Family Vacation Ideas | NYC, Washington D.C., Philadelphia

It’s amazing how fast the season changes from Summer to Fall and now Winter. When I was younger it seemed it took forever for the time to pass and now it seems to pass by so quickly.

The more time drifts away, the more intentional, I become about creating memories with my children. One of our most recent was over our 2012 Summer vacation to my place of birth. I wanted my children to see where I grew up and spend time in a city larger than Columbia, SC. On this vacation we not only visited New York, we also stopped in New Jersey, Washington DC and Pennsylvania.

The kids have been up north a few times, but were always too young to remember. This year was the most memorable for my kids.

DAY 1: Philadelphia

Our First stop was in Pennsylvania where we visited the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Amish Market and the two infamous Gyro rivals Genos and Gyro King.

After staying a night in Pennsylvania, we headed up to New York City for a few days. I love being in the city on vacation. Everything moves fast and seems so much grander than when you head south.

Genos Gyro

DAY 2: New York City

We started the day by visiting family and then went sight seeing. This was the children’s first time on a subway.

They did really well with keeping up with the crowd and people on the trains were nicer than I remembered when I lived here. Two times while riding the train people gave up their seats so that the children and I could all sit together.

Our first stop was the former location of the Twin Towers. We didn’t get to go inside the monument because I didn’t know you need to pre-schedule an appointment.

We got back on the train and headed to 34th Streets Herald Square, where the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade is held.

It’s a short distance from the Empire State Building, which is where we headed next. The views were just as I remembered.

Day 3: The Bronx Zoo

We got up early and headed to one of the most amazing zoo’s in the country. This was where I worked my first year in college, so I knew my way around.

We purchased the Total Experience package which included access to just about everything. We were greeted by the peacocks that are still allowed to roam freely around the zoo grounds.

We visited every exhibit except for one. All of the animals were out and the Gorillas put on an amazing unscripted show for us.

Day 4: Washington, D.C.

This was the final stop on our vacation and a perfect way to wind down and prepare for the ride back home.

We visited the Lincoln Memorial, and the Dr. Martin Luther King Monument. This is the second time I’ve been to D.C. and the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool has been under construction.

The kids had finished swimming lessons a week before our trip so after spending a day visiting monuments we let the kids burn off energy in the hotel swimming pool.

This was one of our most memorable vacations and the point that I’ve been waiting for as a parent. We have taken our children lot’s of places before this, but only their father and I have detailed memories of those vacations. It’s always been us telling them what we did since they were too young to remember. This year they came back and I couldn’t get them to stop talking about the details of this vacation.

Whether vacationing away from home or at home I am working toward being intentional about spending time with my husband and children. I only get one chance at this wife and mom thing so I plan on making it the best I can.

Comments

  1. says

    I can’t wait to be in NYC next month for my birthday. I was in Philadelphia in April and I hope to make it to DC again soon! It’s so important to spend time with your family especially now that your kids will remember. Your daughter is a mini you, how cute! I wonder who my children will favor.

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  2. says

    My dad worked in Philadelphia for about 2 years and we’d go visit him once a month. I remember fondly the train trip up there. I still remember our visit to the “cracked bell” as I called it and attending a 76ers game and meeting many of the players. Great memories – thanks for the trip down memory lane!

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