This post is part of the “Mommy Shorts Guide to Manhattan,” a series where I share all our favorite family-friendly spots in NYC.
The most frequently asked question I get from my readers is, “I’m coming to New York. What should we do?” To which I usually respond with something like, “I need more info! Where are you staying? Are you coming with kids? How old are they? How old are you?? Are you more interested in museums, shows or food? What time of year are you coming? How much time do you have? Have you been here before or is this your first time?”
If someone asks me to recommend restaurants, I have a similar response. “What neighborhood are you looking for? What kind of food do you like? Do you want somewhere trendy, family friendly or more of a hidden gem? Someplace cheap or do you want to go all out? Is it for two or a bigger group?”
And so on and so on.
It’s funny because if you asked me where to go in Copenhagen or what to eat Paris, I could rattle off a few places with total and complete confidence. But when it comes to my own home city? It’s way more complicated.
There is SO MUCH to do here. And you should plan your time strategically because there is no reason to waste time commuting when there is probably a day’s worth of activities in each neighborhood. Walking from place to place is half the NYC experience!
I usually end up giving people a list of things to do that are right around each other. Have breakfast here, take a walk here, check out this store which is next this museum and end up here for lunch. I’ve written out lengthy DMs for so many people, I realized it would be much easier to direct them all to one place on the blog with detailed descriptions, researched information, pictures and links.
But you can’t fit recommendations for your hometown in one blog post. Especially when your hometown is New York City. And so, today, I am announcing…
(A series which I’m pretty sure can go on indefinitely.)
Every Thursday, I will be posting some kind of Manhattan round-up. I’ll start with a breakdown of things to do in specific neighborhoods. Then I’ll move on to posts based on interests like our favorite museums, the best playgrounds, the pinkest places in Manhattan, Mazzy and Harlow’s go-to ice cream shops and murals to visit if all you care about is getting a few good photos for Instagram.
There are tons of other resources on the internet that cover the best things to see and do in NYC. I’m not going to be nearly as comprehensive as those sites. And I don’t pretend to know nearly as much about uptown as I do downtown. I’m hoping my guide is valuable because it’s what my family likes to do here. I’m also excited to use this series as an opportunity to explore new places in my city and call it work!
Here’s my first tip! If you are currently planning a trip to NYC, I highly suggest booking a downtown hotel as opposed to midtown. That way you can start and end the day with more of a cool neighborhood vibe, no matter what major tourist attractions you see during the day. I still very much recommend seeing a Broadway show, checking out Times Square and going to the top of the Empire State Building— you just don’t have to sleep there. You’re welcome.
If there are any specific topics you’d like me to cover, please let me know in the comments below! If you are from NYC and think something should be on my radar, let me know that too! I am open to anyone around here throwing out suggestions and helping me out.
Next week, I’ll be starting with my guide to the East Village, which is not necessarily the first place I would suggest visiting if you are a tourist in Manhattan, but it’s definitely the area that is the most recognizable from my Instagram feed.
Hope you guys enjoy the ride!