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What to do and not do in NYC(15 Posts)
Taking 13 and 14year old son and daughter to New York at the end of October.
What did you most enjoy doing and what did you dislike?
We are there for 7 days and staying in Midtown
Most recently I went for a few days a year ago. It really depends what you like doing but I'm an art gallery kinda gal so my fave place was the Frick Collection, but I also went to the Museum of Modern Art. I also went to Ground zero for the 9/11 memorial which was very moving then up to the top of One World for sunset. Central Park is also a must and also out to the Statue of Liberty is cool (but its likely to be very cold). I'd also get in some shopping but others might know the best places. I find department stores on 5th Avenue boring but like the cooller quirkier places - I cant quite remember where was good now though. I'd also take in a breakfast somewhere.
I did a fantastic cycle tour a couple of years ago including Brooklyn and Williamsburg with Bike the Big Apple. And the round manhattan boat ride is good.
People always suggest going up to the top of The Rock so that you get a view of the Empire State Building rather than vice versa. Will definitely do that next time! I also want to walk the High Line for the views over the city.
DP and I are all about the food, so most of our highlights were food related (Red Lobster in Times Square, Keens Steakhouse, an awesome gluten free bakery right opposite our hotel) and we did a carriage ride round central park, which was great, but we went in Feb so it was snowy, would love to visit in Autumn or Spring.
We have been several times. With a week you have the luxury of exploring several areas.
In no particular order:
Walk the High Line. It’s iconic and stop off at Chelsea Market.
Go to Brooklyn via the subway. Walk back over the bridge. Walk to the 911 memorial. We preferred not to do the museum but if you can stick it, do it.
MoMa. Well worth it for iconic art.
Metropolitan Museum and Central Park. Pick out highlights from The Met (American Arts) and walk in The Park. Skating rink might be up. Walk down 5th Avenue.
Go to Radio City Music Hall and Grand Central Station. Great buildings. Ladies powder room at Radio City Music Hall is sublime!
Go on the Staten Island Ferry for views of Statue of Liberty. Go to Ellis Island and visit the museum on immigration.
Go to the Tenement museum on the Lower East Side.
Wander around SoHo. Like a village with lots of lower rise buildings with those iconic fire escapes. Smaller shops snd great cafes.
Ditto Greenwich Village.
Gaze at the Chrysler Building. Choose Top of the Rock or Empire State. Visit the Flat Iron building.
Visit the Guggenheim or Frick. Whitney Museum for American art.
Go to a show (very expensive and not really worth it unless you must see the show!)
Tour Rockefeller centre.
Find Christmas tree decorations shop.
Group your attractions into areas. Buy Lonely Planet guide or similar. New York Everyman Map Guide is useful. Helps you zone your day. Get off the beaten track a bit and find the less touristy cafes and restaurants. So don’t go around Times Square!
It’s been a while (about 19 years!) since I last went to NY but I’d agree (from historic memory!) re MoMA, Greenwich village and SoHo. We’re off to NY in 2 weeks and plan to do much of the above & DD age 11 who has never been to America is very excited. We are doing a Broadway show - it’s not cheap but there are hacks. I’ve not got the details (do a Google) but you can buy cheap(er) on the day tickets from specific booths. I’ve used the TodayTix app to buy ours - I use it a lot for the West End (as youngest DD is very into the whole singing/dancing shtick) and you can switch the location to NY. At a quick glance now there are tickets for Mean Girls and Beetlejuice from $59. We’re going to see The Lightening Thief (as DD loves the Percy Jackson books) and got good orchestra (stalls) seats for $69 each. The $59 seats aren’t going to be the best obviously but depending on the theatre might not be that awful! There is a website (again you’d have to google) which gives you a precise picture of the stage view from any seat in a theatre.
We’re also going to the National Geographic Oceans 3D experience in Times Square which your DC might enjoy too!
