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Our NYC Bucket List!

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A large skyscraper in a city

Since I like to procrastinate in getting the last few details of this move together and I google all things New York late into the night (a bad habit!!) I decided a few weeks ago to start a Family NYC Bucket List. Actually, it started with my kids asking questions about our new home and sort of evolved into a bedtime ritual in place of a story (because all the books are packed).

“Tell us something else we can do in New York!” 

Explain explain explain.


So, here is what we have on our list so far. Please tell us more if you have other ideas!


NYC Bucket List
  1. Skate at Rockefeller Center at Christmas Time
  2. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
  3. Jimmy Fallon
  4. Horse-Drawn Carriage ride through Central Park
  5. Rent a boat in Central Park and paddle around
  6. Take Gordon to Levain Bakery for my very favorite chocolate pb cookie!!
  7. Statue of Liberty (Brooke is dying to go!)
  8. Top of the Rock
  9. Museum of Natural History
  10. Take family photos on the Brooklyn Bridge and in Central Park
  11. Lego Store (This is Blake’s favorite bedtime ‘story’!!)
  12. Empire State Building
  13. Katz Deli
  14. Go to a Yankees Game
  15. Water Parks around the city
  16. NYC Public Library
  17. See the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall
  18. See Hamilton and as many Broadway shows as possible!!
  19. Get an authentic NYC bagel
  20. Try all the pizza!!
  21. Go to the Seinfeld restaurant (Gordie’s favorite show!)
  22. Eat all.the.things in Little Italy
  23. Shop in Soho + Chelsea + all the cute little neighborhoods
  24. Visit Santa at Macy’s at Herald Square
  25. Enjoy frozen hot chocolate at the original Serendipity
  26. Black and White cookies!! Yes please!!
  27. Buy dishes from Fishs Eddy
  28. Go into the Flatiron Building
  29. Grand Central Station for Blake!!
  30. Take a helicopter tour of the city (for all the boys in the family)
  31. Go to the 9/11 memorial on 9/11
  32. Meet Gord for lunch in the city just outside his office! How romantical!
  33. Visit Union Square
  34. Run into a celebrity…we’re not picky!
  35. Have a real NYC brunch somewhere amazing
  36. See an SNL taping
  37. See a game at Madison Square Garden
  38. Walk through Times Square with the kiddos!
  39. Get hot chocolate at Bouchon Bakery (so amazing)
  41. Order Chinese at 2am BECAUSE I CAN
  42. Washington Square Park
  43. Chelsea Market
  44. Take Trapeze Lessons!
  45. Find those colorful bagels in Brooklyn
  46. Buy something from Tiffany’s (ahem….Gordon)
  47. Central Park Zoo, of course!
  48. Go to Zabar’s
  49. Travel to the Hamptons/Montauk during the summer and get a vacation rental
  50. Go to a performance at Lincoln Center

That’s what we have so far…but always looking for more recommendations!!

Thanks, friends!! We are getting pretty darn excited to live in this big and busy city! More to come soon! xo

A group of people in a park

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64 Responses
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    […] also going to check out a few more things from our family bucket list and see if we can get one or two items checked off the list ???? What’s your favorite thing […]

  4. Guyla Blaylock

    I love NYC, but all I can think of are food places! Check out Rice to Riches – they only serve rice pudding. Delicious! Doughnut Plant is awesome and it’s near a park, if I remember correctly. Shop in Chelsea Market. Go to a street fair in Little Italy. Grimaldi’s Pizza in Brooklyn! Have a date night at Becco.

  5. Leslie

    Currently planning a trip to NYC, so this list ca,e at the perfect time! Thanks! (P.S. Museum of Natural History is great. Definitely need more than one day to really enjoy it though)

  6. Ashley E.

    You are going to love NYC! There’s always something to do. Summers get hot, but there is always a fun street fair and the Union Square Farmers Market is always amazing! Here are a few other things I love:
    * Eataly. Go. Just go. Eat all of the things.
    * Hop on hop off tour. Totally touristy, but a great way to get a feel for the city and see a lot of things in one day.
    * Waffles & Dinges. Best food truck ever. Always get the ice cream on top.
    * Clinton Street Baking Company. Featured on Throwdown with Bobby Flay for their blueberry pancakes. I can’t go to NYC without having them.
    *Scarpetta is by far one of my favorite restaurants and Scott Conant actually has a test kitchen where he sometimes hosts events. I went to a private dinner there once and he made risotto that I will never forget.

