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How many of you have thought about visiting NYC? A trip to New York City has been on my bucket list since I was a little girl, and my family and I were finally able to go this past weekend. I have read so many articles online about traveling with a toddler and what to do in NYC. There are some great tips out there, but I want to add to that with a detailed post about how we were able to fit everything on our family’s checklist into a two day visit. Not to mention that we did everything with a toddler! First of all, we flew with Southwest Airlines. They are always great with children, and they allow you to check up to two bags for free per person. Plus, you get to check your stroller and car seat for free. I checked one big suitcase for me and Lana, and I took one bigger carry on bag and a purse that held everything Lana could possibly need to entertain herself. I suggest taking a few small books with a bunch of pictures and lots of snacks (I took Gerber puffs, Gerber Lil’ Crunchies, and Gerber Fruit & Veggie Melts). I brought a couple bottles of the whole milk that she drinks consistently and her water sippy cup (security just makes sure to scan this, because the liquid limit rule does not apply to children under a certain age). I also took things that she could chew on, such as her favorite teething jewelry from Wright Design Co.
We didn’t get to NYC until mid Friday evening due to a flight delay, a storm, and some airport construction. Once we finally got to our hotel, Le Parker Meridien, we were in amazement at the beautiful view of the city at night. We just ordered some room service and got some rest in preparation for the next couple days. Le Parker Meridien is literally right next to Central Park, and it is within walking distance of everything we wanted to see (5th Avenue shops, Times Square, etc). If you are visiting NYC, I highly recommend that you stay at a hotel that is right by everything that you want to see. It will make things so much easier, and you can just take your stroller everywhere you want to go if you have children. You will also get to experience what it’s like to be a New Yorker as you walk amidst everyone and if you take the Subway like we did. Le Parker Meridien also has a grocery store right around the corner.
It is important for me to mention that we stayed at Le Parker Meridien for an extremely low price thanks to something called DreamTrips. I will explain more about that at the end of my post. As part of our DreamTrips package, we received complimentary breakfast and got to go on a Statue of Liberty Lunch Cruise with the Spirit of New York on Saturday morning. The picture above is my Hubby and I right before we got on the boat. This is a great way to see the Statue of Liberty (especially with a child), because you get a wonderful lunch with a gorgeous view of the city, a boat DJ, and an up close look at the Statue of Liberty without having to stand out in the heat.
We got done with the cruise at about 2 PM, and DreamTrips provided a bus for us back to the hotel where we freshened up (NYC was extremely hot and humid when we visited). Then we prepared to go out again ourselves, and we walked to Central Park and Times Square.
Do you remember the Plaza Hotel from Home Alone 2? That’s one of my Hubby’s favorite movies, and we had to get pictures of the famous entrance and even went inside when we were on our way to Central Park (which is right across the street).
Lana had to play with the pigeons on the way, of course! They were everywhere!
There were animals, artists, hundreds of people laying out on blankets, and beautiful scenery.
On the way to Times Square from Central Park, we saw St. Patrick’s Cathedral. This is where we went to Church on Sunday. No matter what your religious beliefs may be, you should definitely take a look at this beautiful Church. The architecture and design is amazing and will leave you in awe.
My Hubby and I just made it to Times Square in the picture above, and Lana was asleep at this point. We went ahead and grabbed some Dinner at the nearby Italian restaurant, Trattoria Trecolori, that received great reviews. It definitely lived up to its reputation. The food was delicious and the owner was extremely nice. My Hubby had a pasta dish, and I had the lamb. If you are visiting NYC and want at least one nicer meal, I highly recommend it. The pricing isn’t too crazy, and it’s worth it if you will be eating more casual meals the rest of your trip.
After Dinner, we walked back out to Times Square and Lana woke up right in the middle of it! Needless to say, she was in amazement. We did a little shopping (no taxes in Times Square), and we grabbed her a few new friends from the Disney Store.
We grabbed some ice cream from one of the trucks on the way back to the hotel, and then we got some rest for the next day.
We went to Church at St. Patrick’s Cathedral Sunday morning, and then we took the Subway for the first time! If you are visiting NYC, don’t be afraid to take the Subway if you have a child. You just have some stairs that you carry the stroller down, and then it will take you anywhere you need to go. It is also the cheapest form of transportation at around $3.00 per ticket. We just had to take the Subway this one time when we went to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum (too far of a walking distance from the hotel). You can order tickets to the Museum on their website. Adults are $24, and Lana got in for free. You can do a guided tour for more money, but we got everything we wanted out of our visit with general admission tickets.
The picture above is the new Freedom Tower, which is right next to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
We wanted to grab some lunch before we visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, so we decided to get some classic New York style pizza. Stage Door Pizza is right down the street from the Freedom Tower, and the food is great. We got the Classic Pepperoni Pizza and some of their Caramel Cream Cake.
There are two of these memorials (one for each World Trade Center), and the names of all those who died are on them. The somberness and respect is truly in the air around this location. This was one of my most fulfilling parts of the trip. It felt like something I had been missing so far in life that I needed to complete.
The letters in the quote above are actual steel from the World Trade Centers. The 9/11 Museum had so much information we didn’t know about the events that day, and we didn’t want to leave. There were so many stories, pictures, videos, and items from that day. The museum is actually made up of the walls and the foundation of the World Trade Centers. If you are visiting NYC, definitely add it to your schedule if you can.
We went to Wall Street next, which was just a few streets over.
I didn’t know it, but George Washington took his oath as the first president in that area.
For all of you Dark Knight Rises fans, this is the building (J.P. Morgan) where they filmed Bane driving out on a motorcycle.
My Hubby wanted a picture with his DreamTrips banner in front of the New York Stock Exchange building.
We took the Subway back to our hotel area early Sunday evening, and we got this picture of me in front of the iconic New York LOVE sculpture when we were walking back. Then we grabbed some burgers and fries from the famous Burger Joint at our hotel. This place is always packed and for good reason.
We took our Uber ride back to the airport on Monday morning, and we let Lana play with one of her friends from the Disney Store (getting new toys is a great source of entertainment for her). She is also pretty resourceful with them. 😉
I honestly took hundreds of photos when we were visiting NYC, and I had to narrow them down for this post. We saw so many famous stores and places on all of our walks, and it was such a fun experience. If you have any questions for me about visiting NYC or traveling with a toddler, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂
As I mentioned before, DreamTrips made our hotel stay, meals, and activities extremely cheap in comparison to what it could have been. Not including air fare, the three night hotel stay, the Statue of Liberty Cruise, and complimentary breakfasts would have cost $2,536. It only cost us $328 through DreamTrips. We paid for our airfare using the points we already had from our Southwest Credit Card.
So we basically got the whole trip for $328. DreamTrips is a travel membership that we pay a monthly fee for, and it helps us to travel more and save a ton of money on all of our trips. If you are interested in learning more and becoming a member, follow this link and click “Sign Up”. Then use our Sponsor Code: 67046352. If you are age 25 or younger, you can sign up for the “DreamTrips U Gold” package that will give you an additional 20-30% off what all other members pay. This was our first trip through DreamTrips, and it’s definitely a real thing. 🙂 We have a ton more trips that we can’t wait to go on! Let’s all start traveling the world together with our family and friends! My family and I have always dreamed of traveling around the world, and now we can make that dream a reality. 🙂
I hope this post about visiting NYC is helpful for all of you! Have a great week, and I will talk to you soon!