Literary Vacation - Eloise at the Plaza
What Is A Literary Vacation?
A literary vacation is a great way to take a beloved tale and bring it to life through travel. Literary vacations can be a great grown up getaway or a fun educational experience for children.
The Book: Eloise and other titles (1955)
By: Kay Thompson
The Location: New York City, New York, United States
Age Group: Families with children ages 4-12
Six year old Eloise has been a hit since the day she hit book shelves over half a century ago and her books still are popular with little girls everywhere and have inspired a succession of books, toys, TV shows and movies both cartoon and live action staring Julie Andrews as Nanny. Eloise is now as much New York as the Statue of Liberty, and the Empire State Building and no vacation to NYC, especially one with little girls along, is complete without a trip to The Plaza otherwise known as Eloise’s house.
When Eloise was published it was the days of starched aprons and girls attending college with the intention of getting their MRS. degree and here came a feisty little girl who lived in the opulence of the Plaza Hotel in posh New York City who did what she liked. No doubt at the time this was new and exciting for little girls who would grow up to be in the middle if woman's lib in the 60’s and 70’s but even though time have changed an independent little girl who is the center of the world she lives in is still an engaging and beloved story for little girls.
The place to begin on an Eloise inspired vacation would have to be The Plaza Hotel. You could decide to stay a night or two but if your credit card winces at the idea there are other options for night time accommodations but still don’t skip an afternoon tea or lunch at the Plaza. Eat in the Palm Court, just like Eloise. Ride the elevator up and down, just like Eloise. Ask the waiter to “charge it please”, just like Eloise. If you decide to stay overnight in the hotel don’t forget to order your room service breakfast, just like Eloise. While you’re there don’t miss the large oil painting of our little heroine painted by the books illustrator Hilary Knight.
The Plaza also has a fairly new “Eloise” shop within it’s walls that shouldn’t be missed. This is no ordinary shop but a place to play dress up, plan an adventure and spend some down time catching up on Eloise’s adventres by reading a book or watching clips of an Eloise movie or two.
While in New York don’t forget to hop over to F.A.O Schwarz across the street from the plaza and outfit yourself with an Eloise book or two, a “do not disturb” sign, an Eloise doll, or a stuffed skiperdee. Eloise love presents, both giving and getting so don’t forget to pick something up for a friend or sibling left behind while at the famous toy store.
If you ever can pull yourself away from the Plaza hop on a horse drawn carrage through Central Park but if you don’t get around to it don’t feel bad. It’s rare that even Eloise can drag herself away from the magic of the Plaza, and she lives there!