New York City, New York (Cynthia Pillsbury)
- More about your oliver guide: Cynthia Pillsbury
- Trip type: Family, City
- Activity level: moderate
- Ideal length of trip: 4 DAYS WITH KIDS
to & from
- Fly direct to Newark (favorite NYC airport) if you are staying downtown or on the West Side.
- Fly direct to La Guardia or JFK if staying uptown to avoid traffic.
Where to Stay
- The Marlton: We prefer staying downtown, on the west side… while the rooms are VERY small, The Marlton is a perfect location.
- TABLET website is a great resource to find well-vetted NYC hotels.
Where to Eat and Drink
- Santina: Great for lunch or dinner, it’s bright and cheery restaurant at the base of the southern end of the Highline in the Meatpacking District. The food is southern Italian with a Greek influence. Delicious and great for adults and kids alike.
- The Polo Bar: Stuffy in the best kind of way. Go early or stay later for a drink upstairs. It’s a clubby scene with excellent food. I brought my kids, but wish I had not…
- BG/Bergdorf’s Restaurant: Fun for a girls lunch (kids too). Bird’s Eye view of Central Park, try to sit on a booth by the window. Food is hit or miss, but setting is lovely and fun.
- Café Cluny: Small, cozy West Village restaurant, great for lunch or dinner sans kids- cute ice cream stand in the summer.
What to Do
- Whitney Museum: Take advantage of their docent tour, especially of the touring exhibits. Check out the permanent collection of portraits (if on display). If time, have lunch on the roof top deck- food is great and views are awe-inspiring.
- Highline: Walk along the highline and take in the views and the incredibly well designed/preserved features of the Highline. Start at 14th and walk at least to 23rd. If weather is warm, get a delicious Mexican popsicle and take in the art vendors.
- Samsung Store/Instagram Tunnel: If you are on Instagram or have a tween/teen along this is a MUST do- they load your Instragam posts and your whole social media comes to life before your eyes. They also have a virtual reality experience that kids and adults alike enjoy Tech = Culture
- We always take in a Broadway Show when we are in NY- this time it was School of Rock; also recommend Matilda, Mary Poppins and Annie.
- Victoria Gardens: If you are there in the summer and with kids under 7 or so- check out the Victoria Gardens – a charming little amusement park area on the ice skating rink—and if there a great place (better than Rockefeller rink) to lace up your skates and take in the epic views.
- 9/11 Museum: Make reservations online before your visit day (usually a few weeks in advance is best if going during holidays or summer) and leave kids under 12 at home. This is a powerful, emotional and incredible tribute to the lives lost on 9/11 and the people who risked their lives to save people. Bring Kleenex.
- Intrepid Sea & Air Space Museum: Cool museum on an air craft carrier on the west side highway- very worthwhile if you have a ship or plane buff in the family.
- Buy tickets online for all museums.
- Consider getting day of tickets for plays if you have the flexibility- can be cheaper and just as good seats.
- Always make 1 reservation for the day so you have an anchor of what you are doing.
- Check out Strengthen Lengthen Tone (SLT)- best exercise class in NY. Reserve your class in advance!
- Don’t go uptown or downtown twice in a day… traffic is brutal if you are not taking subways.
- It’s more $$ to get to Newark and uber cannot pick you up, but worth if you are staying on downtown and on the west side.
Battery Park Carousel: SKIP IT!
See fashion editor and NYC native, Elizabeth Mendoza’s, Oliver Guide here.
See Ginny Rothschild’s NYC Oliver Guide here. (Long list of locals restaurants.)
See Courtney Gerlich’s NYC Oliver Guide here. (A great place to start!)
And our “friend” Jessica Seinfeld has a great list of restaurants on her site, here.