Coolest Drink: Neely’s Barbeque Parlor
Opened by Food Network stars Pat and Gina Neely, Neely’s has the coolest, wackiest kids drinks on the menu. Our fave is the Fish Bowl–ginger ale with floating Swedish Fish candy.
A NYC Tradition: Serendipity 3
The Frrrozen Hot Chocolate here is trademarked—it’s that good. And no summer in New York is complete without a visit to Serendipity 3—just try to go on the weekdays, as they don’t take reservations and the wait can get ridiculous.
Shake It Up: Shake Shack
Love it or hate it, Shake Shack is one of a kind in NYC—and you know there’s nowhere else to go for a shake when the frozen deliciousness is in the establishment’s name. You can get fancy and do a mix-in with your favorite candy, but the traditional black and white is a standout.
Classic Ice Cream Sundae: Big Daddy’s
Both Big Daddy’s locations, in the UES and Union Square, pack a mighty punch when it comes to dessert for the minis. You’ll have to ask them to make the treats smaller—the typical sundae is enough for two or three, and at least as many smiles!
Gelato With A View: Ciao Bella World Financial Center
Even though you can find pints of Ciao Bella’s homemade gelato in grocery stores, it’s so much better hand-dipped and definitely worth trekking downtown for—especially given the many kid-friendly parks in the neighborhood. The portions are small but pack in tons of flavor.
Ice Cream On A Stick (Not From A Truck): Pop Bar
Pop Bar, where you can outfit gelato, sorbet, or yogurt popsicles in a host of chocolate dippings and crunchy toppings, is the coolest thing to happen to ice cream in the West Village. The treats and dressings are made purely from all-natural ingredients and the freshest fruits, so they’re guilt-free, too. The Chocolate Popgelato dipped in white chocolate is insane.
Water 2.0: Rita’s Water Ice
Maybe it’s because I’m a Jersey girl at heart, but on a hot, hot day, there is nothing better than cold, sweet water ice (known to some as Italian ice) to cool you down. And Rita’s does it right—though the treats are fat-free, standout flavors like cherry and lemon won’t leave you feeling cheated.
When in Chinatown….: Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
The minis may not be interested in the ginger or taro flavors, but experiencing the hustle and bustle of Chinatown in and of itself makes visiting this NYC institution worthwhile. For an ethnic but kid-friendly twist, try the sweet almond cookie or fruity lychee flavors.
Carla Sullivan is the founder and Mommy Muncher of MiniMunchers.com, the internet’s only source for restaurants that are kid-friendly in Manhattan. For menus for the above and more, visit www.minimunchers.com