Updated: Jul 19, 2021
Like most people, our summer family vacation plans changed. We were originally planning to take the kids to Siesta Key, Florida. I went last year for my 30th birthday and had the time of my life!
With COVID-19, I was torn about whether a family vacation would happen this summer. I know there are bigger problems in the world, but I really love exploring with my kids and for the most part, they’ve been home since March.
My husband and I were discussing how we could safely take them on a trip. We opted against flying. While we had a great experience flying this summer, we just wanted to be extra safe with them.
We were on the fence between taking them to Williamsburg, VA, or somewhere else. We would’ve stayed in the DC area, but most of the pools are closed. With family vacations, the pool is a priority. We also were torn on going to a place near the beach because the temperatures have started to cool off.
Then, my husband thought of New York! We spent last Christmas there and the kids absolutely loved it! We decided to stay in New Jersey, as it’s less congested with small kids.
We stayed at the Courtyard Edgewater in New Jersey. I absolutely loved our stay and highly recommend this hotel. I loved that when we arrived and checked out, the process was quick and easy. For some reason, it seems that some hotels take forever during this process and have long lines. The staff was super efficient in getting people in and out.
I also loved that our hotel required reservations for the pool and it was only one family at a time. We felt much safer and really enjoyed the privacy! We arrived late on Saturday and made our reservations for the next day.
The view was breathtaking! It was just steps away from the Hudson River and the New York skyline was perfect!
We settled into our room and let the kids set up their snack corner. One thing we always do when traveling (especially with kids), is purchase snacks in advance. We stopped at Target before and loaded up on their favorites. I love buying snacks for trips because:
#1 - It saves a ton of money. Hotel snacks can be expensive and kids are ALWAYS hungry. For example, drinks are about $3 each in the hotel lobbies. We purchase two cases of juice boxes for less than $5! That means our kids had 24 drinks for what would’ve been only two drinks from the hotel lobby.
The same goes for chips and other snacks. We purchase chips, fruit snacks, popcorn, and other treats.
The next day, we went to brunch at Daisy’s Grill. We loved the hospitality and had a great experience.
After brunch, we headed to our pool reservation! Having the pool to ourselves was the best experience! Our kids enjoyed having the entire pool themselves.
Later in the evening, we took the kids bowling and to an arcade. I haven’t gone bowling in a while and I’m glad we went! It was competitive as the winner would receive a prize and the loser had to pay for dinner.
I lost LOL. We went to dinner at Vesta Wood-Fired. We dined al fresco, as restaurants in New Jersey and New York aren’t allowing inside dining. We tried the crabcakes, wines, pizza, and vodka penne pasta. The service and atmosphere were perfect!
After dinner, we went in and relaxed and watched a movie. The next day, we planned to spend the day in New York. We usually take the bus or ferry in, but we decided to take an Uber to limit our interaction with people.
That was the first time I’d ever seen Times Square that empty!
We spent the day in Times Square shopping, taking pictures, and then grabbing dinner to go.
The next day, we slept in and then closed out the day with a day at the Hudson River Park. We had ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s and then played at the park.
To close out our trip, we had lunch on the water at Pier 115 Bar & Grill. The view was insane! The kids enjoyed pizza while we watched the boats go by!
This was an amazing experience and I’m glad we were able to spend time away as a family! Are you planning any vacations this year? Send me a message and share your plans!