Finally, I’m starting to find my rhythm at managing my 4-month-old baby. I’m gaining more confidence in getting out of our apartment and experiencing some of the best tourist destinations that New York City has to offer. I’m very fortunate to be present in my daughter’s daily life and bring her along on exciting adventures. So let’s look at touring New York City with kids in tow.
Cruise around NYC on Circle Line
Last week, we hit the high seas (Hudson River) on the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise, soared 1,776 feet in the air for stunning views from the One World Trade Observatory, and gawked at Brown Bears and Sea Lions at the Central Park Zoo.
Ships ahoy! On one of the hottest days of the summer, my daughter and I hopped aboard the Circle Line Landmark Cruise. This semi-circle cruise (covers lower and midtown Manhattan) is perfect for touring New York City with kids of a younger age because it’s only 90 minutes, includes the option to sit in an air-conditioned, indoor cabin or outside on the main deck to let the wind tousle your hair, and cruises past the iconic “landmarks” that everyone wants to see – Empire State and Chrysler Buildings, One World Trade, Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty.
For our cruise, we got to kick the tires with Circle Line’s newly launched Premier Class. It’s the VIP, first class treatment, but on a boat cruise rather than on an airline flight. For a few bucks more than a regular ticket ($15 for the Landmark Cruise), you get reserved, cushioned indoor seating that was perfect for feeding a bottle to my baby, floor to ceiling windows so you don’t miss any of the spectacular views, plenty of legroom to stretch out, front-of-the line express entry, in-seat food and beverage service, and a reserved section of outdoor seats to escape to when you’re ready to snap photos.
My daughter was in great spirits which enabled us to meet the captain of our ship, enjoy the live narrative and commentary about the skyline from a seasoned expert (it irks me when boat operators have a pre-recorded narrative), and let the breeze tousle our hair as we relished in capturing photos together to document our amazing experience. There’s something magical about viewing the skyline and NYC landmarks from the water. My only disappointment was not being able to share the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise with my wife and son … so this will provide incentive to go back again soon.
Take your kids to the top of One World Observatory
Our next adventure over to One World Observatory was together with the whole family. I was skeptical about bringing a small baby into the chaos at One World Trade Center. Surprisingly, for such a new attraction, it was a well oiled machine with their timed ticket entry. Our family was quickly admitted through the entry gate and security in a matter of minutes. Next, we were whisked into an elevator pod and catapulted up to the 102nd floor Observatory in less than 60 seconds. Providing a virtual-reality experience that simulates being in a glass elevator was an absolute thrill. It was a tasty appetizer to the mesmerizing views from the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.
Standing in front of the gargantuan, glass windows and observing the horizon from every angle was intoxicating! You can really see forever! Prepare yourself for lots of “wow” factor during your experience and unparalleled views of the rivers, bridges, and skyline. I had the feeling like I was looking out from an airplane window and the next thing I knew a plane was streaking at eye level across the sky.
One World Observatory is a kid-friendly space that’s stroller accessible, and where the entire experience can be completed in less than an hour. The only negative feedback, aside from the steep admission price, is that you don’t have the opportunity to stand and take photos outdoors like at the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock. Next time, we want to visit during the sunset to watch the sun dip into the horizon and admire the skyline shimmering at night.
Disclosure Notice: We received complimentary admission passes for the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise and One World Observatory. The opinions on touring New York City with kids shared in this review are honest, entirely my own, and have not been influenced by the service providers.