A Baby In The Big Apple
I love NYC. A Baby In The Big Apple
Who doesn’t? It’s iconic. It’s progressive. It’s magical.
I feel like I can have curly hair in NYC. Does that make sense? I feel like curls, brown skin, big teeth are all celebrated here…or just not even acknowledged. Perhaps my view is skewed and somewhat simplistic but there is something about a big city, New York or London where I lived for 8 years, that allows people to be themselves, or the idea of being themselves. This could get very existential, I know, so I guess what I’m saying is that in NYC, so many different cultures, religions and backgrounds, hopes, dreams and struggles merge to create an infectious energy, a constant buzz and excitement unlike anywhere else.
Both my husband and I are big fans of the city, so we packed up our son, hopped on a plane and headed to the Big Apple for a weekend of family fun and exploring.
It was a hot and steamy city weekend, perfect for spending time in Central Park and enjoying beverages on a patio. We stayed at Double Tree by Hilton Times Square West which was the perfect location for visiting all of our favourite places and discovering new ones.
We didn’t bring a car seat to New York. The thought of hopping in and out of caps, strapping and unstrapping a car seat, hauling it on our backs in the heat sounded like one the worst ideas we have ever had. So we took the subway into the city when we arrived and hired a car with a car seat for our trips back to the airport. I would advise anyone else visiting NYC with kids to do the same.
Having Charlie in the carrier was much easier to navigate the city, stairs, the subway and the crowds. Mostly, we loved the Bugaboo Bee 5 stroller. It was the perfect city stroller. I even got compliments on as we rolled down Fifth Avenue. This bad boy was light to carry up stairs, easy to manoeuvre through crowds, fast to fold up, fit in small places and the canopy extended to cover Charlie when he napped as we walked. And we walked. We walked everywhere. It was perfect. There was so much to see and so much to take in.
New York is so enriching for kids. Even at ten months old, Charlie was able to play and learn. Here were our favourite attractions:
To celebrate Caribbean week, the museum had solca dancing for kids with feathers and masks. There was also a ‘typical’ Brooklyn street with store fronts that celebrated the many different cultures that make up Brooklyn. There was a water station, colouring station, jungle area and more. It was incredible and I would love to take Charlie back there.
A water filtration system was on display that kids could interact with. It demonstrated how water was cleaned and distributed throughout New York City. There were also floors with learning activities catered to many different age groups. We played Peek-A-Boo, crawled through tunnels and played with a talking alligator.
Central Park is huge! There are large fields, hills, playgrounds and splash pads to enjoy. Charlie played in a big splash pad with the Boys & Girls of America club, made new friends and splashed with all of the big kids.
The High Line is beautiful! It is a long stretch of grass where families can sit in the grass, meet other friends, relax and enjoy the amazing sights of the city. They offer tours, stargazing sessions, tai chi, meditation, musical performances and children’s workshops.
The many lights, people, sounds and performers caught Charlie’s attention and he didn’t know where to look. He didn’t know where to look! He smiled and waved and clapped at every new and exciting moment.
We also wandered across the Brooklyn Bridge, checked out Top of the Rock observation deck at Rockefeller Centre and checked out the NBC store – Mark and I are HUGE fans of the tv shows 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live so this was a must for us.
We also checked out the American Museum of Natural History and walked by the John Lennon Memorial.
When it came to eating in NYC, we didn’t have any problems bringing Charlie from dining rooms to patios, food carts to cafes. Kids are a day-to-day part of life and we never felt as though we were looked down on or made to feel uncomfortable by having him there. I think it helps that we have a smiley kid who charms everyone he meets.
Our favourite kid-friendly places to eat were:
A NYC favourite brunch spot with three different locations in the city. We had brunch with friends across from Central Park next to the famous Plaza hotel.
Next to the Gansevoort Hotel in the Meatpacking District, we had a bottomless brunch with a delicious Mexican themed breakfast and all you can drink cocktails. So yummy!
A student-y type of establishment on Amsterdam in Upper West Manhattan where guys were playing beer pong at the back. We met a good friend of mine and sat on the patio, watching the world go by. We drank a brew and a cider before heading to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan to play.
New York is such an amazingly vibrant city. There is so much that we didn’t see, so much that we didn’t explore and more to discover. As Charlie gets older, there will be more and more for him to appreciate and learn. It’s the perfect destination for a family weekend away. We can’t wait to go back.