One of the best things about living in Bergen County NJ (besides great schools) is its proximity to NYC. Be it by train, bus or car, you are never more than 50 minutes from Manhattan. This past weekend, we decided to take advantage of having the day off and being next door to the greatest city in the world and took the kids to NYC for a day to do all things "touristy".
Our challenge was to come up with an itinerary that would appeal to the 7-9 year-old set, yet not break the bank. Having lived in Manhattan for over a decade "pre-kids", I had to look at the city through their eyes. Back in the day when my adult friends would come to visit me, it was easy to lay out the plans - show, dinner, club, museums, outdoor cafe for people watching, done. With kids, we had to focus on interactivity, not too much walking and some well-timed snacks. This was our route, starting at 34th and Park.
Bryant Park - outdoor ice-skating rink behind the NY Public Library. FREE but only if you bring your own skates. Otherwise it is $14 to rent skates.
Toys R Us - what kid wouldn't like this? We started by taking a ride on the indoor ferris wheel ($4.50 per person) and then had our "Marquee Moment" by having our photo broadcasted on a billboard in Times Square ($29.99 but we were handed a coupon for $10 off when we were browsing the store). Our package included 5x7 picture of us in front of our billboard.
M&M Store - Overrated but the wall of M&Ms is pretty neat and the kids liked filling their bags with the goodies.
Rockefeller Center - No tree when we were there but we watched the skaters from the street level
Lego Store - Crowded on this particular Sunday afternoon and I'm sure every other weekend day. Seeing a Rockefeller Center replica in Lego form was a highlight. Standing in line for 15 minutes to buy a $2.99 pack of Lego figures was not.
St. Patrick's Cathedral - A sight to behold.
Snack time - Grabbed a pretzel from a cart in the street and then got on the Subway (B/D to W.4th and then get A/C to Brooklyn )
Grimaldis Pizzeria - We thought it would be great to taste the famous pizza and then walk over the bridge. However, a lot of other people had the same idea as Grimaldi's had a line 40 people long so we opted for Ignazio's around the corner that had good pizza and a great view of the bridge. Afterwards, we walked across the street to the boardwalk with unbelievable views of NYC and had some ice cream at...
Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory - only offers 8 flavors but it is the freshest and creamiest ice cream you'll have in NYC.
Brooklyn Bridge - To walk off the pizza and ice cream, we set foot on to the Brooklyn Bridge and took in even more vistas of NYC. It's a mile long so wear comfortable shoes! As you enter back into Manahattan, you can either walk to Chinatown or Little Italy or jump on the 4,5 or 6 Train to Grand Central Terminal, as we did.
Empire State Building - Our final stop. We were lucky to have a clear day and get beautiful views of the other boroughs, New Jersey and Central Park. Hard to believe $80 later, it used to be free to go to the top of the Empire State Building. Extra charges now apply if you want to go up to the 105 floor, get a map, get an audio tour or use the telescopes. There's also security much like what you have to go through at the airport (although you get to keep your shoes on). The announcement in the elevator up reminds us why there is security when it lays claim to be the highest point in NYC as we all know that there used to be two buildings that were taller.
A fun day and not one complaint of being tired - a successful outing to NYC! Looking forward to our Spring trip which may include the Museum of Natural History, Central Park, and Children's Museum of Manhattan.
If you would like to learn more about the towns in Bergen County like Ridgewood, Glen Rock, Ramsey, Wyckoff and Mahwah or are interested in homes for sale, please contact me, Kristin Graves, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 201-825-6600 ext 222.