bilingual children · bilingual learning · Family · homeschooling · learning and kids · traveling with kids

New York City Itinerary! NYC is a child’s playground!

I enjoy traveling and I am grateful for the opportunities and means to do so. I am bicoastal and call California and New York my home. I am very much a California girl with New York engrained in my identity. That being said, I’ve traveled back and forth between states for over 20+ years. Now that I have a family, we plan trips often.

Traveling with children is always an adventure with children. My experience is the more I travel with my son the easier it is for me. He is a traveler and is pretty restricted with screen time, but on a flight all rules are out the window. At some point, he does sleep, so that breaks up the screen time. Some of my favorite things to take on a flight is a backpack with his favorite toys, a book, notebook and drawing paper. This helps us get through the flight. I also pack some fave snacks such as sandwiches and crackers.

While packing, my son and I pick outfits to wear while on vacation. It makes changing easier. I roll his clothes together and all he has to do is take it out of the suitcase. I use packing cubes like these from amazon.

It makes packing easier. I don’t go crazy with toiletries. I buy travel size ones for the family and I leave them at the hotel at the end of our stay. I also don’t travel lightly. I gave that up years ago.

Here is an itinerary for visiting NYC with children:

Day #1

We took a red eye to NYC. I know it was a stretch. Overall we did pretty well and slept for some of the flight. Once we dropped off our luggage at our hotel and made our way to have our first meal in the city. We had a great brunch at Citizens of Chelsea. It’s a delicious cafe with avocado toast and delicious hot chocolate. It’s a farm to table restaurant.

We were really tired from the flight and took the early afternoon to nap. Luckily, we were allowed to check into our hotel room early. After our long and needed nap, we were ready for dinner and stroll in the city. We ate at It was very good dinner with appetizers and yummy burgers. They have a kid’s menu which I appreciate. My son ordered salmon. He claims he is a pescatarian. After dinner, we were ready for a nice walk. We walked around and ended up at The Harry Potter store. we made it to the harry potter store and dinner. that was a great first day. The store is like being at Hogwarts. We decided to do a weekly subway pass, it has unlimited uses and it really pays off. It’s about $40 a person, kids don’t need one, they go under the turnstiles…lol

Day #2

We packed our days with some walking and balanced it out with some rest time. We started off with taking family photos in the West Village with Lili Aviles Photography. She is wonderful with kids and took our last photos in Central Park. She is very good about making families feel comfortable and just having some organic interactions. It was pretty chilly, we weren’t expecting that so that was a little hard. We took off our coats for some of the poses but the chill and wind made it hard at times. I can’t wait to see them!

Later in the day we had lunch at los Tacos #1 in Times Square.

We love broadway shows and try to catch one yearly. After our tacos we went to see The Cursed Child. Our family is a little Harry Potter crazed. It was wonderful. The effects and costumes and just incredible. It get s a little scary so we did share some spoilers with our son so he wouldn’t be in shock. It was spectacular and I Highly recommend it. Lion king is also a great one for kids. 

After the show we were to. dinner at Wagamama, an Asian fusion cuisine at Union Square and then we went to the playground.

Day #3

We were ready to set out and explore the city. we started off at the Smithsonian American Indian Museum. They have exhibits about Native New York and Native art from North, South and Central America. My son is learning about American Indians so to see the artifacts was very fascinating to him. They have a gift shop with a lot of great books and art.

Battery Park has a large playground with tall slides and jungle gyms. It’s called Battery Playscape. It represents playing in nature. What I love about city parks is that the structures are made out of wood and steel it’s not plastic. Kids need to know how to climb and recover when they get hurt. My son loved running around, climbing and sliding. It was rainy and cold ,but when you are having fun. It doesn’t matter.

There is also a beautiful/colorful seaglass carousel that costs $6 to ride. It’s worth the ride! It’s beautiful to see the seaglass move up and down in unison. We built up an appetite and made our way to Stone Street. The oldest street in New York. It still has cobblestones. We ate at Stone Street Tavern.

After that we went on the Staten Island Ferry (it’s free) and you can see the Statue of LIberty from there. The ferry can also take you to Domino Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We didn’t make it there but I highly recommend it. It’s the old Domino facotry turned into a playground. This is the amazing thing about New York!  So much rich history and the city does a great job of using natural resources and nature for children to play on.

We finished our day by dining at Tao restaurant. The food was delicious and their desserts are to die for!

Day #4

We love visiting museums. Today it was the MOMA- Van Gogh Exhibit/Pinocchio Exhibit

I love that museums are for everyone and that we can teach our son to appreciate museums at a young age. 

I met a friend for lunch at a Mexican restaurant in Spanish Harlem Ollin restaurant on 2nd and 5th ave. I highly recommend it. Their pastel de 3 leches is like no other!

I then made my way to Central Park where my son played and ran around. 

Day #5

We started to lose steam by this time. So we woke up a little later and made our way to Brooklyn on the 4 train to Crown Heights and Prospect Heights. We stopped at small shops in the neighborhood and bought some unique home items and Brooklyn memorabilia.  Our next stop was LuAnn’s, andAsian vegan restaurant. They have the best pumpkin soup and sweet and sour sesame soy plate!

We made our way to our favorite playground and library. We love Underhill Playground because it’s a toy sharing space and it’s gated. Next, we went to Blue Marble Ice Cream shop and had a scoop of ice cream on our way to the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza. If you haven’t gone there, it’s a must. It’s a large library and they have an extensive children’s book collection

For dinner we had dinner at Zaytoon’s. They have the best lentil soup! I highly recommend them. we enjoyed dinner with friends and ended our night at a Brooklyn Nets vs. HoustonRockets game at the Barclay Center.

Day #6

We slept in today! We had a late breakfast and made our way to The Museum of Natural History- Dinosaur exhibit

This i s a huge museum. We try not to see museums in one day. They are too big, so we always focus on an exhibit. The entire museum is incredible. They do a great job of having interactive stations for kids and photo opportunities.

We had lunch close by at Tenzan, a Japanese restaurant on the Upper West Side.

We had desserts at Levain cookies. These cookies are so moist and feel like a muffin in cookie form!

Day #7

Another day of sleeping in:). We visited the Highline in Chelsea. The High Line is an original 1800’s railroad track that was closed down and then created into a park and restored with the train track in place. It was a chilly but sunny day, but worth the walk. There is a lot to do around there and they have bumper tires/cars by the Standard Hotel.

We headed to Peppe Rosso in Soho for lunch. There are high end shops on Prince Street and chain shops on Broadway Ave. it’s a fun area to shop.

Day #8

Our last day in NYC we packed and the hotel was generous enough to store our luggage. 

We returned to Brooklyn and went to brunch at Chavela’s in Crown Heights, Brooklyn

The boys went to see their favorite barber and get a haircut. I spent my afternoon on Vanderbilt Ave in Prospect Heights. I had a 20 minute massage at Honey Nail Salon, a bagel at Old Brooklyn Bagel Shop. and I shopped at some of the small businesses that sell locally made products

Van Leewen Vegan ice cream is spectacular! I highly recommend it. 

We returned to Manhattan and ended our stay in NYC with tapas at Boqueria in Chelsea. They have a few around the city. They have jamón Iberico y varios quesos. 

It went by so fast and we truly enjoyed and took in every moment. My biggest advice for traveling is don’t get caught up on how perfect your kid has to be, they will have a bad day. Traveling is tiring, just go with the flow. Allow for some rest time and down time.

Don’t forget to make fun memories together.




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