Hubby and I love New York and we have always wanted to take our kids to the big apple. We waited until they were old enough to really appreciate and fully embrace the true experience of the city-- plus we wanted them to be able to handle all of the walking without strollers, etc. Now that they are 12, 13, and 14-- it was the perfect time to introduce them to all the things we love about NYC.
Temps hit the 90s while we were there, and a backpack full of water bottles, hats, sanitizer, and sunscreen was a must. Masks are still in force on the subway and some attractions like the ferry to the Statue of Liberty, but most restaurants and shops had a voluntary mask requirement.
We stayed at the Kimberly Hotel, which was a fantastic location situated at 50th and Lexington Avenue. We are used to much smaller hotel rooms in NYC, and we were delightfully surprised at how big our Deluxe Suite was at the Kimberly. The little touches are what truly make this hotel so special. From the endless amounts of Nespresso to the luxury bath products, the Kimberly really creates a "home away from home" atmosphere. Our suite even had a refrigerator, microwave, and dishwasher....ummmm whaaat?? We were over the moon at all of the amenities that this gem of a hotel offers.
We especially loved the rooftop bar "Upstairs" at the Kimberly. One night we put on a movie for the kids and headed to the rooftop to enjoy drinks and nibbles with a view. It's definitely a destination spot for a chic date night-- even if you aren't staying at the hotel. We could see a spectacular skyline with a great view of the Chrysler Building.
Want to see our room and activities? Check out our NYC round-up below:
Right off the bat we booked an airport shuttle from Newark Airport to Grand Central Station with Coach USA. With taxes, our shuttle was about $50 for the five of us. Half what you would pay for a taxi or other shuttles. It had several stops in the city and dropped us at Grand Central Station-- a few blocks from our hotel. It was no trouble for us to walk a few blocks to The Kimberly from Grand Central Station.
With only four full days in the city we wanted to maximize our time. We booked all of the attractions through CityPASS. They are located in 14 different cities and they help you spend less and experience more at major attractions. Most attractions require an advance reservation in addition to your ticket purchase, and I wouldn't have known this had I not booked through CityPASS. You can't just walk up to the ferry for the Statue of Liberty with your ticket and think you're going to get on the boat!!
We picked our top 3 things we wanted to show the kids and then built in time each day to walk around the city. Our top picks: The Statue of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial, and the Empire State Building. CityPASS also offers great deals on some of the Museums, etc., but our kids are not really into that yet.
We had no trouble navigating the subway, and there was a nearby station (53rd Street) that was only two blocks from the Kimberly Hotel. The cost of a ride is $2.75/person, so just under $14 for us to get to a specific location. The Subway cars are air conditioned, but the stations are hot and humid-- and when you add the mask on top of that....well, you know. You can download one of several NYC Subway apps that will really help you figure out which trains to take and where the stations are. I highly recommend using the app so you aren't walking around with a huge paper subway map in your hands.
Where to Eat:
First on the kids' list of restaurants?? Authentic New York style pizza! And boy were we delighted to find 99c pizza places all over the city. There's no seating, but an easy inexpensive meal while you're out and about in the city. Before our trip I researched the best restaurants in Chinatown and Little Italy-- and the soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai are some of the best we've ever had. We lived in Shanghai years ago while hubby was working with General Motors, and Kate was actually born in Shanghai. My crew LOVES chinese food, and Joe's did not disappoint.
We also had the most delicious and authentic italian lunch at Benito's in Little Italy. I had eaten there back in the 90s with my family, and it was very special to take my own family there to enjoy.
I do want to highlight one of the best stores I've found in awhile: Real NYC Market in Little Italy. Sara, the designer, was there and I was so pleased with all of the original, fashion forward clothing she had in her store. I purchased quite a few special pieces from her, and this is a store that I will visit again in the future.
The lines for attractions were pleasantly short for most activities, and we remarked several times that we picked the perfect time to visit NYC. We could take it a bit cooler, but all in all-- it was a fantastic vacation.
Cheers to the Big Apple! We will definitely be back.
This is a sponsored post; however, opinions are my own.