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If you’re planning on taking a New York City trip with kids, you’ll want to take a look at how we spent a week there during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We won a trip to NYC compliments of Dannon, and we knew we wanted to cross the parade off our bucket lists.
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Getting to travel to NYC with my daughters was such an incredible experience – from Dannon having a LIMO pick us up at the airport and take us to the airport, to touring their White Plains headquarters, to the parade, and everything in-between. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the three of us!
New York City trip with kids lodging:
We stayed at the Grand Hyatt, which is a four-star hotel located on 42nd street and connected to Grand Central Station in East Manhattan. You might have heard rumors—is Grand Hyatt New York closing? It’s true! The Grand Hyatt New York will close at the end of 2022. Developers plan to tear it down completely and build a new two million square foot skyscraper in its place.
Pros of our NYC lodging:
- Location is great
- Nice view of Grand Central Station just outside our window
- Friendly staff
- Super comfortable bed
Cons of our NYC lodging:
- The building is quite outdated
- Fixtures were broken or missing
- Shower looked a bit dirty
- $100 per night deposit for incidentals
- Spotty wifi
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Our first day in NYC we met up with my dear friend, Lennis of Cook Dance Love Live. She took us on a personal tour all around NYC and helped us navigate the Subway. By the end of our day together we were pros! It was incredibly windy the day we arrived and we were seriously underdressed but had a blast nonetheless!
Whispering Arches at Grand Central Station
One of our faves was the Whispering Arches at Grand Central Station. If you are in one corner and a friend is in another – you can speak to the wall and your friend in the other corner can hear you perfectly fine as though you were standing right next to them!
Staten Island Ferry
We took the ferry to Staten Island, which is free! Do not purchase tickets to Staten Island, because it’s a scam. The ferry to the island is pretty crowded, but we were able to find a seat by the window and had a pretty unobstructed view of the Statue of Liberty.
I got a chance to give the girls a history lesson while visiting the 9/11 Memorial. The memorial has a field of trees and then two different recessed pools representing each tower. There are names of the 9/11 victims inscribed on the memorial, and on their birthdays, the memorial staff places a single white rose on the name.
You can read more about it here. The memorial itself is free to visit, but I believe you can also pay for a tour. The first time I was in NYC was earlier in the summer and I had about nine hours to kill before my flight so I read a book while at the memorial park and overheard one of the tour guides – it gave a ton of information and is definitely recommended.
The Today Show
We got in line around 5 am to be in the audience for the Today Show, and it was well worth the wait. It was pretty darn cold, and there was already a huge line by the time we got there. Make sure you tell your friends to record it back home!
One of our most favorite parts about NYC was going to Max Brenner, where a lot of the menu items are made with chocolate!! These chocolate syringes were enormous—initially, it tasted like a delicious chocolate pudding (which I don’t even like), but then has an aftertaste of the most velvety hot chocolate.
Our hotel room was just a few blocks from Times Square, so we made sure to check it out! We went to Madame Tussauds, which was pretty neat. You’re going to find people dressed up as characters scattered throughout Times Square. Don’t take pictures with them—it’s a very common scam. They’ll take pictures and then hustle you for money.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
We got up at 3:30 am to go get a spot for the parade. An hour before the parade starts, they start to make everyone stand…even though it’d be another good 40 minutes after it starts before the parade would reach us.
Other Notable NYC Sights
A special thanks to Dannon for giving us a tour of their White Plains, NY office location. We got to try all kinds of yogurt!
During our time in NYC, we spent less than $150 during our entire week-long stay. This includes our meal at Max Brenner, Subway rides, and even an entire lasagna from Carmine’s that we ate for Thanksgiving and had leftovers for the rest of our stay. It obviously doesn’t include our transportation to/from the airport or our hotel since those were comped by Dannon.
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