I don’t know about you, but I think daycations are fabulous! They’re less prep, less packing, less costly, but can still be jam-packed with plenty of memory-making moments!
Our latest daycation was a jaunt to New York City! It was definitely an impromptu decision, but we had the time, interest and the weather was looking perfect for a day in the city!
We both enjoy museums, so visiting one is usually on the itinerary followed by a little bit of shopping, discovering a new fave food or eatery and in this case, a show at Radio City Music Hall!
One of our favorite things to do is make connections between books and things that we do! So, throughout this post we'll feature books that go along with the places that we went!
Our train departure was early, so between that and my dog waking me up, I was a bit bleary-eyed for the beginning of the day!
My daughter (and blogging partner) had the advantage of extra sleep and youth on her side, so she was starting out with more energy—which we would definitely need for the day!
Thankfully, my husband dropped us off at the train station which eliminated the whole ‘Where should I park issue?!’
We also had figured out our itinerary ahead of time and there was enough time to fit in one day, but there would be no dilly-dallying! My husband also knows I can be directionally challenged so he drew us two very easy-to-read maps!
Yes, I was bringing our Google Pixel, of course, but I really didn’t want to be pausing on a busy New York City sidewalk staring at a phone screen.
(I also found out later that because of the tall buildings, signals can be interrupted, so a word to the wise- either have a mini-map of your own or take a screen shot of what you need!)
Anyway, on with the day…
The train trip went smoothly— traveling by train is hands down my favorite way to travel! It was dark when we began our journey and we arrived as the city was welcoming its tourists and busy with those on their way to work.
As we came up to street level, the sites, sounds and morning flurry of New York City met us. It was chilly, but not freezing and the sun was promising to shine! Excellent weather for walking around in New York City!
Given that neither one of us was hungry, and we were anxious to stretch our legs after the train ride, we started on our way to our first stop on our itinerary- The Metropolitan Museum of Art!
There was a museum exhibit there that we were very interested in seeing and after consulting our little hand drawn map, we joined the others walking up Fifth Avenue excited to reach our destination.
Well, you know how when it’s brisk outside and you smell delicious food and it just makes you hungry even if you weren’t? Well, that happened about five minutes into our walk!
We passed this patisserie that had the most delectable pastries lined up in cases, that we just couldn’t resist!
A quick glance at the time assured us that we could spare a couple of minutes to see what was inside!
The warmth and heavenly aromas wrapped around us as we walked into Maison Kayser on Fifth Avenue. There were croissants, breads, eclairs, chocolate creations, cookies, layered bars and other exotic choices that are too numerous to mention! In addition, there were cases with individual quiches, delicious looking salads, fruit parfaits, wraps, sandwiches and other ready-to-eat choices perfect for a quick sit-down meal or snack to go.
We try to embrace new experiences and tastes when possible, so we decided to share an almond croissant that was wonderfully oversized and perfect for sharing. It was AMAZING! Unbelievably delicious, melt-in-your-mouth fresh and immediately soared to the top of my personal faves list!
Well, now that we were energized and had some solid calories to burn, we set off again determined to get to The Met without any distraction. The museum opened at 10 a.m. and we were determined to get there the minute it opened
That plan kind of worked! We had to stop and take some pics along the way which added a few minutes to our walk, but we couldn't resist!
I won't lie to you, it was a bit of a walk to get there and at several points I asked my daughter if she wanted to get a cab or find a metro entrance, but I guess she's as stubborn as I am and we decided to push through!
We knew we were getting closer as we walked along Central Park!
Our efforts were rewarded and we finally arrived at The Metropolitan Museum of Art!
As per the tip my husband gave us, we entered through the lower -coat check entrance to avoid the long lines. Also, the bathrooms are right there- and it's always good to know where those are!
A wonderful perk for New York State residents is the 'Pay What You Want' policy for entry to the museum. Just be sure to have a valid photo ID handy to show.
Now the Met is an enormous museum and you'll need many visits to enjoy it all! We were there specifically to see In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection which was at the other side of the museum. After asking a few security guards, we finally arrived and were ready to take it all in!
Luckily, we had attended mid-week and early in the day, so it was not overly crowded. As the day wore on, however, more and more fashion enthusiasts filled the rooms!
We observed, read placards and took lots of pics -non-flash photography is allowed. If you want to add to your library (whether or not you've been to the exhibit), click HERE for your own copy of this fantastic book.
The exhibit was absolutely fantastic! If you're interested in fashion history, this is a must-see! It's on display until May 17, 2020.
