(this post is part of a mini-series entitled Small Town Kids // Big City Travel. You can find links to the previous segments at the end of this post).
While we were in NYC, we wanted the kids to see most of the typical New York highlights. (You know, stuff you see on the movie Elf or Home Alone 2: Lost in New York). One of the many tremendous things about the city is that you can visit and view tons of landmarks for free, with an additional cost if you wanted to engage more in the museum/building/atmosphere. The kids loved Rockefeller Center, which I think was my favorite place, too. You have all the major shopping locale, news stations, and the famed ice skating rink, which is beautiful to view but costs like a billion dollars. We went to the Lego Store twice and since returning home, my boys are OBSESSED with Legos. Oh, and AMERICAN GIRL. I have to write it in all caps because I am YELLING it. Eden has an American Girl doll class at her homeschool co/op and she was thrilled to visit the three-story store. (The boys were NOT so thrilled).
Times Square was another favorite and we visited several times. The M&M store was a fun place to stop in and enjoy, and the store windows at Macy’s were decorated for the holidays and they were so beautiful. And we could see the Empire State Building right from our hotel window! (Side note: there are TONS of people in Times Square dressed as popular pop culture characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Olaf, Batman, Iron Man, etc. At first this is cute, but then it gets a little weird when they are telling you that you belong on a Crest whitestrips commercial and asking for a tip..)
One of the highlights of the trip was a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. You can ride for free, or pay a fee to take a smaller ferry directly to the Statue of Liberty herself. We chose the free option, which takes you really close to the statue and the kids LOVED it. (pretty sure the smaller ferry is the one I barfed on multiple times when I visited NYC in 1998. Oh, memories…)
We also visited the 9/11 Memorial, which was really hard to explain to the kids. I feel Eden understood, but the younger ones may have not. There is a 9/11 museum, but we chose to go to ground zero, where there are two large, lit fountains with all the names of the victims etched in marble. A rose is placed on their name each year on the person’s birthday. It was raining the day we went and it was a sobering experience:
Things we skipped: Broadway shows (I saw Cats on Broadway in NYC in high school and it was a once in a lifetime experience. Would love to take the kids when they are older) and museums/zoos with high admission costs. Many of the “child admissions” are only a few dollars less than an adult admission, and it is not something we could swing as a family of five. If we visit again, I would love to take the kids to see the American Museum of Natural History, which is where the movie Night at the Museum was filmed, and it is one of their favorites. That is a great perk to Washington DC, where most museums are free of charge. (Do I smell a spring road trip?)
Did I forget anything? Did I burn out your phone battery with excessive photo sharing? The final post in this series will focus on parenting in the Big Apple and how we logistically kept up with five kids. And observations 0f big city parenting versus small town parenting. Excited to share with ya!
(PS: IF you follow me on Instagram, you can find more photos from our trip using the hashtag #LettersfromNYC)
Other posts in this series:
Small Town Kids // Big City Travel: From TN to NYC
Small Town Kids // Big City Travel: Where to Eat in NYC
Small Town Kids // Big City Travel: Places to See in NYC