You might ask yourself, “What on earth possessed her to take two very young children to New York City?”
Well, I’ll tell you…they did. If you’ve seen The Secret Life of Pets, then you know it is set in “The Big Apple”. Judah and Aya watching that movie started a barrage of questions about New York which Sam and I were happy to answer and they haven’t stopped asking to visit since.
Sam and I always knew we would want to travel with our children…and not just to destinations that were a short flight away. We both believe it is an amazing gift to show developing children different aspects of the world they live in and travel is a tremendous opportunity for that. So…we booked a flight to iconic NYC.
I give you…
How to Take Kids to NY (Part I)
1. Book the Right Hotel
Having the right hotel when staying in NYC is crucial. Unless your children are perfect angels (Lord knows mine aren’t) then you should take this into consideration. There are wonderful, nice, beautiful hotels that WON’T give you the evil eye when you walk in with your toddlers in-tow. The Gregory is one such hotel and I am so thankful Sam found them and booked them. The staff was always delighted by the kids and even were kind and accommodating when Aya inevitably spilled the iced, cucumber infused, water offered in the lobby all over their historic wood floors. Let’s just say I’m a big fan of their hotel.
2. Stop In at Laduree’
Kids love sugar. I love sugar. Lauduree’ is a no brainer.
Judah and Aya are especially fond of french macarons and ice cream (they bougie af, I know) and this heavenly place has both. Might I suggest you visit the SoHo location as opposed to the one off of 5th…the SoHo spot has an outdoor patio where other patrons and staff won’t be quite as peeved by your littles slinging glace chocolat all over themselves and the table. Again, I was pleasantly surprised at how accommodating the servers were. They had adorable coloring pages complete with blank macarons to be colored in.
Let’s be real, this is a must-stop whether you’re with kids or not.
One more tip on this one, pack some extra wipes in your handbag because they will be needed.
3. Go to The Central Park Zoo
Because who doesn’t love the zoo? Not to mention its freaking iconic. I honestly loved that it wasn’t a massive zoo because I had other things I wanted to do and see. The animals were also very active and seemed happy compared to a lot of zoos I’ve seen. My favorite part was the indoor tropical bird exhibit because Sam was almost attacked by a large bird. It was wonderful.
After you’ve left the zoo, you can take a leisurely stroll through Central Park. The zoo dumps you out a short distance away from this magnificent statue. My fellow 90’s kids will feel me on this when I tell you that all of my childhood dreams were coming true at this moment. Mush Balto, Mush!
4. Don’t Take Them to Time’s Square
That is, unless you are fully prepared to take them to the Disney store, hold their little hands in vice grips, or expose them to the “fake” Elsa’s, Batman’s, and Spiderman’s of the world who just want your money.
To be fair, the kids loved it and Aya is now convinced that Batman is real and resides in New York City. So…its just up to you on this one.
5. Dine “Smartly”
By that I mean, be sure you choose a restaurant that has kid friendly options. Thankfully this doesn’t necessarily mean a designated “kids menu” because those are hard to come by in a fancy establishment. Just make sure they are willing to work with you. For example, eclectic pasta offerings for the adults can easily be downgraded to buttered noodles and Chicken Parmesan is a lot more appealing to the kids when it’s just a piece of chicken cut into bite sizes. But beware, you might not get “kid prices” on the modified “kid food”. I would recommend a call ahead or a look at their reviews to see how accommodating they are and what they charge for child portions, especially if you’re sticking to a tighter budget.
Sam and I adored taking them to the city. It wasn’t that much more challenging than any other city destination…not even considerably different from Denver for the most part.
Both Judah and Aya have fallen in love with NYC. They have both asked to move there (not gonna lie, I was hoping they would) and they can’t wait to go back. Sharing this experience with them was magic and they even did quite well when I stopped into Chloe’ to check out a few pieces. Even the woman working there had bottles of water ready for them and talked their little ears off.
Judah adored the cab rides and Aya loved the food and the people. She was also thrilled to learn that New York has a beach and looks forward to visiting it next time.
All in all, I would absolutely recommend taking young children to New York City. Seeing their faces was priceless and exposing them to new cultures and new experiences is invaluable. Sam and I had a pretty great time too…I’m always happy when I’m there 😉