If you follow my instagram stories, you’ll know that I recently got back from the most fun weekend in New York with my son Leonix! We went for my uncle’s 65th birthday, which was so nice because I got to see family and introduce Leonix to his little cousins who he hasn’t seen since he was a baby. I don’t have a lot of family in Chicago (just my husband and my two little angels) and the majority of my family lives in Israel. So when my aunt asked if I wanted to come to Brooklyn and surprise my uncle for his birthday, I said yes immediately. I love surprises, I love being with my family, and I was so excited to bring Leonix to New York! He’d been there before but now he’s four, which is just the best age ever. He’s so curious about everything and always has really great behavior, so I was excited to travel with him.
I wanted to make this weekend all about Leonix and spending time with family, and it was absolutely amazing, so I wanted to share all my best tips. I asked for recommendations from my friend who lives in Brooklyn, and they were fantastic, so I wanted to share the love! Seriously, if you are thinking of taking your toddler to New York, you have to do these things.
WHERE TO STAY:
The Langham: You know how much I love the Langham, and Leonix adores it too! As much as he enjoyed the city, he always wanted to go back to the hotel! We stayed at the Langham on this trip which is always our choice because it just adds a whole other layer of awesome to any vacation. First of all, it’s the biggest, most spacious room you can get in New York, which just makes traveling with a toddler so much easier and more comfortable. And the location is amazing. It’s right in the heart of Manhattan, on Fifth Avenue right by the Empire State Building. I mean, seriously, you just step out your door and soak in those glamorous New York vibes! And most importantly, the service is the best and the place is super super kid friendly. I mean, what else can you ask for on a trip?
WHAT TO DO:
The Gazillion Bubbles Show: Leonix is crazy about bubbles. I mean all kids love bubbles (and even adults do!) so the show was just unbelievable. It really was a gazillion bubbles in different shapes and colors and doing crazy tricks that were really fascinating for the kids and me! They even pulled Leonix on stage at one point with some other kids and they blew a bubble around them, so they got to actually be in a bubble! It was some crazy stuff that was so fun to watch, and Leonix was so happy the whole time.
The Museum of Ice Cream: The next day, I took Leonix to the Museum of Ice Cream in SoHo. The Museum of Ice Cream is a pop-up, so it’s not there all the time, but it is in New York City until the end of May, and I would totally recommend it if you go in the next few months. It is such a cool place to step into, and just so much fun for any age! It’s an interactive museum where every room is different, and you can take fun pictures (how amazing for me, right?) and eat unlimited amounts of ice cream. Leonix ended up not eating any ice cream because he said he doesn’t want to have cavities (no idea where that came from), and although he was the only four-year-old in the museum who didn’t eat ice cream, he had a lot of fun. He loved all the different kids’ activities in the museum, and especially the slide at the end.
Museum of Illusion: There are so many different kinds of fun stuff in New York that we didn’t have nearly enough time to do everything, so we were debating between the Museum of Ice Cream and the Museum of Illusion. The Museum of Illusion is super popular, so it’s best to go during the week, since there’s often a line outside. We were only there on the weekend, so we didn’t make it here, but the Museum of Illusion is amazing. It’s another interactive space with things like holograms and optical illusion installations that will be endless fun for your kids and cool for you as well. I mean, who doesn’t need a little magic in their life?
City Walks: After we went to the Museum of Ice Cream, we were already in SoHo, so we decided to walk around and explore a little. It was cold when we went, so we didn’t do too much walking, but it was really nice to get outside and see the city. We also went to Times Square because, let’s be honest, you can’t go to New York without hitting Times Square. Leonix had a lot of fun there and loved seeing the city, and it was nice to get out for some walks to stretch our legs and see all the cool stuff in the city in between all the fun activities we were doing.
Explore the Neighborhoods: The reason we were in New York, of course, was for my uncle’s birthday party, which he had in a super cool Russian Restaurant. The restaurant was really beautiful and had Russian music and Leonix was dancing and it was just so fun and beautiful.
There is a huge Russian community in New York, especially in Brooklyn, so they have a lot of really great Russian restaurants and food. I always feel a little bit more at home when I go there, and it’s exciting to experience a little more Russian culture too! That’s one of the coolest things about New York, you can practically travel the world just within the city, so go explore!
WHERE TO EAT:
Street Food! When in New York, it’s always fun to get street food. Coming from Chicago, seeing so much street food can be new and fun, especially for kids. On our walk in SoHo, we got a traditional New York hot dog on the street, and Leonix was so excited. And plus, as any mom knows, snacks are a must when traveling with kids, and street food can make snack time fun!
The Langham: Not only is the Langham a great hotel, but they also have amazing food! We hardly ate anywhere else because it was so convenient to eat there and they have the best food. And Leonix loved it too–every time it was time to eat, he wanted to go back to the hotel. And plus, if you’re looking for a more elevated dining experience, the Langham has top quality food and a gorgeous dining room at their Al Fiori restaurant.
In true NYC fashion, I wore black and white street style for the weekend. My dress is from Aritzia, my jacket is by Isabel Marant that I rented from Janet Mandell, tights by Gucci, hat by Brixton, and boots by Givenchy! Shop similar look below:
And that’s a wrap! Weekend trips are always short and sweet, and this was the best little getaway. Traveling with kids can seem tricky, but if you plan everything just right, and pack in lots of fun activities, you can have the best weekend and really savor every moment with your little ones.
Photographer: Mariya Nicole