We had an early start to our first day in New York as we had a special tour of the American Museum Of Natural History booked. Before we had left, we used the internet to find possible autism friendly events which would be suitable for Dylan and struck gold when we found the ‘The Discovery Squad’, and you can read about everything we got up to that morning right here.
Having to be at the museum at 9 am and not wanting to experience the subway just yet we grabbed an uber cab which I had downloaded the app for a while in NYC. I like the idea of looking at the route, price and being able to grab a taxi which would fit us all in at the touch of a button. He dropped us outside the museum, and that’s when we felt like we were in New York City. There was a food cart on the corner and at the edges of the pavements where the remains of snow from the week previous still was.
After the discovery squad tour, we explored the museum and started our hunt for all the things we remembered from the Night At The Museum film. There were excited squeals from all of us when we came across Dum Dum (Easter Island Head) and posed for photos with it. You’ll see all those and more in our American Museum Of Natural History post (due to arrive on the blog very soon – will update this post with a link asap)
When we left, we came straight out the exit to see Central Park right opposite us so excitedly we headed off to explore some of the park. Central Park, was probably one of the places we were most looking forward to visiting while in New York, it’s just so famous and so especially amazing that there is this big huge green space in the middle of the city.
It did look overwhelming though, and we didn’t know where, to begin with exploring Central Park, so we stuck to the side where the museum was and didn’t go in too deep. Day 2 we had a Heart of The Park Tour planned for the morning which would give us that Central Park experience we were wanting.
Walking out of the park we came across Trump International Hotel And Tower, and it was one of those places we frowned at, but naturally, as tourists, we stopped to look and take photos. It was the president’s hotel, even if we didn’t like the idea of him being president and we thought it rather cool.
We then experienced our first Subway ride as we wanted to get back towards our hotel and our feet we were already aching. There was a subway which had a lift down to the platform where the ticket machines greeted us, I will admit to being overwhelmed by this experience which by the end of our two weeks was one which was second nature to us. I found the New York Subway easier than the London Underground to us. We managed to find our way from where we were to Times Square which was where out hotel was based. Also by the end of the fortnight, I realised we could have walked it just as quickly as taking the subway, that’s hindsight for you.
We came out of the subway station and found ourselves outside Midtown Comics which was pretty epic for this family of comic book lovers. Charlotte at two already has a big love of comics, so I have her the lead on hunting out our favourite comics. A place to add to your list if like us you’re a total geek.
It felt so surreal to be in Times Square after seeing this scene in so many of our favourite films. I remember the scene below with New York Police Dept being in The Amazing Spiderman Film.
We went to explore what Times Square had on offer and instantly discovered M&M World. Chocolate paradise and this huge M&M peanut fan was in heaven! Just like the one in London, there was so much to see, and the kids enjoyed looking around and taking it all in. One of those free to visit places where you could easily spend an hour exploring the three floors.
Another chocolate paradise just around the corner was Hershey’s Chocolate World. Now I’m not a big Hershey’s fan and I cannot stand that Reese’s peanut butter stuff, I hear you gasp, but I am a Hershey’s cookies & creme fan and must have had 20 odd bars of the stuff whilst in New York and did bring a fair few bars back home with me. The staff were incredibly friendly, and we got free hats and free chocolate.
By the time we had explored some of Times Square (lots of shops) we were starving so prompted by a flyer we got given which offered a free drink with food, we headed to Guy’s All American Food for our dinner.
The man had this very delicious mac & cheese bacon burger while I had some equally delicious pulled pork sliders with an extra side of garlic fries. Guy’s had the exact food we had been missing after our California holiday; we are yet to have a burger in England which match the quality of the burgers we have consumed while over in the US.
We saw some people with LEGO shopping bags which had us wanting to hunt out the LEGO store so headed in that direction. On our way, we saw Radio City and the home of NBC.
Then we came across the Top Of The Rock Observation Deck, and we thought that would be a good time to put our CityPASS to use for the first time. So saving our LEGO store visit for another day, we headed up the lift and was blown away by this view. Perfect end to our first day in New York.