Perfect New York City Vacation for Grandchildren with Grandma and Grandpa

Perfect New York Vacation for Grandchildren with Grandma and Grandpa is an annual event in our family.  There is so much to see and do with grandchildren in New York.  2011 is already detailed in a post.  See Grandma Holiday Shopping and New York with Grandma and Grandpa, December 12, 2011, for our first trip to New York and basic planning tips.  We plan our New York trip for the beginning of October.  That is because we combine the Perfect New York Vacation with pre-Christmas shopping lists for the grandchildren to make “wish lists” of what they want.  We email the lists to everyone who is going to give the grandchildren presents, with prices and where to purchase.  By the first week in October, the stores have the new merchandise for Christmas, and best of all, some of it is not yet available for sale, but available in the stores to look at.  For example, the Nintendo store has lots of new Christmas DS games and Wii games to try that are not yet available for sale.  We can spend hours there, which we learned, so this year we planned to get there at 7 pm, forcing the grandchildren to only have one hour until closing time!  We make lists on our I Phones and take pictures of items the children want for Christmas.  We went morning until night and fell into our beds exhausted.

New York

We always give the children a printed itinerary of what we are going to do BEFORE we go and discuss everything in advance.  We read.  We research.  We anticipate. Remember, anticipation makes an event better!  At the end of the post is the itinerary we gave each child, in color and with pictures.  It details our days in New York.  Feel free to copy it for your trip.

Three days and two overnights is perfect for a perfect New York vacation with grandchildren as New York is expensive.  We wear the grandchildren out as walking is what you do in New York.  Yes, we have taken them on every form of transportation, subway, train, bus, taxi, but walking is what we plan.  A new skill we have taught them is map reading.  You can walk faster in New York than a car can go.  Sneakers are a must.

We stay at the same New York hotel, the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, and request a room overlooking Times Square.  We pay extra for the concierge floor, which provides a full breakfast and snacks all day and evening, and appetizers, which is a full dinner for grandchildren as they seem to have pasta and chicken fingers often.  We now plan a Broadway play first and a review of the current Broadway plays appropriate for grandchildren is the subject of another post.

This year we saw Newsies.  Our six and nine year old grandchildren loved the play.  Yes, see Newsies with your grandchildren.  The story is of children selling newspapers in the turn of the century.  The sets, music and story are pure Disney.  We went to Carmine’s for dinner, right in the theatre district, which serves family style Italian food.  We always plan the best desserts, the best ice cream, the best candy, and 2012 was no exception.  A New York hot dog on the street is a must experience for children.

We planned this year to make the maximum use of a New York City Pass.   http://www.citypass.com/new-york.  The New York City Pass is a booklet of admission tickets to New York’s six must-see attractions at 46% off the combined admission price. You can Save $76 per adult and $57 per youth, ages 6–17, but only if you use most of the pass and go to most of the included attractions which are the Empire State Building, the American Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern art, Top of the Rock or the Guggenheim Museum, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island or Circle Line Cruises.

The City Pass is worthwhile financially if you use most of it and we did.  We took the Circle Line tour around the Statue of Liberty.  We went to the Empire State Building to see the New York skyline during the day.  We went to Top of the Rock to see the New York skyline during the night.  Our grandchildren took great pictures themselves this year for their annual photograph album.  We went to the Planetarium and the Metropolitan Museum.  We walked through Central Park from the Planetarium to the Met and it was a very easy walk and so much fun.  We grandparents always start Perfect New York with candy—M & M World, the largest candy store in the world, and end with candy—Dylan’s Candy Store.  We had pizza at Dylan’s for an early dinner.  Okay pizza, but great place.  We limited the grandchildren to a half pound of M & Ms each at the M & M World the first day, which were gone by the last day.  We limited the grandchildren to six items of candy at Dylan’s which were gone before we got home.  Delivering grandchildren home with a sugar high is great fun for Grandma and Grandpa.  Yes, we did it all in three days and two nights!

The entire trip was the best part, according to our grandchildren.  We planned a lunch at a child friendly French Bistro and walked through Chinatown with the grandchildren.  We visited the Mahayana Buddhist Temple and the children saw the giant golden Buddha and picked a good fortune.   They ate fortune cookie ice cream at one of the best ice cream stores in New York in Chinatown.  Because Egypt is so in the news, we made it our business to visit the Egyptian room at the Met, and took pictures in front of the Sphinx and in the temple inside the museum.   Yes, there is a real temple reconstructed inside the Met.  The Met also had an Andy Warhol exhibit which is perfect for children.  On the website you can see special itineraries for children as young as three years old for the Met.  http://www.metmuseum.org/visit/itineraries/family-greece

We gave our grandchildren a taste of seeing the world in New York this year.  Art, theatre, museums, culture, religions of the world, foods of New York and the world, skyscrapers day and night, outer space, Christmas shopping lists, and hugs and kisses and love.  We cannot wait for next year and we anticipate Perfect New York 2013 with

Joy,

Mema

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