Date: Sunday, May 21st
Location: Bogardus Plaza at Hudson and Reade in Tribeca
Date: Sunday, May 21st
Location: Bogardus Plaza at Hudson and Reade in Tribeca
Join us in a celebration of one of the oldest neighborhoods in NYC…the Old Seaport. The non-profit Old Seaport Alliance is hosting its 2nd annual gala and fundraiser aboard the beautiful Wavertree tall ship at Pier 16. Food, music and mingling will be on the bill and it is a great night out, aboard this historic vessel.
Date: Tuesday, June 6th
Time: 7p – 10p
Location: Pier 16 on the East River
For more information and tickets, please visit their website HERE
Sailing season has officially kicked off and there is no better way to see the NYC skyline, than by one of two vessels operated by Manhattan by Sail. The company operates two beautiful vessels in Lower Manhattan; the Clipper City out of the Battery at Slip 2 and the Shearwater, out of the marina at Brookfield Place – South Side.
One of our favorite outdoor activities in NYC is to embark on a sail on the New York Harbor. Sailing gives you a chance to see the city in a very unique way and gives you perspective that only stepping away from the hustle and bustle can give you. The owner of Manhattan by Sail is Tom Berton, a downtown Dad and has roots in the downtown sailing community since 1988, when he was sailing on a previous vessel, the Petrel. Manhattan by Sail has been in operation since 2001 and they manage two beautiful vessels. The Clipper City, is a tall ship or topsail schooner which boasts a length of 158-ft and its masts and rigging reach 120-ft from the deck. It’s impressive, elegant and the perfect sailing vessel for viewing Lower Manhattan and all that it has to offer. I love the experience of the Clipper City because you are able to walk around the deck and experience different vantage points, without feeling like you are going to topple overboard. It’s the perfect sailing vessel for groups that want to socialize and mingle and great for families of little one’s that want to help the crew raise the sails and feel like a sailor. Catering is available as well.
Manhattan by Sail also operates the Shearwater schooner out of the North Cove Marina. The Shearwater is smaller in size and measures 82-ft in length. The Shearwater is beautiful and visitors will feel the history of the schooner, the moment they set foot on it. The Shearwater sail is an intimate experience because sailors tend to sit and relax, based on its size. Since the schooner can accommodate 49 passengers as opposed to the 149 that the Clipper City can accommodate, it tends to be a sail where you “sit back and relax”. The ship was built in 1929. It has been sailing out of New York since 2001 and is 88 years old, still going strong.
The Manhattan by Sail website lists the daytime and evening sails for both ships and both are available for private sails and group tickets. My kids and I have loved our sails and the views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are definitely picture worthy. If you have visitors in town and they wonder how and why you live in New York City, the best way to answer is by taking them sailing. One sail around New York Harbor will explain why NYC is the best place to live, with the views of the City, the skyline at night and the beauty of Lower Manhattan.
Staycation at the Millennium Hilton with FiDi Families
New York City is full of adventures and we love exploring the City and all that it has to offer. It’s so easy to forget that the Big Apple is an international tourist destination. To us, it is simply home. But, the reality is that 60% of all tourists to Lower Manhattan are international and the top 5 international visitors hail from the U.K., Germany, Spain, France and Australia (according to the 2016 tourism report by the Downtown Alliance).
According to the Downtown Alliance, NYC was host to 14.8 million visitors in 2016! So, with all of the interest and excitement for the Big Apple, we decided to experience a downtown stay with a FiDi hotel that is in the midst of the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan and with plenty of amenities and things to do, to entertain any visitor, from young to old.
The Millennium Hilton has been a downtown staple and one of the original hotel brands to put down roots in the Financial District, when most big brands were focusing on midtown. The 55 story hotel was damaged by the attacks on 9/11 but managed to remain open and rebuild itself, just as the rest of the neighborhood did. There are food destinations within walking distance that are well-known and fabulous people watching such as L’Appart at Le District, Mark Forgione in Tribeca, Cut Reserve in Tribeca and the relocated Nobu, just down the street from the hotel. With the opening of Augustine by famed restauranteur Keith McNally, the dining options are endless, when staying downtown. As most New Yorker’s know, any restaurant in New York is used to serving children, as kids have to eat too! So, we love taking advantage of great restaurants that welcome children to the NY dining experience. But, when it is easier to stay indoors, we loved dining at Church and Dey, the hotel restaurant and even took advantage of room service for dinner. The food was excellent and with the incredible views and the dining room table, we felt quite spoiled.
Some neighborhood highlights include Eataly, the Oculus, home to the Westfield WTC Shopping and Transit Center, the Trinity Church cemetery, where Alexander Hamilton is buried, the NYSE, the Charging Bull and of course, his new companion, the Fearless Girl. Plus, 10 subway lines are within 1 block of the Millennium Hilton. So, the option of taking mass transit is easy to do, as well as walking the City streets and exploring the hood. The Brooklyn Bridge is only a 10 minute walk and the views of Lower Manhattan from the bridge are unprecedented. The history and the impressive nature of the Brooklyn Bridge are worth the walk over this historic bridge. Of course, no visit or staycation is complete without a visit to the Statue of Liberty, though we always cheat and simply take the free Staten Island Ferry to get a free ride and an up close view of Lady Liberty.