    Have the best time exploring your new city! And if you’ve seen it all, you can easily get to Boston, Philly, and Washington, D.C. in a few short hours! 🙂

  7. Pam

    This list is awesome! I lived in NYC many years ago (pre-kids) and I can’t even think of something to add. In fact, I’m printing this out for when we finally take the kiddos next year. I’m excited to follow your adventures here!

  8. Diana C.

    WOW What a bucket list! Love it. My husband and I are head that way from KY next week. Hopefully we can do a few on your list!

  9. Danielle

    Please consider holding a dinner party or cooking lessons now that you’re in NYC! I’m sure there’s a ton of us who’d love to attend!

  10. Naomi Novinski

    That’s an awesome list and I’m sure you will soon be checking places off one by one, season by season. I only live about an hour or so from the city and haven’t done many of those things so you give me inspiration! One of my kids’ favorites is Dylans Candy Bar ????????Trying to get to the Statue of Liberty this Summer! Enjoy your new home and the always exciting, never a dull moment surroundings 🙂

  11. Mallori Stoedter

    I did a helicopter ride for my 28th birthday of the city and it was amazing. I bought the ticket on Groupon and it was a great 23 minutes of my life to see NYC in an aerial view.

  12. Cori R

    I love this bucket list. NYC makes a fun list like this one possible. Hope you see lots of fun celebrities. Please tell us readers who you see.

  13. Misty Hooper

    NYC- magical!! Love your bucket list, would be amazing to check all of these off. Would love to love there- imagine all of the culture, art, and experiences our children could get to be a part of !! Wish I could talk my hubby into moving there !!

  14. Teresa Alley

    I love NYC…can’t wait to hear about restaurants, bakeries, shows, shopping and sights. Gives me recommendations for when I come!!

  15. Ana Sofia Acevedo

    Hi Lauren! I’m so happy that you are already making true your NYC bucket list.. I saw that you’ve been taking Gordon for those Levain Bakery cookies (BTW they look so DELICIOUS!) I hope you could recreate the recipe… God bless you and your familiy, just the best wishes for this new step in your life! 🙂 Greetings from Texas.

  16. Cee

    Awesome list! This will definitely give you plenty of sweet memories! I think I might copy some ideas. I visit Manhattan a lot but never get tired of seeing all the action 🙂 enjoy!

  17. Angela Erickson

    You are a brave woman. I applaud you for moving to NYC as I am an Idaho girl who couldn’t do it. I would miss my mountains…

  18. Candice

    One day I will make it out to New York City, and I’ll call you to show me around! I’m sure you will be a pro by then. 🙂

  19. Danielle B.

    SOOOO much more to do too!

    Check out the Hall of Science in Queens. Its’ perfect for all ages and they have an awesome outdoor park too.

    I hope you enjoy my city as much as I do! Look forward to saying hello if I happen to see you out and about!

  20. Cate

    I love your posts! We were in NYC in January for my 30th (KID FREEEEE : ) and I’ve loved reminiscing seeing your pics. Although I wish I had your bucket list then : ) I guess its a good excuse to come back : )

  21. Meaghan

    I would definitely recommend spending a day doing a “hop on, hop off” double decker bus tour. You get a ticket for the day and there are stops all over the city where you can hop off, go explore for a while and then just hop back on and head to the next stop. The double decker bus will definitely be a hit with your kids! And there is usually someone on the bus with a microphone giving some info about the city which is so neat! Enjoy! NYC is one of my most favorite places.

  22. katie

    Rice to Riches! Best rice pudding I’ve ever had. When I want to splurge I have it shipped out to California — because it’s amazing!

