Battery Park City
Start your day at the playground at Rockefeller Park.
Your kids will love the sprinklers; big sand area; great climbing apparatus; foot-pedaled carousel as well as the bounce-on balls and tumbling tunnels you can borrow for free (just remember to bring photo ID) at the kiosk just north of the park. Outside of this kiosk you’ll also find two pool tables, ping-pong tables and table hockey. Basketball courts are a few steps further north.
You’ll love the view. It doesn’t get much better than this—grass, trees, flowers and the Hudson River.
When you’re ready for a change of scenery, head across the street to Teardrop Park. You’ll find a huge children’s slide, just-big-enough rocks for the kids to climb on and spouting fountains for water play.
Afterwards you can:
Have a picnic. Walk south along the Esplanade (the beautiful, river-front pedestrian walkway) for just a few minutes until you reach the World Financial Center. Inside, you’ll find lots of takeout options. Then grab a water-front table in front of Ciao Bella, eat on one of the stone benches lining the marina or head north again and spread out a blanket on the lovely lawn in front of the playground.
Eat at a river-front restaurant. Nearly half a dozen of them dot the length of the Esplanade. Across from the marina you’ll find South by Southwest which has a lovely view of boats and is a great place to watch the sun set. Walk further south along the Esplanade and you’ll reach a few other restaurants. Good kids options are Liberty View, a Chinese restaurant, and The Wave, which serves Japanese food and is where we go with our kids again and again. The food is pretty good, a friendly squirrel hangs out near the tables and the view of the river and the Statue of Liberty is outstanding.
Take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. Walk south along the Esplanade until you reach the ferry terminal. It’s one of the most beautiful walks in the city. The ride on the ferry is free and the view of the Statue of Liberty and the sunset is priceless.
Visit the World Trade Center Site. Walk through the World Financial Center, cross the West Side Highway and there it is.
Go shopping. Check out the shops inside the World Financial Center. And, of course, you’ll want to bargain hunt at Century 21, which has been voted the #1 discount store in New York City. See http://www.c21stores.com/ for location and hours.
For special events happening nearby, click on http://www.rivertorivernyc.com/
Getting to Rockefeller Park:
By train: The 1, 2 or 3 to Chambers Street. Walk west until you reach the Esplanade. Turn left and walk south until you reach Rockefeller Park.
TIP: The walk west from the train will take you past a few cafes and restaurants where you can stop for breakfast or lunch or get take out food for a picnic later in the day.
By car: West Side Highway to Chambers Street. Turn right on Chambers, then turn left on River Terrace. Go about 4 blocks until you reach Murray Street. (You will see a big white ferry tent when you look out at the river.) There is a ramp on the corner of Murray Street that leads directly to the playground. Look for street parking, or park in one of the local garages.
TIP: The parking regulations are very strictly enforced in Battery Park City so make sure you read all street signs and are parked the full regulation distance away from any fire hydrants.
Getting to Teardrop Park: Exit Rockefeller Park playground, turn right and head inland towards the residential part of Battery Park City. The first street you come to is River Terrace at the intersection of Murray Street. Cross River Terrace and walk on the left side of Murray Street. Walk past the corner building until you reach grass and trees. Turn left onto the path there and follow it to the park.