Thursday, June 15, 2017

New York

In the city that never sleeps, we were tucked up in bed by 9pm :) The life of traveling with a toddler who loves her sleep and likes to be in bed around 6:30. We absolutely loved our week in New York. You could spend months exploring this city and still only scratch the surface. It is definitely a city we hope to return to one day! Growing up and seeing so many places on the big screen, it felt like a big movie being there.

Fast Five Favourites:

  • Getting lost in Central Park. We loved this gorgeous park so much we decided to have family photos captured there. New York is such a busy, vibrant city but here you can feel like you are the only ones there. Sheeps Meadow was one of our favorite spots to relax and people watch. We hadn't realized how huge it is! It was much quieter on the upper side. Gapstow Bridge was another favorite stop to sit and ponder/watch Lilah examine the rocks.
  • Staying in the Harlem district. We loved the art and cultural vibe of this trendy neighborhood. There were lots of delicious places to eat and we found it to be a good base to explore the city from. It was a joy to stay in one of the terraced house apartments. 
  • Top of the Rock Observation viewing deck. From Central Park to Manhattan's Midtown and Downtown skyscrapers, the Empire State Building. This is a view well worth seeing.
  • Wandering all over New York City. The different areas are like cities in themselves, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time. It was nice to come across the famous Brooklyn Bridge whilst walking along the ocean, a world away from the crowds above. We had 8 nights here with Lilah and it was about right for our first time in NYC.
  • Walking the High Line-a city park built upon an old elevated railway. We enjoyed the unique views of the Hudson River and the city skyline. We went during the week and it was much less crowded than we read it could be in the weekend. 


  • Blue Stone lane cafe was located next to Central Park and is a convenient brunch/lunch stop. A local recommended to visit and we enjoyed the Avocado Smash. 
  • Plan to go to the Chelsea Markets after visiting the Highline Walk. The food is delicious at these famous markets. 
  • Many people take the free ferry over to Staten Island to see the Statue of Liberty. With Lilah, we often opt for convenience and we paid for the ferry tour. The ferry tour allowed us to have a short and enjoyable visit after spending the morning at the Twin Towers memorial and Wall Street (definitely recommend to visit). We had a really good guide who shared a lot of the history of NY and the buildings, first immigrants etc. It was really interesting.
  • Spend some time to explore the areas of Manhatten away from the more popular areas. We enjoyed visiting the cafes and shops in the East and West Villages. A very different experience from Time Square e.t.c.
  • As there is so much to do and see in New York we often planned to see different areas at different times. For example, seeing lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, then walking up the East Village was a nice half day before taking Lilah home for a nap. As we lived near Harlem we would explore this area in the late afternoon after Lilah's nap, often a short walk before it got dark. 
  • The Natural History Museum was a fun place to visit with some interesting attractions. Definitely a recommended outing for older children. 
  • Book dinner at the famous Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem. So much history, culture, and vibe here. And the food is delicious. 
  • The glamour of Grand Central Station is worth a visit!
  • You definitely experience New York the most by foot. So make sure to walk around as much as you can, there's a surprise around every corner! 
  • There is so much great food in New York but we did hit a few duds. With it being such a huge city it is difficult to plan when and where to have lunch (especially accounting for the needs of a baby). When you can, try to research a nice place to eat before heading out. 
  • You will need to consider the traffic when heading to the airport as the time can vary depending on if it is peak traffic or not. 

Baby on Board:

  • We were able to find everything that we needed and more for Lilah. The city was also stroller friendly and with our trusty Mountain Buggy Nano, we were able to take it on the subways. There were definitely times when the subway was jam packed and we had to ask someone to stand up and give Sonita a seat so she could sit down with Lilah. We found that not many people would offer so we had to be proactive for safety.
  • Lilah was about 16 months old when we visited. We went to a Yankee's game and her favorite part was the Yankee's Kids Clubhouse. Do not take your child there if you plan on going back out to watch the game :)
  • There can be a little bit of traveling to get around as it is a big city. We stayed next to a subway connection so this was helpful. Try not to do too much in one day. The longer you can stay, the more flexible you can be. 
  • Sometimes you do not feel like venturing out to a restaurant to eat with a baby. Cue-super easy and so many delicious options-ordering online using Seamless. The delivery was quick and we had Thai food we couldn't fault. We wish we discovered this earlier in our trip!

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