  23. Bonnie

    (Couldn’t see how else to answer your question). Fabulous campus on the river. Several restaurants (which you would love), store, tours. Not sure how the classes work. Lots of well-known chefs studied there. Google it! I first found you when Hood River News ran a story about your TV appearance in NY. What a journey you’ve been on! Good luck with this next chapter.

  24. Megann

    Oh, also! In terms of a Museum, The Tenement Museum is really well done and worth a visit. They do food tours around a great foodie neighbourhood, but it’s also worth seeing inside the museum. This one has the approval of my friends in the museum world – it’s not just for history dorks like me!

  25. Megann

    I’m not so lucky as to live in New York, but I take the train in from CT whenever I can. Mostly I go to see Broadway musicals – I’ve seen most of the musicals playing right now and cannot recommend Come From Away enough – especially for viewers with a Canadian connection​. It’s very special. Definitely worth getting tickets before it closes! (and it will likely close before the big names like Hamilton and Dear Evan Hanson… also spectacular!)
    I also love walking the High Line, which is pretty low key and easy to arrange. Try for a not-too-hot day, maybe when there aren’t a million people.
    And I’ve been meaning to hit up the Governor’s Island hammock park… haven’t managed yet, so I can’t say for sure what the story is.

    This one is a bit niche and definitely not for everyone… but I like taking some of my more eccentric friends to see a midnight Rocky Horror in Chelsea. Especially toward Halloween! (I think they do them weekly, though).

    Speaking of Halloween… The Tompkins Square Park Halloween dog parade is definitely worth a visit if you like the idea of dogs in costumes (some very elaborate).

    And also keep an eye open for Summer Streets – on a few Saturdays in August, they close down miles and miles of streets (mostly Park Avenue, I think) for pedestrians. There are tastings and activities at various points along the way, but it’s really just super cool to see so many people walking along a car-less street. It’s what I would expect to see in a post-apocalyptic NYC movie.

    And of course eat all the things. The best!

  26. Maureen

    Take a free ride in the Staten island ferry! Yankee stadium, Bronx zoo, cloisters, botanical garden, Chelsea piers, battery park.

  27. Jessica

    I encourage you to check out the boroughs of ny as well! Look up rockaway beach in queens. Many people don’t know we have a beautiful beach/boardwalk in ny! Welcome to the city! Also spumoni gardens square pizza in Brooklyn will be the best pizza you have here! 🙂

  28. Jessica

    You can’t miss all the fun going on in Bryant Park…including the FANTASTIC public toilet…???? also a bike trip to Grant’s Tomb is a kust do in spring when all the fruit trees are in bloom. Oh, and don’t forget the wonderful High Line Park and a boat trip around Manhattan and a drive upstate to the FDR estate….???? You will all have a great time and I like the way you approach things! Love from Germany, Jessica

  29. Holly K

    Getting banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery in Grand Central Station, riding the subway, playing in Central Park and the Central Park Zoo (it feels so Madagascar movie like!) , the Times Square Toys R Us (except sadly I think they’ve taken out the ferris wheel), a taxi ride (that was exactly like one on tv where we thought we were going to die!), all the shops and food in Chinatown, cannolis at Ferrara Bakery in Little Italy, and the Spiderman show on Broadway were all highlights when we visited NYC with our kids (ages 13, 11, and 9 at the time) 4 years ago. Good luck with your move!

  30. Lindsay

    You’ll have to take your kids to Jane’s Carousel! Beautifully restored vintage carousel + beautiful NYC views.

    1. Lauren

      Yes, that is on our list too! I just didn’t type it in!! Hopefully when we check out Brooklyn, we’ll get to do a TON!

  31. Meme

    I’ve never been to NY, but if I ever went, your Nos. 1, 2 and 20 would definitely be on my list. No. 20 probably several times Ha!

  32. Amanda G.

    Hi Lauren! Check out the Bronx zoo, the 5th avenue windows at Christmas, the high line and Chelsea piers.

    I’m in NJ just outside of NYC. We have family in soho. Can’t wait to see what you and the kids get into. I have a little guy not much younger than Eddie and can’t wait to take him on NYC adventures.