Things to do in Greenwich Village in Winter – with Kids

Things to do in Greenwich Village in Winter – with Kids

Things to do in Greenwich Village in Winter – with Kids

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I used to live in Greenwich Village, specifically the West Village. That was many moons ago, pre-kids, when I had a busy nightlife, never cooked, and lived in a shoebox of an apartment. Those were the days. I loved that neighborhood, what with its brownstone buildings, amazing restaurants and impossibly charming streets. It’s still my favorite hood in Manhattan.

So when my friend Clare, from the travel blog Suitcases and Sandcastles, was visiting NY in mid- February and wanted to walk around and explore the village with me and my girls, I said absolutely! The thing was, believe it or not, I hadn’t taken my girls there yet. They had been to some parts of the village, such as the Highline and the Hudson River waterfront park, but they had never really walked around the core of the neighborhood before. And being February in the dead of winter, I realized I had to do some research before we set out. Not sure the weather would leave much room for lazy cobblestoned walks!

Things to do in Greenwich village in winter

After much sifting through the memory and checking out some things online, I discovered there was plenty to do in Greenwich Village in winter with the kids. It involved a lot of eating and a lot of sweets, but fun, quintessential places to visit nonetheless! I devised a loose itinerary for us and Clare and her son, and we wound up having a fabulous February day in the village. I thought I’d share it here for all those who are in New York City in the winter time and want to explore around Greenwich Village with their kids. Here we go!

Things to do in Greenwich Village in Winter – with Kids

Begin in Union Square

Technically, Union Square is not the village, but it’s right on the cusp and the perfect spot to start your day. Union Square is such a big part of NYC – a major congregation point – that if you haven’t been to the city before you’ll want to see it any way. There is a park and playgrounds, and if warm enough in winter can be enjoyed outside. During the holidays, there is a big, festive Christmas market beckoning passers-by.


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Some points of interest in Union Square that are fun for the kids are:

Dylan’s Candy

Dylan's candy in Union Square

There is a downtown branch of this crazy popular candy store on the Upper East Side, and it’s located in the old Andy Warhol factory on Union Square West. Not sure anything screams NYC kids more that Dylan’s Candy, with its bright colors, whimsical space and every candy imaginable.

The Farmer’s Market, or Green Market

New York’s largest open-air food market is open on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and is a lot of fun for any age. There is stall after stall selling baked goods, produce, cheeses, delicacies and on. My kids love getting the samples and just walking around seeing all the different kinds of food being sold.

Metronome and Countdown Clock

I wish I knew what this was when Clare’s son asked about it, but I didn’t. So, I looked it up after. This public art work is displayed prominently on a building on 14th Street between Broadway and Fourth Ave, facing Union Square Park. What is it? The metronome is a sculptural element comprised of numbers – the seven digits to the left tell the day’s time, from hours to minutes to seconds. The seven digits on the right side tell how much time is left in the day. The moving digit in the center, though you can’t see it, represents a hundredth of a second. I wish I knew this when we were all there as it’s a pretty cool thing to see!

Strand Book Store

Walk a little south of Union Square on Broadway and you will come across Strand Book Store, an NYC institution. We did not go on this visit, but this gigantic store over 90 years old has every book under the sun, and a great Children’s section. On weekends there are story times for the wee ones.


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There are many stores and restaurants in and around Union Square to dip into, depending on your child’s age, and it is always bustling and fun to walk through.

Things to do in Greenwich Village, Nutella Cafe

As we headed into and through the village we came across the Nutella Cafe on University Place. Newly opened in November 2018, I actually hadn’t heard of it, but as my girls love Nutella, we decided to take a walk through. With everything Nutella, including gelato, and a modern space, I would imagine this place is a huge hit with families. We will definitely give it a go sometime, but we already had lunch plans in order.

We continued walking through the picturesque streets, making our way to the West Village for lunch reservations.



