I grew up in New York, and miss the beauty of Long Island and the hum of the city . We've taken the kids back quite a bit, but our littlest was too little to remember. And he desperately wants to go see it. For his 10th birthday I had planned a trip to NYC with his best friend (also just turned 10) and his mom (one of my best friends). And they had not been to New York, either.
As to pandemic got worse, it became clear that our trip would need to be cancelled. I hate it that we don't know when we can reschedule it. But I'm documenting the outline of our plans here so we can implement a version of it when we can make it back.
This itinerary is very different than the ones I had when traveling there with our daughter and we went to tea at the Plaza (a family tradition), shopped in SoHo and saw at least one Broadway show (the last trip it was Dear Evan Hansen). So here we go:
Five Days in New York with 10 year old Boys:
Day 1: Times Square, Rockefeller Center and 5th Avenue
These days I recommend flying into Newark and take the train in. So much easier than dealing with the construction at LaGuardia. When will that be done again?
I had booked us at the New York Hilton. It’s so convenient and close to everything. And we booked it super early so we got a great rate.
After dropping off the bags, we were going to head to Times Square (the boys had only ever seen it on TV) and the TKTS booth and then grab some lunch. After loading up on lunch, we were going to the Intrepid Air and Space Museum. That would take most of the afternoon. When we were done there, I was going to have us grab a cab back to the hotel and take the boys exploring around Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and then grab dinner at the Burger Joint, made famous by Anthony Bourdain. If there’s room, we’d head to Serendipity for dessert.
Day 2: Central Park, the Museum of Natural History, Central Park Zoo, the MET
The plan was to start the day at the Museum of Natural History (Night at the Museum is still in heavy rotation in our house), then head to the Central Park Zoo at lunchtime, and end the day with the highlights of the MET. For dinner we had reservations had NINJA New York which sounded perfect for the boys, and I am so sad to hear that after 15 years it is now permanently closed..
Day 3: The Highline Park, Chelsea, the Village, and Brooklyn
The plan was to start at the Vessel and Hudson Yards and then walk down the Highline. After wandering through Chelsea and the Village (and stopping at the Jackie Robinson Museum) we would have lunch at Jekyll and Hyde. After some shopping and gelato in Little Italy we were going to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and check out DUMBO before heading to the Nets game that evening.
Day 4: Lower Manhattan, Statue of Liberty, One World Trade, and the Seaport
Today we were planning to start at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, then exploring One World Trade and Calatrava's Oculus. After exploring the Seaport for lunch, and maybe getting gelato at Little Italy we were headed to the Bronx to see the Yankees that night.
Day 5: Midtown, Empire State Building
This was our last day. We had planned to start at the Empire State Building (weather and view permitting), and lunch at Wagamama (a favorite of the kids when in London) before heading back to the hotel to pick up our bags and head back to the airport for a late flight home.
If you have older kids and are looking for unusual things to do, this is list of 689 Cool and Unusual Things to Do in New York from Atlas Obscura.
Kris Delaney is a marketing executive, foodie, travel enthusiast, and book nerd based in Atlanta, GA.