I love, love, love NYC – so when I had the opportunity to travel for work, I decided to make a family trip of it. I was celebrating my big birthday and I was beginning my third trimester. Many a people thought I was nuts, attempting to work, walk and manage my 3 year old in the crazy concrete jungle.
Admittedly, it was a bit challenging, but we were successfully and happily able to make the Big Apple kid friendly.
When people think about New York City, they think bustling, crowded, dirty and overwhelming – not a place for kids, for sure. No, it’s not your all-inclusive beach vacation, but it served our family adventure needs better than expected. Granted, I didn’t have the time or the energy that I normally had to hit up 5th Avenue for a shopping spree or enjoy an all-nighter at a lounge or club.
We flew down to NYC from YYZ (so about an hour flight in total). My son was completely energized by airplane travel. He was so thrilled to be soaring through the clouds. He behaved and was amused.
After visiting family in Queens for the day (I love Queens so much, by the way, but that’s another blog post), we made our way to the Holiday Inn Midtown. Surprisingly, the rooms were quite large and lovely. It was an ideal location – we were a hop, skip and jump from Columbus Circle, Central Park and Times Square. It was on a quieter street which made the location even more appealing.
There was a torrential downpour on the second day of our trip in NYC. My hubby thought it would be fun to take our son to FAO Schwarz (added bonus as it was indoors). It had been years since I had been there and I was so super excited to check out the amazing toy store that I remembered from my childhood and of course the movie “Big” (with Tom Hanks). We took our first UBER ride to FAO Schwarz which was less than 5 blocks from our hotel – on a good day the ride should have only cost about 10 bucks, but of course because it is NYC and traffic is a given and well we were charged a premium for the rain (go figure) – we paid 5 times the amount for 5 blocks. But, I have to say that our UBER ride was an UBER cool experience, we were even able to request a cab with a car seat, so it all worked out.
Running with an umbrella, we made it inside and I was overjoyed with all of the toys – Muppet making workshop, superhero section, the Big Piano, the candy Shoppe, the baby section…it kept going and going. My son loved the experience and we probably could have stayed there all day. I highly recommend putting it on your kid-friendly NYC sightseeing list.
The following day, I had to work but my husband walked with our son to the nearby Central Park Zoo. It wasn’t as glamorous as the movie “Madagascar” made it out to be. My son was a little disappointed he didn’t get to meet any of the characters from the movie. He did have a great time nonetheless. Put this one on your list too, there is a fee to enter but it’s fun to see the animals.
Finally, our kid friendly NYC trip included the New York Hop on and Off Bus Sightseeing Trip. These buses run throughout the day and night. To be honest, we spent a good hour trying to find out where to catch this bus. We learned that after 5PM,you can pretty much only catch the bus in Times Square. By the time we sorted everything out, we took a night bus into Brooklyn. We had never been before. Again, I was killing two birds with one stone, filming footage while my son somewhat sleepily revelled in the beautiful lights and trip across the Brooklyn Bridge. We thoroughly enjoyed the bus trip. Do make sure you bring a jacket or sweatshirt for the night time rides especially if you are sitting at the top, uncovered part of the bus.
I wish we had more time, I was hoping to take my son to see the Lion King on Broadway. We`ll have to schedule this on our next trip to one of the best cities in the world which surprisingly can be kid friendly.
Essential Things to bring on your NYC Kid Friendly Trip:
-Kid walking shoes
-Lots of snacks
-UBER app (on your smartphone)