I don’t intend this post to be listing out an itinerary, I’m just here to share my experience on how fun NYC can be even with a small baby. There’s of course a few things you need to ensure but mostly, you know your baby and your situation the best.
We traveled to New York when our baby was 6.5 months old and stayed on for a week. Our overall plan was to take it easy and explore as much as possible without stressing ourselves or exhausting the baby. And so mommy+daddy+baby happy!
We had a 3 1/2 hour flight from Dallas and it was pretty smooth (not so sure what the co-passengers felt though!). The Ergobaby 360 carrier was a life saver throughout the journey, as our baby hates the stroller. But the stroller did help to pull along the car seat and all other hand luggage.
The baby was quite relaxed and we had no ear-popping issues this time around, luckily! Daddy and son entertained each other throughout the journey and mommy stepped in when she had to 💪
Public transport is great in NY (even in Long Island where we stayed with some friends) and there are multiple routes to get to the city. One word of caution – attempting to use the subway with stroller is a big no no. We took the stroller out on the first day along with granny dearest and struggled a lot 😖. We had to carry the stroller up and down the stairs to the subway stations and it wasn’t easy at all. If my baby sat in the stroller, it would at least be worth the effort but he absolutely detests it so there was no more taking the stroller anywhere. We just have to have him up in the carrier.
Since our trip in mid-June and for over half the duration, it was super Chilly, windy and rainy – in 50s 😭 but I loved it as I’m not really a sun person. The rest of the days were sunny and hot 90s, like how most might enjoy the best. Luckily for me, baby also enjoyed the chilly weather – and not so much the heat. Just like mommy 😊
We enjoyed sitting at Times Square endlessly enjoying the hustle and bustle of locals and tourists. We dint realize that a couple of hours went by and we were entertained just by being! Quick tip, you can walk in to McDonalds to pee, just like thousands of others do.
We met some friends at Pig n Whistle which was a cute little Irish Pub on 46th. It was a kid friendly place and right at Times Square.
The Empire State Building is best done on a weekday. We dint encounter any wait times but I’ve heard there can be long queues. There don’t seem to be any special lines really for families. This was just a checklist item and wasn’t as exciting as expected. To be honest, it could be any high rise in Dubai or Mumbai or any other big city. We were unfortunate to go up on a cloudy day but still got some lovely fresh air all the way on top.
I would highly recommend skipping the Empire State Building and going up the One World observatory instead. Tickets are available online here. This was a brilliant experience and I’m glad we went up on a clear day… The views of the city are breathtaking and you could easily spend an hour or more on top. The experience is one of a kind and you get a 360 view of the city. Spoiler alert: the reveal is absolutely breathtaking! wondering how Dubai hasn’t emulated this yet. I’m sure it’s already in the pipeline!
“The” Halal guys West 53rd & 6th Avenue was a must do for my husband who was last here 6-7 years ago. I went along to see what the fuss was all about. The Chicken over rice is absolutely out of this world and something I haven’t even had in the Middle East. I totally get what all the fuss is about! Yess!
Ripley’s believe it or not! was super fun and it helped that baby passed out right when we got in. We actually got the most of the night knowing he’s close to us and well resting. This is a fun activity that will keep you occupied for a couple of hours. But I guess the more obvious choice for first-timers is Madame Tussads which is right next door. All tickets are cheaper online
Serendipity 3 was another must do after we’d been to the one in Dubai. The place is exactly how you expect it and the Frozzzen hot chocolate is exactly how it’s supposed to be. There is a minimum spend which you can easily manage to do.
Central Park was probably the mostest fun we had here. The baby and we felt free and refreshed. We spent a few hours walking around and also got our first family caricature done! Mind you, it is cheaper at Times Square which we found out later.
We also explored a bit of lower east side thanks to some friends. We had brunch at Cafe Orlin and then delectable cupcakes and ice cream at Cupcake Market.
We visited some friends in Jersey city and the commute was super simple using PATH. We got the best skyline of the city and a brilliant view of Statue of Liberty.
Brooklyn bridge was another fun afternoon. We all enjoyed the walk but it got extremely hot that afternoon. Suggest you keep this for an early morning excursion when energies are high and the sun – not so much.
There are many free walking tours that can be found online. I had planned one but couldn’t make it on that day. Let’s hope to do it the next time around 😊
Living all the way on Long Island was good as the houses are bigger and the area more scenic but spending 1.5 hrs each way to the city was tiring for baby and us. But since we were with baby and have my started solids just a few weeks earlier, we really preferred the comfort of a home setting.
We definitely wanted more time but like the hugsband always says – we’re surely coming back!
Read up on my post of traveling with a small baby here.