Have you been thinking of planning a New York City Mother Daughter Trip? Well, why not? Whether your daughter is 12 or 22 (or 32 or 42!), time spent on an NYC Mother Daughter Trip is an amazing bonding experience. Take it from me... I spent 6 days and 5 nights on a fun-filled NYC trip with my 10 year old daughter this summer, and we had a blast!
Here are some tips for a fun-filled NYC Mother Daughter Trip.
- Don't pack too many activities into one day! Take time to enjoy the city. If you haven't been to New York City before, you might be surprised at how much fun (and how fulfilling!) it can be to just wander around the city... walking. Yes, urban hiking is FUN! You will see things you would never have seen if you weren't out and about walking. So... while that quick taxi or subway ride might seem like a good idea- if its not too far (and you have time)... walk it out.
- Carry a water bottle and purchase a laminated fold-able map. If you haven't been to Manhattan before, or if you aren't super familiar with the area you are staying in, this will be a huge help and prevent many headaches. It also has subway routes on it!
- Bathrooms- (Very important, especially when traveling with kids.) Public restrooms in Manhattan are extremely hard to find. Starbucks is your friend, and so are McDonald's and every other store or restaurant you can pop into really quick, make a small purchase, and use their restroom. I put an emphasis on using the restroom while we were at a place that had one- whether we really needed to go or not. That saved us from trying to find a bathroom in a pinch. Lesson learned after several trips to NYC.
Another tip... stay in a hotel that is comfortable and offers amenities. While your first thought might be to pinch pennies and book the cheapest room possible, don't let that trump comfort. Instead, consider pairing up with another mother-daughter pair, whether it is your best friend and her daughter, your daughter's best friend and her mother, or someone in the family. Book a suite at a boutique hotel like one of the Library Collection of Hotels or at the Kimberly Hotel. You will be glad you did.
One of the great things about the Library Collection of Hotels is that they also provide breakfast, refreshments throughout the day, and evening appetizer and wine. If you take advantage of all of those offerings, you can save money on eating out. And those chocolate croissants are so worth it!
If you are traveling with kids, you MUST check out some of the shops on 5th Avenue that are geared to kids. We made stops at Build a Bear, American Girl (where we ate at the cafe), LEGO, Mismatched, the NBA Store, and more. Since we were so close-by, we visited Rockefeller Center. We also walked up several blocks and stopped by Dylan's Candy Bar and Serendipity.
Splurge a little. Enjoy a "fancy" meal at the Boathouse in Central Park. We went late in the evening with no reservations and didn't have to wait. The food was SO good and the dress code was pretty relaxed. Of course, some people were dressed up and some people in shorts. Most were pretty casual:
Budget for at least one play! If you can't swing full priced tickets, you can always try for rush theater tickets, which are sold same day for a lower price. We bought rush tickets to see Annie and we loved the performance! The only downside was that since we were in the first row, we couldn't see much of anything below the performers knees... which made seeing Sandy the dog and some of the dance moves a little difficult. Overall, the show was still great and one of the highlights of our trip.
Fodor's New York City Travel Guide will give you a lot of great ideas on which restaurants to try as well as sight-seeing suggestions.
New York Sightseeing Pass is an affordable and fun way to see a ton of New York City's popular attractions, go on sight-seeing tours, as well as riding bikes in Central Park. The pass allows you to pay a discounted amount for attractions ahead of time, so you don't have to worry about paying for attractions as you go. We all know how much that can add up to.
We took advantage of the New York Pass a couple years ago on a spring break family trip to NYC, and saw so many things in the city that we hadn't seen before. It was a LOT of fun.
This summer during our Mother-Daughter trip, my daughter and I used CityPASS to gain admission to some of the top sights: Top of the Rock, Museum of Natural History, and the Empire State Building. CityPASS is another way to save big on New York City sight-seeing. CityPASS is also available in other major cities: Toronto, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia and more! Learn more about the New York City Pass here.
Take a Break in New York City
Take time to let your kid be a kid, and just chill out for a bit. Whether that is running around playing at one of the playgrounds throughout the city, borrowing your camera and taking pictures of one of the hundreds of squirrels in Central Park (yes, my daughter really did that!), or climbing around the statues or fountains... let them relax. Let them experience NYC as if they lived there. These are some of the silly things they would be doing.
Or, maybe they'd be posing for pictures all over the place, because I tell you... that is what my dear daughter does wherever we go!
Have you been on a Mother-Daughter Trip? Where did you go? What was your favorite memory from your trip? We'd love to hear your thoughts as we gear up to plan our next Mother-Daughter Vacation!