New York City, Summer 2017

Full review below, but here’s a list of places/activities I highly recommend:

  • A show on Broadway
  • Central Park
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Dylan’s Candy Shop
  • Top of the Rock
  • The High Line in Chelsea
  • Eataly

New York City is one of my favorite cities on earth.  I love the energy, the people, the endless sources of entertainment, fabulous restaurants, shows, rickshaws… I love it all!  Each trip to the city is different and there are too many favorite spots to list… but I’ll do my best!

Together with one of my dearest friends, last summer we took our girls on a mommy/daughter trip to New York. We stayed at The Benjamin Hotel – a great choice in that their rooms offered two queen beds in each room as well as a kitchenette area with a refrigerator. Bathrooms are tiny, but that’s to be expected.

The first night, thanks to my friend’s foresight and fantastic ticket broker, we saw School of Rock.  It was a FANTASTIC show, but had more adult references than I think either of us were expecting. Do your own research, but I would qualify this as a show better suited to ages 9 and up.

(Though, to play devil’s advocate to my own argument, my husband and I took our daughter to see Mamma Mia on Broadway when she was 6. I’ve said since then that the show is ideal for those under 7 or over 17. So, I suppose I might say the same is true for School of Rock.) 

TIP: If you aren’t picky about what show you see, TKTS booths can be a great way to get last minute tickets for a lot less. Also, just stopping by a box office the day before or even day of a show you want to see, can result in some fantastic deals and amazing seats.

Dinner our first night was arranged by our hotel concierge at DB Bistro Moderne.  It was excellent and very close to our theater.  The moms each had the Dover sole and our girls split their famous burger –  a sirloin patty stuffed with foie gras, short rib, and black truffles that was truly amazing. I highly recommend both!

We made our way to the stage door after the show and got autographs and photos with many of the cast members.  This is one of my favorite live theater traditions, but I do believe it’s gracious and kind act for the actors and you cannot expect them to show up or have time to sign autographs.  But when it works out, it’s just icing on the cake!

We took the opportunity to spend some time exploring Times Square after the show.  M&M store is always a big hit.  We ended up taking a rickshaw back to the hotel.  Not the cheapest mode of travel around the city, but definitely among the most fun.

Our first full day in the city, we purchased passes for one of the big bus tour lines.  We did this through the hotel concierge, mostly just for ease of decision making, but you can certainly choose to haggle with the many, many people selling passes for various bus lines at each pick-up/drop-off spot.

We hopped on one of the open-top busses and went up toward Central Park. It was VERY hot and after we nearly melted to our seats, we decided to hop off at the American Museum of Natural History.

This is a fantastic museum, both for kids and adults.  Lots to see and do and a top-notch museum store!

With Central Park just across the street, it makes a lot of sense to visit both of these sites on the same day.  A horse-drawn carriage or rickshaw are traditional touristy ways to get through the park.

TIP: You should negotiate the rate you pay and agree to it upfront.  Everything is negotiable and you don’t want to get “taken for a ride.”

I have to say that no trip to NYC is complete for me without a visit to Eataly.  With six restaurants, aisles and aisles of beautiful food and gifts, and wine for sale while you browse, I could spend days in here. You can literally stroll from restaurant to restaurant and do a grand tour of amazing Italian food all in one place.

Lastly, if you are taking anyone under the age of 12 to NYC, chances are someone will recommend both Serendipity and Dylan’s Candy Bar.  We did both.  We loved Dylan’s – bought lots of gifts for family and friends, as well as for ourselves, of course.  Serendipity is a true NYC experience but if you had to pick one, we could have done without it.  We got the frozen hot chocolate, because that’s pretty much why you go, and took about 7 sips.  The restaurant is very difficult to get into, quite small, and very expensive. We found it a bit of a let-down and, in my humble opinion, it’s an experience you shouldn’t feel too badly about skipping.