After hearing all the hype, we took a family field trip to Hudson Yards to check out New York’s newest neighborhood. We spent half the day playing, exploring, eating, and enjoying. We visited all the requisite spots and all agreed it was a worthy trip and would even return. Here’s what we did….
Play, explore and get your art fix on with the kids
The fan favorite was hands-down the Public Square and Gardens, the five-acre public space with its centerpiece temporarily known as the Vessel. This signature space at Hudson Yards has five acres of public plazas, gardens, and groves and is the largest network of public spaces developed in Manhattan since Central Park. The Vessel itself is eye-catching and a new type of fun for locals and visitors alike. It was the clear highlight of the must-dos and we now understand why it is so highly photographed.
You can plan ahead and reserve a timed entry ticket in advance, or do what we did and get in line for same-day tickets at the kiosk. We entered the ticket line at 11 am and were granted entry for 11:40 am. Score! The reflective nature of the Vessel made for funny face-making and photo-taking along the way. My littlest lady loved climbing and kept saying “higher, please!” and felt a big sense of accomplishment at the top. Once we caught our breath at the top while reaping the reward of the climb: breathtaking city views and a view of the Hudson past the namesake railroad yards.
We had fun twisting and turning up and around the 2,500 steps to the top, visiting 80 landings and 154 interconnecting flights of stairs (meaning it is not stroller-friendly). There is also an elevator reserved for those with special needs only. There are also no bathrooms along the way so we made a quick descent to be able to find the closest facility inside the Hudson Yards complex. All along the way, we felt safe given the barriers and glass enclosures and enjoyed getting different city perspectives from angles above, below, and all around us.
Eat at these kid-friendly restaurants
After working up an appetite, we visited The Shops & Restaurants, a one-million-square-foot retail center featuring a collection of more than 100 diverse shops and culinary experiences. With 25 diverse restaurants at varying price points, there is truly something for everyone. My kids voted for lunch at Shake Shack and a treat at Li-lac Chocolates. It was the perfect combination. Hudson Yards offers dining delights from acclaimed global chefs and innovative culinary experiences with spectacular views, so one may need a return trip sans kiddos to fully indulge.
For even more family fun and activity, Snark Park and other imaginative cultural exhibitions keep little ones stimulated and happy. Our personal favorite was the interactive, magic sequin wall. They could have spent hours playing and creating with their favorite medium of sequins. Plan ahead to stretch out and unwind this summer by enlightening yourself at The Shed, a new center for art and inspiration, and turning up the adventure later this year with Edge, an outdoor space, a thousand feet in the air.
Shop cute clothes for the whole family
The super-chic baby boutique Milk & Honey Babies is now at Hudson Yards. As part of the “Floor of Discovery,” Milk & Honey Babies join other emerging retailers on the second floor of the new shopping and dining destination.
“At Milk & Honey Babies, new parents can shop and explore a modern selection of high quality, eco-friendly and non-toxic baby products in one convenient location,” says Ariana Adams, owner of Milk & Honey Babies.
Don’t forget to stop by H&M located on the 3rd and 4th floor, for this one has a kids department! At 34,000 square feet, this H&M covers women, men, and the kiddies over two floors of retail space. One stop will cover the entire family’s fashion needs.
Sugar & sweets at Hudson Yards
The Hudson Yards would not be complete without New York’s favorite candy, Dylan’s Candy Store — a kid’s dream. Kids will go crazy at this location which features over 7,000 confections.
There is still more to come and exhibits will be rotating for all the latest and greatest events at Hudson Yards.
To learn more, visit hudsonyardsnewyork.com
Jana Beauchamp is a Manhattan writer and mom of two