Christmas in NYC, 2 Day Itinerary for Families (Day 2)

Welcome to our day 2 itinerary for New York City! We recommend grouping your plans by neighborhoods in the city to cut down on wasted time for transportation. To go just a few miles in the bustling city center could take between 30 minutes to an hour depending on where you want to go. We saved all of our downtown activities for the second day. This can get a little bit dry for children, so we found a few ways to keep it exciting for them as well.

Ground Zero, Oculus, 9/11 Museum, One World Observation Tower

The former world trade center area has become a large part of the city which includes several different experiences. First, there is the 9/11 Memorial exhibits. The spirit is very solemn and quiet, and you will certainly find no one chatting away on their cell phones. The building straight ahead in the picture above is a museum dedicated to the lives of those killed by the terrorist attacks as well as the valiant rescue efforts going on for days afterwards. You could also pay to go to the top of One World Observation Tower, which is the tallest tower in the western hemisphere. However, the cheapest entry price is $44 per person. This was out of our budget in addition to there being zero visibility. Next, there is a major transportation hub here called the Oculus. It feels like a cross between a posh airport and a high end shopping district.

It is completely decked out in festive Christmas decorations absolutely everywhere you turn. You will likely end up using this transportation site at some point during your stay has multiple subway stops, Path trains to Jersey, and other destinations are all located at this point.

You will have to decide what is the best experience for your group. An entire day can easily be spent here.

Ferry to Ellis Island or Statue of Liberty

Taking a ferry will give you a great opportunity to see the skyline and an outside view of the buildings. When you’re in the city center, it’s easy to get lost in the sheer magnitude of the space. The ferry offers a great view, and the kids will love taking a ride on a boat. You can take the ferry out to Ellis Island or to the Statue of Liberty. However, during the winter, you should expect it to be extremely cold. We were fine all day, but being right there on the water was absolutely chilling!

Chinatown and/or Little Italy

A family favorite experience was our trip to Chinatown. We all really enjoy a variety of Asian foods, so this was high on our priority list. Chinatown is the largest population of Chinese people living outside China.

You would think it is a heavy tourist destination (and I’m sure it is), but everywhere we stopped we were surrounded by locals. We saw very few other tourists even in the peak season. 

You will find everything from fresh seafood markets to quick bites like a dumpling shop. There are also other foods like Thai and Vietnamese.

The sights and sounds and make a credible experience for anyone. This is a very highly recommended stop. If half of your group would choose pizza over potstickers, you’re in luck! Little Italy is right next door!

More options…

The business district has so much to offer even when you’re traveling with kids. You can go to worlds largest Starbucks which post some really interesting architectural design. You can see Trinity Church both for its history and it’s grandeur. You can see the New York Stock Exchange and Wall Street, and get a picture with the Charging Bull. We listed our favorite activities, but there are so many adventures to choose from!

Published by brawnerology

We are family living in Texas, who LOVE to travel. We have been all over Europe, Asia, and Central America. Now, we are heading throughout the US with our children!

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