Family Lifestyle Travel

The Ultimate Two Day Itinerary In NYC With Kids

Ah! New York City, the BIG APPLE! Our little guy has been asking for a while to visit NYC and here we are!  What is so fascinating about NYC for a 7-year-old?  What he knew about NYC was the Statue of Liberty and eating a hot dog in the park.  Obviously that was all he had on his agenda while visiting NYC.

NYC is our first stop on our ultimate family 11-day road trip. So excited to make this our first stop and fulfill our boy’s wish to visiting NYC.

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Our first glimpse of the NYC skyline.  WOW!!! We were so excited to have finally see NYC and getting closer to our destination.  It has been a long drive.

We arrived in NYC early in the afternoon.  Entering NYC through the Lincoln Tunnel was quite an interesting drive.  I was quite surprised at how many cars were going into New York City. 

I had no idea that this tunnel was going underwater so that made for an interesting drive with the kids. They love driving in tunnels and always play the game of who can hold their breath the longest while going through the tunnel.   

The Lincoln Tunnel runs 1.5 miles from New Jersey to the west of Midtown Manhattan in New York City under the Hudson River.  

Related post: The Ultimate Two Day Itinerary in Niagara Falls With Kids

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New York – Times Square South

Fortunately for us, our hotel was located close by as soon as we left the tunnel.  Set amid Hell’s Kitchen and Times Square South, our hotel is only three blocks from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. It was central and close to everything we wanted to visit. It was definitely an ideal spot for us.

Upon arrival at the hotel, we unloaded at the front entrance and Vang and Raiden drove the car to the designated parking ramp while Landon and I went inside to check-in.

After we settled in for a bit, we decided to venture out into the city.  With our car safely parked in the designated parking ramp, we took on the sights by foot and taking the subway.

That is actually the best way to move around NYC. Either by foot or subway. Taking the car out of parking and into the traffic just seems to be more of a headache.  

I had downloaded the New York Subway MTA Map app to help us navigate the subway system.

Related post: The Ultimate Family Road Trip Planning Guide

Manhattan Chinatown

Manhattan Chinatown is one of New York City’s reminiscent neighborhood.  A place where we walk down busy, narrow streets revealing surprises after surprises for us reminding me of my childhood visiting the shops.  There are so many shops and restaurants that we knew that we would not be able to cover it all in one evening.

As a major party of NYC’s food culture, you’ll find excellent restaurants in Chinatown representing the cuisine of virtually every province of mainland China and Hong Kong, plus Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai and Vietnamese eateries. As Chinatown—also notable as NYC’s largest Asian community—continues to grow, it merges with neighboring Little Italy and the Lower East Side.

We had some of the best authentic Chinese food here. We loved it so much that we had Chinese food on both evenings while we were in NYC.

Look at all these yummies from this Chinese bakery! I can eat these all day long. 🙂

Little Italy

Right next to Chinatown is Little Italy. Immigrants from Naples and Sicily ventured to Little Italy, NYC in the 1880s, and the area once stretched from Canal to Houston Streets, between Lafayette Street and the Bowery. Nowadays the strong Italian presence shrunk down to the blocks surrounding Mulberry Street. Regardless, the Italian pride still remains during the annual Feast of San Gennaro.

Can I get a better picture than this? I wanted a picture of us with the Welcome to Little Italy sign but what I got was this lovely truck instead. Thanks a lot hun! 🙂

Times Square

Our last stop on our first night in New York City is Times Square! It is a major commercial intersection, tourist destination, entertainment center, and neighborhood in Midtown Manhattan.

Brightly lit by numerous billboards and advertisements, it stretches from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. One of the world’s busiest pedestrian areas, it is also the hub of the Broadway Theater District and a major center of the world’s entertainment industry.

It was so lively and fun seeing all the lights, people and entertainment. Running into Batman was definitely a highlight for the boys. It was the perfect way to end our first night here in NYC!

