Come november and the air is crisp, the lights have started sparkling, hot chocolates are chocolatier, everybody is buying gifts and all is red and we are getting ready for our old man Mr. Santa. Well in all this excitement we decided to visit in November end with our 5 year old daughter who was visiting NYC for the first time. The sight of fall season with its colorful trees was a perfect welcome we were looking forward too.
This trip was a completely new experience as this was my daughter’s first international trip and we were worried about meals, sleep, weather and of course jetlag.
Our trip started with a direct flight from Delhi to NYC on Air India, which lands early in the morning NYC time. You get a full day to reach your hotel and settle in for the crazy vacation ahead. It took us around 1.5 hrs to reach Manhattan from the airport.
As we were not travelling outside New York, so our base for the whole trip was Hotel Pennsylvania. Location is just perfect, it is 10 min from Time Square, 15 min from central park and 5th Avenue. With 24 hr restaurants near the hotel food is never a problem, especially when you are jet lagged. The most amazing is the Penn Station, which is across the street. Most of the Hop on Hop off tours is being sold outside the hotel gate, you can choose from couple of operators.
First things first … you are going to walk a lot so a Stroller is a must. Either get one with you or you can buy it in NYC. We bought it from a Kmart store 5 min from our hotel. And I can’t tell you how useful and convenient it was. Next is a 7 day unlimited subway pass, which will save you loads of money and time. Ohanna used to sleep by 6 in the evening and we used to cover her with a blanket and take her everywhere we went. I came back super fit after the trip, with all the walking and pushing around the stroller. When visiting USA kids might take 2-4 days to get over Jet lag. So keep the first few days travel plans light keeping in mind the sleep patterns and the exhaustion.
First day itself we went to Times Square in the evening. It was really sad to see that the Toy store had closed down, but none the less there was a lot to do. After clicking loads of pics we went in to M&M store right around the corner. It is really huge and fun for both adults and kids. You can get all kinds of M&M toys, clothes, mugs and accessories. Don’t forget the free instant photo booth.
A Broadway with your kids is a must. You can buy last minute discounted tickets from TKT located at Times square for some the most amazing Broadway shows like Lion King, School of rock, etc. We saw Mary Poppins and it was in a very vintage looking theatre with beautiful balconies and interiors.
• It is by far the best and the biggest zoo I’ve ever been to. You can buy discounted tickets from their site or at the gate itself. In summers it is highly recommended that you do it online to save time standing in the que, also it is free on Wednesdays. A very sturdy stroller can be hired at the entry gate for kids; I did and would really recommend it. Day is full of surprises, fun and lot’s of learning for kids and adults alike, with exhibits like sea lion feeding, birds of paradise, flamingos, polar bear, Siberian tiger, African lions, giraffes, penguins, African safari, train in summers, 3D show, bugs carrousel and a huge canteen-cafe with good food and very nice coffee.