A weekend in NYC with a 7-year old

25 August 2018 | 0 Comments

Last weekend, Clara (age 7) and I went to New York City on a special trip, just the two of us. I travel to NYC often for work, but it’s been a while since I was there for fun. We had the best time. Here are a few recommendations for NYC with kids:

Stay central. Midtown Manhattan isn’t my first choice neighbourhood in NYC, but it made sense to stay there so we’d have easy access to the things we wanted to do (visiting Central Park and seeing a musical were at the top of Clara’s must-do list). I trawled a bunch of hotel booking sites for a week before I found a good deal on the Hyatt Grand Central, which is right next to Grand Central Terminal. Perfect location for a home base.

Boats are fun for all ages. Clara really wanted to go to the Statue of Liberty, but I didn’t know you have to book far in advance to get tickets to the pedestal or the crown. So instead we booked a boat cruise that got us close to the Statue so she could see it, but we didn’t actually have to get off. I highly recommend Classic Harbour Line boat cruises. We did their Statue and Sights cruise aboard a gorgeous ’20s style yacht. Boats are so fun for exploring, and seeing the city from the water was exciting. Best part – it wasn’t packed with people so we had a lot of room to ourselves.

Take them somewhere secret. Clara and I had a special moment in Grand Central Terminal when I introduced her to The Whispering Gallery. I explained that it’s a secret, which made it very interesting to a 7-year old. There are no signs, so you have to be ‘in the know’ to know it’s there. Here’s a list of other NYC secret spots.

The Central Park Zoo is a gem. Unlike some zoos in other cities that go on and on for miles, the Central Park Zoo is perfectly compact. You can easily see it all in 1-2 hours. Don’t miss the sea lion feeding – it’s very entertaining. After the zoo it’s a quick walk to the Central Park Carousel, which just feels magical for kids of all ages. Splurge a extra $3 to ride the carousel yourself along with your kids. That way you can see their delighted faces up close.

See a show, and then meet the actors. Clara really wanted to see a musical, so I picked School of Rock for a few reasons. She had seen the movie and the Netflix TV show so she’s familiar with the plot, tickets weren’t insanely expensive or hard to obtain, and the show features a lot of child performers. I learned from taking Clara to Matilda in Toronto that it’s super special for kids to see other kids on stage. School of Rock was funny and we both loved it. After the show we went to the stage door and met some of the actors as they were leaving. Many of them autographed Clara’s playbill, and she thought it was just so cool. Especially saying hello to the kid performers. She was totally starstruck.

PS: See a few more photos from our weekend on my Instagram.


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