The Big Apple With Little Kids

The magnitude of things to see and do and eat and best places to stay in New York could never be fully explored in one blog. So as an 11 year veteran of living in NYC, I’ll just list some of the places that I think make New York, well, New York.


NYC Statue of Liberty 2



Central Park

Statue of Liberty

Brunch! Nobody does brunch like NYC.

Rent a bike to ride the West Side Highway Park or Central Park.

Meander around Soho and West Village

Walk or bike the Brooklyn Bridge

See some Stand Up Comedy

Check out an improv show at The PIT (People’s Improv Theater), Magnet Theater or Upright Citizen’s Brigade (UCB).

Walk through Washington Square Park because you can. Maybe even stop and play chess.

Check out Time Out New York to see what is going on the week you are there.

See a Broadway Show, or Off-Broadway show.

Rockefeller Center Ice-Skating (winter only)

Summertime in New York offers free movies in the park, outdoor plays, Shakespeare In the Park, and many more summer activities.


Museum of Natural History

Take the tram to Roosevelt Island

NYC Reese Central Park


Seaglass Carousel at Battery Park – not your average carousel.

Children’s Museum

Children’s Museum of the Arts

Good Day Play Cafe

National Geographic Ocean Odyssey

CAMP store in the Flatiron district

Nutella Cafe

FAO Schwartz

Dylan’s Candy Bar

Shopping Center under the Plaza Hotel – Eloise Store

Central Park Zoo

FAO Schwartz

M&M World

West Side Highway Park

Ripley’s Believe it Or Not

Ellen’s Stardust Diner


The American Girl Doll Store is an over-the-top experience, especially if you grab lunch there, but you’re only a kid once.

Liberty Science Center (Okay, this is technically NJ, but still good for kids if you are out that way.)

NYC Drink lafayette 4


The list of places to eat in the NYC area would be endless, so I’ve selected just a few of my favorites.

Zibetto Espresso Bar – I remember when there was only only Zibetto. There are now 3 locations in NYC. It is still my favorite coffee bar in Manhattan.

Bar 6 – A relaxed bistro that serves consistent and reliable French-Moroccan fusion. It is a staple for locals the West Village and Chelsea, and a must try for travelers.

Max Brenner – Great place to take kids to eat too much chocolate.

Lafayette Grand Cafe & Bakery – I highly recommend this NoHo cafe for a classic NYC dining experience. Chef Andrew Carmellini creates one of the best brunch experiences in Manhattan.



Hunky Dory in Brooklyn

La Isla – A tiny slice of Cuba in Hoboken, NJ.

Brunch – Locanda Verde, ABCV, Cafe Mogador, Jack’s Wife Freda and Sadelle’s.  Sarabeth’s is a brunch institution.

Roxy Hotel Clock - NYC 9


Manhattan is packed with a variety of amazing hotels. These just happen to be some of my favorites.

Roxy – Tribeca – Lively jazz echoing through this festive Art Deco hotel gives a nod to old New York. The downstairs restaurant/bar and coffee bar offers great food with an upbeat ambience when you’re too tired to walk another step for dinner. And if you can’t be bothered to go to a movie theater, they have one at the bottom of the hotel. This hotel is the best of Tribeca. 

One Hotel – (Central Park or Brooklyn) This lush nature inspired hotel with greenery growing inside and out is a welcome reprieve from the urban landscape that is Manhattan. And the people working there are as warm and inviting as the building itself. The One Hotel is a happy flower growing out of a crack in the midtown sidewalk. Although the rooms are small they are well designed with lots of bins and hooks so there is a place for every scarf, mitten and jacket if you’re there in the winter. And it has a cozy little window nook to watch the people meander Central Park or the streets below. 1 Hotel Central Park is the best hotel in Midtown Manhattan.

Kimpton Hotel Eventi – If you have to be in the Herald Square area, this is a great hotel.

The Public – When a good vibe is more important than good sleep, The Public is the place to be. The hotel’s bars are packed on the weekends, and by weekend, I mean Wednesday through Sunday. The food throughout the hotel is excellent. While the rooms are cozy, the hotel is generous with it’s open public space both indoors and outside.

The Standard – Has two locations to choose from, High Line or East Village.

If you’re traveling with children, YOTEL has bunk beds in some of the rooms, as does TRYP in Times Square and Nu Hotel in Brooklyn.

Other kid-friendly options are The Gansevoort in the meatpacking District (Perks: heated rooftop pool, amazing rooftop views), Loews Regency in Midtown (Perks: I Love NY goodie bags and Playstations), The James (Seedling toy, books, board games, Nintendo Wii, bikes, and milk and cookies at bedtime), Ink48, A Kimpton hotel (hoola hoops, animal print bathrobes and pet goldfish) and The Peninsula offers amazing rooftop views of NYC from Salon de Ning, Camp Peninsula tent set up in the room, picnics and The Peninsula Academy for kids of all ages. Most of these hotels also cater to families traveling with babies in need of cribs or pack n plays.

And if you’re looking for the newest hotel in NYC, these are slated to open in 2019: EDITION Times Square, Sister City,  Moxy East Village, Hotel Hendricks, fitness buffs will enjoy the Equinox Hotel and the Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel is planning to have moody rooms and a rooftop pool.

Congratulations on planning your trip to one of the most amazing cities in the world.



*As always at Finding Pura Vida, all opinions are my own. 

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The best part about New York is that new places are always popping up every week. If you feel like there’s something amazing in NYC that travelers need to know about that was missed, please add it the comments below and I will check it out next time I am in New York. Thanks so much for reading!


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