On a whim, we drove up to New York City on Sunday afternoon for an overnight stay at The Manhattan Club and a day at the American Museum of Natural History. My brother owns a timeshare up there (more on that later) and couldn't make his Sunday night reservation work so he offered the place to my gang. Since only one of us actually works for a living, we decided to go.
Sunday was already scheduled to be jammed packed as we took a stroll around Villanova stadium during the 2008 Buddy Walk in the morning then could be found strolling the streets of Malvern, PA for the annual Fall Festival. After all that, we drive 2 hours to the Big Apple. The girls and I were pretty bushed yet we still managed to enjoy a great, late-night dinner at Beacon on West 56th. We didn't leave the place until 10pm. Needless to say, we all sleep well that night!
I'd eaten at Beacon once before and loved it. I made a quick same-day 1000 point reservation on OpenTable.com then we called ahead to make sure it's "kid-friendly". We we're assured that it was and boy, they weren't lying! The kiddies get their own little menus, a coloring book filled with a mix of popular characters (from Elmo to Spongebob...something for most everyone) and the best part? Kid's under 4 eat free!
It being a Sunday, it was Beacon's Sunday Supper Pre-Fixe dinner for $44 per adult. The appetizers were a set of 4 served family style, including Pumpkin Apple soup which the Bear and Mouse both devoured (they shared the Mrs' and mine as the kids did not get the individual servings of soup). I tried Oysters for the first time and enjoyed very much the wood roasted with shallots and herbs preparation that Beacon prides itself on.
If you're looking for a great upscale place in Midtown for a dinner with children don't hesitate to consider making a reservation at Beacon. The booster and high chair were clean and while no changing table in either bathroom there is a space for swapping diapers easily.
On Monday we finally became members of the always amazing American Museum of Natural History. For me, that place is like heaven on Earth. I could spend an eternity inside those walls yet constantly find myself rushing through and out because my visits continue to occur on traveling days. Our visit this time unfortunately comes just 5 days BEFORE the beautiful Butterfly Conservatory reopens for the season! The upside? I have another excuse to visit again real soon!
That's all we did, a dinner, a night stay and the museum. The night stay was enjoyable at the Manhattan Club but geez is it hard on an owner of that timeshare high rise. My brother has been extremely frustrated with the availability, or lack thereof, of rooms since buying his share a couple years ago. He has been emailing and calling months in advance looking for regular non-holiday nights scattered throughout the rest of the year and the 1st 1/2 of next year and keeps striking out. Our Sunday night was chosen only because it was one of only 2 nights left available in 2008 (he booked this in August!). That's nuts.
Seems like it would have been easier to set aside a wad of cash and just book fancy hotels whenever you decide to visit NYC instead of paying a steep price upfront for this timeshare and constantly being told the place can't accommodate you. Terrible.