Q: Hi Playground! We’re taking our 8-year-old daughter to NYC for 3 days over spring break. We’re staying in Times Square and have some New York must-sees such on our list such as Ellis Island and Empire State Building, but we’d also love to see some Broadway shows. We’ve seen many of the kid friendly ones (Lion King, Aladdin, Wicked) but I don’t know what’s new. We’d also like to hit the DŌ Cookie Dough Confections. Any advice would be welcome. ~ Thanks, LHL
A: Hi LHL! A Broadway-themed long weekend for Spring Break sounds like a great idea!
There are two new plays currently in previews that I think would be a great fit for a theater-loving grade schooler (plus, you’ll be able to buy them at reasonable face value prices as opposed to spending hundreds of dollars a piece on, say, a presidential-themed musical).
The first is Anastasia. It’s a huge new musical production based on the animated movie about a young Russian princess trying to save the royal family from the late 1990s. It has beautiful costumes, dancing, songs, a feisty heroine — it should be a big hit with audiences who like princess movies. I heard from a theater friend that it’s going to be HUGE. It just started in previews last week I think, so you should be able to get tix.
Since your crew has a sweet tooth (hello DŌ!), I’d suggest keeping the Russian theme going and stopping at Russian import Coffeemania before or after the show. It’s a wonderfully bright and airy spot right across from Bryant Park, with a diverse menu of dishes with a little something for everyone (I loved the oil poached salmon if you’re looking for a dinner option). The desserts here, though, are what you’re daughter will probably pay attention to: beautiful jewel-box pastries with names such as Happiness and Chocolate Envy.
Speaking of chocolate, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is also opening on Broadway. It’s a musical based on the children’s classic by Roald Dahl, and all the old gang — Augustus, Violet, Veruca — are featured along with classic songs from the movie such as “Pure Imagination,” as well as new score from Marc Shaiman who wrote Hairspray. This one’s on my “must see” list!
Naturally, you’ll be in the mood for something sweet afterwards. You might want to try another of the hot “sweet spots” in NYC: Sugar Factory.
Sugar Factory features huge fishbowl drinks that foam and smoke and are topped with candy (they’re like $30! I took my son as a special treat once — that’s him in the photo — I recommend sharing the drinks) plus ice cream sundaes and crazy shakes, and of course, candy. There’s one near Theater District — and they take reservations which is a nice perk.