Following viewing the In Pursuit of Fashion exhibit we of course had to make a stop in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Gift Shop! They have more than one shop in the museum, FYI, so purchasing those necessary souvenirs and keepsakes is easy to do!
Being that we were planning on walking back (I know, we're crazy, right?!), we decided to get a quick bite to eat at The Met's cafeteria. The next time we go back to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I would definitely build in more time to try out one of the wonderful eateries that we found on Trip Advisor. There are delicious and affordable choices close to the museum and if the weather is agreeable, numerous food trucks are right outside if you like eating open air on the steps!
We had tickets to the 2 p.m. show at Radio City Music Hall, so we had to really walk briskly to get there in time.
Tip: Radio City Music Hall's website advises to arrive one hour before showtime to make sure you don't miss any of the start of the performance.
It's good advice, because it does take time to go through security, check out the souvenirs, take pics and all other pre-show prep!
The Rockettes were fantastic and we were in awe of the entire show! It was so much fun! Fantastic dancing, effects, music, and 'stage magic!' The orchestra was top notch and there are so many points in the show where you just don't know where to look- there are so many cool things to watch! The entire audience was enthralled for the entire 90 minutes!
Tip: The show is very dynamic and full volume and if you or your kids have sensitive hearing, bring along those squishy little earplugs. Or for kids, even earmuffs can make it a little less loud.
After the show was over and we settled on a couple of souvenirs, we were on to the next destination!
The American Girl store is always a fun stop and now that it's located in Rockefeller Center it just made sense to stop there afterwards!
Well, we weren't alone, for sure! I think all of those American Girl fans were spending their gift cards because it was very, very busy!
Now if you're wondering why we dropped by, here are our top reasons we love stopping by to visit the American Girl Store:
The great scenes or mini-exhibits that they have for the History girls!
The interactive and hands-on parts - check out the Volkswagen Bug that was in Julie's section! That was a fun photo op!
The Girl of the Year! The American Girl store goes full out for their Girl of the Year! There are displays, murals, interactives and every possible thing you can think of to have fun looking at!
If you love dolls and doll fashion, this is such a great place to explore! Clothes, accessories, scenes, and more await the doll enthusiast!
It's a gorgeous store and it is a feast for the eyes! It is glitzy and colorful and beautifully laid out!
Lastly, but certainly not least, the fantastic books! The American Girl stories are so well done! I'm pretty sure one of the main reasons my daughter is passionate about history is because of the American Girl stories. She's read just about every one (yes, the mysteries too!) and it was such an incredible way to be immersed in history!
Well, as much as we would have loved to stay longer at the American Girl store, we had another exhibit to get to!
Our last place that we wanted to visit was The Museum at FIT (the Fashion Institute of Technology). There was an exhibit there that was closing in a few days and we just had to see it! This was a busy day for fashion!
So, once again, we opted to walk to our next destination! We used my husband's map again, but I misread it! He did write down the actual address for the Museum at FIT, but it was tiny and I didn't see it!
Yes, can you believe it? We asked a NYC policeman, did the Google thing to make sure we'd get there in time and got right back on track!
Oh my gosh, I'm tired just remembering it! It was a lot of walking that day, we really should have been tracking our steps!
This was our second time visiting the Museum at FIT and we were excited to visit the exhibit: Paris, Capital of Fashion.
It was a fantastic exhibit! Stunning, Spectacular and Stylish! We'll let some of the photos speak for themselves...!
A wonderful way to end our day in New York City, we passed by another Maison Kayser patisserie and bakery on the way back to the train station. Of course we went inside!
We picked up a couple of delectable options to bring back with us - a chocolate Adagio, a layered fruit confection, a petite quiche for the train and one of those oversized almond croissants for my husband as a thank you for being our Uber driver and mapmaker! We never even saw a crumb of his croissant being that it was enjoyed as thoroughly as ours was!
After a long day in New York City, we were tired! We practically crawled back to Penn Station! We grabbed a couple slices of pizza, a smoothie and sat down wearily to wait for our train.
The ride back was quiet and the train was less crowded than it had been in the morning. As tired as we were, we both stayed awake. We had our dinner, read a little and before we knew it, we were meeting my Uber driver- aka husband and heading home!
Well, we hope that you've had a bit of fun walking around New York City with us!
If you're looking for a great place to visit, you can't go wrong with New York City! We're already planning where we want to go on our next visit!
Here are some more books that take place in New York City and scroll down for one more final window display!
Happy Travels! See you soon!
-April and Cenzia