Instead of listing out every place we have ever been over the past ten years with the kids, I’ll start with this past weekend. Here is how it went down.
Lucky for us, on this particular weekend in February the weather was definitely on our side. Since we prefer walking over taking a cab or subway, it worked out perfect.
The kids were off from school on Friday and Monday for President’s weekend and allowed for a slow morning to get packed up and in the car. The drive is about an hour to midtown and we got in around 3:30pm. Mark met up with us to unpack the car and then we hit the street (aka started walking) to our first destination, Sanrio. Also known to many as the Hello Kitty store. This was Cole’s choice of destination as we started out down the street and since it was technically his weekend, we just went with it. Claire was in heaven! There were so many things she was able to touch and hold without us having to worry about her breaking.
After about an hour, I kid you not, we left with a cool messenger bag for Cole by tokidoki, some stickers and pencils for Claire and a stamp for Jake. I have to say, every time we have been to this store, I cringe for fear of chaos and plastic clutter overload. Thankfully that’s never been the case and we always end up having fun just laughing at all the silly characters and playing with the cat covered toasters and bunny slippers.
Outside once again, now we were hungry! Off to Ellen’s Stardust Diner we went with the plan of seeing singing waiters and eating mediocre food. Actually the food wasn’t that bad, but it’s definitely a better place for a standard breakfast or an ice cream float. We did not stay for said dessert, but decided on the walk home, after passing by this, to grab two large containers of Pinkberry to go. Chocolate and my favorite, pomegranate, along with some sweet crunchy toppings.
(Kid Tip: If you are in the city with the kids, make sure you pick out a least one or two restaurant options in the neighborhood you will be during meal times. It REALLY helps so you aren’t wandering aimlessly with hungry, cranky kids. Good resource site – Time Out NY Kids )
In the morning we headed downtown to the Children’s Museum of the Arts. I will say it did not disappoint! I highly recommend this place for some leisurely, well staffed and organized fun with your kids. Bonus - the bathrooms were spotless! If we lived in the city again, I would be buying the annual family pass. Just for the drop in option alone it would be worth every penny. Good stuff happening here. It’s not too big of a space where you would lose the kids but has plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. If you go, make sure to get your name on the list for a Clay Bar session when you arrive.
After we were finished with our masterpieces, Mark walked Claire back to the apartment for her nap and the boys and I went for a delicious lunch at OTTO. It’s set up like an Italian train station complete with tickets and a working time departure board. We had a ticket to Florence, one of my favorite cities! Definitely a kid friendly eatery but would also work well for a date night. Bonus – fairly extensive wine list.
We stopped into Crumbs during our walk back home so I could grab a cup of coffee. I’m not a cupcake person, but if you are, grab one here. There are several locations around town and unlike Magnolia, there are no 10 minute lines and enough varieties to satisfy all tastes.
Are you noticing the food theme going on?
A Chinese dinner was planned for Cole since it’s his favorite but unfortunately it was a big letdown. The place was beautiful and the reviews seemed to be good, but one entree was undercooked and another one tasteless. Plus the service was not great. Maybe it was just bad luck for us that night, but we will not be going back.
After brunch we walked over to FAO to dance on the piano and play with the over sized stuffed animals. We left with paper stunt airplanes and a hovering spacecraft. Flight was the theme for the boys. Claire was most interested in the little plastic mommy and baby animals and the life sized Ugly Doll walking around.
That night, Mark had a dinner date with Claire at Marseille and Jake, Cole and I went to see Mary Poppins. It was amazing, lively and the kids loved that I knew all the songs! Cole was sitting on the edge of his seat for most of the performance. I’m giving this play two thumbs up. Very well done!
(Kid Tip: Broadway shows during this time of year are flush with great seats up for grabs. Even better is Kids Night on Broadway but we missed it.)
We decided to go bowling after breakfast but when we arrived we found it wasn’t open until 12:30pm. We had over an hour before we could get in, so we walked just a few blocks to one of my favorite NYC hangouts, the Strand book store. We all happily got lost in the stacks of books and I came away with a list of new ones I will be adding to our own stacks here at home.
All in all it was a great weekend of walking around, seeing a few fun places, playing a little here and there and of course eating!
Don’t you like getting feedback from others who have already been somewhere before you? It has definitely helped me avoid any pitfalls that may have otherwise come up.
Keep an eye out for more NYC With Kids posts in the future!