New York is awesome. Period. There are literally thousands of places to be, foods to eat, musicals to watch, museums to admire.... So how to pick which to do and which to not?
As much as we'd all love to squeeze in every last activity there is to be done, it's not likely that you'll have the time (or the energy) to do so. We faced the same problem going into our New York trip, and even forewent infamous places like the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty to buy us more opportunities to see newer, less known places like the High Line. But never fear. After having experienced the same dilemma, we've created a list of the best sights to see in New York with families.
Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
As you can clearly see from the abundance of pictures, walking the Brooklyn Bridge (also see here) was a favorite among all members of the family - even, believe it or not, Scout, our dog. We were able to get so much done in one trip - make a quick stop in Brooklyn, see the Statue of Liberty (from a distance, but still worthwhile), view the New York City skyline, and walk the Brooklyn Bridge, of course. A short, twenty-minute walk, engrossing yourself in the wonder of the Brooklyn Bridge really is an activity all families should consider.
My brother, a budding engineer, was fascinated by the incredible engineering of the Bridge, while my dad, as you can see, went nuts with the black and white photos. I was captivated by the view, and both my mom and Scout loved the time to get out and be active. Don't be daunted by the possibility of a long, tiring walk - the walk across the Brooklyn Bridge is far from it, instead, filled with inspiration, beauty, enthusiasm, excitement, awe, and exploration.
Take a Trip to the High Line
We were all instantly blown away by the splendor of the High Line, a fairly new and unexplored part of New York to tourists. My parents, who had often been to New York before my brother and I were born, had never been there before, and so we were all equally eager to experience the High Line in all its glory. We weren't disappointed.
The High Line is one of the highlights of our New York trip (pun unintended). An architectural celebration, this patch of green and beauty in the center of a lesser-visited park of New York is a wonder in itself. Once you're up there, you'll find you'll never want to leave (at least, I didn't, but my parents explained to me that I wasn't allowed to camp out for the night there. Go figure.). Surrounded by views of the city and of the ocean (I would count the High Line as a view all in itself, too), the High Line is possibly the most beautiful hidden gem in New York I've yet to see.
The LEGO Store
Surprise, surprise - my brother loves LEGOs. So when the question arose of what to eat for lunch (this isn't what you're thinking), and my mom suggested Eataly (see, told you), my brother wanted to know if it was near the LEGO store. To his excitement, it was. Unfortunately for us, he was so excited that we ended up spending two hours there, without buying a thing. But I honestly can't blame him - the LEGO store was, grudgingly, pretty cool. Teeming with every kind of LEGO set that exists, this store is bound to keep any and all kids occupied, whether you love LEGOs or not.
Even better, the store is affixed with a machine that basically brings LEGOs to digital life: all you have to do is pick a set and let the machine scan it, and within seconds, the provided screen will project an image of the set come to life. It was a hit success among all the kids there, including us, who loved seeing the mini-figures dance around on screen atop their spaceships or farms or whatever it happened to be.
I know, I know. I've listed the obvious. But I have reason to - trust me, Central Park is not one to miss. A bright, vibrant hub of nature (even in winter, see above) in the midst of one of the biggest cities in the world, Central Park is literally irresistible to all kids seeking adventure. Our family walked it multiple times (Scout, who happily came along, was thrilled) and loved it even more each time we returned. Every inch of its mile and a half (ish) is crammed with something new and exciting, whether it be an ice-skating rink, a playground, some pretty amazing climbing rocks, or even something just as simple as some unexpected beauty (which there's an abundance of in Central Park, in case you were wondering). There's even an incredible Farmer's Market which I would highly recommend you try to visit (get the hot chocolate). There really is no end to the wonders in Central Park, which is just one of the reasons why I loved it so much.
Walk Around SoHo
Honestly - I just loved SoHo so much, I could live there. It somewhat felt like what New Orleans, San Francisco, and Europe (although I've never been, so think of it as my perception of Europe) would look like all mixed together. Our whole family loved walking through this charming, yet urban and teeming-with-life, part of New York, whether we were shopping, stopping to take a quick snack, people-watching, or just admiring the buildings. Really recommended for any families with children ages ten to fourteen in particular, but in all honesty, I would recommend SoHo to anyone, no matter who they were, in a heartbeat.
A little bit about us...
We're a family of four (a daughter, a son, and their mother and father.... oh, and a six-month old Standard Poodle puppy). But we all share one thing in common: our love of travel and adventure!
Hotel of the Month
Solage Calistoga: the image of perfection. We stayed here recently on our trip to Napa Valley and couldn't have been more amazed at this stunning resort. The rooms, each one an individual cottage, were immaculate and private. The property itself contained multiple pools and other amenities, all of which were designed beautifully. One of our favorite parts had to be the Michelin-star restaurant, which served some of the best food we'd ever eaten. Solage Calistoga was the perfect fit for our family (and dog!), and we are eager to stay there again.