Sailing Tour of New York and Brooklyn
You want to see the city, but convincing the kids to traipse Manhattan's grid a challenge? Why not hit the high seas? Book a personalized boat tour and see the city while you have a little adventure at the same time. Meet your tour guide at the marina and then sail around Governor's Island so your mini crew can take in views of the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center and the Brooklyn Bridge. The two-and-a-half-hour trip will give parents a break from herding the family through the tourist queues and delivers brilliant Instagram photo opportunities. Here's an idea? Challenge the kids to take photos of the top sights and then have a fun ‘awards' ceremony for the best shots afterward. Follow @BrooklynSail for inspo.
Central Park Bicycle Trip
The Big Apple’s famous park is literally a breath of fresh air amongst the hustle and bustle of the city. There’s plenty to see too. From the iconic memorial to John Lennon (Strawberry Fields) to the vintage carousel in the south end, kids and parents alike will discover something that gives them a buzz. It ain’t small, so why not hire bicycles so you can take in the entire 840-acre plot while the family gets to burn off some energy on a two-wheeler? Finding your way around, and making sure you don't miss out on the best bits, can be a bit overwhelming. By booking a cycle tour, you can relax with the family while your guide takes care of the details.
M&M’s World Sweet Treats
Nestled between the bright screens and Broadway shows is M&M’s flagship store. Surrounded by walls of candy you’ll feel like you’ve walked into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Here's what extra fun… Let the kids choose candy from one of the 16 shades on offer, and they can personalize messages on their chocs. Taking home candy that says ‘I Love NY' is genuinely memorable. The store also runs limited edition color launches. They usually give a nod to New York City (green M&Ms in ‘Central Park Green’ for example).
Take in a Broadway Show
Don’t miss The Lion King. Adapted from the classic 1994 Disney movie this show has won six Tony Awards. The magical music (thanks to Elton John and Tim Rice) will have the smallies singing along to the Disney hits, but it’s the make-up and incredible choreography that will make your heart skip a beat. With more than 9,000 performances under its belt, it’s still one of the most popular shows in New York.
Get Up High at the Empire State Building
It’s a New York classic and seeing the city from the 86th floor is bucket list stuff. Problem is – everyone visiting New York wants to do it too! Take the sweat out of the experience by ordering your tickets online first so you can skip the ticket and elevator lines. Make the trip truly memorable and renew your wedding vows with your whole family. Talk about a destination ‘wedding’! If you want to mark your 10 year anniversary with diamond jewelry, the observation deck at sunset is genuinely romantic and has become a favorite spot for families to share the ‘I Do Again' moment.
Skate the Rink at Rockefeller Center
Winter in New York is in one word… bitter. Embrace the chill and take your whole gang to the Rink at Rockefeller Center for a whirl on the ice. Numbers are limited to 150 at a time so you won't feel overcrowded or nervous if your skills are at a beginner level. Half the fun is falling on your butt, and you can bet the kids will pick it up in no time and be speeding along, leaving you in the icy dust. Outdoor skating is refreshing, but follow it up with hot chocolate and cheesecake, and you've nailed another unique New York experience.
View Art at the Guggenheim Museum
Art museums and kids don’t always make a good fit. But the intriguing design of this museum will win yours over. Designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the spiral ramp makes viewing art a unique experience. Crammed with paintings by masters (Picasso, Cezanne, Renoir, and Monet) this is your chance to introduce your children to some of the most famous artists in the world in one of the most beautiful museums in the world. The gallery runs Family Tours on the second Sunday of each month at 10.30am which are delivered in an interactive and engaging way for kids.
Visit Yankee Stadium
You don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy a visit to the Yankee Stadium in the heart of the Bronx. It was built in 2009 to replace the original park at a whopping cost of $2.3 billion. Part stadium, part museum, tours of the stadium will expose you to trophies that the New York Yankees have scored over the years and dozens of shirts from the legends of the game (hello Babe Ruth!). Even better, book a live game if you’re in town during baseball season. Hint: book a seat as close to first base as you can. You'll be at the heart of the action, and you'll leave the game a fan of the all-American pastime.
Play Fireman at the NY City Fire Museum
The honking sounds of New York’s fire engines are ever present. In the late 18th century the city’s fire fighting teams had to tame the flames with horse-drawn steam engines and bucket brigades. They’ve come along way since then and have some incredibly high-tech equipment on hand today. But it's really about all the big shiny wagons that make it so fun. At the NY City Fire Museum you can dress up and take souvenir shots in fireman’s coats and hats. There’s also a poignant 911 memorial to the 343 fallen firefighters, but it’s tucked away discreetly if you don’t feel your kids are ready for the confronting experience.
Learn About Diamonds and Jewelry
New York has a long and colorful history of diamond dealing. The bustling Diamond District between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan is home to more than 4000 wholesalers of diamonds and jewelry. You can explore the world of all things glittering in a quieter setting; however, by visiting a jewelry store in the Diamond District NYC at The Diamond Experience at Shimansky. The famed South African jeweler has created a unique display in this gorgeous store. Your kids will learn how diamonds have formed (over 3 billion years ago!), and they'll see replicas of the world's most famous diamonds. Book an appointment and the charismatic CEO, and diamond cutter, Yair Shimansky will share the inside story of the diamond industry and how he brought his brand from the heart of South Africa, where many diamonds are sourced, to the Big Apple.