Fun place for young kids?
Hi all! We are taking our kids (girl 4 & boy 6) to NYC for the first time during Christmas week. We will be spending one night at the SpingHill Suites in Times Square. We usually like restaurants with really good food, but that is not an expectation for this trip....lol.
I am looking for:
1. Places to go for lunch or dinner with really neat theming for the kids (Mars?)
2. Options that could take a party of 25 (family MIGHT be coming in to the city for the day to hang with us)
3. Places for a special treat - candy, ice, cream, etc
We are also trying to decide on an itinerary, but nothing is final yet. Some things that we thought of: Empire State Bldg, Statue of Liberty, Toys R Us, Disney Store, FAO Schwartz, Rock Center.
I know it's not food related, but any other ideas?
Thanks so much!
Rock Center Cafe
20 W 50th St, New York, NY 10020
First, we can't comment on non-food planning on this site but can help you find eateries convenient to wherever you're going.
But when you mention places for young kids, I think Chinatown. My favorite place for a banquet in Chinatown is South China Garden, and they would take reservations for 25 and would seat you at adjoining round tables that can be put together. If you go there, consider ordering one of the Chinese-language sets, with or without additions and subtractions.
If your kids eat red meat, Korean barbecue could also be really cool for them as long as they can be trusted not to burn their hands on the grill. :-) In which case, consider Madangsui or Don's Bogam. It helps if they have some tolerance for chili, but that's not a necessity; there are non-spicy barbecue items and banchan (complimentary side dish) plates.
On the less "exotic" end, there's pizza! I think your kids would enjoy going to Arturo's, which is full of history and photos, has a bathtub in the bathroom, and has good live jazz every evening. And most importantly, they have excellent pizza! I recommend the clam, mushroom, and margherita pizzas, in particular.
Also with the history and photos, there's Katz's. Any sandwich there will be too big for your kids, but you can get some and share. If they don't like pastrami, the brisket (juicy only) and corned beef are also excellent, and the turkey can be acceptable (definitely a step down from the other ones). And if your kids have never tried Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray, they may like it or hate it, but it'll be something new and interesting.
Near there is the Meatball Shop, an inexpensive place with very good meatballs in different combinations. I've enjoyed the classic beef and spicy pork meatballs so far. The pesto is excellent and the mushroom gravy is good. Salads have also been good, and the ice cream and cookies for dessert is of high quality. Just a good place, and it's loud, so children would be fine there. http://www.themeatballshop.com/menu.html
South China Garden
22 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013
35 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001
17 E 32nd St, New York, NY 10016
Arturo's is a great child friendly suggestion. They got major child friendly points on our recent trip there for bringing our two year old a plastic cup with a lid and straw when they brought us all water. The pizza and salads weren't as good as I had remembered, but the music is great, and helps make it a relaxed straightforward enjoyable place to get a bite.
For #3 you could check out Dylan's Candy Bar. They have all kinds of candy for kids to choose from (sold by weight mostly) and they have a sundae bar. If you're in times square, you can take the N or R train to 60th and 3rd right in front of Dylan's. This is Ralph Lauren's kid's store, I think....
Dylan's Candy Bar
1011 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10021
We did a 15 person family gathering/lunch at Otto in the Village two years ago. We did have to plan in advance but it was a good generational fit - the out of towners liked going to a Batali place, the kids love pizza and gelato and the wine, antipasta and gelato (and even the pizza) are good enough to keep the rest of us adults happy. it was loud and reasonably family friendly. Enjoy your visit.