From there, we crossed into Manhattan and decided to splurge on dessert before dinner. Holey Cream makes the famous donut ice cream sandwich and we were ready for a sugar high!
The original plan, was to then stop at John’s Pizzeria, which is our favorite pizza in the city. We were a bit later getting in than we anticipated, so we decided that we would just go to our hotel, check in and have it delivered. Well, they don’t deliver quite that far, so we went with Little Italy Pizza and it was pretty good. Not John’s, though, so if we were doing it again, we would have picked it up on our way to the hotel.
We stayed at the Omni Berkshire Place, which is located in midtown at 52nd and Madison, and is walking distance from Central Park. That is one of our requirements in staying in the city, since we love to get up and go walk over there. The hotel is absolutely beautiful and our room was a traveling family’s dream. They have an Omni Kids program, which gave our boys little backpacks with crayons and paper, a fun straw, a card matching game and more. Callan played that matching game a ton on our trip!
The morning view, looking down on Madison Ave, was just as good as the lit up night one.
We limited our time to about an hour and headed off for some food. I grabbed a coffee from Le Pain Quotidien (58th St and 7th Ave) as we walked, then we ducked into Fresh & Co for a late breakfast. Their food is all from organic, sustainable, local farms and is really delicious!
The next stop was Times Square! This was high on our boys lists of things to see. So sad that FAO Schwartz and Toys R Us are gone, though.
Times Square Tip: You will see lots of characters that don’t look quite like the original ones. Your kids will want their picture with them and then they’ll demand you pay. You know, after you already got the picture. My advice? Skip it. You won’t know what to do with the photos of the ‘not quite normal’ Mario and Luigi after your trip.
Hershey’s Chocolate World is still there! We went in, got free samples and then the boys filled souvenir mugs full of chocolate. It smells amazing in there and they have everything chocolate you can imagine.
What’s in Brooklyn, you ask? Brooklyn Bridge Park is so much fun. There is a huge green space, food, drinks and tons of special events. There’s also a water fill up station, so don’t throw out your empty bottles, just refill them there!
If you’re in the mood for a photo op, head over to Dumbo’s Rainbow wall at Fleet Alley. It’s beautiful!
There’s sure to be a hot dog cart on the way, so you can grab a quick bite. Everyone needs to eat a “Dirty Water Dog” at some point on the trip. New Yorkers have theirs with sauerkraut and mustard.
The bridge is just over 1 mile, so we were all a bit pooped afterwards. After watching some fun street dancing we took the Brooklyn Bridge City Hall Subway (there’s an elevator in a cute little building in the middle of the park) on the green line to 51st Street. We were glad to get back to the hotel to put our feet up for a bit!
Since our car was in the valet, it’s walk, cab or Subway. The hotel has a restaurant, but it had just closed for renovations while we were there. It will be Bob’s Steak & Chop House in September ’16 and I hope to get back to try it!
At the recommendation of the hotel, we walked just a couple blocks to Papillon Bistro. It feels very much like a bar inside, but they have some outdoor seating that is perfect for kids! Their food was delicious and they had a good sized wine menu, as well.
Walk back to the hotel after dinner and take in the beauty that is sunset in Manhattan!
Just a couple blocks away from the Omni Berkshire, is Ess-A-Bagel. If you have a NYC bagel on your list of things to eat in the city (which you should!) here’s where you’re headed for breakfast! They do only have a couple choices of cream cheese…not!
You can order online, which I recommend, since it is a popular joint. Their iced coffee was a winner, too.
Sunday morning is your time to drive in the city. It’s the most quiet time and you can drive 4 miles in less than 15 minutes instead of an hour! We checked out of the hotel and drove down to Battery Park. Or you could have a cab bring you down. You can park and walk around to see a good view of the Statue of Liberty, as well as walk to see the 9/11 Memorial, Wall Street and the Charging Bull statue near the NY Stock Exchange. The new One World Trade Center is down there and is home of the One World Observatory, which is on the 100-102 floor of the building. It’s open 7 days a week and you can buy tickets to go up for a great view of the city.
Side note: Strollers must be folded up while using the elevators or escalators at the observatory. You can open them once you get to the top, but you may want to pack lightly that day!
Other areas that I think are fun to drive through, but not necessary to walk, are China town and Little Italy. Walking 5th Ave is also fun, just more shopping geared than child fun! The best parts of 5th are very close to the Omni, so you could always get off the Subway a stop early and walk up. Or check it out on your Sunday drive.
Next stop, some NY baseball! We happen to be NY Mets fans and love going to Citi Field for a game. This will take you out of Manhattan and into Queens, so we did everything we wanted to do before we crossed the Hudson. Sunday’s are family days at the stadium, which means there is a giveaway of some sort and after the game, the kids get to run the bases! My husband totally freaked out that he got to carry our baby around and actually be on the field. It’s quite a cool experience!