This year, Maddie wanted a special day with Matt and I in New York City for her birthday. You can read all about Maddie's special day last year here.
Can I just say how much I love that she likes to have an experience as a gift? And, how much I love spending one-on-one time with this girl?
This year she wanted everything about her day to be a surprise, and she didn't want to know what was going to happen until we were there and just about to do it. I learned a very important lesson on this special day - a day full of surprises doesn't work for Maddie. She wasn't as excited about each surprise as I was hoping for. Don't get me wrong, she loved it all and had a great day, but I think she had some of her own ideas in her head and had a little trouble adjusting when we did something different. Note to self: still plan a fun day, just surprise her with what we're planning ahead of time so she can wrap her brain around the ideas.
Matt and I hadn't gone to the Top of the Rock since our mini-moon.
View of Central Park and beyond:
The Empire State Building and the Freedom Tower in the background. I never get sick of this view.
The Statue of Liberty off in the distance:Checking out the views:
Maddie was pretty impressed that we went all the way to the top of this building:
Maddie loved the revolving doors at everywhere we went:A quick trip to the Lego Store:
and then on to Toys R Us for a trip on the Ferris Wheel:
You an barely see Maddie, but she's in there. She's peeking out, right under the silver bar:Next stop, the Hershey Store for a little treat:
Maddie loved this talking, interactive chocolate bar:
Next, we went to the Disney Store. The Disney Store in Times Square is amazing. We had so much fun exploring. When Maddie walked into this castle, she said, "Wow! I really feel like a princess!" Well played, Disney marketing team!
Then, there are the magic mirrors. You take a princess wand:
wave it in front of the mirror and say something magical like "Bippity, Boppity, Boo!":
and that princess appears in the mirror! After waving Rapunzel's wand:
and after Belle's wand:You better believe Maddie tried every single princess' wand. It was very cool.
They also have Wandering Oaken's Trading Post and Sauna from "Frozen".
The lanterns from "Rapunzel" adorn the ceiling by the escalators:
The Disney Store was such a fun stop!
Next up, dinner at Ellen's Stardust Diner.
We had never been to this restaurant before, but I had heard it was fun for kids, so we decided to try it.Basically, all of the waiters and waitresses are trying to get their big break on Broadway. They sing the entire time, putting on incredible performances of well-known and beloved songs. They are all Broadway-quality singers, hoping to be discovered. It was SO. MUCH. FUN.
The waiter on the right was our waiter:
We sat on the balcony, looking down on the entire restaurant. A perfect view!
The waiters/singers travel through the restaurant while they're singing. This waiter came right up behind Maddie to sing his song:
They also stand on this little ledge/stage between tables.
It was really so much fun. I would definitely go back there again.
We had a little time before the big event so we went over to Rockefeller Center to check out the rink and watch the zamboni clean the ice.
Maddie wanted to take a picture of Matt and I:
Hanging with Matt Lauer at the NBC Store:
Our final stop of the day:
The New York Spring Spectacular starring Derek Hough from "Dancing With the Stars." Maddie LOVES Derek and "Dancing With the Stars", and loved when we took her to the Christmas Spectacular back in December, so I thought she would love the new spring show.
It was so fun to see him up close, in person. First, we were shocked that he can sing. Second, he is an even better dancer live than he is on "Dancing With the Stars". Love him!Maddie loved it!
The famous Rockettes:
So much fun!!!! I thought the show was great and Maddie said she liked it even more than the Christmas Spectacular.
This was Maddie on the drive home:
Best day ever!