Related post: How To Survive A Road Trip With Kids

Statue of Liberty National Monument

The next morning, we ventured out to Liberty Island to visit the Statue of Liberty National Monument. You can not go to New York City and not make a visit to the Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever experienced. An iconic monument, it is recognized as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy.

We did make advanced reservations to visit not only the grounds but the pedestal. We were not able to make reservations to the Crown as there was no availability by the time I made the reservations. Their website does recommend at least 6 months in advance especially during the summer months for the Crown visit.

We made our reservations through Statue Cruises. According to their website, Statue Cruises is the ONLY authorized official provider of tickets and tours to the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island. Please be aware that Street Vendors do NOT sell genuine Statue of Liberty tickets. Avoid Street Sellers.

There are two departures to Liberty Park: From New York at Battery Park and from New Jersey. Since we were already in New York City, we took the subway to Battery Park and boarded the ferry there.

Here is a beautiful capture of the water taxi and sailboat on the New York City Harbor from our ferry boat. We were fortunate to be able to sit on the top floor of the ferry boat and take in the sights.

We had the most amazing time visiting the Statue of Liberty National Monument. We visited in August and it was extremely hot. We took our time visiting the grounds and even though we had tickets to visit the pedestal, we opted out of it.

Their concession stand was an ideal spot to enjoy some ice cream and a mango smoothie to help us cool down.

Ellis Island National Immigration Museum

Our next stop is the Ellis Island National Immigration Museum. Boarding the ferry boat from Liberty Island, we made our way to this iconic museum. It served as the first port of entry for immigrants seeking entrance to the United States from 1892 and 1954.

We walked the Great Hall and felt the spirit of the hopeful arrivals waiting to begin their new lives. We were also able to explore the history of American immigration from before and after the Ellis Island era in the Peopling of America Center.

I was extremely excited to find this wonderful display and video highlighting this Hmong family’s journey to America.

Here is the American Immigrant Wall of Honor. It is a permanent exhibit of individual or family names featured at Ellis Island. It is the only place in the United States where an individual can honor his or her family heritage at a National Monument.  

Across the way, you can see the beautiful Manhattan skyline!

Battery Park

On our way back from Ellis Island, we explored Battery Park. The boys had to have their hot dog in the park so that is what they got. 🙂 They are happy campers here.

We decided after a full day visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, we would head back to the hotel for some rest before heading out for more sightseeing. The boys definitely needed it.

Fortunately for us, as soon as we got back to the hotel, it started to thunderstorm. We can see people below running/scrambling to seek shelter. As quickly as the thunderstorm came, that was how quick it left as well. After a couple of hours of resting, we ventured out to Herald Square and the Empire State Building.

Herald Square

Herald Square is formed by the intersection of Broadway, Sixth Avenue, and 34th Street in the borough of Manhattan in New York City.  This is also home to Macy’s, the world’s largest department store since 1902.

The sky still has some clouds from earlier that afternoon’s thunderstorm but still so beautiful.

What more fun than to be able to stand and eat on the streets of NYC! Shake Shack for the boys. We were saving our stomach for more Chinese food 🙂

Related post: 20 Things To Bring On Your Next Road Trip

Empire State Building

Our last stop on our second night here in New York City: The Empire State Building. The world’s most famous building. A short 5-minute walk from Herald Square, we were ready to see the beautiful NYC skyline from here.

What I was not expecting were all the fun things they had inside the building. The 2nd-floor exhibits took us back in time as we learned of the journey of how the building came to be.

These boys are having too much fun talking with the construction workers and learning about their day and life.

And King Kong here has nothing on us! We got this! 🙂

Are we ready to pay the construction workers?

Oh, this view is amazing! What a beautiful sight to see! All these lights.

We had an amazing 2 days in New York City. We wish we had more time time to explore but we had a jam-packed itinerary on our 11-day ultimate family road trip and we are off to our next stop in Niagara Falls.

What is your favorite place to see in NYC?

