Extended Weekend Getaway: 4 Days In NYC - The Cleveland Moms

Over spring break in April, our monthly trip took us to NYC which fun fact: is where I’m originally from. I haven’t been back in years & it has always been on my list to visit now that my son is older. He had been asking to see where mom grew up/lived, so we finally planned an extended weekend to my hometown.

We took a direct flight from CLE to LGA (LaGuardia airport) on American Airlines. The flight was barely an hour & a half. As soon as we took off, it felt like we were already landing. One of my favorite flights ever, so short! Highly recommend flying in. If you know anything about NYC, driving can be a nightmare. From the airport we utilized Lyft to get to our AirBnB in Brooklyn. We were so thankful our host let us check in early which helped just dropping our bags & being able to start our day (more on our rental in a bit.)

We spent the first half of our day going around & seeing the house I grew up in + the schools I went to. Talk about nostalgic! Majority of my schools were spread out all over Brooklyn so we mostly used Lyft & the train to get around for this. When we were done going down memory lane, we headed over to Coney Island, a staple of my childhood! It was super hot the first day we were there (remember that heat wave in April? That’s when we were in NYC.) After walking around the boardwalk for a little & getting Nathan’s/walking through the amusement park, we took refuge at the New York Aquarium. If you have this on your list to visit, I’d highly recommend going when they first open. We went mid-day (but it was also spring break) & it was jam packed. Be sure to watch the sea lion show!

Day 2 was full on playing tourist! We started the day off early & headed to the Statue of Liberty. Tickets include the ferry ride to/from Manhattan along with whatever you choose to do. We got tickets to go up to the pedestal. We originally wanted to do the crown but they were already sold out so if you’re thinking of doing the Statue of Liberty, make sure you get your tickets ahead of time. Tickets there also include the ferry ride to Ellis Island which is free to visit so we also headed there. My son had recently covered this in his social studies class & was excited to see it in person.

Afterwards, we headed to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. On 9/11, I was living in NYC as a teenager. This was my/our first time at the Memorial & Museum. It was an incredibly sobering experience. I would not recommend going into the museum with little kids. That’s just my personal take on it. The memorial is accessible to the public & free which to me would be enough to visit if your kids are young.

The memorial & museum is right next to the Oculus. What I didn’t know before is that there is a HUGE shopping center inside of it. For some reason, I just thought it was a train station so we walked around here for a bit which was a nice way to beat the heat. When we regrouped for a bit, we went on our own little walking tour & visited the Ghostbusters Headquarters. This was super fun to see & it is a fully functional firehouse! On the way to our next stop, we literally stumbled upon the new Bean sculpture. I had seen this on social media but did not have it in our plans since I was little unsure of our exact itinerary. I looked down one street for a second trying to figure out our next route & saw it at the end of the road so we had to stop by! Our last stop for the day was the Charging Bull in the financial district. After that we were pretty spent so we headed back to our AirBnb for a few hours.

After some r&r, we did go back out once the sun set to see the city lights at night. We went to Brooklyn Bridge Park for this & it was absolutely gorgeous. We concluded the night in our hot tub – highly recommend where we stayed if you’re a small family.

Day 3 was another fun filled day exploring Manhattan. First, we headed to Central Park since I had seen on social media there was still a good chance at seeing cherry blossoms in bloom. There wasn’t a ton (we were probably off by a week or so) but we did find a section with beautiful pink ones. After walking around & taking pics, we headed to our next stop – Roosevelt Island. Getting to the island involves a tramway over the East River & counts as a metrocard swipe. I had actually never been to the island in all my time living in NYC as kid/teenager so this was a fun experience for all of us. A section of the island was lined with cherry blossoms in bloom & it was just gorgeous. There’s not much else to do on the island so we headed out after stopping for a quick snack.

Our next stop was Times Square! This was at the top of my son’s to-do list & was pretty amazing seeing his face experience it all. We stopped by Hershey’s Chocolate World M&M’s World. After we played tourists there, we walked over to Radio City Music Hall (just to take pics) & Rockefeller Center. FAO Schwartz was right there so we stopped in just to beat the heat. Afterwards, we decided to take a Lyft over to see the Vessel at Hudson Yards. Hudson Yards is a HUGE shopping center which I had no idea about. We walked around there for a bit before heading back to our AirBnb.

Day 4 was our last day & we spent the morning checking out the views in DUMBO & of course, had to visit the Insta-worthy bridge view.

Overall, this trip was one for the books! It seems like we did a ton but left saying how much MORE there is left on my list of places to visit. I’m fairly certain we’ll be back again soon.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to reach out & contact me HERE!

To catch up on our other monthly trips, head to the Travel Section HERE.


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