Our first trip to New York was just over 7 years ago and while we loved the visit we left thinking it was just another big city. This time we were meeting family and taking Annabelle who was almost 8 months. We knew the trip would be different but we didn’t expect to come away LOVING New York as much as we did.
Our past trip roundup can be found here.
We arrived on a Saturday evening and left on a Saturday evening so had 6 full days to maximise our trip and we did just that. By the end we had walked over 60 miles, seen most of Trip Advisors Top 10 things to do and discovered new places we never knew existed! Oh and most of it was with bright blue skies until our last two days when we got snow, Annabelle’s first experience of it. It was an amazing trip packed with memories of a lifetime.
|Can you spot the Statue of Liberty!|
So without further ado here is our list:
Top of the Rock
Last time we visited we were gutted that we didn’t do this attraction and we were right to be gutted. You have to visit! Honestly Top of the Rock was a highlight of our trip. We timed our visit to head up at 4pm, enough time to see the view in the day but to also catch sunset. It’s well worth doing it that way. If you time your ticket so you go up in the last daylight time slot you don’t have to pay the extra sunset fee but you will be waiting a while at the top (it’s worth it in our opinion).
From the moment you enter your senses are greeted with lights, sounds and pictures. From a film explaining the building of the ‘Rock’ and explaining how the Rockefeller Christmas tree gets put up to the light-show in the lift as you ascend you are entertained. By the time you step out to see the view you already feel like you know New York better.
We spent our time at the top spotted all the other sights and admiring the stunning skyline as the sunset. For us though the lights starting to twinkle as the buildings lit up was breathtaking (or maybe it was the wind :)) but seriously it was unbelievably beautiful.
Annabelle was mesmerised. From all the lights to the people wanting to talk to her to looking out at the view, she was squealing with happiness and laughing a lot. While waiting for sunset she even managed a nap in the Ergobaby as we were walking around admiring the view.
Brooklyn Bridge / DUMBO
If you haven’t walked Brooklyn Bridge you need to do it at least once. On our last trip half the bridge was under construction and we had really missed out. This time with a bright day and no scaffolding and the view was amazing. The further we walked across towards Brooklyn the better the view of New York got. Taking in the financial district featuring the one world trade centre all the way up towards the Empire State building and beyond this walk gives you a great perspective of the city.
The walk itself took about an hour, Annabelle started off asleep and woke up to join us as we crossed under the impressive arches.
The reward at the end was a visit to the Brooklyn area under the bridge where you can find Julianna’s pizza which tends to be queued around the corner or wander a little further for a Greek cafe where we enjoyed gyro’s for a reasonable price. From there we headed to the carousel which is a must if you have young kids. For $2 per person you get to ride the carousel overlooking New York. Annabelle loved it and so did we.
Next stop was DUMBO (Downtown Under Manhattan Brooklyn Underpass) to see ‘that’ view and then check out the quirky stores and find Jacques Torres (have you seen ‘Nailed It?!) chocolate shop for some of the most delicious cookies we’ve ever had!
The High Line
Last time we visited New York this wasn’t even a thing and to be honest we weren’t sure it was a good idea with the freezing weather and the fact that it is meant to be a garden type of area. We were surprised though, it is worth checking out whatever the weather! We actually did the walk as dusk started and it was great. The High Line itself had a lot of dead shrubs BUT at the that time of day the views are worth the walk alone. Winding through buildings and warehouses you get a unique view of the bustling city without the crowds.
There is also plenty of artwork to see both on the High Line and on the surrounding buildings and you can ‘drop down’ off the High Line in different parts of the city. Although a point to note is some exits only have stairs so aren’t buggy/stroller friendly!
Stardust Diner / Times Square
After a day exploring Central Park we headed towards the Times Square area and found Stardust a diner where the waiters and waitresses sing while serving you. Not like in your face but on the stage in the middle of the restaurant and we loved it. We all loved it especially Annabelle. And the food was amazing too!
After the diner Annabelle was so exhausted she slept while we wandered around Times Square taking in the sights and lights. It’s amazing how we spent our new years eve sat on the floor in freezing temperatures there (our experience post is here). It has barely changed at all.
Also make sure and check out:
- Mood Fabrics if you have ever seen Project Runway and/or love fashion and fabrics
- The Flatiron building and 5th Avenue – there’s a great Lego store there too
- Starbucks Reserve opposite Google offices – amazing new concept store and interesting for us even though we don’t like/drink coffee
- Magnolia Bakery for Banana pudding (featured in Sex in the City)
- Crif Hotdogs for Please Don’t Tell Speakeasy (not child friendly)
- World Trade Centre Station for amazing architecture and shopping if you don’t want to go outside
- Song de Napoli for great pizza
- Chelsea Market for cool food places
- The Nugget Spot for captain crunch covered nuggets
- East Village for great street art
- Katz Deli for Reuben sandwiches
And finally we felt that we should stop by Gay Street…..
As we had done 7 years ago: