We recently surprised Matt with a long weekend in New York City. It was a big birthday surprise and we had the BEST time. We kept this secret for months. I had scoured the internet finding the best rates on plane tickets and really cool hotels and we honestly hit the jackpot. When it came time to give him his birthday presents, Milo gave him a book about a little boy that goes for a walk in NYC with his dad. This didn’t throw Matt off too much because Milo is always talking about going to the Big City. He loves cabs and subways and tall buildings. He’s a funny kid. Anyway, it was only when Cady gave Matt tickets to Wicked on Broadway that he seemed a little confused.
The tickets were for 2 days later so we were all “We are going to New York!”. Haha – his face!
Milo studied the books and knew all the places he wanted to go.
And the next day we were off!
We wasted no time after arriving. We caught an uber to Manhattan and then headed out to find something to eat. We settled on a deli just up the road from our hotel.
Milo was thrilled about all the “taxi cabs”. We ate our $80 spaghetti, pizza and Reuben and then Milo and Matt headed back to the hotel and Cady and I went ice skating. I had done a ton of research on what to do while there. We knew we didn’t want to do some of the more popular touristy things – we’ve done most of those. So I picked some low key alternatives (aka inexpensive). Instead of ice skating at Rockefeller center, we elected to head to Wollman Rink in Central Park.
It’s a smaller rink and we had tons of room and NO lines and the prices are way more affordable. The NYC skyline is at your back and you walk through Central Park to get there. Definitely a must do if you are there in the winter months.
Next morning we were up early for breakfast and LOTS of adventures.
Another tip is to stay somewhere that has complimentary breakfast. Our hotel had a super trendy restaurant on the bottom floor. Literally, people lined up down the block to eat there during the day. But during breakfast hours the restaurant closed and was only open for hotel guests. And if you wanted to eat there for a regular meal you got to go in the back door and immediately be seated. It was crazy seeing the long lines of people waiting hours to get in and we could skip the line because we were staying at The Blakely. The restaurant is called Black Tap if you are interested – it was YUMMY. And the crazy shakes are in fact…crazy. And the balcony on the top floor wasn’t bad either… Our hotel was classic old school NYC. We elected to get a suite so Cady could have her own room with a daybed – we loved it and it definitely made our trip better.
Next up was a walk to Grand Central Station.
And of course we had to try out the whispering walls…
Grand Central Station is obviously free. It’s a beautiful landmark and Milo knew it from his New York City books. Next up was the NYC Public Library!
They just don’t make buildings like this anymore.
Amazing marble floors and columns on every floor. We walked around a bit, bought vintage NYC maps in the gift shop, and even headed down to the children’s floor so we could rest our feet and Milo could play legos.
Next up was lunch in Times Square and maybe a visit to the M&M store…
Later that evening Milo and I headed out on a date to Central Park… We followed our map and watched people throw frisbees, play saxophones, and sing opera. We played “pretend” checkers at the Chess & Checkers House in the park and we visited and chatted with almost every statue. We headed to the boat house and marched around fountains. I think Central Park may have been his favorite part of the trip.
The weather was amazing. I was so scared when I booked the trip back in Nov/Dec that a blizzard would happen in February (which would have been pretty common). However, we had temps in the 50s & 60s. Perfect for walking around the city!
While Milo and I were at the park, Cady and Matt got ready to head out for Wicked. Matt loves Wicked and he had been wanting to take Cady to see it so the opportunity to see it on Broadway was extra fun.
The next day all 4 of us spent some time walking through Central Park (we were staying only 2 blocks away). Milo and I were Central Park pros at this point, so we gave Cady and Matt a good tour.
And we couldn’t go to NYC with the kiddos and NOT go to the Museum of Natural History. We’ve all seen Night at the Museum so this is a must stop.
We had lunch at Black Tap and here’s a pic of one of their shakes for your enjoyment. There is a poptart (I think we may have already removed it by the time I remembered to take this pic) and a rice krispie treat and candy stuck in it… Some of the shakes have pieces of CAKE on top!
Not gonna lie, our final night there we grabbed the kids McDonalds and then Matt and I went and walked around Times Square. We had such a great time. I wish all of our family trips were this easy and fun!
Until next time – Thanks for reading!