Heading to Battery Park may feel like a big excursion depending on where in New York City you live. For us, in the Upper West Side, it’s a bit of a journey, but it’s nothing too crazy. Our morning visit to the SeaGlass Carousel had us back in our beds for our 12:00PM nap time at home! If you’re looking for a quick, manageable, beautiful experience to enjoy with your young children, read on!
Now The Battery is worth a visit all year long. Get a coffee, and take a stroll through the beautiful gardens or look across the water out to the Statue of Liberty. It’s scenic, NYC perfection. But, if you have children–especially ones that are super young or fight mittens or are sensitive to extreme cold and rain and snow and can be just moody in general–you know that most things are more enjoyable in sunny, moderate temperatures. With that said, this time of year is still perfect to visit Battery Park and the SeaGlass Carousel. The Carousel is inside a walled pavilion, so protected from the elements and open year-round, so don’t let my fears of clouds, precipitation, and cold weather scare you. I’m equally afraid of soaring temperatures, swarms of tourists, and the subway platforms. (Joking. Sorta.) So, whenever you visit New York and have a chance to go, this is what you need to know:
The SeaGlass Carousel is amazing. 100% the most unique carousel I have ever been on. Forget the carnival music and same old, same old horses. Hop aboard fiberglass fish that spin and rise and fall in a sea of pastel to soothing music for a dreamy departure from the NYC craziness just outside. The carousel costs $5.00 per person (under 12 months are free). They take cards (hooray!) unlike the inferior Central Park Carousel.
This ride requires children under 42″ tall to sit on adults lap. Your toddler may be annoyed when she’s strapped to you waiting for the journey to begin. You may be annoyed too, thinking about how strict and cautious this world has become, but once the carousel starts moving, you’ll all get it. This thing is fast, and wild. Up, down, round and round. If you have mild motion sickness, this may be a trigger. It you have severe motion sickness, SKIP. I barely made it off the thing (but I was also breastfeeding a baby and trying to take videos of my nearby toddler the entire time, which is a no-no for nausea…)
Now that you know what the SeaGlass Carousel is and that it is a magical MUST do, let me go through the logistics. Both of my girls take a serious 12-2:30PM nap, so I like to make it home for that. The baby still takes a morning nap, but is fine to sleep on the go, so we figured a bright and early excursion would be our best bet. The carousel doesn’t open until 10:00AM, but since it’s a pretty long subway ride from the Upper West Side, and we needed to take into consideration the walk to the subway, the wait for elevators to get around the subway stations, and the walk to the carousel, we left at 9:00AM. We arrived at the SeaGlass Carousel just as it opened. Beware, the stroller parking is outside. Since it was super early in the morning and the park was quiet, I was fine to take my valuables out and leave it in the designated area, but during busier times, I would prefer someone stayed with the Bugaboo. (I’ve seen the Shameless of Debbie stealing and reselling strollers, after all…#nervousnellie)
So, we were finished with our carousel experience by about 10:15, and had about an hour left before we wanted to grab the subway back home. (If you want to make a full day of Battery Park, check out my previous post for details on visiting the Statue of Liberty and/or Ellis Island!) We grabbed a coffee right in The Battery and just walked around. Flowers were still in bloom, boats and ferries were traveling in and out of the island, and there was the Statue of Liberty, in all her glory! We chased our toddler, let the baby feel the breeze, and took some family pictures. It was just a pretty morning with great quality family time!
We packed some easy lunch nibbles to eat on the subway during our journey home, so when we walked in the door, a few minutes after 12:00, we were all ready for bed! If you want to get out of your same old ‘hood, or are visiting New York City and want to take your toddlers, big kids, or even adults somewhere special, head to the SeaGlass Carousel. Bonus for those that do not have very early bedtimes: Check out the carousel at night when it is illuminated! Have fun!!