Right on the waterfront, Battery Park City is home to thousands of growing families, thriving businesses, restaurants and some of New York City’s most impressive parks. Running along the Hudson River on the far west side of lower Manhattan, Battery Park isn’t known for it’s shopping, but a trip to this beautiful urban oasis is a must for families and kiddos. Kids will love that playgrounds are more common than retail shops. Take a tour with Red Tricycle for the best places to eat, play and sightsee in this must-visit neighborhood.
A visit to Battery Park City isn’t complete without sampling the award-winning burger and fries from Shake Shack (215 Murray St.). The popular spot can attract long lines, especially after weekend little league games, but thankfully, not Madison-Square-Park-long. Situated in what locals refer to as Goldman Alley, Shake Shack offers a sizable amount of indoor and outdoor patio seating to accommodate everyone.
For a quieter dining experience try Le Pain Quotidien (2 River Terrace), an awesome neighborhood spot to grab food on the go or enjoy a casual meal with the kids. The farm to table restaurant is the best option if visiting Nelson A. Rockefeller Park playground, where food and drinks are not sold. Order the mint lemonade – it’s amazing, refreshing drink on a hot summer day.
For a delicious family sit down, Philly restaurateur Stephen Starr’s El Vez (259 Vesey St.) is the new kid on the block, serving up contemporary Mexican-American food and a festive menu of margaritas. The nachos and Mahi-Mahi tacos are a must, and the kid’s menu is filled with a number of delectable items, including Mahi-Mahi bites, chicken and cheese quesadillas and a peanut butter and banana sandwich.
Nelson A. Rockefeller Park (North Battery Park City, West of River Terrace) serves as the neighborhood centerpiece with stunning waterfront views of the Hudson River, the New Jersey skyline, and Lady Liberty. The park features a fenced-in playground with the works; bucket swings, slides, a jungle gym, a foot-pedal operated carousel and multiple sand boxes. A pet-free lawn, duck pond, basketball court, free use of park games and equipment, and a public restroom located at the Solaire, round out this must visit neighborhood attraction.
One short block from Rockefeller Park playground is the delightfully charming Teardrop Park (Warren and Murray St.), created by landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh. The park is a quiet neighborhood hideaway, nestled in the courtyard between Warren Street and River Terrace. Aside from the stunning architecture and artistic interpretation of nature, the kids will love the giant slide, sand boxes, water fountains and hidden passageways through the rock structures.
Last, but certainly not least, the Esplanade is a gorgeous waterfront promanade that runs from Chambers Street all the way down to the southern tip of Battery Park City. Head to the Esplanade to take in the river views while enjoying a leisurely walk, run, bike ride, or awesome people watching.
The Cherry On Top
Catch an amazing sunset and views of the Statue of Liberty at Wagner Park located in South Battery Park City and for the best views of Rockefeller Park and the Hudson River, climb to the top of the Irish Hunger Memorial (Vesey St.). The Battery Park City Parks Conservancy hosts a number of events and activities for the kiddos from May through October in Rockefeller, Teardrop and Wagner Parks, including preschool art, preschool play, and the Explorers Club for school aged children.
What’s New in Battery Park
Brookfield Place’s newly unveiled food court, Hudson Eats (200 Vesey St.), opened on June 3rd with 12 eateries including Sprinkles Cupcakes, Umami Burger, Mighty Quinns, Num Pang, and Black Seed Bagels. Blue Ribbon Sushi and Northern Tiger are set to open in the coming months, bringing the total to 14. Coming in 2015, you’ll find retail shops, additional eateries including Parm, a yet-to-be-named full service restaurant by Iron Chef Jose Garces, and Le District, a large French Market offering fresh meats, cheeses, coffee and sweet treats.
What’s your favorite family-friendly spot in Battery Park City? Tell us about it in a Comment.