Last week was a busy week for us. Jason worked from home, and we took shifts from shuffling the kids to school and activities, in between our own meetings and conference calls. Needless to say, by Friday, we were exhausted, and couldn’t wait for the weekend to start. We had something super special planned that we decided to keep a secret from the kids until they came home from school on Friday afternoon. We were heading to Langham Place, in Midtown, for a staycation weekend. When the big ones got home, we told them to pack their backpacks before we head out. They were both super excited, and not understanding exactly where we were headed, they kept asking questions about where we were going and if we were getting on a plane.
Staycations are sometimes the best vacations, especially in NYC. After living in one area of Manhattan for so long, we try to rediscover our city whenever possible. With so many different things to experience here, it amazes me how a different neighborhood in the city can bring you to a completely different place and adventure. For me, this is why NYC never gets old, even having grown up here. I still get a thrill spending the day in Central Park or going to Little Italy for dinner.
From the moment we walked into the luxe hotel, we immediately felt relaxed. Our room was quite outstanding and perfect for a family of 5. It was a one bedroom suite complete with a full kitchen, 2 bathrooms, and majestic views of the Empire State Building. The kids kept glaring out the window, saying they felt like they can touch the ESB. I don’t think we’ve ever really been eye level and that close with it in the past.
A special treat which made them absolutely giddy were three large chocolate chip cookies with their names waiting in our room for them. They were each able to take a quick taste before we headed to dinner. With our late arrival time and the frigid cold temperatures outside, we decided to dine at the hotel restaurant Ai Fiori. The hostess accepted our late reservation request, and the maitre d couldn’t have been more accommodating by offering our family a private room. Dining out with my children, especially at higher end establishments, can sometimes be a challenge because we want them to enjoy themselves without other diners experiencing the riff raff. This secluded seating arrangement left Jason and I to enjoy our meal, without asking them repeatedly to quiet down and not to disturb the others.
The next day we enjoyed a lazy Saturday morning in the room. We ordered room service for breakfast, which was a total treat for the kids. Everything was prepared perfectly, and it was refreshing to enjoy a breakfast with the kids, without the cooking or cleaning. In fact, on Monday morning, when I asked Siella what she wanted for breakfast (back in our apartment, mind you), she suggested room service!
Saturday afternoon, we headed uptown to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The last time we were here Siella was just a baby, so it was nice to see both Ryder and Siella actually appreciating their surroundings, and asking lots of questions about the artwork. Siella adored The Ballet section and Ryder was in awe over a Picasso piece that he claims looked like an action figure. Gemma didn’t have any questions, but she tried to touch everything!
The museum didn’t seem as packed as others are over the weekend, but I suppose with an institution of this size, you would find it hard to feel cramped. With so many precious works to absorb, it’s difficult to take it all in during one afternoon. We ran through the museum (and after the kids) , but I can assure you we will be headed back soon. It’s amazing what an experience in another part of the city will do, we felt like we were miles away from home.
In all my years of growing up and living in NY, somehow I have never taken a horse and buggy ride through Central Park, so it was easy to decide what we were going to do following our afternoon at the museum. We took a cab down to the park, where the horses lined up along 59th Stret as if they were part of the skyline. Before we boarded the carriage, the kids fed the horse some carrots, and pet their manes. During our buggy ride, it was lovely to take in snow covered Central Park, while the kids giggled and waved to joggers, park visitors and other buggy riders.
By the time we arrived back at Langham Place, the kids were completely exhausted. We were welcomed in the lobby not only by the extremely friendly (and kid friendly) staff but also Langham’s mini hot chocolate bar complete with gummy bears and marshmallows. These little treats for the kids make for such lasting memories, as I’m sure my children will always remember our weekend getaway.
When we checked into the Langham Place, the kids were each given their own journal complete with NYC stickers, as a way to remember their stay. These books are such a keepsake and both Ryder and Siella as they documented their fun day playing tourists in their own city. They drew pictures of the horse and carriage rides, and pretzel vendors, as well as some paintings and statues from the museum.
Sunday morning, we set out early to do a bit more exploring before heading home. We stayed near the hotel, visiting neighboring shops and grabbing a quick breakfast.
The kids were so upset to leave our beautiful suite and end our staycation, but I promised them we will definitely do it again. It was such a fun experience for our family, especially with our limited time together. This experience really offered the opportunity to reconnect, and I think this goes in the books as a weekend that none of us will not forget.
This post is sponsored by Langham Place Hotels and we are so thankful for this incredible experience.