The standard hotel room is approximately 300 square feet and is spacious compared to other hotels in the City. We were lucky enough to stay in a Junior Suite, which includes a private bedroom and sitting area, which was separated by a bathroom. We love the corner units with spectacular views, afforded by wall to wall windows. We highly recommend making this request, when booking a stay. With kids in tow, it was great to set them up on the pullout couch and 42″ t.v. along with cookies and milk for a cozy night and gorgeous nighttime views.
One of the unique aspects of this downtown hotel, is the heated indoor pool. It boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and the natural light is fantastic. It’s a great way to relax on your own or let the kids get their last bit of energy out. On our staycation, the weather was chilly and it was hard to convince anyone to wander outdoors. So, it was really nice to have the indoor pool as an option and a backup plan, if we chose not to go out and explore. Whether you explore near or far, its a nice reward for all of the walking that you tend to do in the City. The chance to indulge in an indoor pool after a day of walking and crowds is hard to beat.
The Millennium Hilton is really central to amazing destinations. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum are steps away and a must-see while in NYC. The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian at Bowling Green is a quick walk south and the amount of public art that is free and open to the public is impressive. The Red Cube, created by sculptor Isamu Noguchi is a few blocks away and is always an Instagram favorite.
An insider tip for FiDi Families is to utilize the itineraries that are posted to the Downtown Alliance website. We certainly have our favorite go-to’s when friends are visiting or if we decide to play tourist for the day, as we did with our staycation. But, they offer a variety of options, based on the length of stay, so its a great resource. And, a little known fact is that guests of the hotel are able to receive a discounted rate at the Seaglass Carousel. This gorgeous carousel is must-do with kids or without. It’s a magical experience.
As a family of four, the Millennium Hilton was a great choice for our downtown staycation and we can’t wait to return. Be sure to ask about the #MilleniumMemories package for some great options for guests of the hotel.
Disclosure: We received complimentary accommodations so we could share our recommendations and experiences with you as a FiDi Families contributor. As always, my posts are based on my opinions and experiences.
Congratulations to our winner, Haley R. for winning the family pack of passes to the Road to the Races Nationwide Tour, this weekend!
FiDi Families is excited to host a flash giveaway for the upcoming Disney film “Cars 3: Road to the Races” national tour event. Families are invited to this free event in Queens, for a chance to participate in a nationwide tour inviting fans of #95 to gear up for the upcoming big-screen release of Disney•Pixar’s “Cars 3.”
Fans will take part in a host of activities and get a sneak peek of the movie. Several brands will be on site, hosting fun activities such as street art booth and will bring “Cars 3” to life with a giant coloring mural featuring Lightning McQueen and friends, along with a color pencil pack souvenir.
Coppertone® is creating a racer pit crew that encourages visitors to take part in a tire-changing activity and photo-sharing opportunity.
Crest® and Oral-B® celebrate the Road to the Races tour, providing fans with an opportunity to create a digital postcard with Lightning McQueen and get “Cars”-themed oral care products.
There are several other activities for families to enjoy, hosted by Dole, Mattel and other national brands. The 3 day event is open to the public. One lucky FiDi Families fan will win a family pack of 5 passes to experience this incredible event, for front of the line access.
Check out details below and visit their website for more information HERE
Fri., May 5 – 2-6 p.m.
Sat., May 6 – 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Sun., May 7 – 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.
The Shops at Atlas Park
8000 Cooper Avenue
Glendale, NY 11385
Date: Saturday, April 29th
Location: BMCC Tribeca PAC-199 Chambers Street
Ages: All Ages
Cost: Free, first-come, first-served basis. Lines will begin 30 minutes prior to the start of the event
FiDi Families was recently invited to visit Cool Mess on the Upper East Side. Definitely out of our neighborhood and definitely worth the trek.
Guests are invited to sit at a table that has an ice cream maker, ready for mixing up your own recipe or following one of the Cool Mess favorites, known as “messipes”. Simply choose a base flavor (vanilla or chocolate) and select your ingredients (there are over 20 toppings to choose from). The creation of the ice cream is simple and once your ingredients are in the ice cream maker, it only takes 8 minutes for your creation to be ready to eat. In addition to the ice cream making, Cool Mess serves up a full menu of great food, sundaes, ice cream shakes and gelato.
The event space is perfect for a birthday party or celebration, whether for kids or grownups. The fun music, the fun decor and view over Lexington Avenue, make it a great spot for entertaining. A designated party coordinator is also assigned to a booked party.
We loved the fun of creating delicious ice cream, dancing to the fun music and taking home our homemade ice cream and doing some candy shopping on their candy wall!
It’s a great spot to take friends or treat the kids and we can’t wait to return to whip up some new “messiness” at Cool Mess! This incredible destination is located above Burger Heaven and owned by the same family. Guests can order off the Cool Mess menu or of course, eat downstairs.
Location: 137 East 62nd Street, 2nd Floor
For more information, please visit their website HERE