Oh New York, how I love you!!
New York City has a huge place in my heart! 10 years ago, Judd proposed in NYC and we watched the ball drop on NYE during another trip. I took my mom on a retirement trip here in 2015. We decided this summer that we wanted to go somewhere that wasn’t a beach since we live at the beach…first place that came to my mind was NYC! We had never taken the kids and there is so much to do!
Where We Stayed
Every time we’ve been to New York we’ve stayed in a different hotel because we weren’t happy with the previous hotel for one reason or another. This time, I wanted to get the hotel right and boy did I ever!! We stayed at the Embassy Suites by Hilton New York Manhattan Times Square and I could not have made a better decision. It was perfect for our family!The location of this hotel could not be better. We looked out the kid’s room window and we were looking at Macy’s and we looked at ours and there was the Empire State Building! The views were no question, the best we’ve ever had in a hotel! It felt surreal.
I mean look at this!It’s a short walk to Times Square, the Rockefeller Center, and just about everything in Midtown. There are restaurants everywhere!
The hotel recommended two connected suites for us. At first, I thought we only needed one and we would’ve been fine with one room but having two made our trip that much more enjoyable! We had plenty of room to spread out, which is impossible to find in NYC. The kids had their space and we had ours, and we had our own bathrooms! The suites are so large too! Each has a long hallway, bathroom, living area with a TV and fridge, two closets, shelving throughout the room, and huge beds with a tv and large windows to overlook NYC! Here is a room tour. 🙂
Another perk that the Embassy Suites had was that they offer free breakfast every morning!! This is very rare in New York City so we really appreciated that. Their amenities are great as well, tons of areas to hang out in outside of the room…the lobby is large with lots of seating, they also have the SkyLawn which has amazing views (see photos below), and the staff went over and beyond on our trip- one of the best hotel staff experiences we’ve ever had. They also had a snack bar in the lobby where we always bought snacks in the evenings or water to bring with us on our daily adventures! They also have a parking garage that connects to the hotel; it made driving/parking super easy!
What We Did
Normally when we travel to big cities, I have every minute scheduled! Since we’ve seen most of NYC several times, I didn’t plan out every detail…I had a few things we wanted to do each day but that was it!
The first day we explored our beautiful hotel!
Then we walked to my favorite place in the world, The Top of The Rock at the Rockefeller Center. This is where Judd asked me to marry him 10 years ago and knew I had to take the kids up.
NYC is quite far from us in Charleston so we knew this trip would be the last one for a while, probably the only trip here while our kiddos were young. We decided we’d spend some time in a few different toy stores. The first one being FAO Schwartz! They each got a new toy and had so much fun picking something out…Ella got her first Barbie and Camden got a space station!
We explored Times Square! It doesn’t matter how many times I visit here, there is something about Times Square that leaves me speechless. So much to see!
Camden and Ella even joined a flash mob!There were two things that we hadn’t done…visit the Hamptons and ride bikes through NYC. On our second day in NYC, we got our car and drove to the Hamptons. It should normally be a 1.5 hours but because it is summer, it took us 3 hours! Our first and only stop was the Montauk Lighthouse. It was beautiful! We then drove around all through Southampton and East Hampton. Such beautiful areas! I’m glad we went to see it but I doubt we will ever be back, I prefer the SC or even Florida beaches!
On the next day, I surprised Judd and the kids and we rented bikes and ordered a picnic lunch to spend the day in Central Park. In all of our trips to NYC, we just barely entered Central Park, we never really explored! I decided that on this trip, exploring Central Park was a must. I started researching and found out you could rent bikes and order lunch (they give you blankets too) from Unlimited Biking. It was amazing! We got there, they gave us our bikes (we had kid seats for Camden and Ella), helmets, our preordered lunch, blankets, baskets for our bikes, and a map of Central Park and we were on our way!
It was so fun! I had no idea how big Central Park really is until we were riding through it.
We rode for an hour or two and then stopped to eat lunch on the Great Lawn. The food was delicious!! We dropped our bikes off at Unlimited Biking and then had a fun evening planned but that all went out the window…we were supposed to go to the Eloise Store, go on a boat ride around Statue of Liberty, the Harry Potter Store, and have milkshakes from this famous restaurant. Well…the Plaza (Eloise Store) is only open to guests staying at the hotel thanks to Covid, the boat ride only goes twice a day thanks to Covid, we had to get tickets to the Harry Potter Store at 7am (we didn’t know), and then we get to the restaurant and they are out of milk? It was not our evening lol! We decided to head to the Subway and head to the Lego Store!
We had a great time!
Our final day was one of my favorites! I love taking bus tours in big cities, you learn so much and get to see the cities from a different angle (on top of a double decker bus). This is my third time doing a bus tour in NYC and it was just as entertaining as the first time! The company we used is Big Bus Tours and I highly recommend them. We did two tours-Downtown and Uptown. The kids even loved looking at everything!
Our final adventure in NYC was visiting the American Girl Store. I have dreamed of taking my daughter here since I was a little girl. We spent a few hours here and I’m not sure who had more fun, me or Ella. 😉
Poor Judd let Ella talk him into a washer/dryer and he had to carry it back 19 blocks! It wasn’t light either (sigh). The things a daddy will do for his kids!
Judd and the kiddos were pretty tired so they stayed in the room to nap, I went shopping by myself and picked up dinner to bring back. We enjoyed looking out at this incredible view for one more night.
We can’t thank Embassy Suites by Hilton New York Manhattan Times Square enough for hosting us. If you’re in NYC, definitely check them out. You won’t be disappointed! It was such a fabulous trip and the memories will last a life time! Until, next time NYC! <3
This trip was hosted but all opinions are my own.