unionsquareparkTraveling to New York City can be an expensive proposition. Take a break from the typical tourist attractions and head to Union Square Park for a relaxing day that won’t break the bank.  Union Square Park is a wonderfull, vibrant area in downtown New York City, located between Broadway and Union Square West at 14th Street.

Here are four free things to do near Union Square Park that will make your visit to New York City, a more affordable vacation.

1. Union Square Green Market –  New York state farmers offer a wide variety of breads, honey, cookies, vegetables and fruits for you to sample and buy. Everything is organic and home grown.  

2. Union Square Playground – Head to the newly,  renovated 15,000 square foot playground. Within the playground, you will find some of the most interesting play areas. There is the “Nest”, a spinning tea cup which all the kids can either jump on or push. Be aware that your child might suffer from motion sickness until they get used to spinning the action.  Probably, the most popular feature of the playground is the silver mountain, yes, mountain. Your children will spend all their time trying to get to the top of this slippery, shiny dome. They have to get a running start and to “climb” the mountain, otherwise you end up sliding down.

For those of you with toddlers,  there is a separate section with swings, jungle gym and a sand box.

3. Forbes Galleries – If you are looking for a little cultural entertainment, head to the Forbes Galleries, located on 62 Fifth Avenue @12th Street, just five minutes from the park. The Forbes Galleries has a great collection of collectibles ranging from toy soldiers to toy boats to vintage monopoly games. In addition, there are rotating exhibits that should provide ample entertainment for the adults. Best of all, it’s free.

4. Empire State Building Photo Op from Filene’s Basement – I love telling friends and families about this hidden gem.  Located at the south end of the park is Filene’s Basement and from the top floor,  there an incredible view of the park and the Empire State Building. You can take incredible shots of the park and the Empire State Building. And the store has graciously provided sofas and chairs for their customers to take a breather from shopping.

Directions to Union Square:
Subway Stops: 4, 5, 6, N, R, Q, W to 14th Street

NYC Single Traveling Mom also writes at her personal sites http://www.nycsinglemom.com and http://www.nycsinglemomreviews.com