Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New York with kids

A couple of years ago, we traveled with kids to New York for my husband's grandmother's unveiling (see Jewish funeral customs.) So, our week-long trip was a mix of family activities and sightseeing.

We had a corner suite at the Beacon Hotel on Broadway at W. 75th Street on the upper west side. It was perfectly located (just two blocks from a subway station) and lots of room for our family of 5. There's a large grocery store across the street and laundry facilities at the hotel. I would definitely stay there again.

Our first night, we walked from the hotel down to Times Square in search of ice cream. Our kids were dazzled by the lights! The following two days were spent with family for the unveiling and to learn a bit about our family history. A highlight was our lunch at Katz's Deli on the lower east side. (Remember the line from When Harry Met Sally? "I'll have what she's having.") That's Katz's.

That evening, we met cousins for dinner on the back patio at La Lanterna in the west village. It's delicious Italian just down the street from Washington Square. Bryan played chess beforehand with one of the men in the park. (B lost, but what an experience!)

The next day, we split up. Daughters, moms and grandma went to the American Girl store and sons, dads and grandpa went to the Museum of Natural History. We met up afterwards in
Central Park.

The following day, we took a subway ride and a long walk to the pier at 42nd Street for a Circle Line Tour. We did the 75 minute Liberty tour which was just the right length for our little ones.

After the boat tour, we grabbed a slice of pizza and walked back to Times Square for a matinee of Disney's Little Mermaid.
(New York audiences talk too much!)

That evening, the grandparents and uncles went to see a show while the rest of us visited the observation deck at 30 Rockefeller Center. My theory is that the lines are too long at the Empire State Building but you get to see the Empire State Building from the Top of the Rock.

Our final day with the cousins was spent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I had prepped our kids by reading From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler with them ahead of time. It was fun to see the fountain, Egyptian wing, etc. and imagine Claudia and Jamie's adventure there.

After the cousins and grandparents headed home, we went in search of the Flatiron building and met up with a high school friend of the husband's.

Our last full day in town, we had prearranged Statue of Liberty tickets. You have to book it ahead of time. At the time, we were only allowed up to the platform, but now you can go all the way up to the crown if you book ahead. Allow plenty of time - the security was tighter than any airport screening I've ever seen.

We also visited Ellis Island. I'm a genealogy fanatic, so that was like coming home to the Mother Ship. You could easily spend an full day on Ellis Island. Get the audio tour - it's fantastic!

Our last day, we made a quick visit to Central Park and the John Lennon memorial. We also visited Grant's Tomb before heading to the airport.
Guess who's buried there...

What a wonderful trip!

Travel books I used for this trip:

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