One of the best things about living in New York City is taking advantage of all of the activities around us, and continuously rediscovering this city over and over again. As an adult, it’s something I never take for granted, like I did when I was a kid.
Sure we would cross the bridge for Broadway shows or to see the lights during the holidays, but we seldom spent the day at one of our many museums, and believe it or not, we never took the boat to see the Statue of Liberty. It’s these things that I push for my kiddies to remember from their childhood, so we are always on the go in our big city! A few years ago, I started to implement the New York staycation in our abundant “travel” arsenal. I’m talking renting a hotel room in a different part of the city, and fully taking advantage and exploring that area! Take it from a local native!
This past 4th of July week was the latest feather in our staycation cap! Long Island City is a part of town we rarely venture to, and the revamped LIC Waterfront Park has been on my list for quite some time. What better time than the present, so we booked two nights at the Home2 Suites by Hilton New York Long Island City, to take advantage of Hilton’s “Weekend Like A Local” package.
Hilton guests can choose from over 50 hotels and save up to 50% off Sunday night when they stay three nights, plus guests get exclusive savings to city experiences. Discounts include: $7 off tickets for Madison Square Garden’s All Access Tour and Radio City Stage Door Tour, 50% off Unlimited Biking rental and tours, 30% off Roundabout Theatre tickets and 15% off airport transfers with SuperShuttle,. There are even some additional offers are available from Real New York Tours, Lombardi’s Pizza, Hornblower Cruises, Museum of Jewish Heritage and City Brew Tours
Ideal for extended-stays in Long Island City, this all-suite Queens hotel is within walking distance of a variety of bars and international restaurants; not to mention that it’s just minutes from Manhattan and the legendary landmarks of New York. Our family of five enjoyed two connecting Queen Bed Studio Suites, equipped with a kitchen, refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, flatware, microwavable cookware, coffeemaker and toaster. Having a full kitchen when traveling with kids is so key, especially if it’s for long time stays. Sometimes we need a break from all the running around and eating out, so I like to whip something together in the room, while lounging. Plus you can save a ton of dough if you prepare your own meals! For further savings, Home2 Suites offers all of their guests a complimentary hot breakfast every morning.
Other parts of the hotel included two outdoor roof decks, a children’s playroom equipped with Xbox’s, and a Spin2Cycle room on their lower level, where you can wash your clothes as you log a few miles on the treadmill or pushing some weights around. Another huge perk for traveling families.
During our stay, we explored the Long Island City waterfront, also known as Hunter’s Point South Park. The new park includes a central green, playgrounds, adult fitness equipment, a dog run, a bikeway, a waterside promenade, picnic terraces, a basketball court, a 30-foot-tall cantilevered platform for viewing the skyline and waterfront, and a 13,000 square foot pavilion that contains comfort stations, concessions, and an elevated cafe plaza.
I’d say on average I receive at least ten messages a day from readers or friends asking for suggestions on what to do with their children when traveling to New York City. I keep a mental running list of my kids’ favorites, so I wasn’t surprised to see some of those same activities listed on Hilton’s Weekend Like A Local Package too!
Macy’s 4th Of July Fireworks:
If you are in New York City for the 4th of July, the Macys Fireworks Spectacular should always be part of your agenda. Over the past many years, we have been out of town, so we’d watch the fireworks on television. Well, I can tell you that it doesn’t come close to watching them in person. Watching from the rooftop of Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport this year was pure magic. To watch the entire skyline, river and bridges lit up with the most beautiful fireworks we’ve ever seen was unforgettable. We were so fortunate to view the show from this vantage point thanks to Hilton’s partnership with Macy’s which provides guests unique opportunities throughout the year including the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Cruise Around The City!
During our NYC staycation, we took advantage of Hilton’s parnership with Hornblower Cruises. Sailing around the city gives a different perspective of the many NYC landmarks, and it makes for some pretty cool photo ops under the beautiful summer sky. Eating a delicious dinner as you cruise past the skyline, or sail under the Brooklyn Bridge is simply awesome.
Visit The Carousels
Carousels are just pure magic, and fortunately our city has a few spread around the boroughs. The Seaglass Carousel is the newest installation in downtown Manhattan and it’s a carousel like no other. This iridescent fish themed ride is an immersive experience of movement, music, and light. But be sure to hit the other carousels in Chelsea Piers, Bryant Park, Central Park, and Jane’s Carousel on the Brooklyn Waterfront.
Picnic In Central Park
Whether you are a visitor or a local, a trip to Central Park never gets old. There are parks within the park, miles of road to run, ride bikes, go for a horse carriages ride, and even a zoo! At over 840 acres, it can take multiple days to enjoy all the Park has to offer. Some of our favorite activities include driving the model sail boats, climbing the many iconic glacial rocks, hanging around The Alice in Wonderland sculpture, and of course, a good old fashion picnic.
Check Out Domino Park
My children have now declared Domino Park located in Williamsburg Brooklyn as their favorite playground. Former home of the Domino Sugar Factory, the park spans an entire 5 acres along the East River. Domino Park features an elevated walkway, a playground for kids, a restaurant, fountain and seating steps, a fog bridge, beach volleyball cart, flex field, bocce court, and a dog run. With that, it really has something to offer every member of the family!
Take A Neighborhood Tour
There are so many neighborhoods in NYC that it can be hard to navigate through all of them without a professional guide. Fortunately, as part of Hilton’s Weekend Like Local package we received a 20% discounts on Real New York Tours. They are the pioneers of the full-day subway and walking tour of NYC and will give you an insider’s guide to exploring the history, the cracks and crevices, the side streets, and culture of real New York neighborhoods.
Considering this was our first 4th of July weekend not spent out of town, it was one for the record books! I hope to squeeze in at least one more staycation before the summer comes to a close, and I’m already trying to figure out which New York neighborhood to visit next! Whether you are coming to town for a bit, or you live in NY and want to get reacquainted with the city, I encourage you to take advantage of Hilton’s amazing deals with their Weekend Like A Local package!