Congrats, you’ve made it to the city that never sleeps! After the next fun-packed 48 hours, however, you’re going to need a nap (in a good way).
9:30 a.m.: Start with bagels and lox, blintzes, and matza brei pancakes at the Upper West Side icon, Barney Greengrass.
11 a.m.: Head to the American Museum of Natural History, just six blocks away. No trip to NYC is complete without visiting the giant wonders—the blue whale, the dinosaur fossils, and the herd of African elephants—at this classic, kid-favorite treasure.
1:30 p.m.: Load up on pasta, Italian hero sandwiches, and, yes, chicken parm at Parm, six blocks south of the museum.
2:30 p.m.: Enter Central Park at West 72nd Street and meander through the greatest urban oasis in the world (yes, we’re biased). Turn right to follow Terrace Drive all the way to Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, an ultraphotogenic spot to sit and listen to buskers.
4 p.m.: Say hello to the seals during a quick walk-through of the charming and manageable Central Park Zoo, a 10-minute stroll down the mall from the fountain.
5 p.m.: Exit the park at the southwest corner, where you’ll find the Plaza on the corner of 59th Street and Fifth Avenue. If you have Eloise fans in your family, splurge on afternoon tea in the hotel’s Palm Court. Otherwise, grab an early dinner at the Plaza Food Hall, which boasts a very well-curated selection of New York–favorite dishes and cuisines.
7 p.m.: Walk down Fifth Avenue to Rockefeller Center, between 49th and 50th Streets, where you can gawk at the gorgeous NYC night skyline from Top of the Rock.
10 a.m.: Load up on bagels, oversize omelets, and pastrami at the iconic Katz’s Deli on the Lower East Side.
11 a.m.: Let the kids pick sweet treats for the day at Economy Candy, an old-school shop two blocks away that’s jam-packed with nostalgic candies.
Noon: See what it was like to be a new immigrant in NYC during a fascinating, interactive tour of the Tenement Museum, just a five-minute walk from Economy Candy.
1:30 p.m.: Grab crazy-good New York slices at the retro Scarr’s Pizza, just five minutes south, on Orchard Street, from the museum.
2:30 p.m.: Head 10 minutes east on Canal Street to Chinatown. There, stroll the bustling, narrow streets and pop into the many vegetable and seafood shops. Play Skee-Ball at Chinatown Fair, a cramped but authentic local video arcade; try red bean or lychee scoops at Chinatown Ice Cream Factory; and take photos on the windy, mural-filled Doyers Street.
6 p.m.: Dine on delicious dim sum at the traditional Chinese banquet hall Jing Fong.
7:30 p.m.: Walk to the center of the soaring Brooklyn Bridge for incredible views of Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, and the East River. (Don’t worry—the bridge is well lit and populated in the evenings.)