Kid free in New York City
As much as we love traveling with our girls and showing them the world, we need some alone time and the possibility of sleeping past 8. New York City is one of our favorite adult getaways but it can be overwhelming to plan out an itinerary here if you’ve never visited. TripAdvisor is who I depend on most when organizing a trip to a new location. Also be sure to download Yelp, OpenTable, Uber, and a subway map so that you have all meal and transportation needs at your fingertips.
Stroll through Central Park. This iconic park, located near many of our favorites in Manhattan, is the perfect spot to come to walk around hand in hand without a stroller or sippy cup needing to be refilled. Although the park is filled with families and is a great spot for kids in the city, it’s a great place to focus on each other and enjoy your time to sit back and relax, and people watch. You’ll also find plenty of runners, dog walkers, and horse drawn carriages. In the winter, you can even ice skate here!
Shopping on Fifth Avenue. If you can think of a designer store, you’ll find it somewhere on this road. With literally miles of shopping here, you will quickly find all the things you didn’t know you needed!
Chelsea Market. After just a few minutes inside, this quickly became one of our favorite places to go in NYC. We had a fantastic lobster roll for lunch (the long line will let you know how good it is), visited plenty of pop-up shops, and had some homemade blueberry ice cream. Here, we bought some art for the girls rooms from Verrier Boutique, and it is definitely one of our favorite souvenirs in the house!
Broadway. Go see a show! We have seen several plays in NYC (Cinderella, Something Rotten, and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) and it is now a staple item to our itinerary when we visit. Just be sure to purchase tickets from an authorized dealer to avoid fraudulent sales. Pictured, we are on set with our friend Billy Magnussen who played Spike in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, alongside David Hyde Pierce and Sigourney Weaver!
Times Square. Come here at night and prepare to be amazed at the amount of people joining you. And the fact that it’s dark outside but the streets are so lit up from the lights that you can see as if it were daylight!
Hell’s Kitchen. This area is filled with amazing restaurants, one right after the other. OpenTable and Yelp! are great apps to use to find one that appeals to you, your budget, and your schedule. One of the best Italian meals we had was at Daniela Trattoria, and would recommend it as well.
Rockefeller Plaza. So much to do in one plaza alone! Shopping, restaurants, NBC studios and a gift shop with apparel from all your favorite NBC shows, ice skating & the Christmas tree in December, and the Top of the Rock! Buy your tickets in advance if you want to go to the top of the building, and reserve a time at dusk so that you can see the city in daylight and with all of the lights on after dark.
Attend a live show taping. This may take some pre-planning depending on what show you want to attend. We tried to get tickets to the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, but weren’t able to because they went so fast. We attended Late Night with Seth Myers and it’s pretty cool to see how they film it all!
Brooklyn Bridge. You can’t visit New York City and not walk on the Brooklyn Bridge! It’s busy will locals & tourists biking, jogging, and taking lots of selfies. You’ll have some gorgeous views of the city here.
Staten Island Ferry. This is a free ride from the ferry terminal across the water to Staten Island. It’s a 25 minute commuter transit ride across the way, and you will get flawless views of the Freedom Tower, NYC skyline and Statue of Liberty. If you are in the area, and have an hour to spare, I recommend it!
The Highline. This is a public park on old railroad tracks and it runs through Chelsea, from Gansevoort to W 34th Street. It’s near the Chelsea Market so it’s an easy trip to do both together. There are also some cool rooftop restaurants nearby. We had some appetizers at Brass Monkey and would recommend trying it out!
Ground Zero. Given the tragic history of this location, it’s hard to say much other than you just need to visit it yourself. Each time we’ve gone, it quickly reminds us of where we were that morning and how America has never been the same since. It’s always felt weird to me to take pictures there, so we don’t have any other than this one of the building.
West Village. Visiting this neighborhood might make you want to move to NYC! The curb appeal is straight out of a movie, and you might find a celeb walking their dog home. We had brunch here and loved the slow pace of this Manhattan neighborhood!
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We visited NYC one Thanksgiving for the sole purpose of attending the Thanksgiving Day parade, and it is the #1 thing that I want to bring our girls to NYC to do. It was SO FUN and I know they’d love it! We stayed at the Park Lane Hotel, and would stay again in a heartbeat, and walked less than a block to 6th Avenue where the parade was. The floats, dancers, musicians, and especially Santa Claus were just amazing to see in person! Just be ready to get up early for a good spot so you can see it all, and be prepared to stand there for a while.
Restaurant Recommendations. Our first recommendation is to download Yelp! and pay attention to the reviews. They don’t lie! There are plenty of good places to eat in this city so don’t waste your time on a mediocre meal. Most afternoons, we just snack on something, like a street vendor bagel, and make sure we are extra hungry for dinner & dessert. Here are our top picks:
Breakfast: Park Café, Ess-A-Bagel, Rue 57, Sant Ambroeus
Dinner: Little Basil Thai, The Library Bar, The Palm Restaurant
After Dinner: Magnolia Bakery, Morrell & Company