Since moving to the East Coast almost three years ago, and knowing that our time here would be limited, our little family has tried to do as much exploring of all the amazing cities around us as we can. This has included a handful of weekends in NYC, and last weekend might have been my favorite visit there yet. Plus, our friends at Wyndham Hotel Group got in on the fun this time and allowed us to try out their gorgeous hotel, the Wyndham Garden Chinatown in the heart of Chinatown for the weekend, making it a perfect time to give you a glimpse into what we like to see/do on a weekend in NYC with kids.
First, a little about this hotel. We loved it SO much. I would recommend it to anyone, but would especially recommend it to travelers who have been to NYC before, have seen the tourist attractions and are looking for a more authentic NYC trip. Aside from being in the heart of Chinatown (which is a must-experience) it is nearby some of our favorite neighborhoods including Little Italy, SoHo, and the West Village. It is also close to the entrances of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge (which are also must-experience!). The hotel itself is gorgeous, stylish, and family friendly. It is a couple of blocks from a subway station (WITH AN ELEVATOR. This is everything!), and it has a roof with the most outrageous view of the city (See picture 1. Gorg.)
One night after a long day of walking and two passed-out children my husband and I were starving and called down to the front desk to see the best place to get some Chinese takeout since we were in (DUH) Chinatown. The man at the desk was Chinese himself and told us he would take care of everything. A few minutes later there was a knock at our door and he was standing there with boxes full of the most INSANE dumplings. Without being asked this wonderful human ran down then street, picked them up for us, and delivered them right to our door. I could have kissed him on the mouth (and I think my husband could have too. Those were some goooood dumplings y'all). Anyway. What I'm trying to say is, the Wyndham Garden Chinatown, what a gem. The people, the neighborhood, the cozy, snuggly beds. All the stars, thumbs up, etc. from us.
(Don't you DARE go to Little Italy and not get a cannoli!)
This trip was the first time we walked the Brooklyn Bridge! It is a perfect (and free!) family activity that our kids loved. The bridge itself is iconic and amazing, and the views of the skyline are incredible. Whether your visit is long or short, put this on the list. And if we are talking about free + amazing, if you go to NYC and don't walk The Highline then I don't know if we can be friends anymore.
I could go on for dayssss about the food situation in NYC. Bagels! Pizza! Hot Dogs! Bakeries! On one of our past trips we tried to survive on street food alone and I did not hate it (If it's fried in oil I will love it. I'm not ashamed). When traveling there with kids we try to keep it simple, looking for great places where our stroller can fit, and where people won't want to murder a wild toddler. Shake Shack, Wafels and Dinges (above), Gray's Papaya, Doughnut Plant (below), and Chelsea Market are just a couple great places for family-friendly, delicious, unique and affordable treats. But of course, there's no way to scratch the delicious food surface in a blog post so before you go ask your friends! Look on Zagat! Ask the locals on the street! Then eat, eat, eat.
A couple of other resources that are really great when planning a trip to NYC is Naomi's Subway Elevator Guide, (this is a must for families with stroller-aged children), this guide to all of the parks and playgrounds (another necessity with little ones), and all of Joanna's guides are super fun and insightful. Also, speaking of food we loved watching Anthony Bourdain's The Layover in NYC (you can find it on Netflix). Oh, NYC. Alllll that food.
Thank you, Wyndham for the loveliest trip! And thank you NYC for just everything. Especially that pizza. Especially.
What is on your must-do list on a trip to NYC? What are your tips for traveling with little ones? To the comments with you!