While trying to properly deal with the mood swings that the birth of my precious daughter Giordana brought along with back in 2019, I found pleasure and refuge in walking around Manhattan while my baby was quietly laying in her stroller. Not only was I able to conquer daily tasks that suddenly seemed impossible to manage—food shopping, dry cleaning, a trip to the local Duane Reade—but the fresh air quickly helped my state of mind.
A few weeks in, our daily walks became a tad more cultural: we spent time at the beautiful Morgan Library & Museum just steps from our apartment, home to what is arguably the most stunning book display in all of the city, climbed atop the Empire State Building and perused the food offerings at Grand Central Station. Giordana even assisted me in my quest to find really good coffee in Midtown East: Lucid Cafe on Lexington doesn’t disappoint.
As Giordana got older and was joined by her sister Alessia, things got a bit… trickier. The pandemic forced everyone inside and, even as restrictions eased a bit, kid-related activities understandably took a back seat: scared for our children, we were fighting for their right to go to school, not yet focusing on extracurricular-like outings.
I am delighted to report that our lives as parents and children have returned to a state of normalcy—and then some: finding kid-approved things to do around town is more exciting than ever today.
A few standouts: a new Off-Broadway Sesame Street musical that just premiered at Theater Row and is as great as its iconic inspiration is (if Alessia could talk in full sentences, she’d tell you it was her favorite thing to do this fall!); a new immersive Encanto experience just launched at the CAMP store by the Flatiron (yes, you get to walk around the casita) and, for those a bit older, part of the Spyscape espionage museum has transformed into Leviathan’s headquarters, delivering an immersive Batman experience that will have you feeling like a real-life detective.
Usual seasonal pursuits are also drenched in an aura of newness given the few years we’ve just been through: apple- and pumpkin-picking spots near NYC make for fantastic day trips as do journeys to nearby farms, orchards and corn mazes.
As destabilizing as having children feels, especially right at the beginning, New York has a way of restoring balance and control. It is, after all, the same magic that has defined this unique town of ours for decades: there is so much to do, see and experience here that there’s simply no time to fully embrace the moments of subtle disruption that inevitably plague folks’ day-to-day lives every so often.
Living in New York is freaking awesome—and teaching children to appreciate its beauty rocks even more. Giordana and Alessia certainly agree with their mamma on that.
Time Out Tip: Ride the bus with your little one in tow—although the city’s public transportation system is exhausting, kids revel in the ability to actually see inside the vehicles that pepper the town.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.