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  • Reply judean March 16, 2020 at 8:04 am

    I haven’t been to NYC since before 9/11. So much has changed! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Cora March 16, 2020 at 8:24 am

    Thanks for the “Tour” of NYC—from the comfort of my living room. 😉 We don’t get away very often with having a dairy to run so it’s fun to see virtual tours.

  • Reply Kimberley March 16, 2020 at 8:31 am

    I really enjoyed reading about this adventure. It seems you all had a great time. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Holly March 16, 2020 at 8:45 am

    Great post! looks like you had an amazing experience and all of that in 2!

    • Reply Lina March 17, 2020 at 6:10 am

      Thank you.

  • Reply jen March 16, 2020 at 10:03 am

    you guys always do a great deal on your trips. i hope it was as much fun as it looked! Those boys are very lucky!

    • Reply Lina March 17, 2020 at 6:10 am

      We definitely pack them all in. They loved NYC.

  • Reply Jennifer Empey March 16, 2020 at 10:22 am

    Looks like you experienced a lot in New York City. That’s a long tunnel under the Hudson.

  • Reply Karie March 16, 2020 at 10:46 am

    I love NYC! Never thought I would say that cause I had always thought it was mostly shopping. But I love the Broadway shows and Little Italy for their pizza at Carmines and Rice to Riches not far from there. YUM! I am supposed to go next week. Sure hope we are allowed to travel, but with the covid19 I am a little worried. :/ Good times in NYC. Looks like your family had so much fun!

  • Reply Lucy March 16, 2020 at 11:12 am

    I’ve been to New York on a girls trip and agree that I need to go back with my family next time!

  • Reply Stacey Billingsley March 16, 2020 at 11:23 am

    It looks like you had a great time! I’ve been to New York City twice, but not with my family. We’re hoping to do a road trip in New England this summer, and a couple of days in New York are on the itinerary.

    • Reply Lina March 17, 2020 at 6:09 am

      That sounds amazing!

  • Reply Lisa March 16, 2020 at 11:50 am

    What an amazing trip! Your pictures look wonderful, thank you for sharing your family experience.

  • Reply Misty March 16, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    There is SOOO much to see in NYC! You need a few weeks to get it all in! I was surprised to see that the majority of people were very nice. That was not what I was expecting!

    • Reply Lina March 17, 2020 at 6:08 am

      I wished we had more time! It just means we will have to go back soon 🙂

  • Reply Eva Keller March 16, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    I first went to NYC for my 8th birthday and loved it. My aunt happened to live about an hour away so that’s really the only reason we went. It would be great to go back as an adult to really experience NYC because at this point I really only remember seeing the Statue of Liberty, going to the top of the Empire State Building, driving through Times Square and going to this restaurant called Mars 2112 which I’ve heard is closed. We want to make NYC part of a bigger trip where we go to Boston, Philadelphia and DC.

    • Reply Lina March 17, 2020 at 6:08 am

      That would be amazing!

  • Reply Debbie March 16, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    We have so many fond memories of NYC. Looks like you all do too!! I love your NYC skyline pic from Ellis Island!! Beautiful pic!

    • Reply Lina March 17, 2020 at 6:07 am

      Thank you! We definitely did.

  • Reply Lisa Manderino March 16, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    I am thinking about a NYC trip with kids! I have been without but I think my kids are getting old enough to enjoy it.

    • Reply Lina March 17, 2020 at 6:07 am

      Yes I am glad we waited. It’s easier when they are a bit bigger to move around on their own.

  • Reply Junell March 16, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    How fun! NYC is definitely a place my kiddos want to visit.

  • Reply Cindy March 16, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    I have done NYC with kids and without and I loved it both ways. There is so much to do with kids.

  • Reply Tricia Snow March 16, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    You really packed a lot into two days! We just did this exact trip in 3 days! The joys of getting older. We move slower and need more rest stops! lol

    • Reply Lina March 17, 2020 at 6:06 am

      LOL. As the boys are getting bigger, it’s been a lot easier to travel with them and move them along 🙂

  • Reply Sydney Delong March 16, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    I love NYC! The Empire State Building is a must, I’ve never gone up into it at night though! What a beautiful view!

