How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family.

How to Spend a Week in NYC with Kids

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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!

How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family.
Traveling in style while visiting NYC - in a limo! idyllicpursuit.com
Arriving to NYC in style in a limo!

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  • The building is quite outdated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

Search for your NYC hotel:

Booking.com
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family
There’s a photo booth in the lobby to take Grand Hyatt branded photos.

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!

NYC for Thanksgiving at idyllicpursuit.com
Lennis and the girls posing for a picture while waiting for the Subway.

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.

How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. There's a free ferry to Staten Island!
The girls relieved to be out of the cold and on the ferry to Staten Island.
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family
The ferry to Staten Island passes right in front of the Statue of Liberty.

9/11 Memorial

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.

9/11 Memorial in NYC at idyllicpursuit.com
The girls in front of the 9/11 Memorial.

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!

A week in NYC with the kids over Thanksgiving - in the audience of the Today Show!
Hoda taking a selfie with us.

Max Brenner

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.

New York City trip with kids: This was at Max Brenner!
The chocolate syringe at Max Brenner.
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. This was at Max Brenner!
If there’s a really long wait, you can grab some goodies from the little store at the front of Max Brenner.
New York City trip with kids: This was at Max Brenner!
You can watch the staff makes goodies while you wait.
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. This was at Max Brenner!
It’ll be packed when you go—do your best to get a reservation.
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. This was at Max Brenner!
Be sure to save room for dessert!

Times Square

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.

How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family

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.

How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!
The crowds were INSANE.
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!
This is something I dreamed of watching in-person since I was a little kid!
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!
Considering we had been up for HOURS in the freezing cold by this point, the kids were surprisingly in very good spirits. It helped that they made two friends right in front of us.

Other Notable NYC Sights

How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. We loved the Christmas lights on 34th Street!
Christmas Lights on 34th Street
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family.
Rockefeller Center
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family.
This Basilica was UNREAL.
Outside of the Basilica
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family.
Bryant Park was a favorite of ours!
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family.
There are lots of photo ops in Bryant Park, plus they’ve got wifi.
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family.
American Museum of Natural History
American Museum of Natural History
American Museum of Natural History
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. We loved all the museums!
We could’ve spent all day at the Museum of Natural History!
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family.
You can even find Christmas trees inside the ornate Museum of Natural History
Central Park was MASSIVE…annnnd we had a hard time finding an exit to get OUT of the park. It was a wee bit uneasy in the dark.
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. We loved China Town!
After getting some bubble tea, we stopped for lunch.
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. We loved China Town!
We loved China Town!
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. We loved China Town!
Kennedy admiring all the goodies in China Town!
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. We loved China Town!
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. We loved China Town!
The girls posing in front of durian. They didn’t try any. I told ’em it wasn’t too bad, the smell is the worst part!
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. We loved China Town!
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. We loved Little Italy!
Little Italy was a lot of fun, too!
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. We loved Little Italy!
Enjoying a cannoli from Little Italy!
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. We loved Little Italy!
The girls really enjoyed some window shopping on our way back from Little Italy!
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. We loved the street art!
Fun street art

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!

How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. At Dannon headquarters!
The girls enjoying the phone booth at Dannon.
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. At Dannon headquarters!
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. At Dannon headquarters!
I’d marry this if I could. So.freaking.delicious.
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. At Dannon headquarters!
How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family. At Dannon headquarters!

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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How to Spend a Week in NYC with Family.

2 thoughts on “How to Spend a Week in NYC with Kids”

  1. Pingback: 100 + Epic Bucket List Adventures - Idyllic Pursuit

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