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Family Vacation Fun

No trip can instill as much culture in a child as a family vacation to New York City. No matter their interests, there’s a museum with work that will inspire and excite them. Open their minds and palates with delicious food from around the globe — as nearly every corner of the planet is represented among the city’s 24,000 eateries. Fill them with wonder walking among the bright lights and enjoying a show on Broadway. Best of all, this city’s youth-friendly activities are just as much fun for adults.

Rowboats pepper the green lake in Central Park that’s surrounded by trees and with a castle-like structure beyond

Day

1

MORNING
  • Classic Breakfast Bites.

    New Yorkers line up at the famous Zabar’s to get a fix of smoked salmon and bagels. Grab a few orders of both, along with some other baked goods like babka and rugelach, for a breakfast in the park.

AFTERNOON
  • A Castle in Manhattan.

    Straight out of a Victorian fantasy, the Belvedere Castle can be found in the center of Central Park. Walk up to two different observatories to look out on Turtle Pond, the Great Lawn and park-goers in repose.

  • New York’s Jurassic Park.

    Even if your kids don’t adore history, they’ll be astounded by the Natural History Museum’s gargantuan wooly mammoth fossils, the immersive planetarium shows, and slices of 1,400-year-old sequoia trees in the Hall of North American Forests.

EVENING
  • Dinner Everyone Can Agree On.

    See our concierge for the dining experience you are looking for. Our knowledgeable concierge can make a reservation for any occasion and taste – from the closest and best pizza place to the most elegant and upscale dining experience such as Per Se or Le Bernardin.

  • A Night of Elegance.

    The Lincoln Center is home to The Metropolitan Opera, The New York City Ballet, and The New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Go at night, if only to see the 16-acre columned complex, which looks like a modern version of ancient Greece, lit up.

Close-up view of Grand Central Terminal’s entrance architecture with the evening sky in the background

Day

2

MORNING
  • MONUMENTAL URBAN COMPLEX.

    Discover world-class shopping and dining, cultural experiences, and a new five-acre public plaza anchored by The Vessel, which is a large public art sculpture made up of 154 flights of stairs.

AFTERNOON
  • A Truly Grand Train Station.

    Great just for photos or lunch, the landmark Grand Central train station is a National Historic Landmark with a number of solid food options, including Grand Central Oyster Bar and Big Apple standby Shake Shack for delicious burgers.

  • Book Lover’s Paradise.

    Strand Books has 18 miles of books. The departments are meticulously organized, with one whole floor devoted to children’s and young adult books by category.

EVENING
  • Ice Cream Worth Screaming For.

    The hardest part about a visit to Morgenstern’s is not ordering right; it’s ordering at all. Among the 30 alluring flavors are pistachio pesto, salted pretzel and buttermilk, along with almost as many toppings.

Shoppers and pedestrians walk along 5th Avenue

Day

3

MORNING
  • A Delivery from France.

    Lines build throughout the day for the delicate vanilla, pistachio and rose macarons at Ladurée. They’re made in Paris and shipped to the store every other day. Go early in the morning to beat the crowds.

  • The Beasts Within.

    Go to the southeast corner of Central Park to visit the Central Park Zoo, where you’ll find a penguin house, an indoor rainforest filled with bats, and a variety of monkeys — and also bears, including grizzlies.

AFTERNOON
  • A Taste of New England.

    Luke, the owner of Luke’s Lobster, grew up in Maine as a fisherman. His dad still lives there and catches lobster, which Luke uses for his two types of rolls. Order one Maine style (with mayo) or Connecticut style (with butter).

  • For Inspiring Fashionistas.

    Vogue Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour helped open the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. The collection goes back as far as the 15th century with over 35,000 gowns and other pieces from designers like Yves Saint Laurent.

EVENING
  • A Classic Manhattan Steakhouse.

    The popular Upper East Side Parlor steakhouse has a mahogany interior but the real star is the meat, specifically the juicy cuts of filet mignon served with whole cloves of roasted garlic. Make a reservation as it stays busy.

Day

4

MORNING
  • A UNIQUE MUSEUM EXPERIENCE.

    There’s no art per se at this museum. Through shoebox apartments that have been restored to their original condition, the Tenement Museum replicates the living experience of many immigrants who fled Europe during the early 1900s.

AFTERNOON
  • Catch Your Breath and Views.

    Near the New York Stock Exchange and 9/11 Memorial, the waterfront Battery Park sits on the southernmost tip of Manhattan. It’s a rare plot of peaceful, open land in the Big Apple, with excellent views of the Statue of Liberty.

  • Lady Liberty.

    Every 20 minutes, the ferry departs from Battery Park to Ellis Island, home of the Statue of Liberty. Besides getting to see the world-famous symbol of freedom and democracy, the ride offers a sweeping view of Manhattan’s skyline at sea.

EVENING
  • THE SHOW MUST GO ON.

    No family trip to New York is complete without at least one visit to Broadway. Our concierge can help select the right show for you as well as plan the entire evening – from transportation to a pre-/post-theatre dining experience.

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Day

5

MORNING
  • The Best View of New York.

    In the winter, Rockefeller Center hosts ice skating. In the summer, crowds gather to see pop stars performing on “The Today Show.” And year-round, the 70th floor’s Top of the World observation deck provides a bird’s-eye view of Manhattan.

AFTERNOON
  • A Shortcut to China.

    Manhattan’s Chinatown lays claim to the largest Chinese population outside of Asia. Foodies flock to Joy Luck Palace for some of the neighborhood’s best dim sum. Arrive hungry and grab dumplings and other bites from the service carts as they pass your table.

  • Explore Chelsea.

    Start at Chelsea Market, where you can grab lattes and juices, sample sweets, and browse specialty stores. Then head to New York’s High Line, a 1.5-mile promenade full of park benches and waterfront views.

  • Stay Active.

    Chelsea Piers, a sports complex, is filled with modern bowling lanes and a driving range where you can hit golf balls into a net that faces the Hudson River.

EVENING
  • The Show Must Go On.

    No family trip to New York is complete without at least one visit to Broadway. The Lion King, Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, and Matilda are all long-running, all-ages-appropriate options. Or, for older kids, score white-hot tickets to Hamilton.