I know I am nuts for taking a toddler on a solo trip to New York but we know this already. I have this notion in my head that when she started preschool in September that the rest of her life is going to be scheduled and dictated by school breaks, extracurricular activities, sports, etc. I know that’s not entirely true but I am in denial that she’s growing up. Also New York will forever have a special place in my heart as that’s where Jon and I got engaged. #swoon
She has recently become obsessed with Frozen so what better idea than to take her to see the real Elsa and Anna on Broadway! I bought the tickets on StubHub, a small fortune for front row mezzanine, you’re worth it girl! Flights to New York are always easy so that was a nonissue. I dreaded finding a hotel and our sleeping arrangements. I’ve never shared a bed with her before so this was uncharted waters. Certainly expecting a kick to the leg or worse my face. I was too nervous to get double beds and have her fall out. We settled on The James in Nomad. Location was a little weird too south of midtown and too north of Soho; the room was beyond small and bare bones; staff was extremely friendly, super clean and it was around $300/night which to me is pretty cheap for weekend rates in the big apple. It ended up working out great! I did go to sleep at the same time as her (9:30) which was fine since I was exhausted from the day anyways and secretly 7 weeks pregnant 😉
Here’s our itinerary with some tips for toddler specific travel to New York.
- Uber: in New York they have a car seat option; we did this to and from the airport as well as for a few rides.
- Taxi: my rule of thumb is if you’re not going far they can’t go fast anyways, it’s ok sans car seat. (don’t judge, other city moms, I’m sure you’ve done this too!)
- Subway: very easy to navigate however since I had the umbrella stroller with me I found it easier to hail an uber.
Places We Ate:
- Dinner at Oficina Latina: I did bring crayons and coloring book and stickers which lasted until the food came, but afterwards, when I wanted to socialize with my friends, I ended up putting PJ masks on my phone. I still get a pit of guilt in my stomach on this one; a) I like her to participate in life and not just zonk out to a tv and b) it wasn’t a subscription channel but a random YouTube channel, and I was so paranoid a dick pic was going to pop up. You know that’s a thing right?
- Breakfast at Penelope’s: amazing quaint place that is so kid friendly. The first meltdown Liv had, they were accommodating and didn’t rush us even with a pretty long wait.
- Bar Pitti for Dinner: I was looking for something quick and cheap near the west village; Jon and I old stomping ground when we would visit Brad here pre-kids. Felt a little like Europe with their outdoor patio and we got to speak a little Italian to the waiter “Il Conto Per Favori” is about all I know. #rookie
What we Did:
- Shopping in SoHo: bring a Stoller for sure, she ended up passing out for an hour while this mama got her shop on. #thankyoulord
- Empire State Building Observation Deck: as we got there so early the lines weren’t an issue but I’ve been told they can be so plan accordingly. I wouldn’t spring the extra $24 for the 102nd Floor view. And kids 5 and under are free! And you can pay for the photo online later so skip that line. Warning: to leave you have to go through the gift shop. Surprisingly she didn’t really ask for anything.
- Plaza Hotel: beautiful ambience and decor, visit Eloise in the basement. You can have a tea party or just get a little trinket. We opted for a book to bring her home with us.
- Frozen on Broadway: worth every penny. To see her face light up at the light/ice show was priceless. I love that she sat on my lap the whole time and we talked to each other. I think 3.5 wasn’t too young an age. She did get hysterical and demand a lollipop, which of course I gave into just to stop the waterworks.
- Rickshaw Ride: check the price on the side first!!!! Holy F. Priciest mistake….we rode it 14 mins from Time Square to Columbus Circle for a whopping $100 (the most expensive one at $7 per minute, as they bill by the minute). I would suggest looking for the $3 one and just ride from one end of Time Square to the other for 5 mins.
- Washington Square Park: a great place to have kids run around, they have musicians and artists and a playground. And people even run around in the actual fountain. #notthisgirl
- Central Park: we did the carousel for $3.50 a ticket, eh, could totally skip this. Personally, I was close to vomming the whole time. What I loved was renting a row boat. Something about the two of us, just out in the water, Liv ensuring I didn’t crash into anyone, me feeling like I got a good arm workout. Different views of the city. And worth the $15.
The thing that warms my heart the most and I hope I remember forever is when we took our leftovers from dinner and I said were going to give these to a homeless person. We had two containers in one bag. She said, “no mom, let’s give it to two people” and then fished it out to two dudes we saw on the street. She is usually shy and reserved until she warms up to you, so I was shocked when she just went up to them! (Total side note but I find it hard to find scheduled activities for kids this young to give back to the community so we try to instill positives in our every day like this. Hopefully it sticks.)
I’m curious if you’ve ever done a trip solo with one kid and where did you go and what did you do? Jon’s excited for his adventure with Liv but we need some ideas!