A Parent’s Guide to the Seaport

A Parent’s Guide to the Seaport

If you’re looking for family-friendly things to do in downtown NYC, you can’t go past recommendations from FiDi Families founder Denise Courter. We caught up with the mom of two to learn more about her winter favorites in the Seaport—not just for kids but for moms and dads, too.

What’s your favorite way to start the morning in the Seaport?

The Seaport is unique because of the cobblestones and the sense of history—and it’s quiet, so I like to walk along Front Street and grab a cup of coffee and a Pão de Queijo at Café Patoro or an avocado toast at Bin 220. At McNally Jackson, I love getting a tea at the café and then heading upstairs to browse their incredible book offerings. The breakfast at Made Fresh Daily is also a favorite—the biscuits are ridiculously good.

What’s the best way to combat the Monday blues?

Winter blues are a real thing! I always start Mondays with a fun workout with a group of downtowners—you can usually find us at Cannon’s Walk, on Peck Slip or Pier 15, sweating it out and having fun. We also run along the cobblestones, which is a nice way to take in the sites of the Seaport.

What are your favorite things to do with kids on a winter weekend?

We are lucky to call downtown home, because there are a lot of indoor options when the weather is cold. We love to go to The Hideaway Seaport and take advantage of the upstairs lounge. Parents can grab lunch, kids can play games (we bring our own) and we can look out at the Brooklyn Bridge.

Our family favorite, though, is the Winterland Rink at Pier 17. It has to be the most unique, picturesque skating rink in the country. We have a family membership, so we can all hop onto the ice on any given day and skate, drink a lot of hot chocolate and meet friends old and new. The ice rink has become our downtown community center.

Malibu Farm at Pier 17, NYC. Photo: Liz Clayman

Favorite place for happy hour in the Seaport?

It’s hard to name just one, so here are my top three, in no particular order: Fresh Salt has a warm vibe and great drinks and the food is simple, delicious and healthy. The bar at Malibu Farm is beautiful and feels very open and cheerful. The Paris Cafe is great for brunch and watching sports, with great beers on tap. 

What about date night or dinner spots?

Date spots are in abundance in the Seaport! The Fulton at Pier 17 is by far the most romantic and Instagram-worthy. The views are unparalleled, the food is incredible, and the staff are 5-star. We like to start at the bar and make our way upstairs to enjoy views of the East River and Brooklyn Bridge over dinner. Our neighborhood sushi spot is Suteishi, a great place for people-watching as well as great sushi. 

Where do you like to shop in the neighborhood?

One of our favorite places to shop is Primp NYC—it’s a beauty and wellness destination, but they have great gifts for tweens and beauty-related hostess gifts. If you are a shoe-lover, then of course the SJP boutique is the place to go. Every once in a while, we will walk by and see Sarah Jessica Parker herself visiting with customers. And 10 Corso Como is a shopper’s dream—shoes, clothing, home goods and a selection of unique art. It’s hard to visit and not purchase something. 

To learn more about Denise’s connections to the Seaport and Lower Manhattan, read our Seaporter interview here. Find her latest recommendations for kid-friendly events at FiDi Families and via Instagram.

Denise Courter portraits by Raquel Salazar Photography