Mommy Poppins runs a fun site about getting more out of living in NYC with babies. She was sweet enough to write up a week’s worth of her favorite activities exploring different neighborhoods:
This is my idea of the ultimate itinerary for a week of things to do in NYC with a baby or toddler. It involves what, I think, are the major necessary bones for getting out for a day with the baby: Lots of food stops, playground visits, a little shopping — or at least ogling — of beautiful things for baby, but mostly just good, relaxed wandering around and exploring a cool, baby-friendly neighborhood that’s not your own.
Babies love all the stimulation of Chinatown. The streets are filled with shops that open onto the street with bins of toys right at their level. Poke into Ting’s Gift Shop for an adorable little silk outfit or tiny pair of slippers.
For food you can stop for Dim Sum at Sweet ‘n Tart, one of the few restaurants that offers high chairs. The waiters love kids and will give them lots of attention and kids like the little bites of dim sum or a plate of noodles.
If you don’t want a sit down meal buy some delicious buns at Fay Da Bakery or dumplings from Tasty Dumpling and head to Columbus Park where you’ll find baby swings, slides and, in the summer, sprinklers.
For a treat check out Aji Ichiban Munchies. The store has clear bins of Asian snacks to buy by the pound and free samples. And, you can’t leave Chinatown without stopping at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for some almond cookie, ginger or lychee ice cream.
Tuesday—Upper West Side
Start the day at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. When you arrive, sign up for the fun drop-in classes offered throughout the day, then dive into the five floors of great interactive exhibits. When you’ve had all the educational fun you can take for one day, head over to Riverside Park. Walk downtown through the park to the 79th Street Boat Basin. You can have a relaxing lunch at the outdoor café and then move on to Elephant Playground around 76th street.
Wednesday—Brooklyn Bridge and Dumbo
There’s nothing better on a beautiful day than a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. Make sure to bring water, especially on a hot day. Take the stairs down from the walk way and walk around the corner and back toward the waterfront. If you’re hungry from your walk, stop by Grimaldi’s Pizza, considered by many to be NYC’s best pizza. Then walk over to Brooklyn Bridge Park which has a playground, a pebble beach and a large lawn surrounded by a sculpture garden. If you need a chocolate fix Jacques Torres Chocolates.
If you have more of a bug for shopping, check out ultra-hip children stores Half Pint, Pomme and ModernTots When you’ve had enough, head back toward the Fulton Ferry for ice cream at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. The ice cream here is unbelievable. If you ever splurge on a sundae, this is the place to do it. The caramel tastes like crème brulee topping and the fudge is out of this world. Hop on the Water Taxi to take you back to the South Street Seaport or another destination in Manhattan.
Thursday—Battery Park City
At the North end of Battery Park City you’ll find the Tom Otterness sculpture, The Real World. Explore the whimsical characters that preside here. Then make your way down to Rockefeller Park Playground. It’s one of the best playgrounds in NYC. The Park Pavilion also loans out games and play equipment which you may find out in the field. A little further south is the Koi Pond. Or, just stroll down the Esplanade and watch the boats float by.
Friday—Upper East Side
You’ve had a busy week you deserve a little splurge. And where better than on the Upper East Side. Head straight for Dylan’s Candy Bar. To call it a candy store would be a gross understatement. It’s a magical candy world that puts Willie Wonka to shame. Use your sugar rush to get creative at The Craft Studio. You can paint plasters, wooden toys and even T-Shirts for a personal souvenir or this day with baby. After all that hard work it’s time for a little more coddling. Stop by Kidville, NYC for lunch, even a massage, haircut and manicure.
Pack a picnic and head to Brooklyn. First stop the Prospect
Park Zoo. Afterward take a ride on the carousel; then a picnic in the Park. Before you go home make sure to stop by the Greenmarket in Grand Army Plaza and stock up on local produce.
Remember before kids when you would spend Sunday mornings just chilling out in a café, listening to cool music and soaking up the vibe of the hipsters around you? Well, thanks to Willy Bees, nothing has to change. While you chill over your brunch the little ones can play in the playroom, watch a puppet show or listen to the cool kind of kid
music you’ll never admit you actually have on your playlist.
When you’re out of money head over to McCarren Park for some outdoor fun.
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