautiful buildings like this anymore. Our visit to the Statue of Liberty was a bit short lived and wet. Currently they are doing renovation on Lady Liberty, so you cannot go into the statue. Renovations are expected to be complete in the Fall of 2012.
If you plan to visit New York City with Kids, visit the local blogs of these fabulous New York City Moms for the inside scoop: