NYC GUIDE user & travel friendly EDITION | Irvine Moms

New York City is not a place, it’s a world, a world of possibilities, opportunities, activities, memories, history, and more. This New York State has been the location for 381+ films, where 800 languages are spoken, and the home to around 8 million people. New York City can be an intimidating place to travel to for the first time, especially if you’re traveling with children. In this guide, you will see how you can get around the city and the activities you can do with your family while traversing the Big Apple.


Plan Your Visit To The Big Apple

If you like to plan ahead or just want a little taste of what New York offers, these website guides are the perfect place to start. Be curious and look through all the different activities and experiences that New York has available for you to enjoy!

  • Big Apple Greeter – Founded in 1992 by Lynn Brooke, Big Apple Greeter is known as the world’s first free “Welcome Visitor” program. Their mission is to enhance New York City’s image and the New York experience by connecting tourists and visitors with the city. Request a greeter to show you New York City from an insider’s perspective.

  • NYCgo – This NYC Official Guide includes what is new in the city, where to explore during specific seasons, all about the different neighborhoods, NYC local legends, blogs, and just about everything you need to know about New York City.

  • Iloveny – This guide informs about things to do, places to do, places to stay, events, blogs, and also helps you plan your trip. Expand your horizons by exploring theirs!

  • Visit New York – “Come and Dream in the City that Never Sleeps”. Visit New York assists you in planning your trip to New York smoothly and gives you many options in hotels, car rentals, flights and more.

  • Introducing New York – This amazing New York travel guide assists you in planning your perft New York trip! Offering hotel deals, car rentals, flights, airport transfers, and even guided tours!

  • 12 Things Every First Timer MUST DO When Visiting NYC ! – Here Be Barr shows us the 12 things every first-time NYC visitor should do! Some of the activities he mentions are watching a broadway show, going to a rooftop view, and exploring Central Park!

  • Everything YOU NEED to know before coming to NYC | 20 LOCAL TIPS 🗽 – Sarah Funk tells us everything we need to know before coming to the city! This video is aimed at first-timers in New York and includes many helpful tips!

  • New York City Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia – Expedia created this New York City travel guide to show interested viewers some of the most amazing places to visit!




How To Get Into The City

The first question a parent may have is how they will get from the airport to the hotel with all their bags and children. There are a couple of options here: a car service or taxi. If you decide to take this route, be ready for traffic going into the city as well as a fairly expensive ride. The average price for an Uber into Manhattan from JFK is around $74 and $52 if you’re traveling from LGA. Taxi prices from JFK into Manhattan have a flat fare of $52 plus any tolls and a surcharge of $4.50 on weekdays between the hours of 4 PM and 8 PM. Prices vary when traveling anywhere else in the city outside of Manhattan. As for taxi rides from LGA into any part of the city there are no flat fares and the regular metered rate is applied.


The cheapest option for both LGA and JFK airports would be to take a bus that goes straight into the city or connects to a subway station. An option that JFK has that LGA doesn’t as of yet is the AirTrain which connects all passenger terminals to various areas of the airport but most importantly to New York’s public transportation network at Jamaica and Howard Beach Stations. The AirTrain is open every day of the year for 24 hours a day and is free unless you decide to grab the subway from either one of the Jamaica or Howard Beach Stations where you will have to pay a $8.00 fee payable only by MetroCard.


  • NYCgo gives you tips and advice on how to get around in New York City using subways, buses, taxis, trams, cars, bikes, and other methods.

  • Finding the Universe lists transportation options like the usual buses, subways, taxis, etc. But they also mention ferries, pedicabs, walking, helicopter, and many other options.

  • LaGuardia Airport offers FREE LaGuardia Link Q70 bus service to LaGuardia Airport.

    • From the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue subway station, the LaGuardia Link Q70-SBS bus provides non-stop service to LaGuardia Airport. Connections are available from the E, F, M, R trains at Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue or the 7 at 74th St-Broadway subway station.

    • From Long Island, take the LIRR train to Queens and connect to the LaGuardia Link Q70-SBS from the LIRR Woodside station.

    • From upper Manhattan, Westchester, and Connecticut, take the M60-SBS bus, which stops at Harlem 125th Metro-North Station, making multiple stops along 125th Street en route to LaGuardia Airport.


Ready To Explore

Once in the city and settled down you’ll be able to explore and enjoy your time in New York. Some may believe that getting around the city will be difficult with children but it is easier than you may think. If you decide to ride in taxis you must bring your own car set but children under the age of seven are permitted to ride on their parents lap. As for traveling around on the subway there are many stops that have elevators if you’re getting around with a stroller.

  • 1 Ave. – L train.

  • 14 St./8 Ave. – A, C, E, and L.

  • 14 St.-Union Square – L, N/Q/R/W trains; 4/5/6 is not accessible.

  • 23 St. – 6 train.

  • 28 St. – 6 train, downtown only.

  • 34 St.-Herald Square – B/D/F/M and N/Q/R/W.

  • 34 St.-Penn Station – 1/2/3 and A/C/E.

  • 34 St.-Hudson Yards – 7 train.


Here is a full list of all the stations with elevators and where to locate them.


Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) buses provide service between LaGuardia Airport, Manhattan, Queens and beyond with connection to the subway, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad. For details on getting to LGA by MTA buses and subways.

  • For more information, click here


A one-way trip on MTA buses or subways costs $2.75. Use OMNY by tapping your own contactless credit or debit card, phone wallet, or wearable device onboard the bus. No MetroCard or bus ticket needed. Use any door to board. Use the same card or device for a free transfer between bus and subway within two hours.


You can also purchase a MetroCard at vending machines located throughout LaGuardia Airport terminals. Then use the MetroCard to get a bus ticket from the curbside ticket machines. Use the same MetroCard for a free transfer between bus and subway within two hours.


Activities To Do With Your Family

Now that transportation is covered you may be wondering what you should do in the city. Here are a few activities that is perfect for all families to enjoy.


  • Fable & Lark: Storied Adventures offers interactive, experiential museum tours and scavenger hunts inspired by great stories. The tours use iconic tales to highlight the art, and the art to illuminate the stories.

    • We use games, activities, handouts, cool materials, fun takeaways, and even entirely new formats to create engaging museum experiences in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    • Become part of the story in our fairy tale-inspired tour. See places and spaces inspired by wizards in our Magical Arts tour. And epic fantasies have never been more epic than in our epic-fantasy-inspired tour. And don’t forget our scavenger hunts, inspired by mythical creatures, classic space epics, and more.

    • If booked, the tour guide will contact you to let you know where to meet, some tours could go from 45 min – 2 hours. Time to get excited you are in good hands with your enthusiastic and attentive tour guide!

    • Join us–because that’s how you museum

  • American Museum of Natural History –  Founded 1869, the Museum has advanced its global mission to discover, interpret, and disseminate information about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe through a wide-ranging program of scientific research, education, and exhibition. This is a great family activities for you and your children to learn together!

  • Children’s Museum of the Arts – Created in 1988, children and artists collaborate to produce ambitious works of art that are shared with their communities and the rest of the world at the Children’s Museum of the Arts. Their programs are also 100% free. Let your kids enjoy themselves at this museum made for them!

  • Skyscape – A leading brand for the future generation in entertainment and culture. Skyscape produces narratives and experiences that encourage people to unlock their inner potential. Pretend you are a secret agent or a spy and test your sneaky skills at this interactive activity!

  • Cricket’s Candy – Cricket’s career is based on her sincere ability to connect with kids via cooking and eating. For more than 20 years, she has made healthy eating everything but dull with her family-oriented seminars, events, and festivals. She thinks it’s important to give kids alternative educational opportunities so they can develop their creativity and learn through doing.

  • Take Walks – Their philosophy is that the best way to travel is to take walks. Take walks offers most exclusive and beautifully designed small group tours in the industry. Participate in this intimate and unique tour and expand your love and knowledge for the city.

  • City Experiences is a leading provider of world-class experiential travel offerings featuring a vast array of water and land-based experience offerings in top cities around the world including Barcelona, Boston, Chicago, London, New York City, Paris, Rome and San Francisco, amongst others (114 countries, 125 U.S. cities alone!).

    • Ranging from ferry operations to iconic tourism landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Alcatraz and Niagara Falls to Whale Watching in Boston and San Diego or walking tours like an exclusive opportunity to open the iconic Vatican in Rome with the Keymaster himself, City Experiences provides vibrant, exclusively curated offerings and personal connectivity, all delivered through its own unmatched Crew and expert Tour Guides.

    • Last spring, City Experiences became the new brand name for Hornblower Group’s growing world-class water- and land-based offering portfolio. Since then, with 9+ acquisitions, including new land-based companies, City Experiences has further developed our portfolio outside its maritime roots, now providing a total experiential travel itinerary for our guests.

    • To further build brand connectivity and enhance the user journey for its guests, City Experiences has launched a new website, rolling out a new marketing campaign, as well as a new guest rewards program.

    • You can also take a tour guide of the city such as the Hop-on Hop-off  NYC bus tours.

Don’t Forget Your Bathroom Breaks

Having fun all day with your family in the City will cause some surprise bathroom breaks! We have listed some places that have restrooms, so you don’t have to panic.

  • Barnes n Noble

  • Trader Joe’s

  • Whole Foods

  • Krispy Kreme Times Square (make sure to keep your receipt!)

  • Bloomingdale’s

  • Capital One Cafe

  • M&M Store in Times Square on the 3rd floor

  • Grand Central Station Food Court


Dining Options

New York City’s food and dining scene is unique and one-of-a-kind. Looking for a perfect place to eat does not have to be complicated. NYC has hidden gems, and we will guide you into finding your perfect plate! Wherever you end up, it will sure to be a pleasant experience.


  • ICHIRAN – The world’s leading expert in Tonkotsu ramen, ICHIRAN was conceptualized by President & CEO Manabu Yoshitomi in Fukuoka, the epicenter of this ramen movement. The family-owned business started in Fukuoka as a simple ramen stall in 1960 and ultimately created the “Five Originals” for Tonkotsu ramen including Original Spicy Red Sauce, aromatic Tonkotsu broth, solo dining booths, order forms and the Kae-Dama ordering system.

    • At ICHIRAN the star of the show is the Tonkotsu ramen comprised of the Hakata-style homemade thin noodles, which are prepared daily factoring in the humidity and temperature that day; the classic Tonkotsu broth made  with purest filtered water and pork bones and the Original Spicy Red Sauce (Hiden no Tare), a togarashi pepper-based sauce aged and cooked slowly with more than 30 different types of spices, which is ICHIRAN’s greatest secret.

  • Moms NYC – This american restaurant features modern comfort food, all day brunch, adult beverages and a great atmosphere!

  • Tin Building – The Tin Building by Jean-Georges is a sprawling food emporium located inside one of New York’s most historic landmarks. Come hungry. Leave with your imagination stirred

  • Malibu Farm – Here in New York, they’re bringing you a taste of the Malibu. Malibu Farm is a home, a community, and a desire to live local, eat local, and celebrate. With their service that feels white glove and the cocktails are strong enough to perk you up for the walk back to the cab or train. Enjoy delicious healthy food, using mostly whole wheat flour and whole grains,  lots of veggies, and fruits. This is a destination alone to dine in a picturesque setting.

  •  YOSHINO · NEW YORK by Sushi Master Tadashi Yoshida is one of the most important sushi openings in New York to date. The restaurant is the United States debut of one of Japan’s most respected Sushi Masters and former owner of Sushi-ya no Yoshino and Sushi no Yoshino, which was acclaimed as one of the top sushi restaurants outside of Tokyo. His meticulous approach to sourcing and matching ingredients and exceptional skill at balancing flavor and texture have earned him an international reputation as one of the leading forces in elevated culinary craftsmanship in the art of sushi making. Chef Yoshida showcases his techniques in a 21-course omakase service, combining classic edo-mae style sushi with subtle French influence, served on a 10-seat sushi counter composed of a single piece of hinoki wood that is over 300 years old.

  • Jungsik, the highly acclaimed two-starred Michelin restaurant from world renowned Chef Jung Sik Yim was first to introduce New Korean cuisine to New York. The Tribeca kitchen is helmed by Executive Chef Daeik Kim (Culinary Institute of America) who trained under 2021 Michelin Guide Blanc Pain New York Young Chef award winner Suyoung Park as sous chef for two years. Jungsik is included in La Liste’s 2022 Top 1000 World’s Best Restaurants and highlights a nine-course signature menu with supplemental options available as well as an award-winning wine list and craft cocktails. The signature menu has consistently seen small variations in both presentation and flavor profiles since the opening of the restaurant. For more information about Jungsik, select photos and a comprehensive press release can be found here.

  •  The Oval, a 30-seat Chef’s tasting counter nested in La Devozione at Chelsea Market, was conceptualized by Giuseppe Di Martino, third generation Owner of renowned Pastificio Di Martino to take diners on a culinary journey for the best use of the Di Martino’s varied pasta shapes with imported and local seasonal ingredients. Each dish in the seven-course pasta tasting menu is based on classic Italian recipes, reimagined by Giuseppe and Executive Chef Alessio Rossetti in modern and experimental ways. Every aspect of each course is rooted in specificity beginning with the uniqueness of the dry pasta shapes paired with specific ingredients and flavor notes. The dishes are presented with custom-made tableware and flatware, and Zalto glassware, all designed to augment the dining experience. The courses are paced in such a way that the chef can seamlessly serve up to fifteen diners at once, including parties with different start times. As the perfect pasta is served al dente, Giuseppe has devised a serving method at The Oval to allow diners to indulge in the pasta at its peak texture, between 10 and 40-seconds after the dish is finished.

  • Michelin-recognized Sweetbriar is the lively modern American restaurant well-known for bridging the gap between contemporary cuisine and classic favorites. Executive Chef Bryce Shuman harnesses live-fire cooking and the bounty of New York to create fresh seasonal dishes with impeccable, yet simple presentations. Known for his time at Betony and Eleven Madison Park, Chef Bryce garnered three stars from the New York Times, One Michelin Star, and was named 2015 Food and Wine Magazine “Best New Chef”. With his menu, Sweetbriar focuses on live fire cooking with wood and charcoal, seasonal vegetables, and prime meats.

  • CASA TuLuM, from Managing Partner Luis Villanueva and Chef/Partner Rodrigo Abrajan (El Paso NYC), is a newly opened, stylish Mexican restaurant designed to elicit the feel of a luxurious Tulum beach house located in the South Street Seaport. The restaurant’s menu is focused on the best seafood dishes from across Mexico with heavy emphasis on the Seafood Bar, tacos, and authentic signature dishes from Tulum and the Yucatan Peninsula. CASA TuLuM is the downtown debut for Chef Rodrigo, who achieved neighborhood acclaim in Harlem with his El Paso Taqueria restaurants. For this new concept, Chef Rodrigo has created a concise menu marrying the cuisine of Tulum and Mexico’s coastal cities with the history of the seaport. Originally from Puebla, he has traveled the country learning and perfecting his recipes to create truly authentic Mexican cuisine. The Beverage Program was designed by Luis Villanueva, who previously designed the cocktail menus at Havana Alma de Cuba, Cuba, La Pulperia, and worked at Astoria’s Blend on the Water for three years. His cocktails are inspired by the natural beauty found all along the Mexican coastline, expressed through seasonal ingredients and spices to pair with Chef Rodrigo’s cuisine.

  • Steak Frites Bistro is the newly opened Parisian style bistro from Chef/Owner Adam Schop. The restaurant introduces classic French fare in an environment familiar to popular bistros found on the side streets of Paris to Hell’s Kitchen. The experience also includes a thoughtfully curated wine list and cocktail program to complement the cuisine. The restaurant’s dinner and weekend brunch menus provide options for every diner—from those looking to indulge in a multicourse French meal to those on the hunt for a quick, delicious bite—including French, Francophiles, and neighborhood clientele. The Beverage Program was designed by French-Canadian Alex Cajuste, the Beverage Director of Miss Lily’s 7A Cafe. Cajuste has created cocktails that use French spirits as the base.

  • noreetuh, the Michelin-recognized modern Hawaiian restaurant with influences from Asia and the Pacific Rim offers a variety of carefully organized plates. The menu was designed by Executive Chef- Partner Chung Chow (Per Se, Lincoln Restaurant), a native Hawaiian and does not include any of tiki kitsch. At noreetuh the chef-driven cuisine and focus on customer service are unparalleled at the price point. Managing Partner Jin Ahn has expertly curated an extensive wine line list that has been awarded Wine Spectator’s Best Award of Excellence five years in a row.

  • Michelin-recognized Hortus NYC is a stylish, modern Asian restaurant that emphasizes a design-forward atmosphere, and menu of carefully curated dishes that blend the flavors of Southeast Asia. The menu, designed by Executive Chef Lenny Moon (Jungsik, Pado, Bari) takes diners on an eclectic culinary adventure as he infuses pan-Asian flavors with European techniques. The restaurant features a bi-level dining room and hidden garden, that includes both heaters and air conditioning to ensure customers can enjoy a meal in the picturesque space regardless of the weather.

  • 8282, located on the Lower East Side, focuses on serving elevated modern Korean cuisine in a casual setting. The restaurant is owned by the affianced couple, previously owners of Pado, Chef Bong Le Jo (Perry St, Dovetail and Kissaki) and Jee Kim, who makes frequent trips to Seoul to ensure 8282’s menu remains authentic. The menu is divided into two categories: small plates called Anju, which means food you eat with alcohol in Korean, and larger shared plates named Banju, meaning alcohol paired with good food. The inventive and playful dishes are complimented by a wide selection of premium Soju as well as craft cocktails.

  • La Devozione in Chelsea Market is the latest opening of Giuseppe Di Martino, third-generation owner of Pastificio Di Martino. The multi-faceted space was designed as a tribute to pasta and includes a retail shop featuring more than 120 of DiMartino’s pasta shapes, two restaurants, Italian cocktail bar and a counter for pasta to go. The goal of La Devozione is to introduce the New York audience to Giuseppe’s renowned dry pasta and Neapolitan culture, while allowing guests to enjoy the different shapes of pasta with their ideal ingredient pairings. A Tavola is the casual restaurant in La Devozione where guests are invited to experience a wide array of Di Martino’s pasta shapes, located at the store’s entrance is the pasta To-Go Counter which features three pastas for take-away, and the Retail Store features a multitude of brightly packaged portions of pasta in a one stop-shop boutique featuring more than 120 varieties of pastas and other branded items.

  • GG Tokyo is a hidden jewel box-sized izakaya that evokes the vibes of Tokyo’s famed Golden Gai district known for its lively vibe and patronage of musicians, artists, writers, academics, and celebrities. The menu was designed to feature innovative Japanese-inspired dishes conceptualized for sharing with a group of friends. It is ideal for cocktail hour, dinner, or late-night bites, beginning with a raw bar, small plates, large plates. GG also offers sashimi, pressed sushi rolls and handrolls, as well as a four-course tasting menu, available at the six-seat sushi counter. The beverage program was designed by Beverage Director Ivan Papic in collaboration with Head Bartender Sasa Radovanovic with the vision to recreate classic cocktails with a Japanese twist.

  • La Pulperia located in Hell’s Kitchen provides diners with fun, innovative Latin American cuisine and cocktails, showcasing renditions of familiar dishes infused with cross-cultural flair. The kitchen is led by Executive Chef Miguel Molina, who arrived in New York in 1996 and worked in French and Italian restaurants throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, finding a knack for composing seafood dishes and mixing ingredients. He prides himself on his creativity reimagining dishes from Latin and South American countries like Peru, Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico, to create and plate dishes that are totally unique. The menu features classic Latin dishes re-imagined and intricately plated showstoppers, which mirror performances on Broadway located just a few blocks away. The cocktail menu is composed of classic cocktails redesigned with South American spirits created by Daniel Villanueva.

  • The Office of Mr. Moto – This unique dining experience is a hidden treasure. The Office of Mr. Moto is a speakeasy that is actually disguised as a locksmith / shoe repair shop. The experience offers its guests a seasonally curated menu reminiscing Japanese gastronomy’s history.


Time To Relax

Everyone gets tired when sightseeing and trying new things while on vacation. To get a break, you can stop at several places around NYC and take in the calming nature of the city.

  • Central Park – Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States, with approximately 40 million visitors per year from around the world. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, it is a beautiful and welcome hiatus for New Yorkers and tourists alike. Take a calming stroll at one of most popular park in the United States!

  • Brooklyn Botanical Garden – Brooklyn Botanic Garden is an urban botanic garden that connects people to the world of plants, fostering delight and curiosity while inspiring an appreciation and sense of stewardship of the environment. Appreciate the greenery and have a peaceful time at this beautiful garden.

  • New York Chinese Scholars Garden – The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden is part of the Staten Island Botanical Garden, located in the Snug Harbor Cultural Center. Materials were shipped to Staten Island in the spring of 1998, when a team of 40 Chinese artists and artisans from Suzhou constructed the garden. Enjoy the beautiful bridges, paths, and the nature while you have a relaxing moment.

  • New York Public Library – The New York Public Library has been an essential provider of free books, information, ideas, and education for all New Yorkers for more than 125 years. Founded in 1895, NYPL is the nation’s largest public library system. The New York Public Library provides an extraordinary richness of resources and opportunities available to all.

  • The Morgan Library and Museum – A museum and independent research library located in the heart of New York City, the Morgan Library & Museum began as the personal library of financier, collector, and cultural benefactor Pierpont Morgan. As early as 1890 Morgan had begun to assemble a collection of illuminated, literary, and historical manuscripts, early printed books, and old master drawings and prints.

  • Poets House – If you are more of a poet, this is the place for you. Poets House is a comfortable, accessible place for poetry—a library and meeting place which invites poets and the public to step into the living tradition of poetry. Poets House seeks to document the wealth and diversity of modern poetry, to stimulate dialogue on issues of poetry in culture, and to cultivate a wider audience for the art.



Adult Friendly Experiences

Although you’re traveling with your children there may be a few moments during your trip where you can spend some alone time or go out with friends or your partner to have some adult fun. Here’s a list of a few adult-friendly activities to do in the city.


  • Catacombs by Candlelight -The Basilica of St. Patrick Old Catherdral was built in 1809-1815 and was also the first cathedral built in New York. The foundations of the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral have been used as the resting place for many who have passed away. Take this 90-min tour that takes you around these catacombs in its entirety!

  • Attaboy, LES – Previously named Milk & Honey, this bar is completely hidden behind a regular-looking gray door. Ring the particular doorbell and see that surprise lies inside! This bar also has no drink menu, just let them know what you’re in the mood for and trust the bartender!

  • Employees Only – The style of this bar in the West Village, NY, is that of the prohibition era. They offer special and unique drinks to their guests while also serving a “New American” menu for dinner. Employees Only firmly believes that one can ‘enjoy flawless executed cocktails’. If you’re looking for classy and elevated drinks and food, this is the place!

  • The Rose Room – Enjoy your night at this fantastic circus speakeasy! The Rose Rooms conveys the best nightlife entertainment. They mix ‘old-world vaudeville’ with ‘NYC’s underground circus scene’, sounds like a unique experience! This amazing experience is located at the Producer’s Club in Manhattan.

  • New York Philharmonic –  Have a lovely and romantic evening attending the famous New York Philharmonic. This group has evolved into becoming one of the top acts in the 2023 Opera world and they are one of the leading American orchestras.

  • Little Sister Lounge – This intimate cocktail lounge takes you back to East Village’s 1990s lounge scene settings. Visit this seductive lounge and enjoy its classy drinks and beautiful vintage decor.

  • The Wiggle Room – This fun nightclub is seen as a casual club encouraging ‘softened socialization.’ They have two levels; their atmosphere is funky and has disco vibes. It’s a beautiful and fun environment!


New York… It Puts A Spell On You!


No matter where you go in the city, you will always find or do something unique. The sights, activities, and food are only a small part in such a big city. As many people say, “If you follow your heart just right, it will get you to New York City.”

Join The Irvine Moms Community

Stay up-to-date with what is happening in-and-around the Irvine Moms community with local events, community highlights, and exclusive deals.