A Parent’s Guide to Enjoying NYC with Kids Seasonally

mother and daughter on nyc bench

I get a little bit giddy when I think of all the fun things there will be to do with my children in the Big Apple as they grow up. Sure, we all grunt and groan about city living from time to time, but mostly, I just feel lucky that I get to live here.

As a parent, NYC provides us with a treasure trove of entertaining and educational opportunities to share with our children. Even before I was a mother, I would hear about different things going on in the city and think, I can’t wait for my child to experience this one day. My little ones are too young for most things yet, but a mama can plan ahead, right? Here’s how I envision the perfect day with my girls in a few years, one for each season:


A “girly” day: no daddy allowed! We’ll dress up in our prettiest dresses and I’ll take them for a tea party at The Plaza Hotel. We’ll dine on cucumber sandwiches and sweet desserts and I’ll tell them the story of Eloise. Afterwards, we’ll take a walk through Central Park and say hello to the baby penguins at the Central Park Zoo. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we’ll find Degas and Monet in the Impressionist wing, and take in the view of the park from the Met’s rooftop. Oh, and the weather will be perfect, of course.


Coney Island is its own world, and deserves attention as such. I don’t know if it’s the smells, the kitsch factor, or the people watching, but Coney Island is an experience for everyone.  We’ll cheer on the Brooklyn Cyclones at their small town America stadium, and afterwards, we’ll stroll along the boardwalk, taking in the salty breeze from the Atlantic. We’ll brave the Wonder Wheel and I’ll put my foot down at The Cyclone. That one my husband can do on his own!

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This time of year always feels so brief, which makes it that much more special, I suppose. On this autumn day, we’ll depart from Grand Central Station (pausing first to look up at the constellations on its gorgeous ceiling) and head north to the artists’ enclave of Beacon, NY. Surrounded by the colors of the season, we’ll check out Dia:Beacon, the contemporary art museum, and lunch on Main Street. As much as I love my city, I want our children to know there is a world beyond the 5 boroughs.


New York City really comes alive during the holidays. On this day, we’ll head to Radio City Music Hall for its Christmas Spectacular. I can’t wait to watch their faces as they see live animals walk across the stage, the Rockettes kick their famous legs in the air and Santa arrives on his sleigh. We’ll sip hot chocolate at Serendipity 3 (there won’t be a line, it’s my dream after all!) and check out the store windows along 5th Avenue.

On each of these days, I dream about them falling asleep on my shoulder as we head home, happy and content in this amazing city we call home.

new york family
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Ellen Schmidt is a mother and New Yorker. While living here as a parent is a much different experience from that of a single gal or newlywed, NYC still captures her heart every day. Currently attempting the balancing act that is family & career, you can find Ellen blogging about all of that & more at Baby Meets City.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributors. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Guest writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.

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