Monday, December 19, 2011

Our First NYC Adventure with Kids

Zach travels a lot with business, and we get to reap the benefits of his frequent flying and hotel staying! We decided to take the girls somewhere, and we thought why not NYC at Christmas time. So we booked our flight and hotel, and began the adventure. It was definitely a different experience with two little ones who still require naps and early bedtimes, but we had fun!

The girls were so excited to fly, they were bummed that it was such a short flight! I think I was too a little, it's fun exploring airports especially when you get to stay in the sky club (free internet, drinks and snacks). The girls do amazingly well with traveling, so it's quite enjoyable! Ellie also seems to love staying in new places, Ainsley just wants to make sure she is with us. They had fun exploring our hotel room and jumping on the beds!

The first day there we arrived early afternoon, got settled (Doubletree in Times Square), took a LONG nap, then ate some not so good Chinese food and went to the Disney store in Times Square. We let the girls pick out one thing under $10, Ellie chose a Minnie Mouse camera and Ainsley chose a stuffed, pink Minnie Mouse. They loved it! After the girls went to bed, Zach went out and discovered the reserve coffee at Starbucks in Times Square. It's a special coffee roast, and brewed a special way:

The second day we went to the Children's Museum of the Arts to the special toddler time. They played, colored, painted, sang, and banged on the drum. It was so much fun, I definitely recommend this place.

Playing with playdough
Playing with flubber. Ellie loved it, Ainsley wouldn't touch it.
Craft time, Ainsley trying to keep clean (she does not like to be sticky).
A video of a tiny portion of the singing/story time:

Storytime with CMA in NYC from Laura Hanlon on Vimeo.

In the ball pit.
Goofing around.
After the museum time was over, we ate lunch at this great little coffee shop (can't remember the name). We met a few guys who were grad students thinking about developing an app for kid videos, we got into a lengthy conversation with them that was quite nice. After our warm, yummy lunch, we headed to High Line Park. We read the book The Curious Garden a few months ago, and thought we would find the garden mentioned in the book. It was winter and the flowers were gone, but it still had a very peculiar appeal to it.

The park overlooked west side Manhatten:
The girls loved the benches
Chairs to enjoy a rest, a good book or the sunny days
Place that overlooked a street under the park
We finished the day with a nap, Chipotle (one of our favorite restaurants), and then venturing to see some Christmas lights in the city. There were gigantic toy soldiers, huge Christmas ornaments, TONS of lights, and it was beautiful.

Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center
Under the tree

Christmas trees in the city
Radio City

The third day, it was Ainsley's birthday!

We started off with FAO Schwartz. It was a hit. The girls loved playing with all the toys. We let Ainsley pick out a reasonable gift, she choose a Melissa & Doug wooden necklace kit. They had fun making necklaces later that afternoon in the hotel. We also let the girls pick out some candy, which they gobbled up in less than 10 minutes! Oh and I can't forget the PIANO. The girls loved running around on the big piano and making music, and they also highly enjoyed the professional piano dancers. It is very entertaining and highly enjoyable by us all!
Here is a video of the professional piano dancers:

FAO Piano Dancers from Laura Hanlon on Vimeo.

Outside FAO Schwartz
Trunkis, which they LOVED playing with (and ended up getting for Christmas, thank you Coco and Chucko)
The Big Piano
(They had much more fun than it looks like in this picture. They weren't happy about making them pose).

We had heard from many people to try this restaurant, Serendipity (it supposedly had the best dessert ever, frozen hot chocolate). We braved it, waited over an hour, and ate some delicious food ending with the famous frozen hot chocolate. It was amazing.
Enjoying our frozen hot chocolate (sorry, we didn't notice the purple cup RIGHT in the way of the beautiful drink)
We ended the day with a nap, some NY pizza for dinner, and the M&M store.

It was a wonderful trip experiencing a different side of New York City with the girls. Something we will remember always. (Although I can't deny that traveling with kids who need naps is difficult.) The faces and joy that these girls had with such a new and different place was definitely priceless. I am so blessed.

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