Tuesday, October 25, 2016

NYC With Kids

I decided to share our most recent trip to NYC with our kids as well as a short recap of the Christmas trip we took there two years ago in case you're thinking about visiting with your kids. When we went the first time, Carter was in Kindergarten and Sophia was in first grade. I wouldn't recommend taking your kids any earlier than that, because even with subway rides there is a lot of walking, and there aren't a lot of things to do and see that are geared toward three year olds.

Christmas in NYC

When we went in 2014 were able to do all of the Christmassy activities you think of in New York - Radio City Christmas Spectacular, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, Macy's Santaland (we didn't visit Santa here because the line was RIDICULOUS, but we mailed our letters to Santa while we were there), frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3, and ice skating in Central Park. We also visited Bryant Park to ride the carousel and the 9/11 Memorial. We didn't visit the 9/11 museum because we didn't think it was appropriate at their age, but the fountains were enough to bring me to tears. I couldn't resist sharing a few photos. I can't believe how much Sophia and Carter have changed in two years (not to mention my hair color....so dark!).

Radio City Christmas Spectacular is one of my favorite shows and it's a great way to kick off the holiday season! Make sure you stick around for the living nativity at the end. It's not to be missed!

The frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3 was definitely worth the long wait!

Look at how little they are! Macy's is a madhouse, but it was worth it to mail our letters to Santa!

We spent a lot of time in Central Park. Sophia and Carter loved climbing on the rocks and the playgrounds are fun too! If you want to ice skate, skip Rockefeller Center and go to the Central Park skating rink. We arrived at the rink about an hour before they closed and didn't have to wait long at all to get on the ice.

Fall in NYC

 Since we did NYC at Christmas, we decided to go back this year in the fall and combine the trip with  a fall foliage/apple picking trip upstate. The last time we were there we didn't do any of the big touristy things like Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, etc, and we knew we wanted to, so I ended up buying us all a NYC CityPASS. It seemed to hit all of the main attractions we planned on visiting, and it was a good value for everything included. If you're there for longer than two days, I'd recommend it, but we didn't get the use out of it that we'd hoped with only two full days in NYC. We only ended up visiting the American Museum of Natural History, the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, and The Met (the views on the rooftop bar are pretty cool, especially at night), so we would have been better off getting the C3 option. Oh well, lesson learned.

American Museum of Natural History

The kids loved the American Museum of Natural History, especially since we'd just rewatched Night at the Museum on the plane ride there.  Here Carter and I are doing our best scared faces as we posed with "Rexy."

Sophia is a pretty good little photographer. :)

Top of the Rock

We planned on visiting both the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, but after visiting the Top of the Rock we decided to skip the ESB. Michael and I have been to both, and the views are equally spectacular, but I'm not sure you really need to visit both of them just for the view.

Roof Garden Bar at The Met

The Met isn't necessarily geared towards kids, but we mainly went there for the roof garden bar. We did enjoy looking at the paintings by Monet and Van Gogh, though.

Central Park

Both kids love climbing all of the big rocks in Central Park, and they have some awesome playgrounds. Carter also enjoyed playing Pokemon Go in the park. We ended up visiting the park both days we were there.

Broadway Show

You can't go to NYC without seeing a show, so we decided to go see Lion King this trip. I wasn't sure what to expect with people playing animals, but we all absolutely loved it! If you have a somewhat flexible schedule there are TKTS Discount Booths located throughout the city. They also have an app. We were only in the city for two nights, and knew we wanted to see Lion King, so we ended up getting discounted tickets through the corporate perks website for Michael's work. We saved over $20 per ticket and had seats in row K of the orchestra. The only thing I will say is that I was kind of disappointed because our seats were on the side of the theater and there were a few times where I missed something funny that was happening onstage because my view was obstructed. It wasn't anything major, and we still had a great view of the parade of "animals" as they entered the theater as well as the majority of the show. It was AMAZING!

I am so glad that we decided to go back to NYC in the fall with the kids. It's a beautiful city and there is so much to do and see. The kids loved it and so did we! Next stop, Washington D.C! I totally didn't mean to rhyme there. ;)



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