New York City with Kids

In celebration of turning the big 4-0 the hubs and I loaded up two of the girls and took off to New York City for five days. My city girl heart was bursting with excitement and happiness! Thanks to my airline miles we scored 4 first-class plane tickets for $11.20 each (thank you job that has me traveling like crazy). I have been to New York City dozens of times and this was the first time I’d traveled there with anyone under the age of 25. New York City with Kids. There’s a first! This meant no clubbing in the meatpacking district and nights that were going to end before…well the morning ha! There is so much New York City has to offer we couldn’t possibly do it all in one trip which is a great excuse to go back. If you decide to do New York City with kids here are ten things to do that will get you started. Note: we had a nineteen year old and a ten year old with us and tried to balance age appropriate activities we’d all enjoy.

New York City with Kids

New York City with Kids

  1. Statue of Liberty

    New York City with Kids
    Of the many times I had been to New York City, I had never gone to see the Statue of Liberty up close and personal. After September 11th, it was closed for so long and I wasn’t too keen on dealing with the crowds after it re-opened. Well when in New York City with kids, it felt like a can’t miss so I took the plunge and got tickets. A piece of advice: if you want to go up in the crown get your tickets six months in advance and be prepared for the climbing that’s involved! Since L is very pregnant we didn’t do the crown and went up to the pedestal instead (these tickets should also be bought far in advance). You can take an elevator then climb 26 stairs to get there. It was crowded, but we were able to get some great shots then we went back down to get more pictures. You can also capture some great photos during the ferry ride over.

  1. Coney Island

    New York City with Kids

    We took the subway to Coney Island from the Rockefeller Center station. It takes about an hour. That in itself was entertaining. Of course, the violinist was a bit tamer than the woman who almost pummeled the guy who accidentally bumped into her. Coney Island itself is a beach neighborhood in Brooklyn with over 50 amusement rides and a lot of history. Unfortunately the day we went, the weather wasn’t so great and the water was freezing cold (I didn’t get in) but the girls really wanted to see it so we committed to going, rain or shine. We ate at Nathan’s Famous which just celebrated its 100th anniversary and the food was “eh”. For the non-hotdog consumers in your crew, they do have options like chicken strips and burgers. The beach itself was a bit polluted, but we were glad to get over there for the history of the area and to just see what it was about. Take towels and sunblock if you go and be aware of pickpocketing. We saw a few people scoping us out and let them know real fast to move along. If you want to do the rides, you go up to a ticket window and pay for credits. It’s a fun daytrip out of the city if you especially like the fair/carnival atmosphere.

  1. Times SquareNew York City with Kids

    If there is any place that is quintessential New York City, it is Times Square. Walk around the area, do some shopping, watch the street performers and take in the life of the city. Hit the M&M’s store, Sanrio, H&M, the Hershey’s Store and all of the ridiculously over-the-top places just for the fun of it. Take plenty of pictures and selfies to document your fun times!

  2. New York PizzaNew York City with Kids

    You can’t go to New York City with kids and not have New York pizza. Heck you can’t go to New York City at all and not have the pizza! Of course there are hundreds of places to choose from. Ask the locals for recommendations. I have always liked John’s. Located inside of an old church, they’re family friendly and just off of Times Square.

  3. Carriage Ride through Central ParkNew York City with Kids

    I haven’t met too many kids that don’t welcome the idea of being close to a horse. K really, realllly wanted to go on a carriage ride. Of course, the buggy operators are there, it seems, to rip off tourists so you need to negotiate. One guy quoted me a price then the second guy to whom I spoke quoted me $30 less. Ask how much it will cost upfront and be sure to also ask how long the ride is. We did the full loop which is about an hour. Most of the guides will stop and take photos for you along the ride. Our guy was pretty entertaining, too. They will have signs on the carriage such as $2 a minute (or more!), but you can still negotiate.

  4. Rockefeller Center

    New York City with Kids
    Photo credit: Delaware North

    During the holidays this place really comes alive with decorations and ice-skaters. It was a bit calmer while we were there. In fact, it was pretty dead but that gave us the opportunity to escape the heat under an umbrella, sip frozen drinks and grab some appetizers without having to wait to be seated which gave us energy for the American Girl Doll Store (believe me, you need it). You’ll also find Michael Kors, the Lego Store and other shops in this area.

  5. See a Broadway ShowNew York City with Kids

    If you’re doing New York City with kids, I think The Lion King is a great choice. I had been dying to take the girls and the hubs to see it. It was my third time seeing it in New York City and it felt like the first time being able to watch their reactions. Of course, you can choose a show that’s appropriate for your family depending on the age of your kids. I’d probably steer clear of Book of Mormon ‘til they’re 21. 😉

  1. Good Morning America

    New York City with Kids
    That time Robin Roberts asked the hubs to take a photo and then she Tweeted me!

    This is for those of you who have early risers on your hands. On the corner of Broadway and 45th is the studio where they film Good Morning America (there’s a Starbucks next door, too 😉 ). The earlier you get there the more of a chance you have of standing up front to see and hear the action. We arrived around 6:15am, but we could have gotten there at 7am and still been fine. Stand outside with big signs and it’s likely you’ll get on TV. We went to Walgreens and got some markers and brightly colored paper then the girls went to work making signs. Robin Roberts came out and she was so beyond nice. She held my face in her hands, told me how rosy my cheeks are and asked the hubs to get a photo of us. Sandra Lee fist bumped me and we also saw Michael Strahan for about a minute (he didn’t say ‘hi’ to anyone, though). Ironically, standing right next to us was a woman from Tontitown, Arkansas – the town that neighbors us (yep, where the Duggars live). Small world! A studio coordinator will come out from time to time to stage you and let you know when things are happening. They even brought two younger kids with “It’s my birthday,” signs inside the studio.

  1. Shop for SouvenirsNew York City with Kids

    Everyone needs an I ♥ NYC shirt, mug, ornament or some other tchotchke, right? Go a block off Broadway and you’ll find things a bit cheaper. There are plenty of shops to choose from and some of the store owners are super friendly and will offer you “discounts”. You can feel free to politely ask for a deal. Most times they’ll oblige. Of course, we hit up the Harley Davidson store for our pins and a poker chip.

  1. Just be togetherNew York City with Kids

    The best part of this trip was that we got to get away together and sometimes you don’t have to be doing “anything” to be doing something really special. One night we just ordered room service, the $18.99 still in theaters movie and stayed in our suite hanging out in our pj’s being a family. Heck, if you divide $18.99 by four of us that’s actually way cheaper than going to the movies. It rested us for the next day’s activities and from the 56th floor window we had a good time watching the people and lights beneath us. It was a fantastic kick-off to being 40 if I do say so myself.

Have you done New York City with kids? What was your must-do? Next time, around I hope to hit some of the fantastic museums and get on the Big Bus for some great photo opps. The wonderful thing about New York City with kids (or without) – there’s always a reason to go back!

NYC with Kids