“One cannot paint New York as it is, but rather as it is felt” – Georgia O’Keefe
When I travel, I really hate to over plan. Part of my love for seeing the world is not having a set schedule and being able to walk the streets, grab a coffee and rest when you want and find hidden gems that you could perhaps overlook when you are quickly on to the next. As our plane took off in LA, there were only two things that we had purchased tickets for; the 9/11 Museum and Memorial and a Yankees game. Other than that, we were just going to figure it out as we go, understanding that this may limit how much of the city they see but making the entire trip more enjoyable for everyone. What we didn’t realize is that this approach actually brought us through more of the city than I could have ever imagined. The children now love New York as much as I do and are asking when we can go back. I must say, if you have thought about bringing your children to New York but have been a bit hesitant, GO FOR IT! It is crazy how much there is to do with them. I am going to share our day by day (apology in advance in how long this post is) with just a few photos on what we did and what they loved.
Here is our little adventure in New York…
Monday – The American Museum of Natural History, Central Park and The MET (for just a second)
We were staying right on Central Park South so it made sense that the first day there we would simply walk out the door and head toward the Upper West Side and the American Museum of Natural History. The children love Natural History museums and we had heard this was one of the best. It made complete sense to walk because it was gorgeous outside and it would give us a chance to see the park. The museum was incredible and to make it even better, we grabbed Shake Shack for lunch right across the street. On impulse we decided to walk across the park to the Upper East Side and the MET. Though we did not decide to go in (there is only so much museum time a child has), we did decide to drive remote control sailboats in the park for a while, allowing us to soak up the sun and spend some peaceful time together. The perfect first day.
Tuesday – The 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Battery Park and the Statue of Liberty, SOHO, the Bowery
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum was a MUST when we first decided to go to New York. Our Middle Man was born on September 11th and has always known his birthday was important but never has fully understood why. Our Oldest has started to learn about 9/11 in school and it seemed like the perfect time to share with them this tragedy in American History. We headed downtown early so that we could take them to Battery Park and show them the Statue of Liberty (no boats or Ellis Island for us today). Then we spent some time at the Memorial, explaining a bit of what they were going to see inside and paying respect to those who were lost. The museum absolutely blew us all away. They did an incredible job and it brought back all the sadness and loss that I remember so vividly from that day in 2001. For the boys, they experienced for the first time the planes hitting, the buildings falling and all the loss. At one point I saw tears in my Oldest’s eyes. They now understand the weight of that day. The entire museum was incredible moving and I recommend everyone visit if they can. We then headed to SOHO for lunch and a small bit of shopping at my favorite French boutique, Comptoir Des Cotonniers . That night we met friends in the Bowery at Bacchanal. This was our one “adult” dinner, the food was amazing and thanks to three iPads, we made it through.
Wednesday – Chelsea Piers, the Highline, Little Italy, Time Square
Our dear friend Maritza of MilkShop NY and her husband live right outside the city and we had planned on getting together with them and their beautiful family. They suggested the driving range at Chelsea Piers and this was right up the kids alley. For an hour they were able to “golf” while we caught up on life and all that has been going on. When leaving, they had mentioned they had never been to the High Line, which was only a block or two over, so we headed there next. It is such a cool urban park with food, things to do with the kids and beautiful views of the city. After that we headed to Little Italy where we completely over-indulged at La Mela and made a visit to the cutest children’s boutique, Piccolini NY. At this point in our trip we had stayed clear of Times Square but we all figured the kids would love the lights and craziness so we headed over there, only to unload the car and have a major thunderstorm surprise us, drench us and give us an excuse to all head home. I have not laughed that hard in a long time.
Thursday – Yankee Game, 5th Avenue
A Yankee game is where all the chatter about visiting New York began. We even picked the week we went because they had a day game that would be easier to bring the kids to. So, the boys got their Yankee game (the only bummer for them is that Jeter didn’t play!) and then the girls got to do some shopping on 5th Avenue. I introduced Baby Girl to the shoe floor at Saks and she anxiously helped me try on shoes though she was disappointed I did not walk out with the jelly sandals.
It amazes me how much of the city were were able to see in juts a few days without ever feeling like we were trying to do too much. Between walking, the subway and a cab here or there, everything seems extremely close, which was one of the great things about staying in Midtown with kids. On Friday we jumped on the train at Union Station and headed to Washington D.C to visit our friends and enjoy the weekend there. I will share our fun adventures there soon. I am sure you have had enough photos for now.