The possibilities of what to do during a staycation in New York City are endless. But the suggestions are somewhat useless if they’re not tailored to the person who needs them. Typically, I’m used to coming up for ideas for someone who has visited the NYC once before and is returning with kids. But today, thanks to a Facebook group that I’m part of, I was inspired by a new challenge. What should a New Yorker do for a staycation in the city while her kids are away?
1. Go to The Whitney and dine at Santina.
This is my number one suggestion and it would even work if you were kid-free for say, four hours. I am somewhat embarrassed that while I have admired the architecture of the new Whitney building, I have not yet been inside. I grew up right near the original building and I feel a little betrayed that it moved to a cooler neighborhood, especially when I haven’t. If I don’t get to the Whitney without my kids soon, then I’ll just have to bring them.
2. Read a book at Jacob Riis beach.
Last Friday, I went to Jacob Riis beach in Rockaway Park, Queens, with my kids for the first time and I was quite impressed. The sand is a little gritty, though much nicer right by the shoreline. And the ocean water was both clearer and warmer than I thought it would be. Perhaps the best surprise was the food, which includes high-end concessions like Bolivian Llama Party and Wild Feast. I went with my kids, but I think it would be nice to go without kids and sit peacefully while reading a book or magazine. In fact, it would be a completely different experience.
3. Find serenity at the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City. If you like the cliche “hidden gem,” then here you go with this small, serene museum featuring the sculptures of Japanese artist Isamu Noguchi. There is a small but lovely garden there too. Afterward, check out the art and the Manhattan skyline views at nearby Socrates Park.
4. Shop, shop, shop:
I have no qualms about taking my toddler shopping (for me). The stores are air-conditioned and it’s kind of educational. The problem is that she only lets me try on like two things and then I basically have to make a snap decision about whether or not I want to buy it and I’m not good with snap decisions. So a kid-free staycation in NYC should include going shopping, whenever and wherever. I’d also hit up the sample sales, because they’re often crowded, cramped, and inconvenient places (so not the kind of places where I’d ever take a kid).
5. See a show.
A week with no kids is the perfect time to go to the theater! I’m obsessed with the app TodayTix because I love how I can see which discount tickets are available for which shows that day or night and then up to seven days out. You can’t choose your seats, but I actually like this because I’m the kind of person who will spend ridiculous amounts of time choosing between two sets of fairly similar seats. Use my code WIQAQ for $10 off.
So these are my thoughts for a cultural staycation in the city without kids. If you want some wilder alternatives, check out this article from the New York Post about parents who party hard while the kids are at sleepaway camp.