Every time we go to New York City, we try to work a few new experiences into our trip. And even after countless visits to our favorite city, there are still so many new things to see and do! Just one of the many reasons we love visiting NYC again and again. I want to give you a little bit of info about some of the new adventures from our most recent trip, because we definitely found some “must see and do” experiences this time!
- We visited the crown of the Statue of Liberty! I’ve been to Lady Liberty once before but Anderson and Kingston hadn’t, and I knew they’d both enjoy it. So we got tickets a few months before our trip. When you visit the Statue of Liberty, it’s best to buy tickets ahead of time here, because the ticket line on-site is sometimes hours long. And if you want to visit the crown, or even the pedestal, you need to get tickets in advance. They sell out early! Crown tickets are only $3 more than general admission though, so if you can snag them it’s totally worth it. Only about 240 people are allowed in the crown each day. It’s a 20-story climb on a very narrow, winding staircase. Kingston got really nervous when we started climbing, but he made it to the top! And the views of lower Manhattan from the crown were pretty incredible. One of the other things we loved was getting to see the inside of the statue. When we got near the face we could see the cutouts of the eyes, nose, and mouth. It was really cool! We all agreed that this was one of our favorite afternoons of the trip.
- We rented a boat in Central Park! I’ve always loved watching the boaters in Central Park, and on our last trip we were walking past the Loeb Boathouse when Anderson said, “Let’s get one!” So we did! It was only $15 to rent a boat for an hour, and we laughed the entire time. They only take cash though, so either come prepared or go inside the Loeb Boathouse and use the ATM there. If you’ve never been to Central Park I highly recommend this area. It’s my favorite part: the iconic Loeb Boathouse, Central Park Lake, Bethesda Fountain and Terrace (where Chuck and Blair got married!), the Mall, lots of street performers and artists, and clean public restrooms. ha! There’s so much to see in this area! Just put “Bethesda Fountain” in Google Maps, and you’ll end up right in the middle of all the excitement!
- On a rainy morning, we went to MOMA and the Museum of Illusions. I wrote all about the Museum of Illusions here – spoiler… we loved it! MOMA was fun too, but museums suck the energy out of me. I always enjoy the exhibits, but moving slowly from one piece to the next gets really old, really fast for me! Our favorite exhibit at MOMA was The Value of Good Design, and you can see it through mid June! Kingston enjoyed seeing some of the paintings he’s heard about in school, especially Starry Night. At one point though, we were staring at an exhibit that was a huge blank canvas mounted to the gallery wall, and Kingston finally said, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?” Everyone around us laughed and an older man said, “Sometimes it takes a child to speak the truth!” ha! If you’re with kids and can’t decide what museum to go to, definitely do the Museum of Illusions!
- We tried a bunch of new pizza places. Kingston had pizza for at least one meal a day – he was in HEAVEN. So we ended up trying some new (to us) spots. Our two favorites were Adrienne’s Pizza Bar on Stone Street and Angelo’s Pizza in midtown. I’ve always wanted to check out Stone Street and Adrienne’s was the perfect excuse. It’s an old restaurant-lined cobblestone street in the Financial District that looks like a European village. During the warmer months the entire street is full of people eating outside! The pizza at Adrienne’s was definitely one of my NYC top 5. And Angelo’s Pizza on West 57th was a great experience too. It has that classic old New York pizza parlor feel, and the food did not disappoint. Definitely recommend both spots!
- We ate at R Lounge, a glass enclosed restaurant in Times Square! This was such a fun dinner! Anderson LOVES Times Square, and we were able to enjoy it from inside while eating a relaxing meal. The restaurant is in the Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel, and you can make reservations here. We went right before sunset, so we got to see Times Square during the day and evening. And that was a genius idea. I’m saying this, because 1. It was my idea and 2. It’s true. 🙂
- We explored Doyers Street – a random little 200-foot-long street in the heart of Chinatown. We wandered onto it one night, and Kingston loved the area so much that he begged us for 2 days to take him back. This little street has about 7 hair salons, a secret night club, and Nom Wah Tea Parlor, the city’s oldest dim-sum place. It’s classic Chinatown and we had the best time exploring it with Kingston! We since learned that Doyers Street has quite a history. Because of fierce gang violence in the early 1900s it’s often called “Murder Alley” and is considered one of the bloodiest streets in American history. You can read all about it here. It’s safe now though. Safe-ish? 🙂
A few other notable highlights from this trip: Kingston was OBSESSED with all the pay phones and picked up each one we passed then stopped and waited for me me to take a picture. Every. Single Time. we passed one. He said it was his “trademark.” We checked out the First Street Green Art Park, and I loved all the street art. Give me that over a museum any day! Anderson always looks for movies and shows being filmed while we’re in the city, but we never see any (just the no parking for filming fliers!) But this time we finally did! He was so happy! Even though we’ve never seen the HBO show, Succession, we enjoyed watching them film it at the Wall Street Heliport.
If you want to read more NYC, check out this post about where to eat by neighborhood and this one about everything to see and do in New York at Christmas. You can also click here to read everything I’ve ever written about our favorite city. Pour yourself a cup of coffee though, because you might be here a while. 🙂