3 Days, 2 Nights in New York City
Day 1/Night 1
We arrived in New York and the luxurious mid-town Omni Berkshire Place at 21East 52nd Street at Madison Avenue, just in time to unload the car, wash up and head over to Nippon Restaurant a few blocks walk from the hotel at 155 East 52nd Street. The restaurant is a classic and one of the firstJapanese restaurants to open in New York. Family owned and serving authentic, high quality and reasonably priced food for decades, the priority of this family run restaurant, from day one, has been customer service. The restaurant has been visited my numerous celebrities, politicians and athletes. The kids loved the food and so did we, especially the healthy homemade organic tofu and soba noodle dishes. For a unique experience call in advance and reserve a private Tatmi room.
After dinner we headed back to the Omni Berkshire which is a classic NYC hotel. Since 1926, this 4 diamond Midtown Manhattan hotel has created a sense of timeless elegance for its guests.Our room had a great city view and Omni Select guests receive complimentary chocolate covered pretzel rods and a beautiful bottle of Evian water as well as robes, slippers and after dinner mints all placed beautifully on our oversized, exceedingly comfortable beds. The kids love Omni because the brand goes out of it's way for kids with a welcome gift upon arrival and a specially prepared list of all the most kid friendly attractions near the hotel. But we were exhausted from the ride into town and since we knew we had a busy weekend planned we tried to get right to bed.
Day 2/Night 2
Lincoln Center Area
Early to bed, early to rise, makes a family healthy, wealthy and wise. Since the Omni has a fantastic restaurant (Fireside) we decided to eat breakfast onsite. We also had a 1:00 show to catch at the Metropolitan Opera, and were relocating to a hotel in the Lincoln Center area so we didn't have too much time to spare. After breakfast that featured the well-trained, and family loving staff of the hotel supplying my girls with more of the round cheese they were enjoying, we headed uptown a bit to The Empire on 63rd and Broadway. Built in 1892, the property has gone through extensive renovations that feature a secluded and heated rooftop pool with private cabanas and amazing views of the Hudson River and Central Park. This hotel has a wow factor that blew the kids and us away. The ultra modern, cool and swanky lobby was tastefully decorated with exciting patterns, colors and music. Our senses were in ecstasy as we entered the elevators and headed to our rooms.
After we washed up, we headed across the street to Lincoln Center for the Magic Flute. The Metropolitan Opera should be on your family's list of "must see" attractions during your lives. The size of the stage alone is unlike any theater most families have ever been to. The glamour and excellence of the facility makes the entrance into the theater dramatic and inspiring. The Judy Traynor production is exceptional. This event should be considered for families looking to establish holiday traditions and wanting to introduce children to the wonders of opera. The uninterrupted 2-hour production captured the imagination and attention of my 8-year-old, no problem. My 5 year old hung tough for 1:45 until she succumbed to her need to head to the bathroom, so we watched the final 20 minutes in the comfort of the theater, which is specially designed for late theater goers or was the case for us, those that need to exit the theatre during the production.
After the show we headed over to grab a bite to eat at the superb Cafe Fiorella. The pizza is exceptional and the kids couldn't get enough of it. The atmosphere of the famous New York eatery lets you know you're in New York, the display of food at the counter, the wait staff, the hustle and bustle, it's a jolt of energy in this place that rejuvenates the soul and leaves no doubt in your mind that the capital of the world is New York City. Oh and by the way, with over fifty kinds of antipasti there are plenty of choices for everyone. With the timeless charm of a brasserie, the main dining room is finished in warm wood, mirrors, and brass.
Day 2 ended with a trip to the never disappointing Metropolitan Museum of Art. The girls particularly enjoyed the Modern Art wing, the Temple of Dendur and of course. . . the gift shop. The MET goes out of its way to welcome all visitors, and families and children are no exception. There are a ton of materials available for kids to discover the museum and create their own adventures with each visit. We headed back toward the hotel and a visit to PJ Clarks (just next door) and a light dinner before sleep to dream of our next day that would feature a visit to the circus, a ride on an indoor Ferris wheel, dim sum, and some of the most unique ice cream on the planet.
With a 12:30 show at Big Apple Circus we knew that we could sleep in a little late before grabbing a bite to eat at one of NY's famous delis, the Carnegie Deli on 53rd and Broadway. Like most New York delis, the portions are huge and the baked goods are phenomenal. Carnegie keeps this tradition alive with phenomenal service and food. Now about Big Apple Circus. We learned about Big Apple Circus a couple of years ago and now make it our family tradition. The intimacy of the show, combined with the unparalleled performances, makes this show one that we look forward to all year. This is a must see show, not only because Big Apple give so much back to the community, but because it creates an experience that you can share with your children that will stay with you and them forever. The circus troupe is composed of internationally acclaimed acts that clearly love what they do and are among the best in the world.
In keeping with the circus theme of the day after the show we headed down to Times Square. But before we paid a visit the world's most incredible toy store, we needed to fuel up so we headed to the out of this world restaurant Mars 2112 on Broadway at 48th street for a trip to the red planet for some lunch. Imagine this, you enter the restaurant via a space ship and are greeted, seated and served by Martians who are absolutely thrilled to spend time with you and the kids. The food is fun, the atmosphere is fun, and the experience you have created for your family will never be forgotten. With our bellies full we headed down Broadway a bit to visit Gloppy, Mr. Mint, Grandma Nut and all our friends from Candyland, ride on the worlds' largest indoor Ferris Wheel, and play in Barbie's life size playhouse-all of which are located at one incredible toy store-the Times Square Toys' R Us. After a couple of hours we were all played out so we headed outdoors to take in the sites and sounds of Times Square before heading down to Chinatown for our favorite dim sum and ice cream at the famous Chinese Ice Cream Factory where there are so many varieties and flavors that you have never heard of you will be amazed and astounded.
In a nutshell, here is the info about our trip: