Skip the business casual ensemble and uncover the fun at World Financial Center. Home to major financial institutions from all over the world, we’d rather focus on the delicious eats and kiddy treats that this microcosm offers. WFC will only get better with time, as the next few years welcome sparkling renovations and more public spaces. The space and conveniences offered here are a rarity in Manhattan, so go take advantage!

When to Go:  Rain or shine, you’ve got options here. On a gorgeous day, focus your time outdoors on the waterfront esplanade. There are fountains, boats, food stands, public seating and manicured walkways to keep the little ones entertained. When it’s rainy, blow off steam in the Winter Garden, a 10-story glass pavilion that will protect you from the elements but still offer big views of the Hudson. After the kids finish their acoustic experimentation here, treat them to a fresh fruit smoothie at Elixir near 2 WFC.

Don’t Waste Your Time On: The second floor – unless you have kids with solid walking and stair climbing skills. No strollers are allowed on the escalators and with renovations in full swing, the only elevators available to the public are by the front entrance at Vesey Street. By the time you’ve wandered through the ground floor of the complex and the plaza outside, it’s a trek back to the elevator. Plus, there’s not much to see upstairs as most of the company entrances start here.

Good Eats: The trendiest option for lunch (and most kid-friendly too!) is the Food Truck Court on the waterfront plaza off North End Avenue. Almost 20 different trucks offer something different everyday – from wienerschnitzel and kimchi tacos, to grilled cheese or ice cream sandwiches. Check the schedule to see who’s parking. If you’re going on a rainy day, try P.J. Clarke’s classic burger and share appetizers.

Insider Tip: The easiest restrooms for strollers and a large brood are located behind the grand marble stairs of the Winter Garden, on either side of the lighted round wall. Plenty of space to roam and it’s a great spot for artsy family photos, too!

Recommended Nearby Fun: Ferry rides to New Jersey, Battery Park City branch of the New York Public Library (great children’s area), Rockefeller Park with several playground and a children’s garden, and the infamous Shake Shack (with the shortest line in Manhattan!).

On the Horizon: Screamin’ Green Halloween for families on Saturday, Oct 27, 2012, 12:00 pm–3:00 pm. Spooky recycled art projects, bobbing for local apples and organic sweets is just a sliver of the activities that will be offered.

World Financial Center, Public Entrance to Shops, Courtyard & Plaza at:
220 Vesey Street (between North End Avenue and West Street)

Online: worldfinancialcenter.com

Did we miss something? Tell us about your fave fam spots at the WFC in the comment section.  

— Sarah Choi

Photos provided by the WFC website and facebook page and P.J. Clarke’s website.