Before I had kids, I loved to travel. In fact, I traveled several times a month. New York City was one of my favorite places to visit and I’ve always loved it, so when I had kids, I decided to share my love for the city with them.
I have traveled to New York with Clark and Stone since they were babies, however, this was my first visit with the two of them without visiting friends. I wanted this trip to be just about me and them. They are growing up so fast and quality time is so important. I enjoyed our time together and I also enjoyed discovering what to do in New York with kids. Hopefully you will get some great ideas for your next trip to New York, too.
Clark and Stone Take The Big Apple
The Plaza Hotel
Like any trip, before you can decide what to do you have to decide where to stay. The Plaza Hotel was the best choice for us. Clark and Stone are five and seven years old, so the location of The Plaza Hotel was perfect for us. It’s directly across the street from Central Park, which is perfect for adults and kids.
In addition to The Plaza Hotel’s prime location, the hotel also offers many amenities for kids. For example, the boys were greeted with New York yellow taxis made of chocolate and filled with m&m’s. Talk about heaven for my two boys. They had smiles from ear to ear. The room also came with the cutest little robes with the word “prince” on that back. They are my little princes, that’s for sure. The Plaza Hotel was also gracious enough to greet me with a fruit tray and a bottle of wine. Mama needs a treat too.
The Plaza Hotel also has a food hall with everything to eat under the food sun. We started our stay at the food hall for lunch. Clark and Stone love croque monsieur’s so we ate at
Cafe D’Avignon. I should say mama loves French food and so they just like ham and cheese. But it sounds cooler if I say they love croque monsieur. I started our stay on the healthy side so I just opted for a fresh pressed organic green juice. Don’t worry though, I didn’t remain healthy and I have lots of great treats to share with you. A family friend, Alayna, joined us for lunch and treated the boys to doughnuts at the Doughnuttery.
If you have girls, The Plaza Hotel also has an Eloise cafe and even a suite dedicated to the children’s book. The boys enjoyed Eloise jelly beans that the hotel concierge offered them while I got directions to Battery Park. I have to say, The Plaza Hotel set the bar for customer service during our stay. I’ve stayed at some amazing hotels in New York but this stay was above and beyond my expectations. Did I mention they offer babysitting services?
What To Do In New York
Since it was Clark’s seventh birthday, I began planning around what he would like and how to celebrate his birthday. I began my planning with tickets to a Yankees game. My boys are die-hard sports fans and they love baseball. I try to take them to a professional game in every city we visit. He loves Babe Ruth too, so the New York Yankees game was ideal.
We took the subway all the way to the Bronx and had a blast at the game. They are too young to dive into the age-old debate of which city has the best hot dog. We’re still not sure if it’s Chicago or New York but they did enjoy hot dogs at Yankee stadium.
The Yankees didn’t win that day but I certainly did. At least in Clark and Stone’s eyes. I definitely achieved cool mom status with them. They loved taking the subway in New York City. I’m geographically challenged when it comes to things like that but I did it. It was a personal achievement for me. The boys wanted to take the train so bad and I was able to place the biggest smile on their faces.
Statue Of Liberty
Out of all the times I’ve been to New York, I had never done the tour to the Statue of Liberty. Now was the time with Clark and Stone. I booked tickets for the Statue of Liberty two months in advance. We took an Uber to Battery Park to board the ferry to Lady Liberty. I have to say, it is so cool to be on the ferry looking at New York’s skyline while approaching the Statue of Liberty.
The self-guided tour that we took was so cool. I bought pedestal tickets because I didn’t think the boys could manage the climb to the crown. We were also able to visit the museum that shows how everything was built and how it came about. Clark and Stone have become fans of American history since our visit thanks to the tour. I also purchased replicas of the statue for their bedrooms.
Ellis Island was the gateway for immigrants into the United States until 1954. You kinda can’t visit the Statue of Liberty and bypass Ellis Island so I purchased tickets for it as well. Clark is going into the second grade and his school does a big Ellis Island project to teach the kids about immigration. Needless to say, I wanted him to be able to really relate to it once it begins at school.
They were so taken aback by the process. Seeing the podiums, manifests, and envisioning the lines that people had to stand in while awaiting their destiny for a fresh start was mind-blowing. I have to say though, I overshot this activity for their ages. At least for Stone. He was toast by the time we arrived because all he could think about was the Yankees game. I can’t wait to take them back when they are able to fully understand it.
With The Plaza Hotel directly across the street, it only made sense to spend a day here. Clark and Stone had loads of energy so we began our visit at Victorian Gardens. Victorian Gardens is an amusement park in the middle of Central Park. The thing I love most is that the boys were able to ride everything together. Often times, I’m worried Stone won’t meet the height requirements but he was all good. They loved it! The amusement park also had games they could play. They both won their own carnival toy for themselves.
In addition to Victorian Gardens, the boys also played at the playground. New York was so hot while we were there. I seriously can’t understand how they were able to play in the blazing sun. On the other hand, I found a shaded spot on the park bench so I let them play to their heart’s content.
Where To Eat
Serendipity 3, a restaurant that has been open since 1954, is where we chose to celebrate Clark’s birthday. Known for its frozen hot chocolate, decadent desserts and really good food. This was definitely a dream come true for a seven-year-old. Clark ordered the Drug Store Sundae for the three of us to share, which consisted of three scoops of ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauce and whipped cream. Mommy is the one still paying for the decadent treats as I had to “help” them finish their treats.
Black Tap is a craft burger and beer restaurant. This place is for kids and the kid at heart. The burgers were the size of my head and extremely delicious, but if you have a raging sweet tooth like me, it’s all about the Crazy Shake. Clark had the chocolate Crazy Shake that consisted of a chocolate frosted rim with mini chocolate chips, topped with a chocolate brownie, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Stone had the cookie shake that had a vanilla frosted rim, a cookie sandwich and chocolate sauce. I owe a huge thank you to my friend Shabnam for recommending this place. Out of the many times I’ve been to New York, I had never heard of it. That has now changed and I will definitely be back.
I’m convinced I was French in a former life. My love for Ladurée macaroons started with this place while abroad in college. They use the freshest ingredients and have the best flavors. No trip is complete to New York without a box of six or twelve. I’m so happy the boys love them as much as I do so I could make the pit stop for a sweet treat.
I first fell in love with Sarabeth’s at their Tribeca location about 7 years ago. Talk about a treat when I discovered they have one located at Central Park South. Just a hop skip and jump away from The Plaza Hotel put us in heaven. Their omelets are insanely delicious, however, their pancakes are the business. I mean, I can’t get enough. Stone ate almost all of my omelet while Clark devoured his pancakes and bacon. Stone also had a biscuit and jam. You can actually purchase Sarabeth’s preserves in grocery stores or online.
New York, I Love You
New York, you haven’t seen the last of us. Clark and Stone absolutely love the city as much as I do. If we could move, I would in a heartbeat. However, my love for Chicago runs deep. I was born and raised here. I’ve loved everywhere I’ve gone but returned to Chicago as an adult. New York is the one city I’ve always wanted to live in so I do have a little regret. In the meantime, I will visit this beautiful city every chance I get and share it with my sons.
What We Wore: