Updated: Sep 9
Family Adventures as unique as you are!
As a native New Yorker I am sometimes sad we have moved away. I loved taking my kids into the city and experiencing a world known to many as the melting pot, or big apple, but to me always known as home. The vibe in the city is purely electric. You feel the energy of the fashion, dreams, hustle, and history converging with a fresh sleight waiting to be filled each time you arrive. Using a new App to help you build an itinerary can make your trip to NYC all you wish it to be! Funday is a great resource.
Returning now so much has changed. I want to walk through like I am the same young fresh mom knowing all the spots, and in some ways I can still make those moves. There is so much now that's changed (along with my own being) that I can't help but want to be there now and see the new stuff, revisit old favorites, and still have my sense of direction intact.
In a city as big and diverse as New York, I couldn't have enough time in any visit to "do it all" but
I typically begin my trip planning by asking my local friends and family what we shouldn’t miss “this” time. In my research, I came across this app that actually does the hard part for you and can provide you with personal preferences for each family member you enter to make your planning much easier. The ability to personalize your experience just showed up at your fingertips, oh and it's free!
Who doesn't love a good itinerary?
I love a good itinerary and I know my family well. We need a plan. Without a plan each member of my family will start veering off into either a) too much screen time on vacation which will infuriate me or b) argue in the moment about what they want to do. While their ideas are all good there is often not enough time at that point to do what they decide in the moment. I have figured out that giving everyone some input before we get there and then gaining their trust to make a magical day happen is always the best plan. As a family that's traveled well together even now that the kids are grown, I feel confident in this method.
To view our NYC at Christmas time favorites: Click here:
Since I am planning an upcoming trip, I’d like to share what I’ve learned for all others in the planning process. This is a game changer! It provides real time options for how to spend your time and energy. Right now this app is specific to New York, but the fun is now expanding to San Fransisco, Boston, and beyond.
If you are in any of these cities,
Access FunDay, the free site for yourself here, or download the app for Apple or Android from these links.
How to use FunDay to design your next family adventure:
Download the app, click button to link.
2. Add family members – for each individual you select their personal preferences that bring the maximum enjoyment, for example "Play VR games" or "Play laser tag". They feature 8 basic categories (Plan, Explore, Learn, Watch, Do Sports, Challenge, Shop and Eat) and then for each of them, many more sub-categories.
3. See the suggestions generated - click on a specific activity, if the activity is matched to one of your kids' preferences, you will see the kid profile image on the screen to let you know that there is a match.
4. Check which suggestions overlap, and then plan your day accordingly!
FunDay also creates and adjusts full day itineraries based on the preferences and favorite types of activities that you entered for your family members. The map will show locations and give you a visual. This means that parents build their own personal day plans in a matter of seconds. There are literally millions of different combinations of fun day plans generated by AI-powered algorithms.
Want a personalized itinerary? To save time figuring out the best activities available for your personalities? Use the FunDay App for that!
Easy to understand - this app is a time saver!!
How can this be helpful? This app points out some of the spots you may otherwise not think of. We are not one-dimensional people who fit neatly into one little box. Especially when traveling as a family and wanting everyone to have experiences that appeal to their favorite things. FunDay matches activities not just based on the preferences of the individual children, but also based on all family members. Their AI-powered algorithms match activities based on various parameters, such as family members' preferences, ages, and the parents' preferences and engagement to family experiences. The more you visit and interact, these recommendations will continue to be refined. I appreciate having an up-to-date reference with the quick links for more information.
Discover activities that are tailored to your very own kids based on their own interests, preferences, and age. As parents navigate through the selection of activities and provide feedback on whether their kids would like them or not, they will customize the feed based on preferences.
You can click on each activity to see more details, including family attributes such as recommended ages for the activity, the recommended spend time and the sentiment.
Their key family attributes are activity category and activity setup. The activity categories describe what the kids are going to do. They have dozens of different fun categories that will help parents to discover relevant activities even faster. In the challenge category for example, options such as ‘Catch-and-release fishing’, ‘Climb a rock wall’, ‘Do an obstacle course’, and many more.
On top of this, they’ve grouped activities based on the following key categories: ‘Challenge’, ‘Learn’, ‘Play’, ‘Explore’, ‘Do Sports’, ‘Eat’, ‘Shop’ and ‘Watch’. Parents can literally find any type of fun activities that they kids would like to do.
I recommend scrolling through the activities for experiencing the discovery process to the fullest, and like or dislike activities for sharing what your kids would like to do. They have four types of filters. You can filter based on your kids ages and key categories. You can also click from any activity in the feed on the activity setup attribute or the category attribute to be able to select other setups or categories. This will narrow your selection based on your filter criteria, and you will then need to reset the filters to return to the feed with all the fun activities.
SHARING FUN ACTIVITIES
Share activities with your friends and family. This will help you to start a conversation about where to go and when. You can simply click on the sharing icon at the bottom of each activity. The sharing text will include the title of the activity, the photo, and a link to the app. You can also share a collection of activities on a map. Simply save the activities you like, and then from the saved activities screen, select the map tab and share the map with your friends and family.
LASER FOCUSED ON PARENTS
FunDay was created for parents who are looking to spend quality time with their families.
I know in today's world it is more important than ever to have quality time with quality people and spend the time in the moment rather than researching all day long. This app is one way to make that process more fluid.
The basics: They do not sell or share your info:
Free Galleries NYC
Known for it's worldwide collection of art and relics, there is no shortage here of painted, sculpted, and created beauty! For a few ideas of free galleries in Chelsea, these will inspire you!
High Line Nine - Underneath the historic High Line park this gallery connects nine different galleries flowing from one to the other within the space. They also have a lovely on-site Italian cafe with lots of deliciousness!
Wilensky Exquisite Mineral Gallery - Literally a hidden gem, they display the most beautiful minerals as art sculptures.
C24 Gallery - In Chelsea on 24th St. (can you guess where the name comes from) this gallery serves as a contemporary international art display for underrepresented artists to reflect political and social issues. Lots of natural light thanks to a huge skylight!
Gagosian Gallery - Recognized as a cornerstone of the art in Chelsea, a maze of brightly lit rooms featuring trendy art are always in style.
The Museum at FIT - A local favorite featuring the art of the upcoming talented students attending the Fashion Institute of Technology, unique pieces on the verge of influence.
Nature in NYC?
YES! In the middle of the concrete jungle are the most amazing parks with views unlike any other place on Earth. We all recognize being in nature as having the ability to raise our frequency and provide serotonin. Here's a few places you can get a healthy dose of trees, rivers, and gardens mixed with some skyline:
You know about the major parks, Central, Liberty, Bryant, here are some of the less traveled gems:
Riverside Park - on the upper west side of Manhattan and is a magical area spanning four miles of prime waterfront real estate. It’s hard to believe this is Manhattan!
The Highline - Industrial past meets with present artsy garden walk in this elevated park which used to be a trainline. Runs 1.5 miles along Manhattan’s west side.
Paley Park - Hidden inset of a park with heavenly design that creates a Zen den in Midtown.
The Elevated Acre - Located at 55 Water Street this secluded rooftop park in downtown Manhattan on the first floor is highly unadvertised.
Randall's Island - Take in some great hiking trails on the upper east side of NYC, take the tram over for the cost of a subway fare or walk over the 103rd Street footbridge and explore!
Depending on how you arrive to the city, let's discuss transportation!
Traffic is a given. If you can avoid driving at all tha is the best. Parking can be costly, and parking tickets are more costly! Here is a subway breakdown....
There are key 4 subway lines that cross town in different streets (14th, 42nd and 53rd).
The L - which goes from 8th avenue to 1st avenue in Manhattan on along14th street.
The 7 - which goes from around the 10th avenue to 4th avenue along 42nd street.
The S - which is a shuttle subway from Times Square to Grand Central along the 42nd street, with only 1 stop.
The E - goes from 8th Avenue to Lexington along the 53rd street. Avenues are much more wider than a street block. Rule of thumb is that it takes 3 minutes to walk an avenue and 1 minute to walk a block, but with kids it takes much longer.
Thinking about crossing Manhattan from one side to another by foot? Not really realistic with young kids... But if you enjoy the walking cross the island from Riverside Park in the Upper West Side to 1st avenue in the Upper East Side.
The North/ South Lines are a bit more complicated, but this map will help.
Check the MTA website for the most up to date travel info: MTA Maps
* Eat Pizza * Eat bagels *Eat an egg sandwich *Eat a chicken parm sub * Eat a street pretzel * Eat a street hot dog * Eat some Chinese food * Eat Eat Eat * NY has an eclectic taste and you can enjoy some of the best foods! (As you are able considering your own dietary restrictions/ goals) I am usually the one saying, "pack a cooler and bring your own food to save money". In NY - part of the experience IS the food. Everything here tastes better. I hear it's the water ❤
*Review the Subway map beforehand - and don't give anyone money in the subway
*Look like you know where you are going, review your plans ahead of time so you are not on a street corner displaying any confusion
*Keep your valuables close. I once left my pocketbook on a hotel counter in Utah while we had a lot of things happening at once. I was SHOCKED when I returned and the clerk was saying she was looking up my contact information to call me. There are some good people in the world, but I wouldn't count on being so lucky here. I have lost things in the City that were never returned!
*NY is known for diversity. There are amazing unique places to see and go because of this. If you have an interest, there is probably something cool to see related to that - look it up!
The purpose of the FunDay app is truly to make your trip as personal and easy as possible. While I share my itinerary tips in my NYC on a budget blog, I encourage you to play with the app a bit and see how it will make your experience in NYC more enjoyable!
No matter where your travels take you, enjoy the journey!
Don't forget the people come before the "stuff"
Don't forget to breathe and be present.
Don't forget to let go of all the things you can't control.
Be flexible, that hard part is over once you are present!
And most importantly, make the memories count.
Thank you for visiting my site, please leave your thoughts and feedback.
A note from the editor:
The information in this article was accurate when published but may change without notice. Confirm details when planning your trip. I hope this makes it easier for your planning process.
Thank you for stopping by today! Please share your thoughts and experiences, we are all on this journey to live and love together. I welcome your travel tips & tricks :-)
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