    • Reply Lina March 17, 2020 at 6:05 am

      It is so beautiful! I wished went during the day too.

  • Reply Tiffany March 16, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    New York looks fun! Can’t wait to take the boys there – would love to see the Big Apple compared to our Windy City

    • Reply Lina March 17, 2020 at 6:04 am

      We love the Windy City too! Would love to go back there soon.

  • Reply Sandi March 16, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    We love NYC. Looking forward to visiting again soon.

  • Reply Christina Furnival March 16, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    SO much fun! How cool.

  • Reply Noelle March 16, 2020 at 11:59 pm

    What a great adventure for your kids! We have never been to NYC before. It looks like there are a lot of great things to see.

    • Reply Lina March 17, 2020 at 6:03 am

      We loved it and just wished we had more time to explore.

  • Reply Charlotte March 17, 2020 at 4:40 am

    This looks like so much fun! Beautiful pics. The tunnel and King Kong look like something the whole family would enjoy.

    • Reply Lina March 17, 2020 at 6:02 am

      Thank you! The boys really enjoyed NYC.

  • Reply Liz March 17, 2020 at 8:40 am

    Great post about hitting the highlights! Glad that everyone enjoyed the trip!

    • Reply Lina March 19, 2020 at 5:47 am

      We did! Thank you.

  • Reply Robin March 17, 2020 at 11:11 am

    Looks like you had a great time! I would love to go just to see if the food was as great as everyone says!

  • Reply Carmen March 17, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    Sounds like a great list for seniors, too! I’m saving it for when we get to go!

  • Reply Vanessa March 17, 2020 at 5:33 pm

    Wow! Looks like you all made the best of your time in NY. I could never do all of that in less than a week. I’m a foodie, so I enjoy the food whereever I go. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply Lina March 19, 2020 at 5:46 am

      We are foodies too and wished we had more time. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Reply heather J jandrue March 17, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    NYC is so fun. I love all that you did. Such a great place for all ages. We loved Ellis Island. So rich in history.

  • Reply Cathy March 17, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    I’ve never been to NYC. I love your photos! I have to go there!

    • Reply Lina March 19, 2020 at 5:45 am

      Thank you. You would enjoy it. There is so much to do.

  • Reply Kendra March 17, 2020 at 11:08 pm

    Wow! That’s incredible how much you all packed into two days in NYC! I’ve never been there, but you have me wanting to go now. I love that your sons got to fulfill their trip wishes too!

  • Reply Karla March 18, 2020 at 10:41 am

    I LOVE traveling vicariously through other’s writing. It looks like SO much fun!

  • Reply Suzan | It's My Sustainable Life March 18, 2020 at 10:56 am

    I remember taking my daughter there when she was about 4 and her holding my hand, looking up to me and telling me she was going to live here someday. Wouldn’t suprise me at all if she ends up there.

    • Reply Lina March 19, 2020 at 5:45 am

      That would be so awesome.

  • Reply Adrienne March 18, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Looks like the family had a good time! I didn’t realize there was more than just going to the top of the Empire state building at that site

    • Reply Lina March 19, 2020 at 5:44 am

      Yes it was quite a surprise for us as well. We loved it.

  • Reply Liz March 18, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    This is awesome! We used to live in northeastern PA. We move to Florida a few years ago and I cannot wait to have he opportunity to take my boys on a trip to NYC one day when they are a little bit older!

  • Reply jody March 19, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    Looks like you had lots of fun.I have never really wanted to go to New York but all your pictures look amazing.

  • Reply Angela March 20, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    I have not been to NY with my kids but this will help when we do plan a trip

  • Reply Lisa March 22, 2020 at 12:10 am

    Great ideas! NYC is on my bucket list and this will be so helpful to reference when we go.

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