New York City beckons many of us to enjoy its sights, but it’s so vast that it’s often hard to home in on the perfect pastimes. Here are two days of ideas for the hottest things to do this summer that both kids and adults will enjoy—though be prepared to shell out big bucks for the best sights in town.
Day 1 Itinerary
1. Get your sailor on and go over to the Hudson River on the West Side for a ride on the Circle Line. You haven’t seen NYC until you’ve viewed it from a boat! The Best of NYC tour ($41 for adults, $27 for kids) goes completely around the island of Manhattan, with views of all five boroughs, three rivers, and seven bridges. The boat also goes within 100 feet of the Statue of Liberty. Pier 83, West 42nd Street and 12th Avenue, 212-563-3200.
2. After the boat ride, head down to historic Greenwich Village for lunch at Murray’s Cheese Shop, founded in 1940. A secret blend of cheeses, The Murray’s Melt is delectable and a bargain at just $4.99. 254 Bleecker Street, 212-243-3289.
3. Next, meet Sugartooth Tours for their Future Foodies Tour, which often starts at Amy’s Bread right next to Murray’s Cheese Shop at 250 Bleecker Street. Founded by two performers, Allyson Tolbert and Sarah Rolleston, the Future Foodies Tour is a great way for you and your kids to learn more about our favorite sweet treats and try some new ones. Kids taste and learn about who invented the cookie, where their favorite desserts came from, and how they are made. On a complimentary press tour, we were treated to a chocolate chip cookie, a macaron (as opposed to a macaroon—ask the Foodies to tell you the difference!), ice tea, and a mini cupcake. The two 14-year-old girls with my friend and I gave the tour, which lasts about an hour and a half, a big thumbs up. It wanders up and down Bleecker Street, so you don’t have to drag kids too far, and ends in an indoor shop that has bathrooms. This and Sugartooth’s other tours are a great idea for birthday parties, and can be tailored to even the pickiest of eaters’ needs. $50, ages 6 and up.
4. If you and the kids still have steam in the engine (not to mention money in your pockets), head all the way downtown to the Wall Street area to the newly opened One World Observatory for a spectacular view of NYC from the air—and a healthy dose of reality in the form of remembrances of 9-11. (If you and your older kids are in the right frame of mind, the 9-11 Museum and Memorial are in the same vicinity.) Previously called the Freedom Tower, the Observatory is housed on floors 100-102 of the USA’s tallest building. $32 for adults, $26 for kids. One World Trade Center, 285 Fulton Street,844-696-1776,
Day Two Itinerary
1. Start the day by heading over to Lincoln Center for lunch and the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical The King and I starring Broadway sweetheart, Kelli O’Hara. The revival tells the story of Anna, a British governess, who secures a job in Asia teaching the children of the King of Siam and ends up helping the monarch come to terms with the modern world. Lincoln CenterTheater, 150 West 65th Street. For a relatively inexpensive pre-show lunch, visit Whole Foods in the lower concourse of the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle. Everyone can choose healthy lunch items and you can sit in the table area or take your purchases up to Lincoln Center to eat by the fountain there. If you prefer a real sit-down lunch, try American Table inside Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. It’s not too expensive and it has a variety of selections that will suit all tastes. 1941 Broadway at 65th Street, 212-671-4200.
2. After the show, head downtown to a pizza-making class at Pizza a Casa, 371 Grand Street, 212-228-5483) with Chef Mark Bello. Although pricey at $195 per person, this is an experience NOT to be missed. All the ingredients and tools you need to make different types of pies are provided, and Chef Bello takes you through the process step by step, from pounding the dough to piling on the toppings for different types of pies, ranging from the classic margherita style to smoked mozzarella and potato rosemary. “Pizza doesn’t have to be unhealthy if you use your imagination,” he says. Of course, the more vegetables, the better! You can also make a dessert pie—at a complimentary press event, I created a pie with blue cheese, sliced pear, and a balsamic reduction that was delicious.