Booking.com

Cowgirl Hall of Fame

Things to do in Greenwich Village, Cowgirl Hall of Fame

I had made a lunch reservation at this West Village staple, the quirky and kitschy Cowgirl Hall of Fame. This restaurant has been around forever and is so much fun. It has a southwestern menu which I thought would be the perfect Americana meal for our U.K. friends. The ambience is super relaxed with fun, silly décor that is perfect for kids as much as it is for adults. We enjoyed a leisurely and delicious meal here, and then set out again. I purposely did not have us order dessert because I wanted to take them to…

Magnolia Bakery

Eating cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery in the West Village

Magnolia Bakery is the original cupcake craze café. Sure there have been a whole host of others that have popped up, but Magnolia is a village institution! When I was working in the city, this was the place everyone went to for birthday celebrations. No one does the buttercream frosting the way Magnolia does. I’ve taken many an out-of-towner here, and everyone always loves this vintage style bakery.


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Washington Square Park

Playing in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village in winter

Hanging out ink Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village in winter

Clare and Me!

After Magnolia bakery, we walked through the village on its windy, charming streets, and made our way to Washington Square park, where the kids could burn off some steam, and sugar. With its iconic archway and plenty of space to run around, including two playgrounds, this park is always a hit in my family. When it’s warmer out you can see loads of chess players gathered around. Washington Square Park is always filled with action no matter what, though, and can be visited throughout the year.

The Evolution Store

Things to do in Greenwich Village in the winter with kids, the Evolution Store

We ended our day with a trip to the Evolution Store, just south of Washington Square, one of NYC’s most unusual stores. Think skeletons, fossils, skulls, insects, taxidermy, minerals, stones and a lot more at this eye-opening shop full of unique finds. Kids and adults alike love this store.

And that’s my list of fun things to do in Greenwich Village in winter with kids. I love the village, even in the cold weather. Don’t let the low temps drive you away, Greenwich Village is great any time of year!

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42 Comments

  1. February 28, 2019 / 3:34 am

    oooh that’s awesome you finally got to meet!! One day I’ll meet you girls! Greenwich Village looks like a lot of fun! I especially want to eat my way through a Nutella cafe and walk it off through that beautiful book store!! #FarawayFiles

    • March 4, 2019 / 12:18 am

      Hopefully some day we can meet Lori! Hope you had a good trip to the U.S.! Are you back in Germany now?

  2. February 28, 2019 / 6:58 am

    Love guides from locals, they are so much fun and great to get those little insights. I’ve heard some great things about Magnolia Bakery.

    • March 4, 2019 / 12:17 am

      Magnolia is the best. Their buttercream frosting is beyond!

  3. February 28, 2019 / 7:10 am

    Strand book store looks like heaven! Quite fancy the look of Evolution Store too
    #farawayfiles

    • March 4, 2019 / 12:16 am

      The Evolution store is probably more bizarre than fancy, but definitely a cool find!

  4. February 28, 2019 / 10:40 am

    Nutella Cafe? I am so there. My son would love it- it’s one of only a handful of foods he’ll actually eat. #farawayfiles

    • March 4, 2019 / 12:15 am

      My girls are obsessed too. I couldn’t believe it when we walked by. We can’t wait to go back!

  5. February 28, 2019 / 11:23 am

    I do love a good farmers market #farawayfiles

    • March 4, 2019 / 12:14 am

      Me too, and this one is really good, and big.

  6. February 28, 2019 / 1:43 pm

    Evolution store? Where you can buy dubious items of taxidermy and skulls and not just look at them? I am NEVER telling my kids about that. We’d be on the next plane over!

    • March 4, 2019 / 12:13 am

      Haha – it is the craziest store! I used to work near it years ago and now that I have kids there’s even more reason to to. Bring your wallet!

  7. February 28, 2019 / 4:08 pm

    I’ve only ever been to Manhattan once and I didn’t really get a chance to go to the Village. It looks like a great neighbourhood. Hubby (NYC native) says it was a lot of fun and had great food back in the day (a long time ago).

    • March 4, 2019 / 12:11 am

      It still does! Some of the best restaurants are in the village. It’s such a neat spot, I hope you can visit some day.

  8. February 28, 2019 / 4:27 pm

    GV is great and looks like you had loads of fun. I went in 1999 when we went an ace jazz club. There was an old lady sat at the bar who used to be a well known singer. I don’t recall the name. She declined to sing a number 5 times, playing hard to get, before agreeing. Her voice had gone sadly but she really loved the attention! Wilbur. #farawayfiles

    • March 4, 2019 / 12:10 am

      Haha, that’s great! The Village is always full of characters!

