Since it is almost a week after Thanksgiving, I am – of course – thinking about next year and how we will be celebrating. Since Mr. A and I still don’t really have an idea of what a Thanksgiving at home should be for us, I have been non-stop bugging him to do Thanksgiving in NYC next year. Because if I had my druthers, that would be our annual holiday tradition. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, watching the balloons inflate at Central Park, the parade (I refuse to say the full name because I think the sponsor blows) the next morning and a fancy meal out where someone else is doing the cooking and cleaning… HEAVEN. My family and I did this exact trip in 2001 and I have wanted to do it again ever since. And with a 4 year-old (by next year) in tow, how could a holiday get any better?
Minor problem, Mr. A absolutely hates New York. But I am “helping” him (i.e. giving him no choice but to) learn to love it. We have taken Pickle twice since she was born (eight times if you count when she was sitting in my body making me fat) and it was amazing. Pickle is a whiz at public transportation now…. or is totally petrified of it. Can’t tell and I don’t care. It is literally the only time she will quietly sit still – PEACE!
Here are a few of the things we have really enjoyed doing together in NYC:
- Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) – I love this place so much that we named Pickle’s grandmother (see image, she is so hip and lovely, she deserves the nickname) after it. Challenge your parenting skills as you try and explain some of the video “art” to your children. At least now my child feels like she too is an artist when running around without pants for half the day (don’t ask, she’s expressing herself).
- Baseball games – We did the Mets (they are no Yankees), but I am pretty sure the hot dogs are all the same no matter the ballpark. Challenge your child to a hot dog eating contest, then allow them to pass out in their chair as you enjoy beers in the sunshine. (Probably different if you have a boy who actually cares about sports or a teenage girl who is interested in the magical effects of an athletic cup.)
- FAO Schwartz – Tell your child that they can have anything they want in the entire store. If they are anything like my child, they will be so overwhelmed that they will exhaust themselves completely and walk out with a $2.99 pencil eraser. (I, however, walked out with $97 in Muppet stuffed animals.)
- Acela (or any) Train – Technically not a NYC attraction. But being from the South (and the West), there is nothing comparable. You can literally plop a child on the train and spend the next two hours completely relaxing as they think it is Disney World.
- American Museum of Natural History – There are dinosaurs. There is… I honestly can’t remember. I find that place boring as shit. But the stuff in there will probably excite your husband. So walk through Central Park, do a few hours there and then gain all of the calories back by visiting Shake Shack as your return to your hotel.
Hotels and restaurants can be totally stuck up when it comes to kids in New York. Just ignore them. That being said, these are our top recommendations to stay and eat (the playing field changes completely without one!):
- 6 Columbus – Unless we opt for a hotel with a parade view (cough, Mr. A?), I would never stay anywhere other than 6 Columbus with Pickle. It is right next to the Time Warner Center, which has anything you would ever need to grab in a pinch, and a primary stop for the 1, A and D trains. You can walk to almost every tourist attraction from it. And I love the modernist decor, Guy Bourdin art and Blue Ribbon Sushi bar nestled right inside. So I feel hip even though I am Midtown.
- Landmarc – Their kids menu is delicious (pigs in a blanket! green eggs and ham!) and WAY more exciting than your traditional grilled cheese and mac & cheese offerings. Their adult food is even more delicious (mussels! mussels! more mussels!). And they are totally nice to your kids while you get tipsy and have a semi-romantic meal overlooking Columbus Circle. It is as close to Per Se (literally one floor beneath!) as you are going to get on this trip. And don’t forget to grab a T.K.O. and Nutter Butter (or twelve) from Bouchon Bakery on your way out.
Featured Images: kate spade Taxi Mittens, Yankees Tennis Stretch jacket, Tiffany Apple charm and chain, Saks Fifth Avenue New York City snowglobe, DKNY Voyager printer rubber boots, New York in Color book