Our Mother/Daughter Trip to New York City | All the Details!

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell
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I just got back from a whirlwind mother-daughter trip to New York City with my 21-year-old daughter! We had some great talks, laughed a lot, and even cried a little. (Details in this post.) We also ate fantastic food, walked and walked, and saw some incredible Broadway shows (five, to be exact!). Today I’m sharing all the details on everything from where we stayed and ate to what we saw and what I wore. (Along with lots of poor quality iPhone photos—please be kind!) 🙂

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We left Oklahoma City (near where Becca goes to school) very early on a Sunday morning, and I snapped the quick mirror selfie above at about 5 a.m.! We had show tickets that night, so I wanted to wear an outfit that would work for our show that night with a quick change of shoes. With a full day of travel under our belts, we somehow made our dinner reservation that night at Serafina and then actually made our show on time. You guessed it! I was in the same outfit (seriously wrinkled!), but with my trusty Tory Burch Miller sandals on my feet!

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We saw Once on This Island, which we adored! It won the 2018 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. It’s the story of a peasant girl on a tropical island, who uses the power of love to bring together people of different social classes. I thought it was somewhat of a cross between Romeo and Juliet and The Little Mermaid! It’s performed in a theater in the round, and the stage is a sandy tropical island, complete with a pool, live animals, and incredible singing.

After the show, we completely crashed at our hotel! I slept for eleven hours, and Becca slept for twelve!

Where We Stayed

When Bob and I went to NYC back in May on a fun empty nester getaway (more on that in this post), we stayed at the Marriott Essex House because we wanted to be right by Central Park. Becca and I opted to stay a little closer to Broadway since we based our trip around the shows we were seeing. My super savvy friend Maggie told me about Hilton’s The London Hotel, which is centrally located in Midtown, within a 10-minute walk of Central Park, and about a 10-minute walk (in the other direction) from Times Square and Broadway. We especially loved the oversized rooms (rare in NYC), and we’ll definitely be staying there again!

Tea at The Plaza, Dahling… and More

Monday was my birthday, so we made reservations to have tea at The Palm Court in the Fairmont Plaza Hotel instead of lunch. The staff made me feel so special, and we had such girly fun! We spent the rest of the day shopping on 5th Avenue and walking around Rockefeller Center.

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We dined at Trattoria Dell’Arte that night. It’s one of our favorite Italian restaurants in the city. The decor of the restaurant is modeled after an Italian artist’s studio with oversized sculptures and drawings as well as a wall gallery of famous Italian noses! Since it was my birthday, Becca insisted that we see Wicked, because I’d never seen it. (This was her 4th time!) It is a true classic, for a good reason (It’s incredible!), and I loved it so much.

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Central Park Tour

We had a delicious lunch at Friedmans, which is a family-owned NYC restaurant chain with an extensive menu and breakfast all day. (And who doesn’t love that, amirite?) They feature antibiotic-free meats & local vegetables. Then we headed over to Central Park. Over the years, we’ve spent lots of time in Central Park, from taking our young kids to the zoo, to eating at the Boathouse restaurant. This trip, Becca and I wanted to do a guided walking tour of Central Park so that we could learn a little bit more about the artistic, architectural, and historical landmarks in the park. When Bob and I went in May, we did a bike tour of the park, and we learned so much. I knew Becca would enjoy something similar. She did!

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We had dinner that night at Pizza Arte, an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria with an ever-changing gallery of contemporary art! The pizza is unbelievable. (My mouth is watering just thinking about it!) Since it was a girly trip, we saw Mean Girls that night! It was written by Tina Fey, and her husband Jeff Richmond wrote the music. As you would expect, it was hilarious (if a little racy), and the dancing was so good! On the way to the theater, we stopped at the famous pop art LOVE sculpture and snapped some pics.

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The next day was Wednesday, and lots of Broadway shows have two performances that day. We took advantage of that! First, we had a yummy lunch at Bare Burger. It’s our favorite burger joint in NYC, and it features local, organic, & sustainable burgers, shakes, salads, fries, and sides. We hit one whenever we come to NYC! Then we headed over to a 1 p.m. performance of Disney’s Frozen. Oh yeah, we did. 🙂

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When the uber-talented Cassie Levy belted out “Let It Go,” you could have heard a pin drop. It was epic.

After our matinee, we headed out to play around Times Square. We hit the M&M’s store, H&M, and we bought this darling dress for Becca at Loft! (I bought this dress and this sweet top!)

We had dinner reservations at Nino’s 46, an Italian restaurant with great food that we always visit at least once when we’re in New York. (In case you haven’t noticed, we love Italian food!) After dinner, we hit Starbucks (needed!), then stopped by Baked by Melissa, our favorite NYC bakery. It features bite-sized cupcakes in a variety of ever-changing flavors.

