Find part one here.
Our second and third days found us discovering more kid friendly New York City. We made breakfast at home and set out to discover the lower parts of Manhattan. The kids wanted to go ice skating so we started investigating options. As much as we wanted to skate at Rockefeller Center, we discovered that the wait is insanely long and a reservation package is the way to go. We didn’t want to deal with the crowds and hadn’t planned ahead, so we looked for a smaller rink. Luckily we had my sister with us – she knows everything there is to know about New York and hidden places.
My sister swore me to secrecy on the ice rink we went to because she doesn’t want people to discover it, but a google search of hidden ice rinks in New York brings up plenty of options. One of our conditions was having a snack bar adjacent to the rink and we found a great place. The kids had a great time skating and we relaxed on the sidelines with some drinks. Skating outside in a big city, with skyscrapers surrounding you, is a unique experience.
After our ice skating activity, we caught a quick Uber to Pier 83 to look into boat tours. We decided on an hour-long tour with Hornblower Cruises. The tour took us around the tip of Manhattan, past Ellis Island and around the Statue of Liberty. Then it backtracked to go under the Brooklyn Bridge and back to the Pier. The kids loved seeing the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and there was a tour guide giving us the history of the sites throughout the cruise.
After the cruise it was 5:30, so we decided to hit Chinatown. Every trip to New York has to include Chinatown and we wanted to introduce the kids to Chinese food. Some of the best Chinese food in the city is at Congee Village on Allen Street. Even my picky picky kiddos loved this food. It was a perfect end to the day.
The next morning, we were really tired from so much touring, so we decided to have a chill day of kid friendly New York. We grabbed the subway over to Manhattan and did a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. I definitely recommend doing this either early in the morning or a non holiday weekend. We did it on President’s Day and it was really crowded. It’s also close to a mile long walk, so it might be too much for kids under 4.
After we walked the bridge, we got pizza at the best pizza place in DUMBO – Juliana’s Pizza. Wood fired pizza and a really cool neighborhood, with awesome views of lower Manhattan. Following lunch, we discovered the best playground in Brooklyn. Main Street Playground is huge and has such great views. The kids had a great time playing (even Max, who was three to five years older than every kid there). We adults took the time to sit down and stare after so much activity.
I’ve been visiting my sister in New York for close to 20 years and discover something new every time. Our visits are a little different since having families, but finding kid friendly New York has been so fun. In a city as big as New York, there truly is something for everyone. Since getting back from our trip, the kids haven’t stopped talking about it and can’t wait to go back. I think next time we go, we’ll go in summer!