It’s really funny when you take the time to plan a trip and think of the things your kids are going to find amazing and fun, but in all reality, they kind joy in completely different things. When we were planning our trip to New York, I had all these places I wanted to show her or do with her and we still did some of the things but I ended up letting her go and find things she loved the most about the city. So this is Riley’s top 9 favorite things about New York!
When we were preparing for the trip, I told Riley there would be trains. Where I thought she would just stay in the stroller for her rides was a no go. She wanted to be a big girl and made us take her out of the stroller and sit like a big girl for every ride. Her favorite parts were when we would stop in the stations and she would look out the windows and wave at everyone. She would even tell them “Have a good day” as the trains pulled out of the stations. The only time she didn’t like the trains was when we would pull up to our stop by our hotel, she would start telling us “no bed time! no bed time!!!”
The Cars going under the Brooklyn Bridge!
One of the first places we went to was the Brooklyn Bridge. This place is so special to us. I used to walk it by myself, then when me and Tony started dating he attached a love lock to a lamp post on the middle of the bridge. 3 years later, the lock was still there and that is where he proposed to me. So now that it had been 6 years later I was excited to see if it was still there, and it was! While they have clipped all the love locks over time, ours is still there. Painted over but still there, haha! I thought she would like seeing the boats and the sunset, or even seeing the buildings. But at this age, she was just amazed that there were cars driving under us.
The shiny sidewalk in front of Macy’s!
We stopped to see our old stomping grounds at 34th street. We spend so much time in this area because Tony worked at Gap across from Macy’s. We would spend our lunch breaks together at food places around the area along with our main movie theater was a few streets down. But as we sat waiting for a friend to say hi too, Riley discovered the sidewalk in front of Macy’s was covered in “glitter”. She was so amazed that it was shiny and sparkly and just ran around in circles around the sidewalk. Good thing it was late at night so she wasn’t in the way of people.
Times Square (Lights and M&M store)
This was all done within the first 6 hours of being back in the city! Since we still had the energy, we went to Times Square. She thought all the lights and pictures were “so Big and Beautiful!”. She really liked walking around Times Square but her favorite part was when we took her to the M&M store. She got a kick out of the giant M&M’s. Her favorite is the blue M&M’s and it was just perfect that they had a giant one inside the store. It was a fun little last place to visit before going back to the hotel for a good sleep.
Comic Con (Puglie stand)
Now I’ll admit, I didn’t think Comic Con was going to be very fun with a toddler. It’s just so busy and when you have toddlers, they don’t want to just sit in a stroller, they want to run and explore! Well surprisingly, any time we entered the show room at the convention, she would knock out. It might have been the time difference or maybe it was the white nose but it came the perfect nap time place. But there was one booth she liked before falling asleep that we visited almost every day of the convention. It was the Puglie booth. They had a large dog house set up with all these adorable pug stuffed animals inside of donuts hanging from the ceiling. Riley loved running through it and jumping around.
The Bronx Zoo
This was a favorite for all of us for sure. We took the train out to the Zoo and it was the coldest of our days there. But even with it being cold, it was a perfect 60 degrees so it was just like an air conditioned zoo (much better in my opinion than roasting in the sun!) There was also barely anyone there so we could run a bit wild and had no lines for anything. We started off with the tram ride, then went to rain forest where she got scared of crocodiles and bats. Then we wandered the rest of the zoo making sure we went through every space possible. I can’t believe she walked almost the whole thing! Before Tony and I were pregnant, we were walking around the zoo and just seriously fell in love with it. We fantasized how awesome it would bring our kids here. Specifically to remake some photos that we took. It was so much fun finally being able to do some of those pictures with Riley. Riley’s probably favorite part of the zoo though was the petting zoo where she got to feed the animals. We definitely spent quite a bit so she could keep feeding them.
Barnes and Nobles
Tony and I used to spend a lot of time just wandering Union Sq. It was one of our favorites. With great food, a movie theater, a comic book shop and two amazing book stores it was the best. Not to mention an awesome dog park where we could pet the doggies coming out. Riley had a blast just running all crazy around the park.
Again it was late at night so she could truly be a bit crazy. She was so amazed though when we walked into Barnes and Nobles at the size. I took her to kids section and she just loved looking at all the books and going to the story time area to read them. Then she found they had a train table set up and played until closing time. They had so many awesome books though! Our Barnes and Nobles needs an upgrade!
Two trips in and I have noticed my kid does not like to eat on trips. She is picky at home but man, on trips not even her normal snacks will do! In Disneyland, she lived on yogurt and fries. For New York, corn muffins and kix cereal. The first morning I got her a muffin and she was hooked! After that she couldn’t WAIT to go get her muffins in the morning and I usually would grab a few extra for the day. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner corn muffins seemed to be our only way to go. Since we’ve gotten home she has only eaten them once.
I think Central Park was a favorite for both of us. I spend so much of my time in Central Park while I lived there. I used to start at the top of the park and just spend hours walking down to the bottom. I would see all the kids playing in these awesome parks that we don’t have back home and think about having a kid and getting to play in these parks with them. While it wasn’t some perfect day the two days we tried to get out there, it was still perfect enough for me. The first day, it started to pour as we got to the park. I ended up having to wait in a shelter while Riley ran around a playground with an umbrella and getting super wet. She paid a little friend who was drenched head to toe and when the rain stopped they played hide and seek. The second time we tried to go to the park it rained again AND she fell asleep just before we entered the park! I started wondering if we just weren’t meant to be haha. I decided I would just take my walk in silence and take pictures of her at my favorite places so at least we had something. Call it her sleepy time adventures. But about 20 mins in, she woke up. I had someone take our picture at one of my favorite spots and it is seriously one of my favorite pictures of us on the entire trip.
We walked down and she kept seeing those refreshment stands so we got our first ice cream bar and some water. Now she knows what ice cream bars are haha! We walked down the Mall specifically cause I was hoping to see the bubble man and he was there. Riley couldn’t believe how BIG he could make the bubbles and we watched him for a few minutes. Then I took her to the fountain which at this point it was beginning to lightly sprinkle again. We went to the edge of the fountain and she threw some coins into it to make some wishes. I think that was one of her favorite parts of the whole adventure. Someone also made a heart out of roses and she jumped right inside and actually asked me to take her picture. We watched the boats on the water which she was sad we didn’t get to do. Hopefully next time we can. Then we just continued to walk through the park. She found it hilarious as I would set the camera on a timer to take pictures with her and we would run away and pose and then check the camera.
She also saw her first squirrel in the park and she was confused on what it was and couldn’t believe how fast they were climbing up trees. She also found acorns on our walk and when I told her it was an acorn she got all excited. She always asked to pick them up any time she saw one on the ground so she could feed the squirrels. I just loved spending this time with her at the park.