South Street Seaport

Smorgasbar at South Street Seaport
Credit: Judy Antell / Vegetarian TMOM

When I told friends, local NYC friends, that I was heading down to the South Street Seaport, they were incredulous. “Isn’t it closed?” they asked. “Didn’t Hurricane Sandy destroy it?”

Well, no and yes.

A lot of retail and food vendors closed after the hurricane, and the South Street Seaport museum closed, but the area is open and booming. In fact, our favorite Brooklyn outdoor dining venue, Smorgasburg, has set up a temporary location, Smorgasbar. Best of all, the outdoor tables set up are open to anyone – if you bring your own food, you can sit down to eat.

And while many shops closed, this summer there are also pop-up retail shops, in shipping containers, giving the South Street Seaport area a festive feel. It’s a nice, traffic-free area to wander with kids, though the cobblestones wreak havoc on stroller wheels.

South Street Seaport

Getting ready to watch a movie at South Street Seaport
Credit: Judy Antell / Vegetarian TMOM

The Seaport has a series of outdoor concerts and movies, running through Labor Day, with comfy chairs set up for free.

There are also free yoga classes on Saturday mornings, with mats available.

The Imagination Playground, designed by David Rockwell, inspires kids to create and play with sand, water and foam blocks. The playground, open 9am – 6pm daily, has staff on hand that facilitate play.

TKTS, the half-price outlet for Broadway and off-Broadway shows, just reopened in a new spot after its previous space was wrecked by the storm. The tickets are not free of course, but they offer an opportunity to take a family to see a show for much less money. And lines are virtually non-existent.