NYC has always been one of my favorite city’s to visit. I have been a handful of times and had a different experience each and every trip! At one time I worked for Movado Group and we got to travel to some pretty awesome places for meetings including my first trip to NYC. They put us up at the Ritz Carlton and took us out to do so many things including broadway shows, tours around the city and a boat ride to see the Statue of Liberty herself. It was pretty amazing for my first trip to the big apple and some of my fondest memories of working with the company. From there I traveled to the city with my husband, my best friend and even exhibited in the New York gift fair when I owned Kula Klips!
For all the trips I’ve taken to the big apple and all the different seasons I have experienced by far my favorite was in December. We lucked out with some really great weather and no snow on the ground which made all the outdoor walking we did bearable. I was a little worried that the kids would complain about sore feet but they were troopers and walked up to 25,000 steps a day with us!
It’s a much different experience travelling to NYC with kids, but it was a lot of fun to see the magic in their eyes as they took in all the sights and sounds of the city! There’s so much to see and do with children in NYC, I wanted to share some of our favorite experiences from our latest trip!
The iconic Fao Schwarz is back! The largest toy store in NYC is located in Rockefeller plaza and is 2 stories of interactive fun. They even brought back the giant piano made famous by Tom Hanks in the movie BIG!
We headed to the store on a Sunday before opening and waited in a long line to get in. You can expect to wait in a line to dance on the piano as well because it’s the most popular attraction in the store. We headed to the piano upstairs first when the doors opened to save ourselves some time in line. It’s so fun to see the staff playing songs on the piano with the kids as well!
They have many interactive stations to visit including a mini hair salon, science centre and an area to build race cars. They also have a big candy section! Plan to spend a lot of time in store exploring, there is so much to see!
The American Girl store is a must visit if you have a little girl. If you aren’t familiar with the brand they make dolls that look like your child plus every accessory you could possibly imagine. The store was a buzz with little girls toting their dolls around picking out accessories for them. We opted to leave ours at home this trip just because mom and dad didn’t want to get stuck lugging the doll around all day.
This location is massive with 2 floors of things to see and play with. They also have the American Girl Cafe at the NYC store which is a fun experience, but only really necessary to do once (we took her in LA so didn’t need to go again). Our daughter loves going to this store and checking out all the fun things you can buy for your doll!
Dylan’s Candy Bar
Dylan’s Candy Bar is a must visit when in NYC, even if you don’t have the kids with you! A modern day Willy Wonka factory, this iconic candy store houses over 7,000 confectionary treats. From gummy candies to chocolate bars, you name it, they sell it! They also carry a large selection of candy related gifts and apparel items from around the world.
The flagship store in NYC is 3 floors and filled with every sweet treat you can imagine. They have two locations in the city but this is the one you need to visit because it is the largest. You can find it in the Upper East Side area at 1011 3rd ave (and 60th street.)
The cereal company has it’s own restaurant in NYC! Kellogg’s NYC is a great place to take the kids for a fun and unique dining experience! The space is set up with a couple of living rooms that include Saturday morning cartoons to watch while you sit and eat. They also have retro video games in the back to keep the kids entertained. It wasn’t overly busy for us and we loved the location because it was across the street from the farmers market.
The menu isn’t huge but the kids thought it was so fun! They both went with the build your own cereal bowl and loved that you could mix in any one of their cereals with an array of toppings as well. Our daughter even topped hers off with cotton candy! They also have menu items which include specials like custom cereal bowls and Eggo creations.
Ride the Subway
The kids had so much fun riding the subway! At first they were both a little nervous having never been on a subway before, the crowds can be big and the whole thing can be a little confusing. We don’t find people to be very helpful in NYC when asking for help so we downloaded an app to help us navigate our way through the city. When you are a family of 4 it isn’t always the cheapest option either FYI. Some locations it was cheaper for us to take a taxi because we had to purchase 4 tickets (they are $3 us each).
This was an adventure within itself, from people begging for money on the train to the rats running on the tracks the kids saw a lot. I think it’s a great way to show the kids how people live and travel around in other parts of the world.
M&M’s world is located in Time Square in the Broadway district. From candy to clothing, they have everything you can imagine with M&M’s on it. Our kids wanted to customize their own M&M’s and they loved the whole process of it.
Head to the machines at the back of the store on the 2nd floor, and chose what you want your M&M’s to say. Then you can pick whatever colours you like and from there you wait for them to run them through the machine to customize your creation!
While the process is cool the waits can be LONG. This took us well over an hour to do with the kids. They only have 1 machine in the store to do this so be prepared to wait!
We spent the day in Brooklyn exploring the area and absolutely loved it! It has a hip NYC vibe with cobblestone streets and brick buildings and views for days when you head down near the water. We even spotted the Statue of Liberty which the kids loved!
We met a photographer from Flytographer there and spent an hour exploring with him while he took photos of our family. This was a great way for us to see Brooklyn as he knew all the cool spots to take us for photos! I highly recommend checking this company out, we were able to get so many great family photos!
We enjoyed lunch at the famous Grimladi’s pizza under the Brooklyn bridge (this location is busy so be prepared for a line up) and took in the sights along the water front. The area we loved most was Dumbo by the West Elm store, there was some amazing areas to take photos in this neighbourhood!
Times Square is where you will find all the bright lights in the big city! It is a must visit area, especially if you haven’t been before but it is very busy. The crowds are large and there is a lot going on in the area, its easy to get distracted looking at all the bright lights so we opted to hold hands with the kids to keep them close. They have the M&M store, Disney store and more for shopping and lots of restaurants as well. While we wanted the kids to see it we didn’t spend a lot of time here with them.
When hubby and I first traveled to NYC we stayed in Times Square and we will never stay in the area again. It was loud all night long and it is BUSY! Midtown is our favorite area to stay when we visit as it is conveniently located right in the middle of the city. They also have lots of restaurants, shopping and amenities in midtown as well!
Ellen’s Stardust Diner
Ellen’s Stardust Diner is home to the world famous singing wait staff who are hoping to make it big on Broadway someday or have been in a show. Located in the Broadway district of Times Square, they offer classic diner food for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
The waits are long to get in (we waited 45 min) but the atmosphere is a lot of fun once you get inside! The wait staff entertains you throughout your meal by singing Broadway hits and every so often the restaurant fills with confetti. We all thought it was a really fun experience!
Super Mario Store
We stumbled across the Super Mario store in Rockefeller Centre by accident! Our son has loved Super Mario games for many years so it was a great store to visit with him.
They have 2 floors of merchandise and areas to play video games as well. It was cool to see the display cases filled with the retro Nintendo and Gameboy systems that have come and gone over the years which you can find up on the 2nd floor. Lots of kids and adults were having fun playing games on the big screen!
The Lego Store has a couple of locations in the city, we shopped at the Flat Iron District store as we were at Eataly for lunch which is next door. My kids have never been big into Lego but they had fun playing with the Lego and checking everything out when we visited.
You can also find a location in Rockefeller Centre which is convenient if you are already visiting FAO Schwarz, American Girl or the Super Mario store.
I can’t say enough good things about this trip with the kids, they absolutely loved every minute of it! At the ages of 7 and 10 they were able to do all the walking required. Because there is so much to see and do we kept them busy the whole trip but did plan some down time in the room mid day so they could relax and recharge for the evening. The weather was good almost the whole trip and the one day we had rain we just stopped at the drug store and picked up a couple of umbrellas to keep us dry. The great thing about visiting NYC is there is always so much to see and do so you can go more than once and have a totally different experience! Out of all the times I have traveled to the area early December has been my favorite. We loved the whole Christmas experience which you can read more about here.