New York, New York

Contributor: Josefa Abdelnour

 

Family Activities:

Brooklyn Bridge Park

 

Butter Lane

The baking class at Butter lane is fun for the entire family. Bakers are split up aMinh three large tables. Each table makes one type of cupcake: vanilla, chocolate, and banana. After the cupcakes and frosting are made, the real fun begins. Each person frosts one dozen cupcakes, making any combination of cupcake and frosting. My favorite was vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting. Also, I think more frosting ended up on my kids’ hands and faces than on their cupcakes.

 

Central Park

IMG_2591Yes, Central Park boasts playgrounds, ice skating rinks, and even a zoo. However, where will you find my kids? Climbing boulders. If you make your way to Heckscher Playground from the south at 59th Street and 7th Avenue, the paths are lined with giant boulders. My kids have just as much, if not more, fun climbing these boulders as they do in the playground. The bonus is fewer crowds.

 

 

 

Chelsea Market

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My kids and I have spent days eating our way through Chelsea Market. So far, their favorite eats include obscenely large slices of cake at Amy’s Bread, burgers and milkshakes at Creamline Farm to Tray, and sugary doughnut holes at Doughnuttery. We roam The Lobster Place, a wholesale and retail fish market with overwhelming choices of fresh seafood. The kids choose their own dinner from the bounty of offerings.

 

 

 

Empire State Building

Most tourists flock to the Empire State Building for the views from its observation decks. While it’s an iconic member of the New York City skyline, my kids are much more interested in the nightly light show. The computer system is capable of displaying 16 million colors all in LED. “What color is it tonight?” is the question we most frequently ask when we are out and about in the evening.

 

Hamilton An American Musical

IMG_5713Thanks to Hamilton An American Musical, the amount of facts my children now know about the American Revolutionary War and America’s Founding Fathers impresses and surpasses me. Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspired by rap and hip hop music from his formative years growing up in the 90s. To my delight, these also happen to be my formative years and I recognize many lines he borrowed from these songs. Hamilton is an ingenious marrying of hip hop, rap, and Broadway music to tell the story of one of America’s founding fathers. It is also a fascinating commentary on how America was founded versus where America is today as the story is told by a predominantly non-white cast.

 

New York Historical Society Museum

 

Museum of Mathematics

 

Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

 

 

Scandinavia House

 

Tenement Museum

This museum is a time capsule of immigrant life and experiences in Manhattan’s Lower East Side at the turn of the 20th century. In the fourth grade, my daughter’s class studied the immigrant experience and its role in America’s national identity. They ended their studies with a visit to the Tenement Museum where they saw actual spaces where families of ten lived in tiny apartments.

 

Tompkins Square Park

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Westfield World Trade Center & Oculus Mall

 

Whitney Museum of American Art

 

 

 

Adult Activities:

Dear Irving, Hotel Giraffe, Rose and Jade Bars at Gramercy Park Hotel Squares

 

ChicaLicious Dessert Bar

Sit literally at a bar and watch as your dessert chef and sommelier prep a Prix Fixe menu of three dessert courses. The items are paired with coffee, tea, or champagne, and served on eclectic mash up of china. The whole experience is both visually stimulating and pleasing to your palate.

 

 

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