New York City is a fast-paced conglomerate of endless activity, which makes it a perfect family destination with an endless list of activities to do. Spring is fast approaching and one of the best times of year to travel in New York for the mild weather. Below is my native New Yorker’s guide to the perfect 3 day family getaway. For the purpose of time, this article will only cover the borough of Manhattan. Please note that this trip outline includes a heavy amount of walking, so please pack and prepare accordingly.
Morning – Arrive in Manhattan. Get situated at your hotel – preferably one in Midtown so that you have easy access to all parts of the city. Right off the bat, head up to one of Manhattan’s observation decks. I recommend 30 Rock instead of the Empire State Building – this way, you can actually see the ESB from your view. Then, walk around Rockefeller Center where you can eat at the delectable Del Frisco’s Grille. You’re also right off of 5th Avenue should you fancy any shopping, or to see the stark white newly-cleaned St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Afternoon – For more walking, try the Hi-Line in Midtown- an old subway line converted into a garden path. You will not be disappointed. The Hi-Line ends in the trendy Meatpacking District, categorized by its cobblestone streets.
Evening – The Hi-Line takes you through Chelsea, where you can visit the Chelsea Market – an assortment of restaurants and shops. This is a great place to stop and eat dinner, especially if you have any picky eaters in your family, since each person can pick from a multitude of food options.
Morning – Head to one of the most world-renowned museums adored by children and adults alike: The Natural History Museum. First-timers will not be disappointed, and neither will repeat attendees. A walk around nearby Central Park after is essential.
Afternoon – Visit the 9/11 Memorial in Downtown Manhattan to pay tribute to the lives lost on September 11, 2001. The memorial is sobering, yet breathtaking, and fundamental for both children and adults in understanding the history of New York City. You can also visit the observation deck at the new One World Trade Center for another beautiful observatory view of the city.
Evening – While still in Downtown Manhattan, get dinner at Eataly for authentic New York Italian food. Then head back up to Midtown to catch a Broadway play. There are endless options for families with kids of all ages. Seeing a Broadway play is an unforgettable experience. Just be sure to leave dinner at a reasonable time to give you plenty of time to get back uptown with traffic. After, you can choose to check out Times Square. New York natives tend to avoid it unless absolutely necessary, but if it’s your first time in Manhattan, it’s worth checking out the sight to say you saw it.
Morning – Get breakfast early while the streets are still quiet at Buvette in Greenwich Village. It is a charming French bistro (originally based in Paris) serving up a delicious assortment of morning meals. It’s a refined atmosphere, but still a great place to take the kids to because it’s right next to the famous facade used in Friends as Rachel and Monica’s apartment.
Afternoon – Before you head to the airport or jump in your car, get a slice of pizza to go. I won’t say which one is the best, since every New Yorker has a different opinion. You should be able to find a reputable joint near your hotel with a little Googling.
There you have it, the perfect 3-day getaway weekend in Manhattan. Now you just need to plan your next trip to come back and see the other four boroughs!