Happy Mother’s Day to me! Waking up in New York City with my little family is the best present I could ever hope for! It was supposed to rain most of the day, so me and Adalyn got up early to walk the city before it started.
We headed up towards Central Park, without any plans. I love wandering and letting our feet take us where they may. Watching Adalyn’s carefree spirit run along the sidewalks of the city makes my heart so happy. She is definitely at home here and navigates the streets like she has grown up here.
We decided to walk into Central Park and discovered Heckscher Playground. It is the oldest playground in Central Park and was created in 1927 and covers 1.8 acres, which is really large for NYC. It was practically empty when we got there and was a little slice of heaven for kiddos smack in the middle of the city. The views of the surrounding buildings are beautiful and there is even a large rock formation you can climb to get the best views (& photos). Adalyn loved getting to run and play and I loved spending some quality time with her in the city we both love.
We headed back towards the hotel down 6th Avenue and stopped to see the LOVE sculpture at 55th Street and Radio City Music Hall at 51st Street along the way for a couple of photo ops. It’s so awesome to see so many landmarks on a morning walk.
We picked up the rest of our family and headed on the subway to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. We had really hoped to get to find some things to do indoors since it was going to rain all day, but even small plans don’t always work out. We took the subway and ended up having to get off before our stop due to a “police incident” at the stop we needed. We decided to walk, which was fine, even though it had already started to rain because we came prepared with umbrellas and rain gear.
Before we went to The Met, we walked up to The Guggenheim Museum, since it’s just a few blocks away. I wanted Adalyn to see it in person because it is so unique and because she has a miniature version of it in her NYC TOOB from Safari Ltd.! This Toob captures the spirit of New York with 8 unique figurines including a subway car, taxi, the Big Apple, the Guggenheim Museum, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the Rockefeller Center statue. These were the perfect toys to travel with due to their size and they have been such a fun souvenir now that we’re back home.
We walked down to The Met and were disappointed to see that there were two very long lines leading down the stairs from the entrance. Apparently they had a special exhibit showcasing some of the couture outfits that had recently been worn at the super fancy Met Gala. I would have loved to see that, however since we had been several times before (even though they were all before we had kids), we decided against fighting the crowds. I am really glad we skipped it this time. Until researching information for this post, I didn’t know that they had changed their admission policy in March 2018. In the past, their admission prices were just a “suggested donation”. You could actually pay whatever you wanted to get in. (We didn’t know that the first couple of times we had visited unfortunately.) Their updated admission policy is the following:
General admission is $25 for adults; $17 for seniors; $12 for students; and free forMembers, Patrons, and children under 12. General admission tickets include special exhibitions and are valid for three consecutive days at The Met, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters.
New York State residents and NY, NJ, CT students, the amount you pay is up to you.
Between the rain, subway delays and long lines, this day was really trying to test us. This is the beauty of being flexible and just winging it when visiting the city. There was something very beautiful about walking the streets of NYC along Fifth Avenue in the rain.
Since it was kind of on the way we were walking, we decided to surprise Adalyn with a stop at Dylan’s Candy Bar on 60th Street and 3rd Avenue. This was founded in 2001 by Dylan Lauren, the daughter of Ralph Lauren. It is a really fun store with so much candy to choose from and their branding is fun and colorful too. You could spend a lot of $$$ there if the kiddos are left to their own devices, so beware. Adalyn loves suckers and found some that were a great deal, so we got out of there pretty easy!
If you’re interested in checking out Serendipity 3 (famous for their frozen hot chocolate and featured in the movie “Serendipity“), it is just down the street from Dylan’s Candy Bar. It is pretty narrow, so it’s not easy to navigate with a stroller, so I would recommend it for older kiddos. You do need a reservation, because it gets really crowded. It’s a fun place to stop, but is definitely more of a tourist spot.
We decided we had had enough of walking in the rain, so we hopped on the subway and headed to Grand Central Terminal. It’s fun to plan your subway travels to end up there since it’s so beautiful. One really cool thing we discovered while we were there was The Whispering Gallery. When we walked through here I remembered reading about it online before our trip, so Adalyn and Jeff tried it out (she’s on the far left and Jeff is at the top right in the photo below). When each person faces the opposite corner, you can whisper and the other person can hear you! It was really cool! This is a definite must-do when visiting Grand Central with kiddos.
We did eat lunch in the lower dining concourse, which is set up like a food court with a wide variety of types of food. The food was really good and reasonably priced, however while we were eating there were numerous homeless people walking around. This didn’t bother me much until two groups of them started yelling obscenities at each other and one man yelled at some patrons, right next to where we were sitting. This is not the kind of atmosphere I expected there and having little kids with us, it was a very uncomfortable situation. We will not be eating there again.
After our lunch adventure, we walked over to the New York Public Library. I have never ventured inside on any of my previous trips, so I wanted to check it out, especially since it was still drizzling outside.
Our first stop was the children’s library. It was well stocked and not very crowded. There weren’t any tourists inside, just locals spending time reading with their kiddos. Near the entrance is a display showing the original Winnie The Pooh & his pals. It was so neat to see where the characters started compared to the ones we know and love today. We spend some quality time in here and I loved hanging out with Charlotte while Jeff read some NYC-inspired books to Adalyn. This was such a sweet memory that I am grateful we made.
We walked around the rest of the library and took the time to soak up all of the beautiful architectural details inside. I am so glad we finally went inside! It was so gorgeous!
After exploring the library, we walked through Bryant Park again since it’s right next to it. Because of the drizzly weather, it was empty. We did run into an officer, which Adalyn was excited about. He even let her wear his hat!
Jeff took a cranky Charlotte back to the hotel and me and Adalyn grabbed dinner from our favorite place, The Halal Guys. There are several locations (they even have them outside of NYC now), but the ones we love are the food carts on each corner at the intersection of 53rd Street and 6th Avenue. The lines will be long, but they move fast. I recommend the chicken and rice platter (don’t forget the white sauce)…it’s just $7! Two platters were enough to feed our entire family with food left over. I highly recommend checking this out. It made life so easy to grab it and take it back to the hotel.
After a long day exploring the city, we went to bed, eager to see more tomorrow! Stay tuned for our adventures that led us to Brooklyn!
Check out more of our adventures to The Big Apple: