Hey pretties! My family and I are back from our four-day weekend in NYC and it was even more magical than I had imagined. This was a bucket list trip that we’ve been planning to do for many years. Our kids are getting older and not so much into gifts anymore so we decided this experience would be part of their Christmas gift this year.
We stayed in mid-town Manhattan, close to everything, and met up with my niece and her husband who were also visiting NYC while we were there. That made it even more special! Here’s how we spent our four day weekend in NYC.
What We Did:
We arrived late Friday afternoon and hit the ground running, literally! Craig and I scored tickets to the taping of Seth Myers’ New Year’s Eve Special at the last minute. So we had to quickly eat lunch at a pizzeria near our hotel since we had to be in line by 4:45 for the taping. We Texans were shocked by the cold weather on our walk to the restaurant but it was SO warm once we were inside! All restaurants, stores, and museums in NYC were very warm, keep that in mind when packing, you’ll need lots of layers.
The Seth Myers’ taping was a very cool experience. The most disappointing part was that almost everything was pre-recorded so the only thing we got to watch live was his monologue and an interview with Leslie Jones, who was absolutely hilarious, especially when the cameras weren’t rolling! After the show, Seth came into the audience and answered questions for a few minutes, which was really cool. Craig got to ask him about the Steeler’s chances of making it to the Super Bowl (they’re both huge fans).
Immediately after we left NBC Studios, we walked outside to Rockefeller Plaza and met up with my niece and her husband who had picked our kids up from the hotel. We had dinner at an Italian restaurant at 30 Rock and then our whole group headed to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. The production quality was amazing and the show was highly entertaining! Totally worth it.
Day Two – The SNOW DAY!
The next morning we woke up to a fresh coating of snow in the city! Like a bunch of little kids, we threw on our coats and boots and headed out to explore. Our first stop was the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Then we headed to Central Park to have a snowball fight, just like in the movie Elf!
After playing in the snow for a while, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for a tour of NBC Studios. Again, I definitely recommend it. We are HUGE fans of SNL and because we were there on a Saturday, we got to watch a little of the rehearsal which was a real treat. The tour also includes the Tonight Show studio, some of the news studios and gives a behind the scenes look at what goes into the production of the shows.
After the NBC Studio tour, we went to lunch and regrouped before heading back to our hotel. Our oldest and youngest kids quickly fell asleep. Craig, our middle daughter Aubrey and I headed to the Upper West Side to meet the cutie in this picture, one of the members of Team GYPO, Nicole.
She’s been working behind the scenes on everything from helping me with social media to her latest project, working on our product development! She’s the sweetest person and I felt like we already knew each other even though this was the first time we’ve met in person. We had the most amazingly delicious, ooey-gooey cookies in the world from Levain Bakery.
After meeting with Nicole, we headed over to check out Chelsea Market – a lively indoor market of restaurants, food, and specialty stores and handicrafts. We had planned to do more that night but were exhausted so instead headed back to our hotel and ordered pizza and of course, watched SNL. 🙂
Since so much of our time up until this point had been scheduled out, we slept in on day three and had a late brunch at a diner near the hotel. After eating, we headed to Grand Central Terminal to ride the subway to the 9/11 Memorial. (Note: our son refused to get in this picture with us!)
We got an Uber and headed to Chinatown and Little Italy for a while before ending up in Times Square.
Times Square was as hustling and bustling as I had imagined. The set up for NYE was already starting to happen so it was pretty cool to get to see that.
We walked around Broadway for a while, regretting not getting tickets to any shows, before heading to 5th Avenue to check out the store window displays. It was cold and windy so we didn’t spend too much time but Saks was definitely the most impressive!
On our final day, we had booked a Statue of Liberty tour but we weren’t sure we’d have enough time to make it there and back before our flight. Plus it was cold and windy and none of us were keen on riding the Staten Island Ferry in those conditions. So we opted to visit the American Museum of Natural History instead. Good call! It was fascinating and something the whole family enjoyed, even our hard to please college student son. The dioramas are truly impressive.
After a few (very hot!) hours in the museum, we walked across the street to cool down in Central Park before heading to the airport for our flight home.
NYC Four Day Weekend Packing List
What I Packed:
Packing for this trip was pretty hard. It was mostly cold but our temps ranged from mid-20’s during the day to upper 50’s. It also snowed but quickly turned to rain. So we ran the gamut as far as the weather went. There were two must have’s for this trip – comfortable waterproof footwear and light layers. We did A LOT of walking and the streets were sloppy most of the time. The stores, restaurants, and museums were all very hot inside, so light removable layers were a must.
I pretty much stuck to the script and only packed pieces from the GYPO Winter Style Challenge and then mixed and matched them every day into casual outfits for most activities and slightly dressier versions for shows and dinner.
Tip: Pin this post, even if you don’t have a trip planned to NYC in the near future, it makes a good packing list for Chicago or any other cold-weather city you may visit!
- Faux Leather Leggings – Mine are fleece lined, super warm!
- Winter White Corduroys – these were a risk but I managed to somehow keep them clean
- Black Velvet Pants (not pictured above)
- Down Filled Parka
- Dressier Wool Coat
- Lightweight Fleece Jacket – for layering or on warmer days
- Warm Waterproof Boots – I wore these more than anything else
- Riding Boots
- Ankle Boots
- Cross Body Bag – this was great for the shows and attractions, just take an ID, your phone and a credit card.
- Tote Bag – perfect for all-day excursions, you can even stash your extra layers of clothing in here.
- Ear Warmer or Hat
- Plaid Blanket Scarf
- Fur Scarf
- Statement Necklace
It’s Your Turn: Have you been to NYC at Christmas? If so, add your packing tips to the comments!
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