I had the opportunity for a quick trip to New York City for the 1st annual Family Travel Conference recently, a gathering of select family travel writers. Plus, it was the perfect trip to bring just my daughter, creating some mother-daughter getaway time, always a special treat. Family fun in New York City is easy and as kids get older, the attractions become even more interesting to kids as they are so varied.
My 13-year-old daughter has always loved New York, particularly the fashion, theatre, arts, and food – all the best New York City has to offer!
On the Fifth Avenue Fashion Tour – in front of Louis Vuitton and their beautiful window displays
As soon as our trip was booked, I asked my daughter if there was anything specific she wanted to do. About 30 minutes later she found a “Fifth Avenue Fashion Tour” ready for purchase. I was surprised how reasonable the price was and figured we had nothing to lose.
We met Patty, a long-time fashion industry executive, whose global experience and knowledge of New York’s particulars served as the foundation of the tour. It turned out that my daughter and I were the only ones on the tour – a private tour at a bargain price!
Off we went to all the big name shops, touring Fifth Avenue while getting a wonderful history of the role of fashion in New York and information about what each fashion house brought to the industry, window decorations, what each store has to offer and some spots where we could get some couture without breaking the bank. Hands-down our favorite shop was Henri Bendel, a store completely devoted to accessories. Note, the basement may have sale items that are perfect for gifts and trinkets.
Omni Berkshire Place guest room
Omni Berkshire Place Hotel
After all that walking it was a relief to check into our sleek, newly renovated and spacious room at The Omni Berkshire Palace. Conveniently located just off Fifth Avenue in the heart of everything, the locale was perfect. The beds were very comfortable and just what we needed to tuck in and watch a late-night movie.
Omni went out of their way to make my daughter feel welcome with a gift at check-in and milk and cookies delivered to the room. Across their properties, Omni always does a great job with kids and they have a very engaged group that designs the kid suites (only at certain hotels) and programs.
At this hotel, they offer a Kid’s Korner, a staffed craft room on Saturdays; the amenity is perfect for the kids who just need some downtime to play. Also, they offer a rolling backpack filled with toys, coloring supplies and games that you can borrow for your stay.
Rooftop bar at The Kimberly Suites Hotel
The Kimberly Suites Hotel
On our second night, we packed up and moved a few blocks over to The Kimberly Suites Hotel, which has been on my list to review for a while. What caught my attention was that they offer suites in a city notorious for tiny rooms – important for family trips into New York City.
The first thing my daughter said was, “I love this place.” This is not your typical cookie-cutter hotel, this boutique property has a very European feel, including the lobby with it’s baroque-style furniture and oriental rugs.
The rooms are updated and offered large suites with kitchenettes, balconies, and Frette Lines. The rooms here are huge for New York City. For my family of six, finding a room that will fit us all at a reasonable rate is tough. At the Kimberly Suites, the accommodations are ideal for large families like mine.
They have a swanky rooftop bar and restaurant with a casual yet funky vibe and an incredible view of the Empire State Building. On Sundays, they host brunch with the option of a river cruise on their 75-foot yacht (sounds entertaining and certainly is a unique offering for a hotel).
Off to Broadway
We couldn’t wait for the curtain to come up at Sister Act, a musical packed with great Motown, disco and gospel music. It was a perfect play to see with a teen and we really appreciated the tickets from Camp Broadway, a camp that lets everyone have their chance to shine on Broadway.
Magnolia Bakery offers cupcakes to die for
Laced throughout the weekend were quick little stops at fun the town’s famous sweet spots. What girls don’t like a little sweet treat, especially after a long day of shopping? I know, no sympathy there. Here are some of the fun places we stopped:
Dylan’s Candy Bar: Every candy you can imagine displayed beautifully.
M&M’s World: This store quickly became a family favorite. Not only candy but fun M&M apparel and toys as well.
Magnolia Bakery: This vintage bakery whips up cakes and cupcakes to die for!
Serendipity: Famous for their frozen hot chocolate, save more than a little room for desert at this restaurant.
Crumbs Bake Shop: Capitalizing on the cupcake trend, this bakery holds it’s own. Bring home a huge cake size cupcake for gifts and you’ll have everyone smiling.
Editorial Note: The hotels provided Ciao Bambino with complimentary rooms. They did not ask us to express any particular point of view. As always, our opinions are our own. Photos by Nancy Solomon and Omni Berkshire Hotel
Ciao Bambino recommended New York family hotels
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