The Insight guide to NYC is good for breaking things down by neighborhood. The restaurants around Times Square tend to be chains and geared to tourists and are generally not that great. Restaurants are expensive in NYC and it's worth doing some research ahead of time. I know that a lot of posters complain about the high food costs in NYC (not to mention the whole tipping thing), but researching this ahead of time will definitely help. Someone up above mentioned Grand Central--they have a great food court there.
You didn't say how late in October that you were going to be there, but if you are there on the 31st, Bryant Park (small park outside of NY Public Library) has holiday kiosks for shopping. If you are into shopping or have a special interest, check to see what's available In Manhattan, there are 3 separate bookstores that carry only cookbooks, for example.
The kids may like the NBC Studio tour in Rockefeller Center. They can see the tv sets and how things are filmed there. The small, but historic ice rink opens at Rockefeller Center on Oct. 7.
Also, if you are there over Halloween, Greenwich Village has what is supposed to be a really good Halloween parade.
Roosevelt Island can be visited by a tramway, which your kids may enjoy. There isn't much there that would be of interest to kids, but there are good views of Manhattan.
Love the High Line. Unfortunately, so does everyone else. Off hours it is less claustrophobic.
There is a new amusement park out on Coney Island that the kids may enjoy (Luna Park). I haven't been there but the reviews of the park seem to be good. The staff, however, are famed for rudeness, so take that into account.
Times Square should be avoided during the day and in the evening prior to the Broadway shows starting up. But it is nice to sit in the bleachers there after 8:00 and see all of the gaudy neon.
Thanks for all the great suggestions. @SJane48S the National Geographic experience looks fantastic. Did you get your tickets directly on the website or did you find them cheaper elsewhere?
I don't think we'll go to a show. We will try the High Line and go to Hudson Yards.
Wondering whether to take the boat to Liberty and Ellis Island.
I got A good offer on Groupon to go to the top of Oneworld on the World Trade Centre site.
Has anyone rented bikes in Central Park? We are thinking of doing so but not sure whether it is from just one place or if there are multiple vendors.
@Mummyonline, no again on discount through Todaytix. The Todaytix price was $76.50 in total for the 3 of us (with no fees) rather than the $123 on NatGeo site. Again, just download the app and turn the location to NYC, scroll right down!
Ferry from Wall St to Brooklyn. Wonderful views of Manhattan. Janes Carousel in Dumbo..walk back along Brooklyn Bridge.
There are multiple bike rental places within a few blocks of the southern end of the park. I haven't used any of them, so can't recommend a particular one. The search "renting bikes central park" will get you a map.
Also the Bronx Zoo has a zipline called Bronx Zoo Treetop Adventure There are youtube videos that will give you a feel for what that entails.
Think I’d rather rent a boat than hire bikes in Central Park. You’ll miss loads of things cycling as have to keep to cycle paths.
Liberty Island is fab, lovely new museum. My dc found Ellis a little dry, I think the museum there could be better. You don’t need to get off at Ellis. Get the first slot for Liberty Island and you’ll miss the queues.
High Line, Chelsea Market and Katz deli were some of our not to be missed high lights.
I took my 3 kids (well 2 are teens) to NYC for the second time last Xmas. My top tips:-
Spyscape - am amazing interactive museum that we all absolutely loved.
Going to Brooklyn - we stayed in Time Sq and the crowds were overwhelming. Escaping to Brooklyn on the subway (we went to the zoo which was great) and then we hit Grimaldis for pizza and walked back over the bridge at sunset - magical 😍
They also loved an underground ping pong club that my cousin introduced us to (think it was called Spin) which was super cool. Then we went to a dessert place called Milk Bar.
We did the High Line too but it was rather sparse at Xmas.
Empire State Building
Statue of Liberty
Madame Tussaud's probably fun for kids
Brooklyn bridge walk
Grand central station
Museum of Natural History
See a Broadway show
Personally I'd avoid High Line, found it totally underwhelming.