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Your local kids guide by local mums

New York City with the Kids

New York City with the Kids

When planning this holiday I did ask myself “is it a good idea to take children to New York?” And the only way I was going to find out was to go ahead and see for myself.

We visited New York in December and if you ever decide to go over the winter be prepared for the cold, the buildings produce wind tunnels which makes the temperature at this time of year feel a few degrees below what it actually is.

Accommodation

We were a party of 6 and wanted an apartment so we could be together but also have our own space. Our children are 4 and 6 so it also allowed us to put them to bed in the evening and have a drink in the lounge.

We opted for Radio City Apartments,  located on 49th street which is only a few minutes from both Time Square and The Rockefeller Centre. We had a 2 bedroom apartment, one of which housed 2 double beds so we had one room with the kids and the Grandparents had the other. We also had a lounge/kitchen area with a TV, a bathroom, a spacious hall and Wifi included.

The staff were super friendly and couldn’t do enough for us.

Location: 142 West 49th Street, New York, NY 10019, USA

To find out more or to book Radio City Apartments click here

 

 

Family Restaurants in New York

We were in New York for 5 days and visited a number of restaurants and diners while we were there, below are some of our favourites.

Ellen’s Stardust Diner

Ellen's Stardust DIner New York

Ellen’s Stardust Diner was our absolute favourite place to eat in New York and it’s fantastic for both kids and adults. Located on Broadway, all the waiting staff are aspiring Broadway stars looking to get their break into stardom! Ellen’s Stardust has had over 200 waiting staff go on to be a Broadway star and it’s a great way to see the quality of Broadway at a fraction of the cost.

We were all entertained from the moment we sat down and felt hugely proud when our very own server was up on the table singing when it was her turn. The food was really great too with a decent kids menu plus breakfasts, salads, sandwiches, burgers and more for the adults.

You cannot book Ellen’s Stardust Diner unless you are a group of 20 or more so be prepared to queue. We went on a Wednesday at 3pm and queued for about 10 – 15 minutes but when we left at close to 5pm the queue was three times the length. My recommendation is to go at a slightly obscure time if you can.

Location: 1650 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, USA

For more information click here

 

Time Square Diner

It was the morning of my birthday when we visited Time Square Diner for breakfast and we weren’t disappointed. I had the New York classic of corned beef hash with two fried eggs (sunny side up) and it was delicious. Everyone else were equally as happy with their choices, of which there were many, we were constantly topped up with coffee and the service was quick and friendly.

If you are looking for a good NYC breakfast the Time Square Diner is definitely somewhere you should visit.

Location: 807 8th Ave, New York, NY 10019

To find out more click here

 

Bennihana

Benihana New York

We booked Benihana’s restaurant in New York for my birthday and it was such a great, entertaining experience. The children were in awe as the chef made volcanoes and trains from cooking onions.

All the tables are communal and you are sat in groups, where your very own personal chef performs the ancient art of Teppanyaki. We were amazed by the skill of our chef as we watched him  slice and dice, and prepared our meal in front of our eyes.

The food was delicious with a choice of sushi, sashimi, mouth-watering steak, tender chicken or succulent seafood. The children’s menu was fantastic too.

Location: 47 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019,

For more information click here

 

Scotty’s Diner

When we arrived at Scotty’s Diner for breakfast one morning there was an enormous queue so we knew it had to be good. Fortunately because we were a party of 6 and there was a table for 6 available we were seated straight away.

The menu was great and the breakfast and diner had a New York authenticity about it. If you’re after affordable food, friendly service and unlimited amounts of coffee then give Scotty’s Diner a visit.

Location: 336 Lexington Avenue, New York

To find out more click here

 

Bubba Gumps

We visited Bubba Gumps in Florida a few years ago and had such a great experience that we had to go to the one in Time Square. Again we weren’t disappointed, the menu for children and adults was fantastic and food was great.

If you are a fan of Forrest Gump you will absolutely love this place, the decoration is spot on and the staff are super friendly. If you want a server’s attention you flip the sign on the table to “Stop Forrest Stop” and when you don’t you flip it to “Run Forrest Run.”

Location: 1501 Broadway , New York, NY 10036

For more information click here

 

Dunkin Donuts 

Dunkin Donuts

 

One morning we decided to have breakfast at the apartment and my husband went out to get breakfast and one of the things he came back with was 12 donuts from Dunkin Donuts. My 2 girls thought all their Christmases had come at once.

