Dropped the ball on planning the family vacation? Slammed at work and can’t get away? Working on a budget right now? Reminder: you don’t need to go anywhere—you live in the best city world! What your family needs is a staycation: splurge on a fun, family-friendly hotel in midtown close to many of the city’s tourist attractions; see what all the fuss is about in Brooklyn (Brownstone or Williamsburg editions); explore downtown like a tourist or tres chic fashionista, or just stay at home and enjoy the city in the summer. We’ve got ideas for your best NYC staycation ever. Read on to find your vaca in your own backyard!

photo: Mimi O'Connor

For a Magical Princess Experience: Lotte NY

Take a staycation in magical Midtown with Lotte NY's Palace Princess Package. Available in the deluxe section of the hotel "The Towers", the experience begins when you check-in at a special area reserved for guests of the "hotel within a hotel" behind glass doors. And then, the moment, when your princess enters the room and spies a perfectly pink princess dress, complete with light-up tiara artfully laid out for her on the bed. (Our princess almost passed out.) On the table, a personalize card welcoming the palace princess is set out, complete with a trio of cupcakes, pink, crown-shaped cookies, and a chocolate sculpture surrounded by gourmet bon bons. (Our room had a big mirror, which was made good use of.) The views looking down on the magnificent St. Patrick's Cathedral and midtown aren't too shabby, either. Rates start at $260

455 Madison Ave.
1-800- 697-2522
Online: www.lottenypalace.com

Staycation destinations: Truly in the center of it all, Lotte NY is two blocks from Rockefeller Center and all that it offers—American Girl Place, a LEGO store, FAO Schwarz, and of course, during the holidays, the famous tree, and skating rink, and iconic decorations. Radio City Music Hall is also nearby

photo: Williamsburg Hotel 

To Explore Hipster HQ: The Williamsburg Hotel

There are a couple of very good (and, of course, very chic) options in Williamsburg, The Williamsburg Hotel and The William Vale. Both offer stylishly-appointed rooms, rooftop pools, and amazing views of Manhattan and Brooklyn. (Both are also running staycation promotions right now!) The Williamsburg Hotel has the added bonus of being pet-friendly, and the service of shuttling guests around the 'hood in a Tuk-tuk. The William Vale has the Turf Club, a pop-up seasonal rooftop with games, music, and sunset views. 

The Williamsburg Hotel 
96 Wythe Ave.
Online: thewilliamsburghotel.com

The William Vale 
111 N. 12th St. 
Online: thewilliamvale.com

Staycation destinations: Domino Park on the waterfront is a must. We love the Beyond the Streets graffiti show at 25 Kent, and recommend brunch at Sunday in Brooklyn if you can get in. Head over to Brooklyn Bowl for Family Bowl or Rock and Roll Playhouse, a kid-friendly dance party with music adults love too! 

photo: The Peninsula

For Kid Glamping in Midtown: The Peninsula

Both you and the kids get the royal treatment at The Peninsula. Parents can get pampered at the acclaimed spa and lounge at the rooftop pool (It's just the right temperature and is surrounded by comfy loungers topped with puffy bright white towels and to-die-for views.) Your kids won’t feel shortchanged, either, as every little one who checks in receives a gift bag with a stuffed Peninsula bear (bedecked in the same hat the doormen wear), a sticker book and activity packets. The Camp Peninsula package includes a Camp Peninsula tent pitched right inside your suite. Clement, the in-hotel restaurant has a kid's kids menu so everyone will enjoy mealtime. 

700 Fifth Ave.
Online: www.newyork.peninsula.com

Staycation destinations: In addition to Rock Center, The Penninsula is also very close to the Museum of Modern Art (note: it's undergoing renovations but will re-open, new and improved, in October). You can also hop over to The Plaza for a proper tea or Eloise event, or for something completely different, head a few blocks east and hop the tram to Roosevelt Island. 

photo: Omni Berkshire Hotel

For Milk & Cookies & American Girl: Omni Berkshire Place

Talk about family-friendly!: midtown hotel Omni Berkshire Place welcomes kids with milk and cookies on the first night of their stay. Other perks for kids include an Omni Kids Club backpack, loaded with games and things to keep the little ones busy, as well as a kids menu. Is there an American Girl doll living in your house? Check out the American Girl Dream package, with a doll bed and breakfast for two. 

21 E. 52nd St. 
Online: omnihotels.com

Staycation destinations: This is another good option to put you in the center of the midtown tourist action of Rock Center and the surrounding area. 

For Super Cool Suites in Koreatown: Tryp by Wyndham Times Square South

Warning: your kids may request a room reno after staying at this fun, funky, and affordable hotel. You're near Times Square but not in it, so you can hop uptown a few blocks for a show and then retreat. This family-friendly hotel offers free breakfast, casual dining, rooms with bunk beds, and family suites is you've got a big brood. Check out the Tryp Theater suite, with a bunk bed, two LED tv screens, funky carpet, 18-foot ceilings and blue skylight. 

345 W. 35th St. 
New York, NY 
Herald Square
Online: tryphotelnyc.com

Staycation destinations: Catch a show on Broadway, or perhaps there's an act coming through town and playing Madison Square Garden, also nearby. Head directly west to check out Hudson Yards and Climb the Vessel (everyone's gotta do it!), and then seamlessly stroll onto The Highline. 

For Sleek Affordable Accommodations Near Times Square: ROW NYC

Looking for a fun, family hotel in Times Square? ROW NYC has a cool vibe and decor, an attached food hall with lots of tasty options, and the “Row Pass” which gets you discounts on NYC family-friendly places like Dave & Busters, Sugar Factory, and souvenir shops. Family specials include the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum package, which gives you a discounted room rate, two tickets to the museum and a complimentary Intrepid souvenir. You can also cook together at the Row NYC Pizza Academy, where families can book a three-hour pizza-making class at Keste Fulton. This NYC hotel package includes a complimentary car service and complimentary breakfast at the hotel restaurant, District M.

700 Eighth Ave.
New York, NY 
Times Square
Website: rownyc.com/rooms-suites

Staycation destinations: This is a good spot for theater fanatics and checking off major NYC tourist spots like Ripley's Believe it Or Not, Madame Tussaud's and National Geographic's Ocean Odyssey. And good news: Times Square is now full of kid-friendly places to eat—we rounded them up here! 

photo: Nu Hotel Brooklyn

For Fun Digs Near Brownstone Brooklyn: Nu Hotel Brooklyn

Never spent time in Brownstone Brooklyn and want to see what all the fuss is about? Check in at Nu Hotel and start exploring. The hotel is centrally-located near the cute brownstone neighborhoods of Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights and beyond, with the added bonus of being near the transit hub of downtown Brooklyn.  Accommodations for families include rooms with two double beds, and a bunk bed suite that sleeps four. Other perks include cool murals on select walls and free bike use.

85 Smith St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Website: nuhotelbrooklyn.com

Staycation destinations: Spend a day in Brooklyn Bridge Park, drop into the New York City Transit Museum, and walk the Brooklyn Bridge. Venture into Carroll Gardens for brunch at Buttermilk Channel and ice cream at Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain.

—Mimi O’Connor


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