This past month after summer break at home, I returned to my life in NYC of work, kids, school, city life, friends, and responsibilities. Although it was hard to leave my world of paradise and simplicity on the West Coast, I made the decision to bring more Oregon to NYC. Although it sounded impossible, I wanted to simplify, slow down, and not have to worry about much other than myself and my family. One of these shifts included making a conscious effort to embrace all that New York City offers. I researched some adventures off the beaten path to explore together with the kiddos and completed some of them. These little adventures have been unbelievable and have helped me set the right tone for the New Year ahead. Shana Tova, everyone!
Here are three adventures that I found to be extremely kid friendly, easy, interesting, and adventurous. New York is so big and too often, we all get trapped in our own lives, and stuck in the same routine and neighborhood. I highly recommend these afternoon trips solo, with friends, with kids, or on a date.
1. Tram to Roosevelt Island
With only a metro card and a quarter, you can take the tram from 60th street and 2nd avenue to Roosevelt Island. Once you get there, you can take a bus (for 25 cents) all around the island. The highlight of the trip was seeing the view of Manhattan and the East River from up high.
The bus, although fun for kids, is not all that exciting. It does give you a flavor for the Island and a view of what there is. There is an incredibly friendly Visitor Center at the base of the tram that gives you any information about Roosevelt Island that you could want.
The history is fascinating! And the tram is like a cheap gondola ride! Without skis!
2. Ferry to Dumbo
An absolutely magical trip! For 4 dollars per adult, you can take a ferry boat (East River Ferry) from 34th Street and the FDR to Dumbo in Brooklyn. The ferry makes several stops and you can get off wherever you want. Our destination was Dumbo, where we rode on the glass carousel (Jane’s Carousel), ate some strawberry heaven from the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, got on a returning ferry and took a cab home. The total trip lasted 2.5 hours and was super duper easy with picturesque views, fresh air blowing in our hair, and fantastic treats.
Cruzzie loved seeing all the different types of boats on the river, pointing out the airplanes and helicopters, eating ice cream, and riding the historical carousel. Hands down, one of the most fun activities I have ever done in my 7 years in NYC.
3. Row Boats in Central Park
A stroll into the park, followed by rowing in the pond was a movie moment. Far too often I have passed the Central Park Boat House and looked at all the lovebirds rowing the boats, but only once before have I been on the boat (with my lovebird, Ken). For $12 an hour, you can rent a boat, and row all around the pond.
There is a lot to look at: tall buildings, turtles on rocks, weddings, people making out boats (cliche but true), beautiful picturesque bridges, green water, and a different viewpoint of Manhattan. Extremely fun and easy — they even supply kids with life jackets.
Now, as the routine has officially begun and classes and activities are getting settled, it may be harder for me to get out and do something different. That said, I hope that I can continue to find these little gem activities here and there, and make it a new part of my monthly routine. I left each trip feeling more educated, energized, and enthusiastic about the place that I call home. Do you have any secret trips in the city that you recommend?
Have a great week! Fall is officially here….