New York City. A place that has my heart and continues to sweep it up in a big ole’ bear hug every single time I visit. Every single time. I am most definitely a beach girl at heart, with a thing for city flings. And our family’s summer tryst with the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple was beautifully timed. We were in and out before having to tip-toe over the apartment dwellers below us wore on the tired little legs of my babes or before the price of feeding a family of five in town ate through our pocketbook (though I will say we’ve become pretty savvy at finding the best places to get everyone fed without breaking the bank).
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we.
First, I had to get over the fact that my amazing stroller flew off the roof of our vehicle before we were even out of our home state for our epic #BlueSummerTour… meaning, by the time we made it to my parents house, we were grateful for anything we could get our hands on. Thankfully they had this lightweight and easy to use not-quite-umbrella stroller! But, I have to admit, I still missed my smooth-gliding cadillac of strollers that I’d worked so hard to get.
Oh sweet Jesus, the majesty of that place was glorious. Photos and words can’t convey, at least mine can’t, so I won’t even attempt. At least not at this moment. But if you can get there to see it, do. And also, we were too tired and delirious to take a decent family photo, clearly… but it’s real.
Oh the city. My kids feel at home, settling quickly into the hustle and bustle. Taking it in and exhaling the good they see with every breath. It’s like a jolt to the system, the opposite of beach life, and I guess that’s a good thing because opposites attract right? It’s the yang to our yin. The jelly to our peanut butter. The… okay I’ll stop now.
First, of course, I’ll share just a little look into our last trip there and a few “must-do’s” with kids while in (and around) the city.
I know this may seem like a strange list item, and of course many of us feel completely normal hopping in a cab or taking a train… But when you’re raising kids in the ‘burbs, then take advantage of fun transportation when you can! Hop in a cab, ride bikes, take a long walk through the city (soooo easy to do in the city because you get lost in all that’s happening around you), jump on the subway (I use the HopStop app because I’m completely subway-map illiterate)… The point is, it all can be different and fun and exciting. It is what you make it, so mix it up for the kids and have fun exploring the city in all different ways.
Well, hello. Yes, it’s massive and there’s so. Much. To. Do. But pick something, anything, and enjoy the beauty that’s sprawling in the midst of the concrete jungle. We usually head to the carousel, though this time we opted for a picnic and boats on The Lake.
And if you’re my son, you make Central Park even more exciting by falling into the pond. On a crowded summer day. During a high algae alert. But that’s nothing that another long walk to dry off and a little ice cream can’t fix.
Also, as we were leaving Central Park that day, Brayden said, “Mom, this is just like New York!” The boy catches on fast. (I have to say, we were on a whirlwind trip through so many places, so I’m surprised any of us kept our cities straight, but still… Reminds me of this moment.)
Okay, so maybe it’s not in the city, but the view of the city from this spot in Brooklyn is beautiful. And also, it’s my favorite. Ever. This day was epic, the weather was glorious, the backdrop of the New York City skyline and the Statue of Liberty, it’s making my heart pitter-patter a little right now just as I type this. It was a family play land, with water play areas, a massive sand box, climbing play-sets and because we were there on a Sunday, the most amazingly delicious grouping of a food-truck market nearby (minus the actual trucks, but the food was incredible).
Okay, so the thing about Times Square… I have a love/hate relationship with it. Huge crowds don’t thrill me, so unless I’m seeing an amazing show (which with three kids in tow isn’t likely) or taking a fabulous night-time photo, then I can live without it. But, if you haven’t been, you have to go at least once and for the sake of seeing my kids eyes light up like it’s Christmas morning, I will enjoy every bit of crowded corner, dressed-up-costume-character asking for a dollar and we will work our way past the Sephora (okay, maybe I do stop in there as well) and the corner police station to the Toys R Us. And I will go in prepared to be asked for a million and one things, only to walk out with a bag of over-priced candy that my kids adore, because it’s awesome. And huge. And there’s an indoor Ferris wheel.
5/ Be present
Okay, so this one has less to do with New York specifically, and more traveling with kids generally. They love that they’re with you, no matter where you are… So love being with them right back! A trip I take to the Big Apple, or anywhere for that matter, looks quite different when I have my kids with me than when I don’t, and I’m okay with that. We will take our time, we will smell the roses, and pretzels, and “dirty dog” carts on every street corner. We will step into more Starbucks than ever for a treat and a potty-break. We will picnic more and 5-star less. We will pick up pizza (here almost every place is amaaaazing) and eat it out of the box while chasing a toddler, and we’ll love it! Just be present, wherever that is, and enjoy the sights and sounds and tastes and scents, together.
For a list of some of the places we like to see and where we like to eat, just click here!