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The How’s and Where’s of a Family Vacation in New York City

- Hye Sung

There is an overwhelming number of things that need to be experienced when you are in New York City, especially if you are with the family and trying to satisfy each member. A day trip will not suffice the tourist who wants to see the city for all that it is. A few hotel rooms to accommodate your family can get complicated and is a hindrance to family bonding. An affordable way to stay in New York City, while fostering family interactions and memories, is a vacation home rental. As your family bonds together in New York, you may want to create memories together with some of my favorite things to do in the Big Apple.

  • Enjoy Central Park. Central Park is big. Really big. It is 843 acres of land. A whole day can be devoted to Central Park. You can go boating, biking, rock climbing, be driven in a horse carriage, as well as ice skate (in the winter) and swim (in the summer). Even taking a stroll through Central Park is enjoyable in itself. You will encounter artists and musicians as well as all sorts of vendors.  There are twenty-one playgrounds and the Central Park Zoo has dozens of animals.There are also often open air concerts, especially this time of the year. A free concert is given by the New York Philharmonic every summer on the Great Lawn and the Public Theatre offers free open air theatre productions. Bon Jovi, Diana Ross, Simon and Garfunkel, the Dave Matthews Band and hundreds of other musicians have performed in this park. You are bound to be entertained in Central Park.  Plus, it is just beautiful.
  • Go to SoHo. There is a lot to do in SoHo. You can dine with the family at Back Forty West and enjoy their unique take on southern cooking or enjoy authentic Italian cooking served in the back garden of Barolo. Maybe your family can enjoy a French brunch at Balthazar or a delicious Mexican brunch at Pinche Taqueria, where they have been voted for the #1 fish taco on the east coast.


    And well, there is a whole lot of shopping that can be done in SoHo. This neighborhood is flooded with clothing stores like the Gap, H&M, Uniqlo, but it goes beyond that! There is Topman, a British clothing store catered to men’s fashion, which is one of the few in the United States. Also, Amarcord Vintage Fashion has two boutiques in all of New York, the other being in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and they offer European-styled clothes for both men and women. Legacy, another boutique, also is in SoHo with another location in Brooklyn, and offers accessories, suits, dresses, bags, and outerwear from local up and coming talent and even famous designers. Other popular boutiques are What Goes Around Comes Around, DIGS, and Patina. There are boutiques you will find no where else, such as the women’s fashion boutique Palma, and dozens of others.

    Your kid brother or sister may enjoy the Children’s Museum of the Arts, where they can: make their own art with pencils, chalk, and paint; produced their own music in a recording studio; and take part in all of the other exhibits and activities that will mold them into the hippest artist. You yourself may like the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. Dive into the histories of your favorite superheroes, see art exhibitions that will make your childhood come alive, as well as, for the more mature pallet, go behind-the-scenes, with the graphic novel of the beatnik poet Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”.

  • Go to museums. There are countless museums in New York. For those who enjoy art, visit the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, better known as “The Guggenheim” on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. There you will find your favorite Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern and contemporary artists, and the architecture of the museum in itself is a masterpeice. Metropolitan Museum of Art, or “the Met”, offers all forms of art from almost every era. There you can enjoy a range of art from Rembrandt and Picasso to ancient Egyptian and Byzantine sculptures and statues. For those who love modern art, there is the Museum of Modern Art, or “MoMa”, where one can enjoy photography, prints, illustrations, architecture, fashion, film and other electronic media. You will find van Gogh, Rousseau, Picasso, Monet, and others considered to be genius.
  • A more kid-friendly museum for your younger siblings is the American Museum of Natural History, where about 5 million people take a visit to each year. Many kids will remember this museum from the Ben Stiller hit “Night at the Museum.” It is considered one of the largest museums in the world. With over 32 million specimens in the American Museum of Natural History, only a small number are displayed at any given time. You can dig into the science of human origins, see the ancient dinosaur fossils, enjoy numerous galaxies, and dozens of other mind-blowing things in this museum. But don’t worry, the stuffed animal displays will NOT come to life at night like they did in “Night at the Museum.”
Of course, there is much more to do in New York, but I hope this gives your family a step in the right direction.
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