I write articles on travel, from camping to glamping. Each experience and review is my own. I hope you enjoy reading about my experiences!
A Big Birthday in a Big City to Remember
The memories we made for my Grandson’s Birthday will be forever etched in all of us. He loves to travel and a couple of years ago we surprised him by taking a long weekend vacation to New York City during the Thanksgiving Holiday.
We stayed in a cute RB&B in Brooklyn and traveled by subway everywhere, and as confusing as it was at first, we quickly caught on and it became fun and exciting.
There are so many things to see and do that 4 days really isn’t enough; however, we were lucky to be able to hit all the popular places for kids.
Santa is real and he lives part time in New York
The first day there we were lucky enough to get front row to the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, the world’s largest parade featuring the arrival of Santa Clause who my grandson said wasn’t real. The parade was so much more exciting than watching it on television. The sights and sounds of a big city like New York are exciting enough, but when you get to meet the ‘Real’ Santa, well, that just makes your birthday so much more memorable. We never revealed that this real Santa was actually an actor who was headed to a play.
After the parade we headed over buy some birthday presents. We started at the M&M store at Times Square. What a treat, this two-story sweet store has thousands of M&M’s in 15 different colors, even I had a hard time picking only a few. This amazing store will also customize your M&M’s with images including “The Big Apple”
Our next stop was the Lego store in Manhattan’s historic Rockefeller Center. There are two stories of Lego buildings and cities all built to fascinate and amaze the imagination.
Finally, our Big Birthday surprise was at the Nintendo store also in historic Rockefeller Center This 10,000 square foot, two story building is filled with ‘gaming goodness’, and the home of the Nintendo Switch, the highly coveted gaming toy with Mario. We surprised my grandson with his own Switch, and this was the best birthday gift ever.
You can see for miles
The best way to see all of New York City at once is from above, and the Top of the Rock observation deck on top of Rockefeller Plaza. There are 3 decks, the 67th, 68th and 70th floor, and offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the Big Apple. There is also a gift shop and pretty good coffee.
New York at Night
If you are visiting New York City for the first time or anytime, the lights of the city, and the Christmas decorations are almost fairytale like. The sounds coming from the center of Rockefeller square as ice skaters dance to Christmas carols and the smells of street venders makes you feel like time has stopped long enough to embrace it all.
Directly across from Rockefeller Center, The Historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral stand like a marble and stained-glass tower inviting visitors to take a minute of self-reflection. The 19 bells chiming brought tears to my eyes as memories of some of the historic funerals came to mind. Among the famous people who had funeral there were Babe Ruth, and Robert F. Kennedy.
What is your Mood?
You cannot visit New York without shopping, even if it’s on a budget. Time Square is packed with places to buy yourself or someone else a gift, from Swarovski to Hershey’s chocolate to cosmetics. My daughter’s favorite show is Project Runway, so we had to visit Mood Fabrics which was featured on the show and is home to designer premium fabrics. Like a kid in a candy store, she had to touch every fabric and button from chiffons to lace and rhinestones.
We finished up our last day by just walking the streets at night. We headed to beautiful world famous Grand Central Terminal. It should be called a museum because the architecture is jaw dropping. The Terminal has over 60 shops and 35 places to eat, it’s where we ate New York style pizza, remarkably unique and delicious.
On our way home we stopped to see the Statue of Liberty from a distance. There is not enough time or enough words to describe New York City, but this one child’s birthday left memories for all of us.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Jiberish (author) from florida on September 09, 2021:
I loved NY, I hope it gets back to the way it was prior to Carona
Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on September 09, 2021:
Looks like a wonderful birthday celebration in the Big Apple! There really is so much to see and do. I love the views from the top of Rockefeller Plaza. We have never thought to go up there but will have to check it out next time we visit. And yes, Grand Central Station is like visiting a museum.