I realized my kids needed to visit New York City. Growing up on Long Island I went to the “city” often with my family for shows, museums and always around the holidays. Now, living in Upstate New York, and as my oldest was approaching her 5th birthday, I realized that our kids have never seen more of NYC than what they can see from their car seats as we cross the Throgs Neck Bridge. My goal was to rectify that immediately with a weekend in Brooklyn.
A very dear friend of mine lives in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn and invited us to stay at her place and be our personal tour guides! Traveling with kids has taught us to be flexible – especially when exploring new cities where the kids can’t wander much on their own. My travel goals for Day 1 of our weekend in Brooklyn were simple – cross the Brooklyn Bridge and introduce my dumpling-loving daughter to Chinatown.
Chinatown with Kids
After working up an appetite walking the Brooklyn Bridge, we headed to nearby Chinatown. Our goal was to find dumplings and that we did at the Chinatown landmark, Joe’s Shanghai Restaurant. Joe’s Shanghai is known for its famous soup dumplings.
Soup dumplings are steamed buns with a doughy outer wrap, similar to a fried dumpling. However, you place the dumpling on a miso soup style spoon and gentle open the it with chopsticks to enjoy the warm, fat drenched soup inside before consuming the whole dumpling. Absolutely delicious! The kids weren’t as impressed but an order of fried dumplings did the trick for my 5-year-old. She now brings her own chopsticks when a potential dumpling opportunity is on the horizon. We ordered several other delicious dishes and passed them around the family style. The staff is incredibly friendly and the place was packed at the odd hour of 3PM so you know you’re at a great place.
Love Food Trucks?
Luck was with us, as our meeting spot for day 2 of our weekend in Brooklyn was at the Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park on the third Sunday of September. From June through October, on the third Sunday of the month, a fabulously eclectic mix of New York food trucks station themselves at this very entrance of Prospect Park waiting for the hordes of visitors to line up and be fed. I will admit, we weren’t expecting this and had brought a picnic lunch for us and the kids. However, we couldn’t resist the smells from the ever intriguing grill cheese vendors, the Red Hook Lobster truck and finally gave in when we saw the Kimchi Taco Truck.
While the kids were enthralled with the people watching, my husband and I shared a combo plate of flavorful, but not overly spicy chicken and pork tacos dressed with pickled vegetables and an array of different herb infused sauces. We don’t have vendors like this in Upstate New York and we had to have some self control to not line up for another.
It’s funny how life can become so complicated with the day to day “stuff”. We can so easily lose track of friends and not realize just how much time goes by between visits. This weekend in Brooklyn gave my family the opportunity to explore the Big Apple and allowed me the chance to reconnect with some friends who are very dear to me. Over the last couple of years we’ve had many joys: babies, new career opportunities, home purchases as well as difficult loss. Although I’m not as close in physical proximity, I’m always there in spirit and was so glad I finally made it to NYC for a long overdue visit.
Plan a Food Adventure Weekend in Brooklyn
Check the Kimchi Taco Truck Schedule or consult the New York City Food Trucks Map for when and where to find food on wheels. Want to find the best street food? Read the New York Street Food blog. And for more ideas on Chinatown with kids, see this kid-approved Chinatown itinerary.
More Family Fun in Brooklyn:
- Weekend in Brooklyn – Food Adventures with Kids and Friends Too!
- Prospect Park – Family Fun in Brooklyn
- Walking the Brooklyn Bridge – Fun and Free Family Fun!
- Brooklyn Sea Lion Represents
- Graffiti – Introduce Kids to Street Art
- When We Saved Coney Island
Adrienne Veglia Mazeau | Adrienne lives outside of Albany, NY with her archaeologist husband, creative school age daughter and a very active toddler. When not dreaming about where to take her family next she works as a Fiscal Policy Analyst for New York State. Combining an insatiable appetite for breaking out of routine and discovering new destinations with her family while working full time keeps the balancing act interesting. Writing as become her creative outlet. Email: AdrienneVegliaMazeau@AlbanyKid.com, Twitter: @AdrienneVMazeau