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The Hotel Beacon Guide to the Upper West Side with Kids: Part 1

May 11 2018 | The Upper West Side

So, you’re considering a stop by the Upper West Side on your family trip — we’re here to help! Or maybe you think bringing kids into the Big Apple is the last thing you’d want to do on a family vacation — we’re here to convince you it’s both doable and worth it.

Kids need space to let loose and expend some energy. Here, there’s plenty … if you know your way around a bit.

Kids need adventure and new, safe places to explore. We’ve got that too.

Plan well, and the Upper West Side can make for an ideal family escape. In this Part 1 of The Hotel Beacon Kid-Friendly Guide to the UWS, let’s take a look outside. After all, it’s spring!

Central Park

In addition to its wide-open spaces where the kiddos can run free, Central Park has the Central Park Zoo, the Conservatory Garden, and the Friedsam Memorial Carousel. You can even go fishing in the northern end of the park at Harlem Meer. And make sure to stop by the park’s oldest and largest playground, Heckscher Playground.

Riverside Park

Regarded as Manhattan's most spectacular waterfront park, Riverside Park may not be as famous as Central Park but it’s a must-visit, with incredible playgrounds including Hippo, Elephant, River Run Playground and Dinosaur. As one of only eight officially designated scenic landmarks in the City of New York, Riverside Park is a great place for family outings. Recreational facilities include a range of sports courts and fields, a skate park, and a large portion of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway for bike riding.

Now that we have the kids tuckered out from running through the grass and exploring some of New York City’s best parks, where to have lunch?

Boat Basin Cafe

Well, if you’re in Riverside Park, you don’t have to travel too far. Boat Basin Cafe has great outdoor seating and an affordable, family-friendly menu. The restaurant is an open air patio that overlooks the Marina and the Hudson River with breathtaking views of the sunsets over New Jersey.

Pier 1 Cafe

Enjoy the open air, scenic river views, and a casual menu at Pier 1 Cafe. This spot gets great reviews from families seeking to satiate hungry children. Plus, instead of table service, they offer an easy ordering system so you can retrieve food and beverages at your leisure so the kids don’t get restless.

So, everybody’s full, recharged with some fresh nutrients and ready to head back out. How about some outdoor shopping? Outdoor markets can be a ton of fun with kids — so much to see!

97th Street Greenmarket

Open Fridays year-round, the 97th Street Greenmarket is a great place to find fresh fruits and vegetables. Enjoy fresh produce from southern New Jersey, Orange County, NY, and the Hudson Valley, as well as eggs, grass-fed meat, fish, cheese, and more. There’s also often entertainment and activities, like live music and cooking demos.

GreenFlea Market

Explore antiques, vintage, collectibles, crafts, designer clothing, food and more every Sunday at GreenFlea Market. The proceeds from the GreenFlea Market benefit four public schools and has a huge variety of booths to keep you treasure-hunting for hours.

Of course, at the end of the day, we know you’ll be tired from all the fun. Hotel Beacon has an 800 square foot two-bedroom suite that is ideal for families. It has two double beds in one bedroom and a king size bed in the second bedroom, a living room with a queen-size pullout sofa-bed, a fully-equipped kitchenette, and two marble bathrooms. We hope to see you soon!