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We definitely saved the best show for last! Come From Away is based on the true story of what transpired when 38 planes were ordered to land unexpectedly in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland following the September 11 attacks. The characters in the musical are based on (and in most cases share the names of) real Gander residents as well as some of the 7,000 stranded travelers they housed and fed. It is such a sweet reminder of the capacity for human kindness in even the darkest of times. If you haven’t seen this musical, put it on your list!

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Taking a mother-daughter trip to New York City was so much fun! It was totally different than doing NYC with my husband. (Although that was fun too!) Have you ever taken a mother-daughter trip to NYC? I’d love to know your recommendations for great places to eat, play, and stay. Please leave me a comment and let me in on your favorite spots!

P.S. Thinking of heading to NYC in the future? Don’t forget to pin this post (you can use the icon below) for future reference! xoxo

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Suzy Mighell

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14 Comments

  1. Suzy, Could you be a travel agent on the side? What a filled to the brim trip you and Becca enjoyed! Thank you for the vicarious vacation.
    Love, Joanie

    1. Joanie,
      You are the cutest! We loved our time in NYC! Thanks so much for your sweet comment! xoxo Suzy

  2. So much fun, I definitely want to plan a NYC trip with my daughter! Did you plan ahead which shows you would see? Just wondering if you have any tips for show tickets, etc.

    1. Angie,
      We did plan ahead on our show tickets because we wanted to be sure to see the exact ones we wanted to see and we wanted good seats! (As you can imagine, Becca had lots of opinions about this!) This was essentially her graduation trip because we are hoping she will have a job and won’t have time for one next summer! If you want to see shows that have been around for a while, you can probably wait until later – or even until you get there. f you decide to do that, I would NOT stand in the TKTS line in Times Square. That is just CRAZY now! Instead, go with Today Tix (https://www.todaytix.com/). We’ve used them many times before, and they are so easy to work with and the prices are definitely discounted. You use their app to order tickets and then someone on their staff actually meets you in front of the theater right before your show and HANDS YOU your tickets!!! I hope that helps, sweet Angie! xoxo Suzy

  3. Oh my goodness – How fun was that trip? It is wonderful to see what others love about NYC! I must say that you look much cuter than I do when I travel. A few other suggestions to add to your GREAT list of activities. Walk the HIghline, Visit Eataly, Visit Chelsea Market, Restaurants: King, Balthazar and Morandi .

    1. Suzanne,
      I am almost embarrassed that you read my post because I know you are the true expert! (Everybody needs to visit Suzanne’s blog: https://www.adventuresofemptynesters.com/ for all the scoop on your empty nester adventures!) Bob and I went to the Highline when we were there in May and to Chelsea Market as well and we loved them. Thanks so much for the restaurant ideas! Becca and I both have Celiac Disease, so we were all about the gluten-free friendly spots this time! xoxo Suzy

    1. Cathy,
      Thank you so much! I WAS pretty worn out when we got back and it really took me all weekend to get my feet back under me! Thanks for noticing and thinking about that. So sweet of you! xoxo Suzy

  4. This is my kind of NYC trip! I would have been in hog heaven with 5 shows!!! Wicked is one of my all time favorites so can’t imagine how good CFA must be! Wanting to take my mom on this trip in the spring.

    1. Debra, Do it! She will love it!!! We walked and walked and only took an Uber once when we were pressed for time. Not sure if your mom is a good walker, but know that it’s super easy to get an Uber if you need one! I hope you pinned the post to your Pinterest for future reference! It will also live under the travel section of my blog for a long time if you need to review it when you start planning your trip! Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment. xoxo Suzy

  5. Hello,
    I fully enjoyed reading about your Mommy & Daughter trip to NYC. I will take the same trip with my sweet Sammi at the end of this month, and ran across your page while looking for tips on such a trip. I found myself surfing your page and finding all these wonderful stories, tips, and so much more. Thanks for sharing and letting a mamma like me, who has a daughter that just started college, not feel so overwhelmed with emotions. I look forward to reading so much more about your adventures.
    Blessing,
    Lucia

    1. Lucia,
      Well, you are just the sweetest! Thank you so much for your kind words! I am SO happy that you found Empty Nest Blessed helpful. I hope you have a great trip with your precious girl. I am happy that you found me!
      xoxo
      Suzy

  6. That trip was amazing! I have planned a trip for my daughter and I for the end of February 2020. Her dream was to see Beetlejuice before it closes! I am using some of your fun ideas for us even though we will be in the mid of Winter! Some of the places I do want to hit, (where I have been) Schmakerys and The Shake Shack! Thanks for being so inspiring!

    1. Devonna,
      Your trip sounds fun! Don’t let the weather hold you back! Order some thin, silk long underwear (https://rstyle.me/+LHgf1ZUsOYLeJViEKkIZnA) on sale right now, bundle up, and go for it! I love Schmakerys AND Shake Shack! You’re going to have the best time!!!! Thanks so much for taking the time out to leave a sweet comment!
      xoxo
      Suzy

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