The West Village & Soho Guide
Every individual neighborhood in NYC has its charm, but there’s arguably a super-cluster of neighborhoods below 14th street that stretches from the west side into the center of the Manhattan, roughly encompassing: Meatpacking, West Village, Greenwich Village, Soho, Nolita, and Little Italy. Old school West Village is the kind of neighborhood, despite its small size, that you want to get lost wandering around all day, admiring its quintessentially compact, ivy-clad apartment buildings, with plenty of cafe- and wine bar-pit stops along the way. Attached to the northwest corner of the West Village, the Meatpacking District is home to the end of the Highline and the new Whitney, and is still a buzz-y night-life destination for a younger set. Heading east, there’s Greenwich Village, NYU’s territory, and the oft-photographed Washington Square Park. South of Houston Street can admittedly get a little touristy, but you’ll still find some of the best shopping in Soho; Little Italy, decorated in strings of lights, is unapologetically festive; and tiny Nolita complements them both. Below, some of the essential places to see and things to do in this super-cluster area of NYC.
Bit’z Kids73 W. Houston St., Soho | 212.777.1764
This under-the-radar Japanese brand puts out all sorts of cool and totally quirky prints and graphics that are both great and at times hilarious. (I.e., the tag in your toddler's pineapple-printed shorts might read: Big Goals Every Day.) The other big appeal is the cut: The pants and jeans in particular are good for skinnier, harder-to-fit babies and kids. There's also a location in the Financial District and on the Upper West Side.
Children’s Museum of the Arts103 Charlton St., West Village | 212.274.0986
CMA is one of those spots that doesn’t hold any punches: Here, kids are introduced to heady tropes in contemporary art from portraiture, to process, to language, through kid-accessible exhibits featuring works by Ed Ruscha, Jenny Holzer, and more. In addition, their classes and after school programs are some of the best in the city. Check the website for the day's activity, as many are free and offsite.
Doodle Doo’s11 Christopher St., West Village | 212.627.3667
The very patient stylists here make what can be a pretty scary experience for kiddos into a fun one with plenty of games, toys, and movies for distraction—plus the requisite car, boat, and taxi seats. In addition to the salon, they also have a cute selection of kids toys and gifts.
Makié109 Thompson St., Soho | 212.625.3930
Perfect little cashmere cardigans and sweater dresses, slouchy tunic tops, and floral printed camisoles are typical of the Parisian-inflected kids clothing here. Prices are steep, making this a good option for a special gift.
Yoya605 Hudson St., West Village | 646.336.6844
This West Village staple—in business since 2002—offers an artful-meets-streamlined aesthetic, meaning that there’s enough exuberance in the clothing picks to appeal to most kids, while the shapes and silhouettes make parents happy. Whether it’s an Imps & Elfs onesie or a Tutu du Monde swan queen tutu, there’s plenty of cuteness to go around, as well as bedding, toys, and furniture. In fact, owner Cristina Villegas offers design services for kids rooms, opening up her rolodex of unique suppliers from around the world.