Location: 168 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036, USA

 

Majestic Delicatssant

This was the second place my husband visited for our take out breakfast and came back with smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels and cheese and ham croissants, both of which were delicious!

Location: 200 W 50th St, New York, NY 10019, USA

 

The Olive Garden

We visited The Olive Garden on our last night in New York. As a family Italian chain we had been to before we knew it was a safe bet and it didn’t disappoint.

To start you are given some soft Italian bread sticks and a salad, both of which were superb! We all had a pasta dish of some sort for our mains which we all thoroughly enjoyed!

As with most restaurants in Time Square you can’t book so if you arrive at a peak meal time be prepared to wait.

Location: 2 Times SqNew York City

For more information click here

 

Westway Diner

We visited this diner on our last day in New York for breakfast and it was another fantastic find. A great authentic American breakfast at an affordable price with unlimited coffee.
Location: 614 9th AveNew York City, NY 10036-3731
For more information click here

 

 

 

Things to do in New York with Kids

There is so much to do in New York and while we were there we did a mixture of sightseeing we knew we would enjoy crossed with a bunch of activities we knew the kids would love!

If you can plan ahead it’s worth getting a New York Pass where you purchase a number of attractions as one ticket which in general is a lot cheaper than buying entry into each attraction individually. We booked ours through Attraction Tickets, take a look at the options here

Below are the activities we did while we were in New York:

Hop on hop off bus tour

This is an absolutely great way to see the city and also useful to use as transport to get around New York. There are a number of tours that cover different parts of the city including downtown, uptown, Harlem and Brooklyn.

 

Top of the Rock

The views from Top of the Rock are fantastic, and I generally prefer it to The Empire State Building purely because I want to see The Empire State Building as part of the view as it’s so iconic and beautiful, which you obviously can’t do if you’re stood on it.

 

New York with Kids

 

Ice Skating in Central Park

Ice skating in Central Park was definitely the highlight of the trip, it felt as special as it looks in the films and we were lucky to be there when it snowed. There’s something quite magical about skating gracefully (or not as i was with me) in the beautiful snowy Central Park which is then surrounded by sky scrapers. If you get the chance to do this do it!

 

Horse Drawn Carriage in Central Park

We hopped on our horse drawn carriage directly after the ice skating and it was an incredible way to see Central Park. We were snuggled up under a blanket while we trotted around the park taking in the sights. My youngest daughter thought she was a princess for the day – it was truly magical!

Horse drawn carriage Central Park New York

One World Observatory

This was an absolutely incredible experience. The lift in itself was amazing as the walls on the way up illustrates the historical changes and growth of New York from the early years through to present day. The location is downtown so you see a different view of the city compared to The Empire State Building and Top of the Rock so it’s definitely worth visiting both.

Once you’ve got over your incredible experience of the lift you’re taken through to the observatory to see the most breathtaking views, you can also hire a tablet which gives information on the different landmarks.

Outside there are 2 fountains where the World Trade Centre Towers once stood, with the names of those who lost their lives etched into the surround.

 

Ferry Cruise

The ferry cruise gives you fantastic views of the whole city, when you’re in the city you almost forget how iconic The Empire State building is but when you see it from the ferry it is absolutely incredible. You also get fantastic view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the New York skyline. On the journey you also pass by The Statue of Liberty which alone is worth it. If you get the chance book a ferry cruise as part of your package.

Ferry cruise New York

M&M’s World

M&M World Time Square New York

We visited M&M World in Time Square while we were waiting for our table at Bubba Gumps and I was unaware how much M&M merchandise there was. The kids were certainly entertained for the 40 minutes we were there so if you’ve got little ones take a look

 

Macy’s

Macy's window New York

If you are in the area go and take a look at the Macy windows! There’s also a Build-A-Bear Workshop around the corner where you can pick up some NYC outfits or teddy bear.

 

American Girl

American Girl New York

If you have daughters pay American Girl a visit as there is nothing like it in the UK. You get to pick a bespoke doll that looks like you, dress it like you and get it’s hair styled like yours in the salon! Be prepared to pay for it though as the create your own dolls are $200 each, we didn’t buy one but my girls still loved the experience.

 

Rockefeller Plaza for the Christmas Tree

If you are in New York over the Christmas period you have got to pay The Rockefeller a visit to see the enormous Christmas tree!

 

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