  9. February 28, 2019 / 6:36 pm

    Dylan’s Candy and the Strand Bookshop are now on my list of ‘must see’ places in Greenwich Village. Now…. to find a way to get there. #FarawayFiles

    • March 4, 2019 / 12:10 am

      Ha – I know. The U.S. is so big, and getting from coast to coast is not the easiest!

  10. March 1, 2019 / 3:25 am

    That’s so lovely. You met at NYC. It is such a great way and place to meet. I would love to go to Strand Book store and the cup cakes place. Enjoyed reading this post, such a lovely travel story.

  11. March 1, 2019 / 7:22 am

    That is so cool that you two got to meet up. We didn’t spend enough time in Greenwich Village when we went with the kids in winter, this would have been a great list of suggestions for our visit…so we’ll just have to go back again! #farawayfiles

    • March 4, 2019 / 12:08 am

      That’s right you were in NYC for Christmas right? Yes, come back!

  12. March 1, 2019 / 10:01 am

    I’m heading to New York this year but without the kids. Love the look of it!

  13. March 1, 2019 / 10:59 am

    Oh I love the sound of the Cowgirl Hall of Fame and a wise move to save yourself for the Magnolia Café. #farawayfiles

    • March 4, 2019 / 12:07 am

      Magnolia is the best – requires saving up!

  14. March 3, 2019 / 9:52 am

    So glad that you had a great day with Clare and the kids! Very nice guide here and so cool to hear about the Nutella cafe! Would definitely head there first. 😀 #FarawayFiles

    • March 4, 2019 / 12:06 am

      I didn’t even know it existed! I guess it’s very new. We are definitely going back as my kids are Nutella obsessed ;).

  15. March 3, 2019 / 11:07 pm

    Washington Square Park is one of my favorite places in the city! I’d love to visit Cowgirl Hall of Fame – putting that on my list for next time! #farawayfiles

    • March 4, 2019 / 12:05 am

      Def go! It’s a gem of a restaurant!

  16. March 4, 2019 / 4:44 am

    With all those delicious treat options in Greenwich Village I’d need to undertake a walking tour 😁 That clock sounded very cool!

    • March 5, 2019 / 9:40 pm

      I know right? I went into full detox mode after that day, haha.

  17. March 4, 2019 / 9:44 am

    Greenwich Village is one of my fave areas in NYC – such a cool district to explore and I also loved visiting the Magnolia Bakery too lol! #FarawayFiles

    • March 5, 2019 / 9:40 pm

      Haha! It’s such a must-visit!!

  18. March 6, 2019 / 6:08 am

    It was such a treat meeting up with you and your gorgeous girls, Corey. The Village was always my favourite place to wander around when visiting pre-kids so it was a lot of fun seeing it again with my boy and your girls – and I’m still thinking about the amazing cupcake I had!

    • March 9, 2019 / 12:31 pm

      So much fun, Clare. And loved meeting your boy, what a great little guy! I’m so glad we were finally able to meet – hopefully it will be a start to many more!

  19. March 6, 2019 / 3:35 pm

    How exciting that you got to meet and what a fabulous place to do it. I used to love Greenwich Village back in the day! #FarawayFiles

    • March 9, 2019 / 12:33 pm

      Yes – great place and great people!

  20. March 6, 2019 / 6:32 pm

    I love this post! I love that you and Clare met up, and that you went to all the spots together. Simon eats Nutella everyday, so I’ll be telling him about that particular find. We used to take him to Evolution when he was a little guy… I think we still have some little odds and ends floating around the house that we got during one of our visits there. I’m sincerely hoping to get out your way THIS year, and when I do we’ll have to visit The Village together… street art too! 😉

    • March 9, 2019 / 12:34 pm

      That would be amazing! I hope you’re able to make a visit happen and we can see each other yeah!

  21. March 10, 2019 / 4:50 am

    This place is perfect for travel and vacation I like photos! very nice place. I have added to my travel bucket list. Thanks for sharing such an amazing article.

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