If you love to travel, big cities and excitement, you have been to, or want to go to New York City. Living only a few hours drive away from the Big Apple, I had a great idea; an impromptu road trip to New York with the kids to see a Broadway show. It was going to be incredible! We would see the Statue of Liberty, check out Times Square and of course visit Central Park. I was determined to expose my children to all the excitement New York had to offer.
First stop was Times Square to check out show tickets at the half price ticket booth. We were impressed that within an hour of arriving we were killing our weekend bucket list. That didn’t last long. Sadly, the only tickets still available were for shows were not appropriate for children. Not to worry we were in the city that never sleeps, we would still get our NYC experience. We could start right there and explore Times Square.
We hadn’t even crossed the street and my children spotted Toys R Us. It was the biggest Toys R Us I had ever seen, but they are everywhere, so no big thing, right? Not to my kids. They begged and begged to check it out. Upon entering, we see a massive Ferris wheel INSIDE the store. We felt like we were in a movie with three floors jam-packed with toys for everyone, including a fantastic candy store within the store! What started as a quick pop-in ended up a 2-hour adventure. And as a reminder to seize the day, we later found out that the store closed down the following month, so had we not gone in, we would have never seen it.
Still intent on our New York adventure, next on our list was walking the streets like real New Yorkers. Why take a taxi to the Statue of Liberty when you could walk, right? So, we walked. And walked. And walked some more. We walked past tall buildings, we walked past a man peeing in the street (when anyone mentions New York, my daughter re-enacts this memory for them), we walked past graffiti, and we walked past street vendors. Make that stopped at street vendors. Both kids had $20 of birthday money to buy a New York memory burning a hole in their pockets and it wasn’t long before my shopaholic husband and son visited dozens of booths that my son finally chose a custom graffiti hat with his name on it. I tried to explain to him the New York custom of haggling, but he didn’t want to insult the man and ended up giving him the full price plus a tip. My cautious daughter decided to hold onto her money until she found the right thing.
With all our walking, my children noticed the wide variety of people in the city. We talked about how New York is comprised of many different cultures and nationalities and that there are specific areas like Chinatown and Little Italy, within the city. A huge fan of anything Asia, my daughter insisted she had to go to Chinatown. We decided to indulge her travel spirit. Just down the street, we found a double-decker bus tour that went through Chinatown. We were happy to take a break from walking, even if the kids wanted to sit up top in the open air on a freezing night. Of course, my daughter fell asleep and missed Chinatown, but she saw so many other sights she didn’t care.
Our weekend was a success. We did not see a Broadway show, the Statue of Liberty or Central Park. We did, however, eat street pretzels, visit the M&M store, ride a bus and successfully haggle in the streets of New York. And we still have a reason to revisit New York.