New York City has some of the best shopping in the country, so it can be hard for true shopaholics to know where to begin! The city alone has more than 30 malls, but I’ll let you in on which ones are the best. Because shopping malls are a dime a dozen in the states, there has to be something that sets a mall apart in order for me to be willing to check it out. Often, I have my kids along for the ride, so it’s got to have something special for them to enjoy, too. Whether you live here or not, when it comes to NYC malls, these five make the cut.
1. Westfield World Trade Center
Westfield World Trade Center is as much a magnificent architectural wonder as it is a glamorous shopping hub. It is home to about 100 high-end retailers and is perhaps best known for the Oculus: a light-filled, sky-high, central promenade. Each store is more fabulous than the next, with some serving complimentary wine and others with costumed guards standing out front. Some even featuring mobile technology linked to their inventory for a more efficient shopping experience. You won’t find any department stores here, unlike most NYC malls, and don’t expect a directory, either (but there’s an app for that if you really need one). Instead, you might spot iPad-armed “ambassadors” ready to point you in the right direction. If you have the kids with you, stop in the Apple Store for Kids’ Hour from September through December where they’ll have the opportunity to explore coding, illustration, movie making, music, and more.
2. Brookfield Place
Not far from Westfield is Brookfield Place, a newly renovated mall that’s home to luxury contemporary brands. This space is also light-filled and beautifully designed, if not quite as show-stopping as Westfield. In addition to all of your favorite stores and a massive French marketplace called Le District, you’ll find plenty of kid-friendly establishments like Sprinkles Cupcakes and the ultra-hip children’s boutique Babesta. Brookfield Place also has a Bright Horizons preschool within it and a roller rink coming soon.
3. Shops at Columbus Circle
Located in the Time Warner Center, you’ll find plenty of upscale retailers in Shops at Columbus Circle, as well as multiple Michelin-starred restaurants. I love taking my girls to Bouchon Bakery for our own “tea parties.” You’ll find Williams-Sonoma, Cole Haan, and Coach, to name a few, and a wide variety of activities and events, like live jazz monthly. It’s a five-minute walk to Heckscher Playground, which is full of activities for kids 6 to 12, and a five-minute cab ride to Central Park Zoo.
4. Grand Central Terminal
Did you know this iconic train station is home to about 30 shops and restaurants? Take a field trip with your kids and while you’re at it, pick up a little something for yourself (say, at Grande Harvest Wines). Be sure to stop in the family-owned Kidding Around Toys and LittleMissMatched, a boutique full of fun and funky clothes for the creative little girls in your life!
5. Manhattan Mall
Manhattan Mall is the quintessential American mall and is conveniently located at the center of everything. It’s home to JCPenney’s flagship store and every kid’s dream retailer: Toys ‘R’ Us. Manhattan Mall is highly visible and can be found near the Empire State Building and Madison Square Garden, making it a prime destination for tourists.
Which are your favorite NYC malls?
While malls across the country may be run-of-the-mill, nothing beats NYC malls, and the five above are simply the best! Have you been to any of these? Which is your favorite?
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About Carmen Sognonvi
Carmen Sognonvi is a luxury family travel content creator at Top Flight Family, named a top 10 family travel Instagram account by Time Out New York and Brit + Co. Her insights on travel have been featured in The Washington Post, INSIDER, Huffington Post, Wanderlust Travel Magazine, TravelPulse, HOTELS Magazine, and more. Carmen firmly believes that you can (and should) travel with your kids from a young age. She offers families practical solutions for travel, as well as tips on how to travel in luxury for less. She lives in New York City with her multiracial and multicultural family of four. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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